Installing the New Drives
Three things to do before getting started:
- Make a complete backup of your main drive (on a mirror drive, a pile of DVDs, something). It's unlikely that anything jeopardizing your original HD data will happen, but balance that probability against the massive inconvenience of data loss.
- Download and burn a Knoppix or other LiveCD/DVD disk.
- Make sure that your distro supports SATA, or find the workaround to build SATA support into your /boot/.initrd file. In Debian, the final version of Etch and subsequent versions have this support.
The best way of transferring or updating filesystems for backup purposes is to have the active OS stuff running in a LiveCD, with file transfer being the only activity going on in the main/backup drives. This eliminates concern about active files not getting copied from the drive whose data is being copied.
The physical installation is just like that for any other 3.5[in] drive. Plug in the new drive data and power cables. If you have a mirror drive in a mobile rack mount, install the mobile rack, and install the new backup in the tray. Do not plug the tray into the rack.