Posted 03 July 2011 - 07:42 AM
I have 3 external hard drives/enclosures, and am not a big fan of them. On the other hand I have 2 docking bays I use with hard drives and I love them. Go figure.
I think that external hard drives are as reliable as how they are treated. Bang them around, let your kid crush walnuts with them, leave them in your car on a hot day, power them up and down for too many cycles, then you are going to have problems. Desktop drives are not made to be smacked around or deal with wide heat ranges, especially while in operation. Hence the reason for a docking bay. The hard drive is external, stays cool, and can quickly be exchanged with another should the need arise. Multiple hard drives, and 1 docking bay= happiness. I keep my hard drives with data in the shipping container everyone uses for OEM drives now (box and the two plastic endcaps) when not in use. I just got a USB3 dock and am like a little kid again. Backups are quick and painless now. If I need to shuffle data between systems, and don't feel like setting them up on a shared network, I have a couple of 16gig usb drives to do that with.
Keeping a backup hard drive in your case is also risky. It runs the same amount as your main drive(s), so wear and tear considerations. Power supply screws up and fries your main hard drive(s), well likely your backup drive is fried as well. If you can lose your backup data when Jr. knocks your case off your desk, then it isn't a backup.
As far as your C drive crashing, be aware that your programs installed on another drive depend on the OS registry/DLLs for their operation. Simply reinstalling the OS on the C partition will render your programs useless. Didn't know if you were hinting about doing that in your original post. Many years ago I made an image of my C partition after a new build, OS only, and a couple months later I had to restore it due to my incompetence. Well, every program I installed after that original C: image was useless. After that, I have one partition for the OS + programs, another partition for data, and a recovery partition. Data is backed up on an external, irreplaceable data is also burned to DVD and stored on a USB flash drive. Triple redundancy on important stuff.
Just an opinion, I could be wrong.
I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)
3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)