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Wondering how to best use 2 new 3.5" 1 Tb HD's with my 3 computers.

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#1 brian2009


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Posted 02 May 2015 - 01:42 AM

I have 2 new un-installed 1Tb 3.5“ hard drives that I am going back and forth on how to best utilize them for my 3 computers. I am primarily thinking Backup.

Computer 1: A seldom used Win 8.0 desktop used mostly for non-internet gaming and storage of backup images of Computers 1, 2 and 3. It has a 1 Tb drive that may be failing but has worked fine the past few months (it was very noisy at bootup and tests show 8 bad sectors). It’s about 60% full, mostly with multiple backup images for all 3 computers.

Computer 2: A seldom used Win 7 notebook, about 30% of it’s 250Gb drive has been filled up.

Computer 3: A 250 Gb XP3 notebook about 85-90% filled up. This is my go-to daily use computer. I use many of it’s XP era programs and use Linux (Puppy) for internet use (Live CD).

Originally I was going to install one of the 2 new HD’s into Comp 1 and clone the possibly shakey existing HD contents onto it as protection from a breakdown. The other new HD possibly being converted to an external/portable HD in an enclosure.

However, now I am wondering if I might be better off using both of these new HD’s as external/portable drives in their own enclosures. (Since Comp #1 seems to be running better now...it’s used about once every 3 weeks).

As mentioned, I am mostly thinking BACKUPS for these 2 new drives.

Any advise?



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#2 Scoop8


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Posted 02 May 2015 - 11:12 AM

If I had the same status of your 3 PC's, I'd consider this:


Computer 1


I'd clone your failing HDD onto one of the 2 new HDD's (I'll refer to this new HDD as HDD #1).  Your existing HDD probably needs to be replaced as soon as possible although it's working at present.


Before cloning though, I'd probably copy all important items from Computer 1 onto the other new HDD #2 before Cloning to insure that you have a failsafe copy of those items in the event that the Cloning process encounters difficulties as your existing Computer 1 HDD appears to be on its way to end of life.


If your Cloning process is successful and you can boot up Computer 1 on HDD #1, verifying that you can access all of your items, then you can use HDD #2 for another purpose (see Computer 3).


Computer 2


I'd take no action here as it sounds like it's your least-used PC with a small amount of content on it.


Computer 3


I'd clone this PC to the other new HDD (#2) since your existing 250 Gb HDD is almost full.  It should work, cloning from the 250 Gb HDD to the new 1 Tb HDD but you may need to resize a partition, depending on the Cloning tool that you use for the process.


I've cloned my PC from a 500 Gb to a 1 Tb HDD using "Acronis" software 2011 version with no problems.  Acronis automatically compensated for the partition sizes onto the larger 1 Tb HDD when I cloned using its "automatic" mode.


I'd get a 3rd new HDD as a main Backup HDD.  Then you can copy any important items from any of your 3 PC's onto the 3rd new HDD and it can become your external Backup HDD for all 3 PC's for running automated specific-item backups if you choose to go that route with a Backup plan.  It can also be used to store your Images from your other PC's.

#3 brian2009

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Posted 02 May 2015 - 11:59 AM


Thanks for that feedback.


It sounds like I should assume the failing desktop drive won't be of any use in the near future. I (sadly) have to agree with that.


As far as Computer 3 (nearly full now) I was thinking of just making an image of it and keep working with it's 250gb drive because it is actually full of files that I really don't need. It's not hard to delete a lot of large files from it. I do that often when it gets full.


So, it looks like I'll install the new HDD#1 into the failing desktop and use HDD#2 as an external/portable.


I was hoping to have 2 external drives for additional backups but one might be enough. (Most of Comp#1 consists of saved backups of all three computers which I probably won't need).


I just wasn't sure whether to order one external enclosure or two.



#4 Kilroy


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Posted 03 May 2015 - 03:50 AM

I have to agree that replacing the questionable drive should be a priority.


I'm not a fan of portable drives, especially if they are actually used as portable.  I've see too many people have them fail when they accidentally get knocked over or fall.

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