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Thread: Looking for suggestions.

  1. #1
    Senior Member michaeln's Avatar
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    Looking for suggestions.

    Hi all,

    I'm looking for suggestions. I have a dedicated PC solely running an application that manages emergency call outs. It is a complex scenario based call out system that sends out notifications over pagers, SMS, Fax, email and pre-recorded voice messages.

    PC is running XP Pro SP3 and spends it's life in an IT room just waiting to jump into action.

    A recent test showed a problem (software related) and identified a weakness in so far as we had no backup for the system.

    What I am now thinking of is Installing two HD's in the PC with one as a clone of the other. (both running XP_SP3 and the application), having the database on a dedicated partition, accessible by both.

    My question is, does this sound feasible and if so is there a simple boot manager that I could use to select which HD to boot from if the other has issues.

    Thanks in advance.


    Michael

  2. #2
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    The cloned image will be C drive...and you can't two of those running at the same time. You can however swap the drives out in a matter of minutes if the first one fails.

  3. #3
    Senior Member michaeln's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve R Jones View Post
    The cloned image will be C drive...and you can't two of those running at the same time. You can however swap the drives out in a matter of minutes if the first one fails.
    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for that. I thought of that but it would require a long journey and a boat trip. What I had in mind was something along the lines of a boot manager that would allow me select a drive to boot from. Is there any such software out there?

    Regards,


    Michael

  4. #4
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    This won't help much either, but if the drives are independent (no boot manager) you can go into the BIOS and tell it to boot off the second drive... Odds are, you'd have to be sitting in front of the machine.

  5. #5
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    Or train someone who is closer to be able what is needed , that lives closer. Which also includes knowing enough to disconnect the bad hdd if that is needed.

  6. #6
    Senior Member michaeln's Avatar
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    Thanks Steve and Train. Will have to go along with Train and just show them how to change cables on the HD if the situation arises.

    Thanks again.


    Michael

  7. #7
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    You should be able to come up with a training aid with the same hdd connectors. That way you can bypass messing with the online computer. Route that I would take anyway.
    I got lucky as the training aid had identical hardware.
    Last edited by Train; 05-21-2012 at 11:29 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member michaeln's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train View Post
    You should be able to come up with a training aid with the same hdd connectors. That way you can bypass messing with the online computer. Route that I would take anyway.
    I got lucky as the training aid had identical hardware.
    Hi Train,

    Wish it were that simple. The PC is locked away and cannot be touched. Complicated set of permissions even to get at it. They don't even allow it on a network. I was hoping for a simple solution that would be able to be dealt with over the phone, along the lines of a re-boot to an alternative drive. Well I guess it will have to be plan B.

    Thanks all,


    Michael

  9. #9
    Ultimate Member AllGamer's Avatar
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    just thrown this idea out.

    to get redundancy on such a "mission critical" system, it will be wise to capture an image of that dating machine and virtualize it

    VMware EXSi is 100% and it can easily accommodate 2 copies of your system, 1 active and one suspended ready for action if mirror 1 of the emergency system should ever fail for whatever reason

    VMware machines can connect to real hardware specially USB based hardware.

    If the reason your company is keeping up with such an outdated box, it's probably due the hardware/software compatibility

    there are many USB to "whatever you can imagine" adapters, any external COM based modems can be attached to the VMware server to use it via the USB to COM port adapter
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  10. #10
    Ultimate Member Ol'Tunzafun's Avatar
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    A virtual machine would be my suggestion as well, though I don't understand your access options. Is there no ethernet connection to the internet?

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