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Looking for Storage, what is best or...


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#1 maeflye63

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Posted 09 April 2017 - 09:34 PM

My External hard drive took a dump. We are going to see if we can find someone to get the stuff off of it. Don't know what happened, won't work on either one of our laptops. The one I use it on is an Acer, AMD E2 (started out 8.1 Windows) is now Windows 10.  

 

So I am looking for a new something for storage of lots of pictures and files. What is the best? Another external...brands to check and such. Or is there some other way to store all this info with out having a ton of sticks or CD's around?

 

Any help will be greatly appreciated,

Thanks so much for your time,

Smiles  :grinner:

Donna M. Flye



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#2 britechguy

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 09:25 AM

You really aren't going to find external storage that isn't one of these classes of thing:

 

1. USB flash/jump/thumb drive or related SD family

 

2. Optical media - CD/DVD

 

3. External hard disc drive.

 

4. External solid state drive.

 

5. Cloud based backup storage.

 

Your original message points out one mistake that you made that you're learning about the hard way:  keeping only a single copy of any given file or set of files that's precious to you on a single physical device.  Any device is subject to destruction, which is why backups should be just that: backups.  These are full copies of materials that you also have stored somewhere else.

 

I keep all my stuff backed up on a Toshiba Canvio external hard drive that's been humming along for years being used as the backup drive for four different computers.  There is some stuff stored on it as single location, but none of that is in the precious category and the backups for my computers are full including system images and separate user data backups since you don't tend to take system images frequently and there will virtually always be new data files created between an image being taken and a failure that would require recovery from a system image.

 

What determines what backup media you use is a combination of how much needs to be backed up and whether that can be done on a single device (as splitting stuff across thumb drives, CDs, etc., is both tedious and loss prone) and whether you need or want the added insurance of the backup itself being off-site in the case of something like a fire or flood.  For myself, I do not feel the need for off-site backup storage of my computers and while I'd hate losing everything to a flood or fire the probability of either is quite low and all the data being backed up is mine.  Its loss would not have a negative impact on others.  If you "feel like I'd die" if you were to lose what you're backing up then, in this day and age, looking into cloud-based backup storage makes the most sense.  You have your backups off-site and being stored in professional data centers that themselves do their own off-site backups in case of disaster.

 

You are also far better off using backup software to take backups rather than manually doing copy and paste.  It is very easy to miss things doing them by hand while backup software snags pretty much everything should you ever need to get it back.

 

I quite like File History on Windows 10 as my data file backup mechanism.  I was taking full system image backups using the Windows built-in utility but have since switched to Macrium Reflect free version for home users.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#3 Kilroy

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 01:05 PM

Check out this thread.  What you get depends on how much you want to spend and how much space you need.

 

I'm not a fan of external drives.  I'd much rather have a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device.  The more you move a mechanical drive around the greater your chances of doing something that will damage it causing data loss.  I also have a Buffalo NAS running in RAID 1.



#4 britechguy

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 03:30 PM

 

I'm not a fan of external drives.  I'd much rather have a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device.  The more you move a mechanical drive around the greater your chances of doing something that will damage it causing data loss.  

 

I cannot argue, in absolute terms, about your statement regarding the more you move the greater your chances of doing damage but I sure will from a practical/functional standpoint.

 

I've been hauling around laptops for decades now and also small format external drives originally intended for use with laptops but now quite popular more broadly that were expected to be tossed in pockets and purses and carried about.   I have had one drive fail, and that was not complete, that was the laptop's hard drive.  That was about 15 years ago.

 

Most hard drives designed to be mobile, and that's why I prefer the ones that are, can really "take a licking and keep on ticking."  They won't take drops from 5 feet on to concrete or a hard tile floor but most people are plenty careful to prevent that sort of thing from happening.

 

The likelihood of a true backup drive and the computer or computers or devices it's backing up all failing simultaneously is so small as to not be worth consideration.  If an external hard drive dies then acquire another one, promptly, and run your backups.

 

I prefer external drives because they are entirely under my control as far as physical possession and physical security.  While I've had plenty (three, I think) of desktop external drives fail that were 1TB or larger in size I have yet to have a portable one do so and that's after a number of years of pretty vigorous use.

 

However, all of the above being said, there is no right or wrong answer to the original query.  Everyone has to make a decision in light of what they're trying to backup, how much they want to pay, and how damaging actual total loss of data would be were primary and backup to somehow be lost in a natural disaster or fire if they share the same site.  It's all about accurate risk assessment and just how important your backups are to you.  I find that very few home users need the level of recoverability provided by cloud storage of backups and many small business users don't, either.  The small business folks tend to keep their storage media off site except when it's being used for backups or else stored in a fireproof safe if it's on site and not in use.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#5 Kilroy

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 03:38 PM

The problem is that the laptop drives don't come in sizes larger than 2TB.  Laptop drives have technology in them to minimize damage to the drive due to movement.  However, once you get above 2TB you're talking a desktop drive and they don't have the damage mitigation technology as they were designed to be in a machine or device that doesn't move.

 

My recommendation would be:

  1. 512GB to 1TB - SSD External 512GB would be my current sweet spot at about $400.
  2. 1TB to 2TB - 2.5" External
  3. 2TB+ - NAS

I have an ancient 750GB external drive that I just connected this weekend to pull off some old data.  So an external drive that is well taken care of, can last.



#6 hdriscoll

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 03:42 PM

What's the saying? 3 is 2, 2 is 1 and 1 is none.



#7 britechguy

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 08:05 PM

Toshiba laptop drives (AKA portable drives) not requiring external power supplies top out at 2TB but there are 5TB ones that are externally powered.  Western digital portables (My Passport) line go all the way up to 4 TB that are strictly USB powered.  It appears the same is true of Seagate's Backup Plus line up to 5TB.

 

It is absolutely untrue that there are no portable drives, designed for almost constant transport, having capacities above 2TB.  It took me less than 5 minutes to find a lot of examples of same.  These things keep going almost forever if handled reasonably, which does not mean "with kid gloves."  My 2 TB model has had numerous falls off the coffee table or my lap desk to the floor (carpeted) and still functions perfectly.

 

I would never invest in an SSD as an external backup drive when the capacity bang for the buck, and long term reliability and service, of dedicated portable drives is just so much better.

 

Chacun à son goût.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#8 smax013

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 01:06 PM

You really aren't going to find external storage that isn't one of these classes of thing:
 
1. USB flash/jump/thumb drive or related SD family
 
2. Optical media - CD/DVD
 
3. External hard disc drive.
 
4. External solid state drive.
 
5. Cloud based backup storage.

 
 

I'd much rather have a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device.  The more you move a mechanical drive around the greater your chances of doing something that will damage it causing data loss.  I also have a Buffalo NAS running in RAID 1.


I think that Kilroy added the one item missing from britechguy's list, although he might argue that it does indirectly fall under the "external hard dis[c] drive" category (I consider them separate). Like Kilroy, I like to use a NAS as my primary external storage (i.e. anything not stored on a computer) typically (the exception is that I use an external RAID 1 Thunderbolt drive for my media collection connected to my computer, which is a laptop being mainly used like a desktop). And like Kilroy, I tend to use a NAS that support RAID (RAID 5 in my case) as that provides a pseudo first line backup (it is not considered a true backup, but at least protects again one drive physically failing).

I do, however, make extensive use of external hard drives for backup purposes. And like britechguy, I tend to mainly use traditional "spinning" hard disk drives for this rather than SSDs. The exception is my clone drives. If I use a SSD as a boot drive, then I tend to use the same model SSD that is in the computer in an external drive enclosure for the clone drive...that allows me to swap in the clone drive into the computer at a moments notice if needed.

#9 smax013

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 01:16 PM

If you "feel like I'd die" if you were to lose what you're backing up then, in this day and age, looking into cloud-based backup storage makes the most sense.  You have your backups off-site and being stored in professional data centers that themselves do their own off-site backups in case of disaster.


Assuming you use a reputable, well known online service that is not likely to go anywhere anytime soon. There have been instances of some online data storage or backup services that went out of business with no notice leaving people unable to access their data. These have been smaller, lesser know companies.

And even then, I don't fully trust something that I don't control...and I am not even talking security and/or privacy reasons. If something happens to their servers that results it them losing your data (admittedly unlikely for a reputable, well known service that is well run), then you are at the mercy of their customer service in terms of their willingness to try to retrieve your data. I would bet that there is a clause in even the terms of the most reputable, well known online services that more or less says "we are not ultimately liable for lost data".

That is why, for me at least, the option that makes the most sense for me to do local backups to external hard drives. And then for my off site purposes, I put a hard drive in my safe deposit box. Then if something goes wrong with the backup(s), it is on my head and I don't have to deal with some company's customer service, which may or may not be good.




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