I Need A New Ext. H/D - Which One??

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I Need A New Ext. H/D - Which One??
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WiseTioga
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November 16, 2010 - 12:34 am
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Hi Guys;

I'm back with a problem. I need a new external hard drive for back-up protection. 500 Gb to 1 Tb (don't [b:37dbdotk]really[/b:37dbdotk] need the 1 Tb), USB-2. Seagate is NOT acceptable. Had bought a Free Agent 07/09 it died 03/10. Bought another in 03/10 and it died 10/10. Bought an Expansion the other day when installing the B/U that came on the drive it turned my whole notebook upside-down. Fortunately had a restore point that I created before installing and a data back-up from the same time so was able to get back up and running in short order. Will NEVER consider Seagate again. Fry's has Western Digital, Verbatum, Iomega and several others. What do you reccomend?

Also notice that most of the external H/D's are formated NTFS whils my XP Prof. S/P-3 notebook is formated FAT-32 is this going to be a problem??

Look forward to your thoughts. Thanks in advance

Jon aka Wise Tioga

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Jim Hillier
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November 16, 2010 - 4:49 am
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Hey Jon - This is all probably going to come down to personal experience and individual preferences. I really like Western Digital gear, largely because I have never had any problems with their hard drives. Had old computers die when other hardware components like the mobo and such wore out but the old WD HDD's were always still working fine. Been transferring from one machine to the next as second internal HD. I ended up letting some of them go just because of the size issue but I'm pretty sure the little 80GB job in my wife's desktop is about 10 years old and it's still going strong.

You should not have any problems working twixt FAT32 on the main drive and NTFS on the external; apart from the normal files size limitations imposed by the FAT32 system. If I were you though I'd seriously consider converting the main drive (in the laptop) to NTFS too, it is a far better system.

Apparently it's not too difficult to do, have a read through here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr

Cheers.....Jim

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felgall
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November 18, 2010 - 2:46 am
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I have had more problems with Western Digital drives than I have had with Seagate (although the 1.5Tb Seagate drive I bought last year failed within two months but the replacement the store gave me is working fine).

The 1Tb IOmega external drive I have has a Seagate drive inside it. I don't know if they always use that brand though.

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Chad Johnson
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November 18, 2010 - 11:24 am
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Hmmm - an external drive for backups....

I vote no.

What you need is a NAS.

While pricey, a NAS provides you with a few things:

* RAID (Redundant Array of Disks) so that when a drive fails you swap it out and the data is preserved.
* Separation: Depending on how your home network is laid out, a NAS can be placed in a separate room from your computer to limit exposure.
* Portability: Most NAS's are easy to carry - pick it up and go.

Or---

For years I've used Mozy.com to do my backups. For 4.95 / month (less if you sign a longer contract), you get unlimited (yes, unlimited) backup space on their servers. Lose a file or two? Easy restore -- just redownload it.
Lose a drive -- no problem, you can either download everything, or pay a small fee and get a Hard Drive / Thumb Drive / DVD of your data sent to you (the fee covers the cost of the device they send).

That gives you lots of options -- including an offsite location.

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Jim Hillier
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November 18, 2010 - 2:49 pm
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Personally, I would consider employment of a NAS (Network Attached Storage) unit as a tad overkill for the average home user; assuming 'average' would mean one (or two machines at most) involving a relatively modest amount of data.

Not disputing the superior benefits and reliability but, to me anyway, would be a bit like attacking an ant with a sledge hammer.

The Mozey.com type solution I do agree with. The benefits are obvious and well defined by Zig.

However, "for years" I have been using a two-fold system of: 1) creating and saving full system images to external drive. 2) backing up personal data separately also to external media (usually CD/DVD). That way I have a full system backup in place as a much preferable alternative to fresh install plus two (separate) backups of all personal data.

Never experienced any problems using that system and, more significantly, zero external hard drive issues. Setup costs are minimal; external hard drives are so inexpensive now, blank CD/DVD's equally so and the excellent imaging software Macrium Reflect will take care of the image creation for free.

Everyone has there own favourite backup strategy, generally dictated by suitability and familiarity. Regardless of differences of opinion, the most important aspect is to[b:f4kwzq9w][i:f4kwzq9w] have a plan[/i:f4kwzq9w][/b:f4kwzq9w] in the first place and, of course, implement it.

Cheers....Jim

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Chad Johnson
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November 18, 2010 - 3:01 pm
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Everyone has there own favourite backup strategy, generally dictated by suitability and familiarity. Regardless of differences of opinion, the most important aspect is to[b:2dc3m246][i:2dc3m246] have a plan[/i:2dc3m246][/b:2dc3m246] in the first place and, of course, implement it.

Cheers....Jim[/quote:2dc3m246]

And that's the key -- it really comes down to what you're willing to do. Mozy.com is easy because it does all the work for you. Other systems rely on swapping drives, creating images, etc. For anyone willing to do the work, those are fine systems.

I'm a big believer in set it and forget it. Things I don't have to babysit leaves me free to enjoy other things in life. I've often considered disk imaging, and mirroring, and all sorts of other fun things but honestly, at the end of the day, it's easier to pay Mozy to handle it all for me.

And my sledgehammers don't kill ants. Little buggers crawl away anyway. :/

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Jim Hillier
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November 18, 2010 - 3:25 pm
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[quote:1zqo5ohm]Other systems rely on swapping drives, creating images, etc. For anyone willing to do the work, those are fine systems.[/quote:1zqo5ohm]
A very good point Zig. I often lose sight of the fact not everyone is retired, some still have to work for a living. I have so much time on my hands it is not an issue for me and I should be more cognizant of the fact that not everyone is in the same boat.

[quote:1zqo5ohm]And my sledgehammers don't kill ants. Little buggers crawl away anyway.[/quote:1zqo5ohm]
[size=150:1zqo5ohm]LOL[/size:1zqo5ohm].....we'll just have to get you a bigger sledgehammer mate!! Or slower ants maybe.

Cheers Zig.....Jim

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David Hartsock
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November 19, 2010 - 6:21 pm
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I'll throw my .02 in and suggest a Home Server.
[url=http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2096278-10440897?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.newegg.com%2FProduct%2FProduct.aspx%3FItem%3DN82E16859110001%26nm_mc%3DAFC-C8Junction%26cm_mmc%3DAFC-C8Junction-_-Server%2B-%2BSystems-_-ASUS-_-59110001&cjsku=N82E16859110001:2etnmwc5]ASUS Mini SOHO Home Server w/ Intel Atom N280 1.66GHz 1GB DDR2 500GB HDD installed, [b:2etnmwc5]powered by Windows Home Server[/b:2etnmwc5] - $199.99 after rebate![/url:2etnmwc5]
[img:2etnmwc5]http://www.lduhtrp.net/image-2096278-10440897[/img:2etnmwc5]
[img:2etnmwc5]http://images10.newegg.com/ProductImageCompressAll200/59-110-001-08.jpg[/img:2etnmwc5]

This is going for $200 after rebate and that's about double what you would pay for an average 1TB external. The difference is that by doubling your price (I know, who wants to hear that) you are getting so much more flexibility and function. Not to mention the automatic backups, which are worth the price difference all by themselves!

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WiseTioga
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November 25, 2010 - 6:56 pm
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Greetings To All and A Happy Thanksgiving To All,

Guys I have to say that I kind of side with Jim on a lot of your advice. I do appreciate your adive and thoughts on this subject, however, a lot of it does seem like overkill to me. I'm just one person with one computer that is only used by myself. When an external H/D works as it is supposed to it seems to be perfect for my needs and wants.

Jim I took part of your advice and purchased a Western Digital "Elements" Ext. H/D. It's USB 2.0, Has NO preinstalled software, Has it's own A/C adapter, and is 1.5Tb. Yes I know that is a lot of storage space for one guy with one notebook who does not rip music or mess with video, however, it only cost only $20 USD more than the 500Mb model. Easy decision. So far so good with it. It's 7"x4.5"x1.5". It has a pulg-in for the A/C power supply, one for the USD 2.0 cred and a power light and that's it. No ventilation slots/holes which was a surprise to me, feels like it weighs about 1 to 1.5 lbs.

Had an interesting time with when I first hooked it up. In case anyone who follows the forum is interested, I'll share what I learned. Backing up just a little bit, I have several peripheral accessories that are USB powered and only 3 USB ports on my notebook. One of those is used to power my notbook cooler leaving only 2 open ports. To compensate I have found and purchased a powered seven [7] port USB hub. To keep the wires to a minimun on my desk I have pluged the hub into the one port on the back of the cooler and then of course the cooler into my notbeook. All of the other peripheral devices; mouse, printer, stand-alone keyboard, Zip-drive and Floppy-drive seem to work just fine with this hook-up. I'll also note that two Seagate Ext. H/D's that I had in the past also seemed to work fine with this hook-up.

However, the WD Element did not work well at all. It would only back-up one-quarter or less of the files scheduled and just stop. Boy, was I ticked off. Ready to box it back up and return it to Frys for a refund. Got thinking though, and decided it need more investigation. Pluged the drive directly into my notebook and it worked just fine. Pluged it back into the USB hub and the hub directly into my notebook and it worked just fine. Went back to the hub via the cooler NO GO! Not sure why all my othe peripherals work fine that way but not the Ext. H/D. Not a deal-breaker now that I know and understand the situation but kind of strange.

Jim, I think that you are correct and that I should probably convert my notebook from FAT-32 to NTFS, however, I don't feel real confident in doing that even after reading information you directed me to. Maybe later on.

Dave, Jim, Ziggie and everyone else I do thank you for your advice and thoughts. Please feel free to contribute at any time.

Best Wishes to all,
Jon (aka: Wise Tioga)

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Jim Hillier
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November 25, 2010 - 7:46 pm
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Hey Jon - Thanks for getting back and letting us know the outcome....much appreciated.

Strange situation indeed with external drive not working properly in just that one configuration. Dave or Zig might have a rational explanation, then again it could just be one of those inexplicable events that happen from time to time.

Cheers now.....Jim

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