Backup Routine for Photos, & Sudden Hard Drive Failure

Started Jul 24, 2013 | Discussions thread
kelpdiver Veteran Member • Posts: 3,613
Re: Follow-Up: 5 General Questions About Back-Ups

larrytusaz wrote:

(1) My current protocol--all of my files go on a portable external hard drive, the Seagate GoFlex 1T. I store practically NOTHING on the C drive, since if your computer crashed all of your files would go with it, and they also get in the way if you're doing any OS modifications or system-image rollbacks. Am I doing it wrong? Should I instead be storing files on an additional internal hard drive (just not the C) & should the portable external just be a backup only?

Your usb2 external drive is very slow.  I don't think you need another drive, but storing data to c: and backing up nearly continuously to that external is a better bet for both performance and reliability.   While the drive may be identical for both, the external takes more knocks and bumps than the internal.

As for ventilated versus non for external enclosures - 2.5" drives are much cooler (1-4 watts of power draw) versus 3.5" drives (4-20 watts).  Roaches would freak me out too.

(2) It surprises me to hear WD & Seagate disparaged. I thought WD & Seagate were like THE hard drive brands.

They represent almost the entire market now.  Toshiba got a small line from one of them after a recent merger, but most brands are in fact WD/Seagate.  The disparaging remarks lack a proper perspective - every brand has had bad model lines in its history and generalizing from limited personal experience is foolish.  I personally would not put greater faith in Toshiba due to their very limited history in the sector.

(3) How fast is USB 3 vs USB 2? Yes I'm still in USB 2 land, & my computer is one of those "net-top" types (Dell Zino) so I don't see having the ability to add USB 3 to it, but if so, maybe it's time to get a new PC so I can do just that.

Typical performance for a 3.5" drive for big sequential copies is over 100MB/s.  USB2 can do 20-30 at most, so it's a huge cost.   The Zino probably doesn't have any open slot - I recall it being a micro PC.  If you do have slots, you can get a USB3 card to install.

One quick note: previously, when we went on trips, I would take the WD 1T portable with me for off-loading photos, because although I have tons of SD cards (as in 3-32G and 4-16G cards) which would easily allow me to shoot the entire trip without "offloading," I don't like to return home with all of that to do, I offload during "downtime" (resting in the hotel from the day's excursions). Last trip we shot 32G of whatever. We're returning there again in a couple of weeks. This time, I got a PNY 64G USB flash drive & figure I will just take that, so that I won't be potentially subjecting the portable drives to anymore "rough-housing" from traveling. Does that make sense?

Both for weight and being safe from bumping, I'd suggest the flash drive approach as well.  They're cheap enough now to cover the typical data generation size in a trip, even if you're doing a healthy amount of video.  It's also small enough to keep in your pocket - if I'm anywhere where I fear theft could occur, I keep all camera flash cards or backups on my person or in the hotel safe.  I value this data above the equipment, which is replaceable.

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