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 Post subject: PC back up options
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:51 pm 
I hope the more technically inclined forum members can help me with this since I'm note sure what the best option is for me :?

I have a 160BG Seagate HDD in my PC which is filling quickly. Until now I've been backing it up for a 100GB 'Seagate Momentus' mobile, USB powered drive but is now too small.

I don't need the mobility but want it backed up to an external source (instead of a bigger internal drive) to provide greater security.

It seems that buying an (500GB?) internal HDD would be the most cost effective solution. (I'll need to buy a second, possibly 320GB, internal drive soon anyway, so will need the back up space.)

- Is there anything special in the case that it needs to be fitted into or is it a universal fit?
- How is it powered?
- How does it connect to the PC?

Thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:00 pm 
I assume you are using a desktop. An internal drive(3.5" for desktops) would be mounted on the drive rails in your PC case, some cases have removable mounting brackets some don't. Most should have 2-4. The newer ones connect via SATA and the older ones via IDE cable. They are powered by the PSU using a power cable. You can also buy an enclosure for the 3.5" drive if you decide to take it out of your PC.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:38 pm 
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If you don't have a SFF(=small form factor)-PC, fitting a second internal 3.5" drive should be no prob. Just make sure you get the right/matching drive (either IDE or SATA) depending on what you already have in your PC. There normally are power and data cables hanging around in your case that can be used.

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Last edited by Thomas on Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:15 am 
thanks.

I have a desktop with Gigabyte GZ-X1 midi case and Seagate SATA drive currently installed.

Apart from installing a second drive to increase my storage space, I really want to back up the fully capacity I intend adding (approx. 500GB) to an external source for added security.

It seems cheaper to use an internal 3.5" internal drive installed into a case for this purpose. I'm still not sure how this connects to the PC (if the cases allow for a USB connection and if one needs to add an additional power supply?

Portable/external 2.5" drives are easy to shop for, but these usually come in smaller capacities and you pay for the mobility which isn't really an issue here. Maybe I'm not explaining things correctly?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:37 am 
Internal drives do not connect by USB, they use either SATA or IDE, since you already have an existing SATA drive, just use SATA. You do not need an additional power supply, just identify which power cable is connected to your Seagate drive and and look for an identical cable which is not currently being used.

As for the external drives, they do come as 3.5" drives, and are no different from the internal ones. You can even buy an internal drive and buy the external enclosure for it separately. The external drives would connect via USB or E-SATA(not all motherboards have this port) and they are powered from separately from the mains.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:41 pm 
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Just push the back-up drive in, connect, copy/clone the primary drive, than take the backup drive out again. that is much faster than with USB!

If you're just in for a new primary drive just buy two of them.
If you clone the primary drive to the backup-drive you have the benefit that you can immediately swap the backup for your primary drive (should that fail) and all systems are go (no Windows reactivation necessary) :D :D :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:20 am 
I think your choice i driven by the definition of "back up". Adding another internal hard disk, will of course allow you to back up what you have on your primary.

However, that will only insure you against very localized incidents. An internal hard drive will be "on" whenever your PC is on and - say - a bad power surge can hit both disks at the same time. A very destructive virus will travel to the other disk instantly as well. Especially if you do active mirroring as a back-up solution.

There are tape-solutions that will allow you to back up between 20 and 400Gb per tape - but they are somewhat pricey. The advantage is that you take your tape and put it somewhere else.

Alternately a "mother" of an external hard disk like this one:
Western Digital WDH1CS10000N MyBook Home 1TB External Hard Drive - 7200, 8MB, USB 2.0, FireWire 400, eSATA at around 350-400$ can offer you the same deal.

If you intend to use as a "true" back-up, you should disconnect it when you are not actively backing up. Perhaps even moving it to another site/location - if you are thinking about saving your irreplaceable images from a fire.

There are also various on-line file hosting vendors who allows you to upload GBs f data (at a price) and keep them for you. That can ultimtely be rather pricey as well -but it will give you access to your date from anywhere in the world.

Good luck in choosing your solution :-)

Cheers!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:09 pm 
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As I said:
Quote:
than take the backup drive out again

I would never rely on a mirrored/RAID drive: If you by accident delete something or change anything for bad or got infected, it also happens immediately on the mirror!
So my recoomended routine is:
- virus scan
- install backup drive
- clone to backup drive
- deinstall backup drive
- defrag primary drive
- keep your backup in a seperate room!
- now you can delete the mem-card in your camera
For 500GB that is a procedure of 90 minutes. Do at least once a month.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:11 pm 
I don't recomend to install an internal hard disk for back-up purposes, it violates a key directive for efective storage and back-up of data which is to replicate yout data in geographically different places. Big corporations do this more than once (several back-ups instead of one) and keep their back-up devices safely stored in fire-proof rooms around the world.

Of course neither of us can afford or need such drastic measures, but it's wise to imitate such strategies on a smaller, simpler scale. enbedding your back-up drive in the same computer in which you keep your primary drive means that if an unfortunate accident occurs (serious malfunction/robbery/etc) both your primary and back-up devices may be destroyed/lost with catastrophic consequences to your valuable data.

For home or small office users such as most of us, I recomend an external device such a the Western Digital mentioned by LahLahSr, they're powered by an external AC/DC adaptor and connects to the PC using a simple USB port which makes it compatible with every single PC in the market as of today (of course, you can also use eSATA if your motherboards supports it). If 1 TB is too much (my experience tells me that no storage device is ever too big, sometimes though they are too expensive :lol:) you can go for smaller 750 or 500 GB which are more affordable, I recomend going for the biggest you can afford, you will never repent.

Bye


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:47 am 
thank you all for your help!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:00 pm 
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Now, I have to repeat myself:
Internal only during backup, then take out again and put aside.
I hope, I made myself clear now!
Internal is cheaper and faster, so why (apart from plugging in and pulling out) should you consider anything else?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:47 pm 
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I agree with Thomas, but with one caveat! If you're using SATA, beware the internal interface is more delicate than you think. I have already broken the SATA connector on a motherboard before and colleagues have done the same on the drives themselves.

This would suggest using an eSATA enclosure might be the best bet, but the ones I've tested have been less than 100% so far. But if you get a good one, I think this could be the way forward!

In the meantime, I still fish internal drives in and out my case on a regular basis!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:25 pm 
Thomas wrote:
Now, I have to repeat myself:
Internal only during backup, then take out again and put aside.
I hope, I made myself clear now!
Internal is cheaper and faster, so why (apart from plugging in and pulling out) should you consider anything else?


All right, all right, I missed the part where you said to remove it afterwards... :oops: :wink:

I'm still not convinced of this method of plugging in/out internal hard drives though... Granted, they're cheaper than externals and SATA interface is certainly faster than USB, but even as you say, there's the issue of convenience, opening up you PC box and plugging in a hard drive is, at best, incovenient for someone used to it, and a plain unspeakable nightmare to someone who isn't. Whereas external drives are operated as easily as pen-drives or memory cards (provided you own a reader), you just plug them and you're ready to go, I don' t know... most friends of mine would be all but scared to death of having to open their PCs and mess with it in order to make a back-up. Let alone if at some time you decide you'd like to use that hard drive to interchange data with an external system (say, a friend's PC), something quite common nowadays.

To sum it up, I think the internal HD method is best suitable for those who have some confidence at handling the internals of a PC (and expertise, as Gordon says, it's all to easy to brake things in there, that is not so with external interfaces, designed to be used more often and by user-level people). My humble point of view, of course...

Anyway, and I forgot to mention this is my previous message, it's a great idea to have a back-up drive, either internal or external, but my advise is that, at least the most precious data, should also be backed up in permanent optical media (such as DVD-R) and have that media archived in a proper environment (basically a dark, clean and dry place).

Cheers :)


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 Post subject: Backup
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:42 pm 
I back up from laptop-1 to a couple HD iPods, then from the iPods to other computers, then to a couple of 8 GB thumb drives, and then certain files only to a couple of 2 GB CF cards used in DOS pocket computers. Lastly, every so often I back up most files to a 8 GB CF card that goes to a secure site, and also remote my critical zip files to computers in other states. All of this is fairly cheap - way less than what I spend on cameras, computers, and media.


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 Post subject: Add'l comment
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:46 pm 
Forgot to add: I use batch files and 'dirmatches' to automate the file-by-file backup process, so I don't have to back up anything except what recently changed.


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