Just wondering, as there are so many large USB drives on sale now...
IF you want to backup, say, a 160 Gig laptop hard drive, do you want more or less the same size, or would a much larger HD be better? why?
Its very easy to clone HDs now, wi ould that be even better than backing up?
If anybody is backing up to one of those online vaults, how long does it take?
Did anybody remember to take their backups outta New ORleans or the Western brushfires?
Feel free to answer any question I forgot to ask!
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I enjoy piece of mind by imaging boot drive(s) / partition(s) to an internal 500GB in an external enclosure. Additionally I do a straight file copy of important folders. For convenience/extra security, I create bootable restore DVD discs. Call me neurotic - but I sleep well at night.
On-line vaults? No
Will I invest in a floating fire proof safe? Nope - not that neurotic
Most backup software offer different levels of compression.
Same goes for disk imaging software.
So for a single backup you can get by with ~half the disk size. Good practice may be to keep an image of the original configuration plus a periodic backup to protect data. This would take a drive larger than the computer's drive.Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.
I like the mini external 160s from Maxtor which don't require a power supply. They do require 2USB ports on the back of your PC while you're using them, however - 1 for power, 1 for data.
I have 3 external HD that I use for backups and archives:
250GB Maxtor One Touch USB2.0/firewire
500GB WD MyBook USB2.0
1TB WD MyBook USB2.0
All have performed exactly as expected - maybe Maxtor firewire is slightly quicker, but then maybe the smaller drive works faster.
I don't use any specific archival software for files, I just drag and paste into archive folders. However, for OS drives I use Ghost to make an image that I can access with the recovery disk.
One thing I find important is whether a drive has an on/off switch - my smaller ext HDs have one so it's easy to switch off, unplug and transfer between PCs. The 1TB WD does not so it's on pretty much permanently (since I read that just unplugging an external HD can damage it).Regards,
If you have a lot of video and audio files you shouldn't count on getting 2:1 compression on a backup.
A 500 GB drive won't cost much more than a 160 GB drive (~US$100 vs. US$60). You could use the extra space to have multiple drive images -- ie, add a new image each month, keeping the most recent 3 images.
Make sure the drive has an on/offf switch-some do not have one.
On many systems the 2.5" USB powered drives only require connection to one USB connector. The second connector is for use on a minority of systems and unpowered USB hubs.
In my opinion a power switch is unnecessary. Since you need to perform a Safely Remove Hardware function with or without a switch disconnecting the cable and removing the drive is just as effective.
I have a world of backup drives. And a shelf to put them on when not in use.
My preference is the non-powered 2.5" drive which means in today;'s market a 160gb max.
Bigger drives mean cases with power supplies and frankly some have mechanical deficiencies. There are some power transformer to box cables with connectors that really are prone to problems (like IOMagic). There is the footprint issue on the power transformer in the surge protector. There is the find the right transformer if you have multiple drives. There is the fan noise on some external boxes.
I use a 250GB WD MyBook for back up and Acronis TrueImage software.
It doesn't have an on/off switch but does have a separate power supply. I prefer a power switch as it is a much more robust means of cycling the power. Repeatedly unplugging/plugging the USB cable isn't good electronics practice.
FWIW, I *never* use Safely Remove Hardware. I just unplug it. That's why USB is hot-swappable. I've yet to have a problem. In fact, when I did bother to use it, I usually got a message saying I can't remove it right away even though nothing is using it. As long as I close any Windows Explorer windows that are open to the drive and any other software using it, I have no problem.
The USB specification REQUIRES that both the software (Windows driver) and hardware (the device itself) respond properly to unexpected power failure. Obviously, yanking the cable in the middle of a file copy is not recommended!
Originally Posted by rhegedus
If pulling the power would damage an external drive the maker would be getting a lot of damaged drives back after a power outage.
I use two WD external hard drives (EHDs) with a Dishnetwork DVR and as you describe they have no power switch. When I'm done moving content on or off of them or when I'm done watching content off of them I pull the power plug. Can I wear out the socket the power or USB cable plugs into? Sooner or later, most likely later.
I'll take the miniscule chance of that happening since I swap between the two WD EHDs and a generic EHD.
I can not see any difference between a EHD and a internal drive in terms of power cycling.
Yes you can corrupt the data on the drive if you just unplug it before stopping it in windows. You could get away with not stopping the drive 300 times and then on the 301st time you corrupt the drive. I've seen it happen.
I had one computer where if the power went out while it was running I could guarentee that I had to run chkdsk /p to get it running again. Everytime. Other computers no problem, usually.
If you are using that 1Tb WD drive infrequently and it were me I'd be pulling the power to save wear and tear. Another reason is imaging it is your backup drive, it is always connected, you get a destructive virus that wipes all atached drives.
Originally Posted by oldandinthe way
Safely remove hardware has nothing to do with power to the drive.
Safely remove hardware has its effects on forcing the completion of drive updates. If you are certain the drive is not in use and does not have incomplete writes you can disconnect it, but if you allow deferred writes for performance reasons you can corrupt the data on the drive by disconnecting without clicking on it..
The USB port is made to be hot swapped, you can plug and unplug without fear of shorting anything.
I have a WD Mybook with a switch. Its switch is useless. If I power off the drive and then reboot the system, it is automatically overridden andd the drive is turned on.
Originally Posted by oldandinthe way