Computer

For Online Computer Support, Ask a Computer Technician

Ask a Computer Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Computer
This answer was rated:

Question about preparing a computer cold spare. I have a

Question about preparing a computer...
Question about preparing a computer cold spare.

I have a computer running Windows Server 2008. It hosts all of the shared files for my company. I already have it set up with 2 hard drives running RAID 1 mirroring so if one drive dies, we are fine. However, I am worried about a scenario where other hardware stops working (such as CPU, motherboard, RAM, etc) and we have a long downtime while I repair this critical computer. I was thinking of buying a cold spare that would stand-by. If the primary computer were to fail, I would unplug the hard drives from the primary, put them into the cold spare and then be up and running.

I know one thing I have to be careful is if my cold spare has substantially different hardware than my primary. I believe if the hardware is different, putting the drives from the primary into the cold spare may result in driver differences and result in a blue screen when booting. So, let's say I buy a computer acting as my cold spare that is 100% identical in hardware to my primary computer. For the cold spare, I would also configure the BIOS to run the hard drives as RAID. If I do this, would my solution work? In the event of primary computer failure, I can remove the hard drives, put them into the cold spare, turn on the cold spare and be up and running again with down time of just the time it takes to swap the drives and turn on the cold spare?
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Computer Question
Answered in 2 minutes by:
7/9/2013
James
James, Sr. Computer Support Expert
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 15,908
Experience: 20 years of experience building, fixing and servicing PCs and operating systems.
Verified
Hi,

You are asking some very good questions, and this is certainly worth discussing - as well as perhaps some better alternatives.

Can you please tell me what kind of RAID you are using? The Native 2008 RAID, or a hardware RAID (RAID adapter) ?

Thanks.
Ask Your Own Computer Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Native raid, intel rapid storage technology. It shows raid status at bootup and can also check the status using the intel rapid storage technology software within windows

Ok - so this is a hardware RAID.
This means you need to be using the exact same hardware, with the exact same RAID controller for the cold spare.

Your best bet is basically to get the exact same server, exact same board and components. You are correct in assuming that if you have different components, your OS will fail on boot due to incorrect drivers. The RAID controller is the most sensitive part in this case.

Hope this makes sense!


If you have any other questions or need more information, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond!
I'd appreciate it if you can rate my service using the faces below my answer.

Many thanks,

James.
Ask Your Own Computer Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

What is my hardware RAID controller tied to? Is it the motherboard? Meaning, to ensure the RAID controller is the same on the primary and the cold spare, I need to make sure the XXX hardware is the same on both primary and cold spare.


 


Thanks

Hi,

The RAID controller in your case is part of the board (I just checked), so getting the exact same motherboard will ensure that you have the same RAID controller - it's as simple as that.

If you have any other questions or need more information, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond!
I'd appreciate it if you can rate my service using the faces below my answer.

Many thanks,

James.
James
James, Sr. Computer Support Expert
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 15,908
Experience: 20 years of experience building, fixing and servicing PCs and operating systems.
Verified
James and 87 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Will the CPU matter? Everything else being the same but the CPU is 2.2ghz instead of 1.80 ghz.

Hi,

No - the CPU is not going to make a difference just because of the speed. Windows uses the same driver for the entire CPU class, regardless of the speed. It would matter if you used an AMD instead of Intel, changed the number of cores, etc.

If you have any other questions or need more information, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond!
I'd appreciate it if you can rate my service using the faces below my answer.

Many thanks,

James.
James
James, Sr. Computer Support Expert
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 15,908
Experience: 20 years of experience building, fixing and servicing PCs and operating systems.
Verified
James and 87 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

See this link:


http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/381/Intel_Core_2_Duo_E4400_vs_Intel_Pentium_Dual-Core_E2160.html


 


My computer now is E2160 (Pentium Dual Core)


The cold spare I am looking at buying is E4400 (Core 2 Duo)


 


Would this these be identical drivers?

These CPUs will have two different socket types on the board, which means different boards... I can't say for sure it will work - if the socket is different there can be other components that are different, including the RAID controller.
To be on the safe side, I would stick to the same hardware.


Have you considered running two hot machines, running off the same storage (e.g. SAN) ? Is this something your budget would allow?

J.
Ask Your Own Computer Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

I did some basic research on this but was still confused as to how it would work. I assume it would work similar to a RAID whereas if one computer died, it would automatically switch over to the hardware of the second computer? All the data would be on the shared storage. Does Windows Server 2008 have the software built in to support this? Can you lead me in the right direction on what this feature is called?

That's pretty much correct. You will use shared storage (usually connected to the server using iSCSI - high speed ethernet). Both servers will have access, and there is a cluster server service on Windows 2008 that knows how to manage it.

Can you tell me what kind of uses you have for the servers? File storage, Exchange, SQL server?

Thanks!
Ask Your Own Computer Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

File storage only.


 


I don't want to have to configure both servers. For example, if a new employee comes and I add a user to machine 1, do I have to do the same for machine 2? Or, does it in a sense, mirror?

Oh, that's not the way it works.
With the 2008 cluster service, you configure a "file share" service. Either one of your 2 cluster members can host it, and it runs off the shared storage (SAN drive).

If one server fails, the other server notices it through a heartbeat interface, and starts serving the share automatically. Your users won't even notice, it's fast and no files are lost.

It is an expensive solution, though. The SAN in particular could run you 5-10 K. Does this sound like a viable option?

J.
Ask Your Own Computer Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

5-10k is not feasible. I thought it could run off a networked attached storage or something cheaper.



Is there a cheaper solution? Two hot servers linked to a network attached storage? Or, two hot servers, essentially mirroring each other. As in, server 1 having 2 hard drives running RAID 1, then server 2 having 2 hard drives running RAID 1. So basically server 2 would be a clone of server 1.


 


The objective is to have minimal downtime in the event of server 1 hardware failure within a 2-3k budget


 


 

I'm afraid for that kind of budget, all you can really do is get a server that is as similar as possible. A simple NAS will not work for this purpose, it has to be hardware that supports clustering, and that's going to be expensive.

For 2-3K, you need to simply get the closest hardware you can find.
To be on the safeside, use Acronis TrueImage or Clonezilla to clone both drives, and see if the drives boot properly in the backup machine.

J.
James
James, Sr. Computer Support Expert
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 15,908
Experience: 20 years of experience building, fixing and servicing PCs and operating systems.
Verified
James and 87 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask James Your Own Question
James
James
James, Sr. Computer Support Expert
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 15,908
15,908 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 20 years of experience building, fixing and servicing PCs and operating systems.

James is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

My Expert answered my question promptly and he resolved the issue totally. This is a great service. I am so glad I found it I will definitely use the service again if needed.

One Happy CustomerNew York

I am very happy with my very fast response. Eric is very knowledgeable in the subject area. Thank you!

RPAustin, TX

Hi John, Thank you for your expertise and, more important, for your kindness because they make me, almost, look forward to my next computer problem. After the next problem comes, I'll be delighted to correspond again with you. I'm told that I excel at programing. But system administration has never been one of my talents. So it's great to have an expert to rely on when the computer decides to stump me. God bless, Bill

Bill M.Schenectady, New York

The Expert answered my Mac question and was patient. He answered in a thorough and timely manner, keeping the response on a level that could understand. Thank you!

FrankCanada

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Andy

Andy

Computer Consultant

5,316 satisfied customers

11yr exp, Comp Engg, Internet expert, Web developer, SEO

Engineer John C.

Engineer John C.

Computer Science Engineer

3,227 satisfied customers

Computer Science Engineer with 10 years of experience in Computer Support, and Microsoft, A+ and Cisco certified

Ryan H.

Ryan H.

Computer Support Specialist

1,741 satisfied customers

A+ Certified Technician - 10 Years experience working with all types of computer systems.

Jane Lefler

Jane Lefler

Sr Prog Analyst / Technician

2 satisfied customers

Computer Programmer / Technician/ Consultant 16+ years

Frederick S.

Frederick S.

Computer Specialist

7,241 satisfied customers

Computer technician and founder of a home PC repair company.

lifesaver

lifesaver

Computer Software Engineer

4,288 satisfied customers

Engineering degree in Computer science,Microsoft Certified Professional.JA computer expert.

Sudipto

Sudipto

Hardware Engineer

4,115 satisfied customers

Certificate Course In Computer Maintenance

< Previous | Next >

Related Computer Questions
We need to change our e-mail from caenergy.partners to
we need to change our e-mail from caenergy.partners to caenergypartners.com We do have both reserved through Godaddy … read more
Kamil Anwar
Kamil Anwar
IT Consultant / Systems Engineer
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
426 satisfied customers
How to log into win 7 forgotten password. Gateway, laptop,
old computer hasnt been useds in awhile want to retrieve pics … read more
Chris L.
Chris L.
IT/Web Manager
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
29 satisfied customers
I was using my computer on my Visio TV when I got a message
I was using my computer on my Visio TV when I got a message saying resolution not supported … read more
Viet - Computer Tech
Viet - Computer Tech
Computer Technican
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
952 satisfied customers
I'm trying to update my email on facebook and it says its
I'm trying to update my email on facebook and it says its invalid … read more
Josh
Josh
It Support Specialist
Associate Degree
5,127 satisfied customers
Sorry its not the computer its the broadband connection. Its
Sorry its not the computer its the broadband connection … read more
Specialist Sean S.
Specialist Sean S.
Computer Support Technician
676 satisfied customers
Unable to sign into Skype after I was hacked sespite many
Unable to sign into Skype after I was hacked sespite many attempts and change of passwords … read more
Aparna Indresh
Aparna Indresh
Engineer
Electronics & communication engineering
16 satisfied customers
I'm signing, more I can't open my email accountig. Yahoo.
The computer entering being doing very good, but since last night I'can reach my email box, after my sing-up made. … read more
Josh
Josh
It Support Specialist
Associate Degree
5,127 satisfied customers
I accidentally removed the FB icon from the sidebar on the
I accidentally removed the FB icon from the sidebar on the left side of screen. This pops up when I turn on my desktop PC & then I can go quickly to FB, Gmail or whatever else I need. How do I get the… read more
Kamil Anwar
Kamil Anwar
IT Consultant / Systems Engineer
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
426 satisfied customers
Almost all of my bookmarks are gone after doing the update!
Almost all of my bookmarks are gone after doing the update! … read more
Josh
Josh
It Support Specialist
Associate Degree
5,127 satisfied customers
I have an Epson FX-890 that is connected to a Windows 10
I have an Epson FX-890 that is connected to a Windows 10 computer that I use to print cheques. It worked . … read more
PC_Wizzard
PC_Wizzard
IT Technician
32 satisfied customers
Unable to open g-mail after tapping the icon - asked to sign
unable to open g-mail after tapping the icon - asked to sign in, etc, & did not recognize me. … read more
Kris R
Kris R
IT Manager
Computing
2,285 satisfied customers
I am trying to hook up a Kindle to the internet and it is
i am trying to hook up a Kindle to the internet and it is asking me for a password. Where do I find it? … read more
Byron
Byron
IT Support Specialist
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
410 satisfied customers
The display on my screen has gone very small. how do I
the display on my screen has gone very small. how do I restore it … read more
Bryan
Bryan
IT Consultant
8,745 satisfied customers
I am trying to install Photoshop Elements 2018 but can't
I am trying to install Photoshop Elements 2018 but can't find my serial number. I bought it at Staples & the serial no. is not on the disc sleeve or anywhere else. The serial no. on my bill is too lon… read more
Kamil Anwar
Kamil Anwar
IT Consultant / Systems Engineer
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
426 satisfied customers
My voicemail on this phone is supposedly full and I've not
My voicemail on this phone is supposedly full and I've not been able to empty it. The technician I spoke to last evening thought he had gotten it emptied but it appears that it's still full. I tried t… read more
David L.
David L.
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
6 satisfied customers
I can't sign on to my email. Earlier today I signed my
I can't sign on to my email. Earlier today I signed my friend on my her email on my computer. We both have Yahoo Account. … read more
Josh
Josh
It Support Specialist
Associate Degree
5,127 satisfied customers
How do you give your Microsoft account an email address?
How do you give your Microsoft account an email address? … read more
Viet - Computer Tech
Viet - Computer Tech
Computer Technican
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
952 satisfied customers
Every time I attempt to open Google Chrome, it asks me, via
Every time I attempt to open Google Chrome, it asks me, via a dialog box, whether it can modify my system. Should it do that? … read more
John
John
System/Network administrator
High School or GED
2,052 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x