Maintain Identical w7 Installations In One Computer?

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by danbarron, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. danbarron

    danbarron MDL Novice

    Jan 24, 2014
    I have an idea and I'm not sure if it's crazy and, if not, how to do it exactly.

    My system has an SSD I want to use for my main Windows 7 Home Premium OS drive. I also have a second 1TB HDD. I want to partition the HDD to hold my data. I also want to have a second installation of Windows 7 HP on that drive as a 'hot backup'.

    Once I get both installs up and running, I would then backup the main W7 install each week and restore it onto the backup, so that the backup is almost current with the main one. I've also thought about using some kind of sync software to keep them up to date almost in real time. IOW, I want to keep them synced at least somewhat closely, but I would only boot up the second installation in an emergency. And it would be one-way...any changes or software installs would happen in the main one and then synced or back-up-restored to the other.

    I want to do it so I have basically zero downtime should my main drive fail or get a virus, etc. I have a lot of irons in the development fires and I can't afford to be down for long. This way I could keep working until I had time to fix the problem.

    Is this doable? I've read a lot of suggestions but they all seem contradictory.

    Do I just do two separate installs, unplugging the 'other' drive when I do each one? Do I do the main install and then insert the install disc there and just choose the other hard drive? Do I do the main install and then just restore a backup of it to another partition and make it bootable? Is it possible then to set up the data partitions so they are shared by both OS's?

    I am a developer, so I don't need step-by-step instructions, just a more general how-to or pointers to info. Or maybe there's a simpler way to achieve my desired result...?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Mutagen

    Mutagen MDL Addicted

    Feb 18, 2013
    Another option for an unallocated SSD is to install it and configure for Raid1. That will provide zero downtime should one SSD fail. Raid doesn't protect against a virus. (Actually, it pretty much guaranties a virus will be reliably duplicated!) So one still needs to maintain a timely backup image schedule as already suggested.
  3. jabberwocky

    jabberwocky MDL Member

    Aug 28, 2009
    Have you seen a software called HyperOS , It allows installs of multiple OSs ,as you can see in the screenshot, the top pane contains the list of OSs ,and any data folders , each is on a seperate partition , all OSs are bootable with a simple double click of the choosen icon , in the bottom pane are full backups of some of the OSs , these are crated initially after installing the originals , the originals can be backed up on a shedule, and the backups can be stored on any external device from another hard drive to a pendrive etc .to restore a system you simply drag (drag and drop) the correct backup from the bottom pane and releas it over the correct icon representing the drive to be backed up , and HyperOS does the rest . its not exactly what you were asking for but ot works and its a nice feeling to be (just about) immune from virus etc attacks .
    other panes show other devices connected , that can also be used for backups or running OSs from .