Windows 7/Windows Home Server


QUESTION: Hi Mike, I have a couple of questions surrounding WHS 2011.
1st The computer I am using for my server has RAID built onto the motherboard and I have read pros and cons for this. So should I stick with that or use a PCI Express add in Raid card?
2nd I know the server has its own backup software, but what is the best software for User computer backup?
I was considering Acronis True Image 2014.

Kind regards

ANSWER: Hello Robert

Just because your system has the ability to use raid, I wouldn't.. in the early days when we were limited in hard drive size the idea of adding a bunch of drives together to give you more storage, plus the ability to hot swap a dead drive was great however now that you can pick up 1,2,3, or even 4 TB drives there is on point in going with a RAID.  I personally suggest 2 identical drives (ie: 2 x 2 TB) and one is used as the backup.  Yes, the internal server backup is great.. it uses the microsoft shadow copy service and is completely transparent. You could use other image software but in doing so you will only confuse the internal stuff.. (IE: boot config issues if you ever do have a problem just make sure you have created the emergency boot disk if you do decide to go with image software, but I wouldn't).

When it comes to the main server drive, if you were to use a 2 TB drive then leave the system drive about 100 GB .. this is tonnes of room and the rest for server data.. so again you will end up with 1 drive that is partitioned for drive c (system drive) and then drive D (data drive) and the second hard drive is invisible, used as the backup.

Use the following link for all your microsoft WHS support:

I hope this helps


Mike Dacre
follow me on twitter @tpsconsulting

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Mike, forgive me if I am missing your point but one of my main concerns is that I do not lose any data if one of the drives fails. Would I be safe still following your advice about shadow copy as a pose to using RAID 1.



Hello again Robert

If you use the built in windows server backup then yes, you are safe because it does a complete shadow copy of the server drive..but if you do wish to use acronis (I actually prefer Paragon's Hard Drive Manager Suite) but they work the same, by creating a backup image. The thing is you will want to be sure you create the emergency boot disk as there will be a good chance at some time the drive will not boot due to incompatibilites with the windows o/s.. it has happened a number of times with one or more of my client computers where I have had to perform the restore of the master boot record. This is why I am saying you may be best to just stay away from that software on your WHS and keep it simple.. use the built in windows server backup as it works well..I use this on my WHS and have never had a problem.


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Mike Dacre


As I have been volunteering in the 'windows' category since the inception of AllExperts, which has now moved to numerous windows categories. I will therefore be happy to answer any Windows 7,8 and 10 based question. What can't I answer? Not much, as this is the main reason I volunteered here, because I am hopeful the questions I can not answer will allow me to investigate the problem so that I can answer it. The TIPS and SOFTWARE support through my website at can also be of some help.


I have owned my own computer consulting business for the past 17 years and since the very beginning I have volunteered with AllExperts in the hopes I would be able to learn from others mistakes and problems. The goal for me is to be able to research any problem I don't initially have the answer to, in the hopes I will be able to further benefit for my own clients when they come across a similar problem.

More information can be found at my website


I grew up with computers, from the first Apple IIC, back when Bill Gates was a student himself! For the past 17 years I have been providing technical services from building computers to constructing complete control rooms. Working with CTV I have helped produce the 1994 Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Later, designing and construction of "instant replay control rooms' for the Big Screens found in Stadiums and Coliseums.

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