[pullhair] External Hard Drive [/pullhair]

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by burnws6, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. burnws6

    burnws6 TPF Noob!

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    I'm going crazy. It's day and night with these things. Everywhere I do research, half the people say it took a **** on them after 2 weeks the other half say its the best hard drive they've had.

    I need a reliable means of storage. Are external hard drives just not reliable to a certain degree?

    I need some options thrown my way.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. chip

    chip TPF Noob!

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    I have a 750GB USB ext hard drive I use for backup. I backup all the data from my PC on to the USB ext drive maybe once a month. I find it very reliable. It sure is better than no backup! My drive cost me less than 100$ at Costco maybe a year ago. I am sure they are bigger and for less $ now.
     
  3. burnws6

    burnws6 TPF Noob!

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    What kind?
     
  4. chip

    chip TPF Noob!

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    its a Maxtor one touch.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Maxtor external hard drives have been good for me for quite a few years. I always buy the Firewire models. I've had a Western Digital that died,and another Western Digital that has survived a year and a half. I've had a LaCie that was good too.
     
  6. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    I have a Seagate: but just be careful with portable ones, and don't knock them (portable and desktop) ever: especially - in fact, don't even touch them when - they're moving.
     
  7. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I do not rely on just a 2nd drive. At a minimum my keepers go onto CD's in the past, DVD's now. My very best stuff is on 3 drives and Disc. And I will probably get a Blueray recorder with my new desktop (or install one after I get it). We currently have 3 USB drives. Oldest is about a year and a half. Knock on wood, I have never had a drive failure in anything! Probably a dozen computers in 20 years.

    I have been tossing around between a new desktop and a home server. I am now leaning towards a full tower that can handle 4 drives, and a network storage server / device. That way I have have tripple rednundancy without as much clutter.

    I figured as long as I go through the motions of at least tripple redundancy Murphys Law will be kept at bay and I will not have a failure. :lmao:. But as soon as I go to just 2 or no backup, I am sure Murphy's Law will take affect. ;)

    My drives are a mix. The oldest is a 500gb WD Mybook USB external. Newest is a 250 gb 2.5" Segate I bring with me in my travels.
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Reviewers bias means that people with a bad experience will likely shout it from the roof tops. So if you have half the reviews say it's great and reliable, and another half say they broke straight away there's a good chance that they are still incredibly reliable. I certainly wouldn't go out and review every piece of equipment I buy and am happy with.

    Also it's a harddrive. I know of no endemic faults with Maxtor One touch drives. However there are multiple modes of failure. It is an external harddrive so I always question when a harddisk dies after 2 weeks did the own trip over his own USB cord and the harddisk take a tumble?
     
  9. wiredhernandez

    wiredhernandez TPF Noob!

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    Having been in the IT industry for 15 years... My personal experience shows Seagate to be the most reliable drive manufacturer overall. I currently have 4 external drives (all seagate .. newest are 2 years old) All drives can and will fail some day as they are mechanical and have moving parts. The simplest thing to do is have at least two and backup data to bothdrives.. You can get fancy with raid but using a program or manual backups is easiest... I also take annual backups of my backups... Hope this helps..
     
  10. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    To answer your question are they reliable to a certain degree?.... sure. It all depends on what you define as reliable. What impact is there if that drive is lost? If you lose the external only do you still have a primary copy? If you lose the primary how easy will it be to restore from the external?

    Every level of redundancy you add exponentially increases your rate of survival from a catastrophic failure.

    For my daily data and regular hobby photos I use a Mirrored set of internal 640GB data drives and a 640GB single OS drive for the OS and apps. Every night a job kicks off and does an incremental backup to a hot-swappable internal 1TB drive. Once a week I clone that drive to a 1TB external and store it in a fire proof safe.

    For everything that I cannot lose I also run a backup to DVD and store at a hosted location.

    If I lose anything.... I guess it was meant to be lost.


    The best off the shelf solution you can get right now though is a Western Digital MyBook Mirror Edition.
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Get it off now!!!

    We've had several versions of Maxtor drive and the industry consensus is that they're crap. More than 50% of the 300 some odd HDD's we've ordered are dead. Several, and that's a small number are from human error like drops and such, but most just died.

    maxtor reliability - Google Search

    What's your budget? An external HDD is not a suitable backup. I've looked at multiple options including multiple externall HDD's in RAID configuration, optical copies, servers, etc...

    The easiest and best solution I've used to date is Windows Home Server on a HP Media Smart Server. In short, it's become a reliable backup to all my computers as well as a storage device and a streaming media service.

    First use is of course a back up/storage solution. The one that I bought has 4 drive bays and WHS can see up to 9TB of space. I have 1.75 in mine with two drives and will end up adding more in the future. WHS handles storage differently than any other version of Windows has previously, iirc. When you add a drive, there's options to add it to the storage pool. It creates basically one big drive that's separate by folders. Each user can get their own private share as well; there is no partitioning or assigning drives. It also give you an option to mirror folders and/or their sub folders. What this does is creates copies across multiple drives so if one fails, you don't lose data. The more drives you have, the more redundancy you have.

    To actually make this a reliable backup, there's an option to plug in an external drive and backup the server itself, so you can keep other backups off site if you wish.

    WHS will also automatically backup the computers in your house on a set schedule. The HP version of the WHS console supports Time Machine as well. I use mine to backup my Windows 7 (formerly Vista) Gaming rig, OS X and Win 7 laptop.

    A bonus feature for me is the streaming. I dumped about 300GB of movies and music onto the server. I can watch movies on my PS3 streamed over the network and listen to music from any of my computers.

    It also has a feature to setup a domain through Windows so you can remotely access the server over the internet. This is the only feature that I really had trouble with, but it was more of a matter of getting the settings right on the router for WHS to work properly.

    Over all, this has been the easiest solution I've used yet. It's based on Server 2003, but is a lot less complicated for those without the tech experience. You put a disc in your computer and it finds and sets up the connection. You have to use a Windows computer to intially setup WHS and for major admin purposes, but you can access it just as easy with OS X. I've even had an Ubuntu install with SAMBA on it. I got it working but it was such a pain to get everything going and I was always having issues with it.

    I think I paid $300-$400 for the server and included software from newegg.
     
  12. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There are only 2 type of hard drives in our world.

    1 - Dead hard drive.
    2 - Soon to be dead hard drive.

    Reliable storage is good. But it does not mean you do not need backup unless the data you store is not important. So you can store your files in your computer and backup it up on a external drive.
     

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