External or Internal HD?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by iflynething, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    I'm up to over 8,000 pictures and am running out of HD room on the PC.

    I need to either get an internal or external hard drive. The thing I like about external is they are, well portable, and some have the same capacity as some internal ones (250G or more).

    I'm worried about any of them crashing, whether it be internal or external, although I have neve had that happen.

    I did a search on here and was reading about someone using a separate partition for his pictures. He could take of the whole operating system and not touch the pictures at all.

    I just want to keep all of them, but I'm running out of room.

    What are your personal preferences for internal or external hard drives.

    ~Michael~
     
  2. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    personally....i would recommend an external HD....because they are not much more expensive than internal...but you have the capability of carry it around to transfer to friends or families.....a 250HD external will last you about 25,000 photos at 10MB each

    regarding crashing.....unless you are heavily loading your HD all the time...say using bittorrent or eMule all the time or hosting a server (i once killed 4 HD in 6 months hosting a server)....the chances of them crashes is really minimum.....and if you are really worried about that....then you should get an internal and use RAID (this is getting a bit into how to backup files in a system and it is a bit off the topic....but if you need more inforation....you can google on RAID or if you dont understand after googling....i can explain to you a bit more on RAID)

    now about separate partition for picture.....this is a veyr typical way of organize files in a computer system.....DO NOT store any files in the same partition where the OS is installed other than applicaiton files....this is a rule of thumb in file management so that in case you get virus infection on your files....they dont run directly into your OS partition and vice versa.....or if you need to reinstall your OS....you can wipe your OS partition without having touch any of your important files........having said that.....i never put any files in "my document" because this is a location that belongs to the OS partition....unelss those documents are not important (i'm a little off topic again)
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For safe storage always mirror (RAID) the disks.. doesn't matter if they are internal or external. The fact that they are external or internal really isn't the issue here.... what brand of disks are they? How fast is the interface? How fast is the disk itself? What are your expectations? Those are the questions you should be asking.... a cheap internal will be less reliable than an expensive external. A cheap external will be less reliable than an expensive internal.

    Me... I decided to group my storage into two pools: workspace and archival. Workspace requires fast performance (i'm impatient). The other pool, Archival, is focused on keeping the data safe. My workspace is on high performance internal SATA drives. My archival area is on two 250gb external firewire 400 interfaced disks that are mirrored. I'm in the process of upgrading to two 500gb firewire 800 mirrored disks for archival. I then archive to magnetic tape on a periodic basis.

    Branding... I've had good experience with Seagates. Good with western digital. I've had some problems with Maxtor. My one and only Samsung 300gb SATA drive reported errors within a few weeks.
     
  4. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You need backup. Otherwise you will lose your images. Not maybe. You will lose them for sure when your hard drive eventually crashes. I was so worried about this I bought an external RAID. My images are on two separate hard drives on the network and on the RAID which is mirrored. You can have all the hard drives you want. Until you back them up with something you will lose your images eventually.
     
  5. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    There are so many different approaches that you will get a lot of different opinions. Each has its pluses and minuses. I prefer internal, as I'd rather not carry a HD around. I'll burn a DVD and risk that.

    From what I've seen, separate partitions don't help protect from modern viruses. They can make it easier when you have to mess with the OS, but you have to plan ahead when you create them. Running out of room on one partition when you have room on the other sucks unless you have software that can resize with aplomb.
     
  6. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Personaly I always burn all my images to CD right now eventually your hard drive is going to crash it is just a fact of life it happens but you will always have your CDs or DVDs if you use archival ones.
     
  7. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    I thought this would have some debate.

    Some of the reasons I want to go for external is: 1) Price: they're not that much more expensive than internal; I saw a 250G @ Best buy for $199.99. Not bad I think and 2) Portability

    As for both of them, what are the chances of each of them "crashing" is _ in _ ? Like 5 in 100. I just wouldn't want to be part of those 5 that it happens to. The question is not if they will crash, but when they will crash.

    I consider myself to know a good deal about computers but nothing about how to actually separate files and put them on separate partitions. I would like to learn how to do this but I know there are alot of companys you can pay a lot of money to do it for you. It's just about protecting the files and storing them.

    One thing I like about internal was if I did get another hard drive for the computer I currently have all my files on, I would transfer ALL to the new HD. I want to be able to turn on the computer, open up my organizing program (in my case i use PictureProject from Nikon) and just that program, my pictures, and all other editing programs only be in that ONE HD.

    I'm just not sure how to go about doing this. I guess it depends on how much time and money I want to spend on keeping my files safe.

    Personally, I do not want to go the CD or DVD route. I plan to do photography for the rest of my life and all those would add up quick. WHEN I get my DSLR, the files should be around 3 MB (I'm looking at the D50 or D70, but that's another story). So for a 250G external, that's over 83,000 pictures.

    Thank you for your help

    ~Michael~
     
  8. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    get several harddrives, external ones.

    you can buy the external case. and then buy a drive and mount it in the case yourself. cheaper that way, and once a drive is defective, you can simply replace the drive, keep the case.

    oh, and get several to mirror. store one backup in a place somewhat away from your house (helps in case of flooding, fire, theft).
     
  9. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Here's a question: Do you need the portability? Do you have more than one computer that needs access to the same files? If not, I personally would stick with internal, but that's me. I like to keep things simple. Besides, SATA has between 2 and 5 times the transfer speed of USB 2.0.

    I have a Linux server that stores files like my MP3 collection, but I only work on my photography from my desktop machine with the calibrated monitor, tablet, etc. I have no need for an external drive, so I'd rather not have to worry about another piece of hardware that can fail.

    Just something to think about. I don't think the answer is obviously one way or another.

    If you are worried about dealing with partitions, I have my Windows machine on a single 300GB partition. My data is under C:\Data. I haven't had problems when upgrading my OS or swapping drives. All my data is under that one directory and I can just copy that over and it's easy to back up. If you have a server with multiple users, separate partitions are a good idea so that a user can't halt the system by filling up a drive. For the home user, I'm unconvinced that they are needed.
     
  10. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    Well it will only be me. I like to have the pictures on two computers. Simply as an "extra" back up.

    I might just to internal. I just want that other [internal] HD to be solely for pictures and editing programs. NOTHING else. Most are pretty cheap. I would go with the 250G for now. If I need another, then that will be on down the away.

    Could you please explain mirroring more?

    ~Michael~
     
  11. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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  12. chakalakasp

    chakalakasp TPF Noob!

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    External is a bit slower, but portable. Internal is faster, but not. Another option is to buy an internal and an external case and assemble it yourself. Still slow like an external, but cheaper than getting a prefab external.

    Thing is, unless your photos aren't important to you, you should NEVER EVER EVER rely on a single hard drive to store your photos. You MUST MUST MUST have at least two copies of your photograph on two different storage devices, preferably two different media altogether (i.e., 1 on a HD, 1 on a DVD... something like that.) Hard drives generally only last three or so years before dieing, and sometimes when they go they do so without warning.

    I personally have my photos on a portable drive, 2 sets of DVDs (one in a safe deposit box), and uploaded to Flickr, which uses a RAID array and backups at secure data centers spread across the country. Seems paranoid, but I've got a lot of photos that I would really, really, really be upset if I lost.
     

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