External HDD or SSD for backups?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
skyglider Veteran Member • Posts: 5,598
Re: External HDD or SSD for backups?

Sean Nelson wrote:

Justme wrote:

I am looking at Seagate SSD and HDD for backups in the 2TB range. SSD costs double but is it more reliable?

No media, even SSDs, are immune from failure, so you should have more than one backup drive and alternate them. The last thing you want to discover after your live drives die, get corrupted or or stolen is that your sole backup is also dead. You also don't want to be in the situation where, for example, your system suffers its failure halfway through cloning your live data to your only backup drive. Now that backup is half updated and may be useless. And whatever took out your system might have taken out the backup as well.

That being the case, I see no reason to pay the extra money for an SSD as backup media. The big extra that SSDs give you is speed more than reliability, and you don't really need the speed for backup media since you don't normally run your backups while you're actually doing work on the computer. And the reliability issue is covered by having multiple backups.

+1

And use an external docking station that you can drop hard drives in. Do not use drives that come in USB enclosures.

Alternating backup drives:

Put a sticker on the end of each of two drives like B1 and B2 (Backup1 and Backup2). Keep the bare backup drives in the anti-static bag that they come in, along with a piece of paper that's labeled B1 or B2. Alternate your backups. Each time you do a backup, write the date and name of the internal hard drive you backed up on the piece of paper. Like "200809 system drive" -or- "200809 D: data drive", etc.

I also put stickers on the outside of the anti-static bag that says "Last backup of system drive" and "Last backup of D: data drive". When I do a backup, I move the appropriate sticker to that drive. This makes it easier to determine which backup drive was last used for which internal drive without having to remove the papers in both bags to compare and determine which backup was the last one.

There is a free program called "Directory list and print pro". From time to time, I use it to print all of the backups that are on a backup drive, label the printout as B1 or B2, and put that print out in the anti-static bag.

As far as which brand of hard drive is most reliable, I just buy Western Digital or Seagate which ever one is cheaper at the time. I like 5400 rpm drives for my backup drives since they run cooler. (My internal mechanical hard drives are always 7200 rpm.)

Sky

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