External HDD or SSD for backups?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 15,483
Re: External HDD or SSD for backups?

afterburn wrote:

Given the many reports here of external USB drive failures, I would want to see comparable failure rates data before I'd believe that they were as reliable as standard desktop SATA HDDs.

There's many angles here. There are definitely external disks out there, where the enclosure, while pretty, does not provide any cooling to the drive and in fact can be suspected to increase drive temperature. You do not want to use such drives extensively without risking failures.

Full backup might be the most demanding application for an external disk. Ours heat up noticeably during Macrium backup. We have had failures over the years, but USB HDD continues to be an excellent solution for backup and file-sync. (No SATA dock yet.)

That said, using a SATA dock as you posted elsewhere can be tricky too: the drives are standing upright in the dock and gravity can pull a fast one on you that way, particularly with high density drives where the heads are ever so slightly in a different position while reading and writing standing up to such extend that you can read errors or even failures when mounting it normal in the flat position.

The one I cited above keeps the drive horizontal, which seems optimum after thinking about the physics of spinning platters. Plus it has a dust cover. Our house isn't as dusty as it used to be before we bought a Roomba, but it's much dustier than my workplace.

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