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Got Lost Searching 4 the Right External Hard Drive!

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Hello :>)

:help: I really need a reliable, external hard drive to use for secure PC back up bad!

I have never backed up a computer in my life. I don't even know how to use a cd or dvd
for back up either. I guess what I am trying to say is, I need a external hard drive with
software that will help me get back ups really easy.

I have been looking online but wow! There are like millions of them out there. :whistling:
Like most every blue collar person I want something dependable but have no need for
another mortgage to purchase one. :blink: Please give me some options. There must be
lots of people out there (or in here) Who have hard drives they have used long enough to
call them reliable. You know who you are and I could sure appreciate some input from

Thank all who read this for your valuable time, :)


Dell XPS 400
Microsoft Windows XP

Medial Center Edition:
Intel Pentium D CPU

(2.8GHz) w/Dual Core


SDRAM at 533MHz
160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive

256MB ATI Hyper Memory

PCI-Express X16

(DVI/VGA/TV out) Radeon

X600 SE
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    motto - Just get-er-done

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Personally i always backup most data i really want to save to CD's or DVD's. Burning CD's and DVD's is quite easy with the Nero burning software i use.This way you do not have to think about what happens if the backup HD fails. I have had this happen to me more than once so i do not depend on anything that is powered for failsafe backups. I do have backup HD's in external enclosures but i only use them for short term storage( less than a month). I use external HD's when working on customer computer because it is usually a matter of a day before the data is put back on the computer.

I have not had a lot of luck with external drives. Three laptop HD externals i have all have failed at some time, although 2 are back working after using the drive makers utilities to fix the drives. Out of 2 desktop HD external drives one has had the file system corrupted by a customer who borrowed it and the other drive has been Ok so far, but i still cannot bring myself to use them for long term storage. One external desktop is a Western digital factory drive while the other is a 60 G WD drive in a Bytecc external enclosure i think i got off Ebay. Both of them still work. I think the problem with the laptop drives is all 3 are powered by the USB port( or ports). That is why i think they all have failed( not enough real power for the drives). Now i do have a really old toshiba 5.1 G laptop HD in an external case that has worked well for me for a couple of years. Funny that it is powered by an adapter for the PS2 mouse port. But with only 5.1 gigs i cannot backup much with it.

Any more i would just add a second hard drive into a computer for backup purposes. I have done this for years switching the drives into new computers so i still have all my old data. I still have the cd/dvd backups, but it's sure easy to just install the second drive in a new computer. The only monkey wrench here is that the newest MB's have only SATA ports for HD's so i may end up buying a big SATA drive to transfer between computers.


Edited by SRX660, 24 November 2006 - 07:42 AM.

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Thanks so much for your speedy reply. :help:

I had two hard drives in my last PC (also a dell) and one day I had a blank screen.
I had some wonderful techs help me discover that all my priceless photos and
other vip files are still somewhere on one of the hard drives but apparently it
will be complicated to get to it. I tried to find someone to get the stuff off but It
is pretty expensive. I still have the PC hoping one day I will find a way to get it
back but I will always be upset about that experience.

I also, years ago, lost quite a few of photos I saved to CD 3 separate times.
The really weird thing about this experience was when I got my second
new Dell, I tried the CD's again just out of curiosity and ALL the photos
showed up!!! But only ONE time so when I went to save them to my PC, the
photos disappeared again! I've checked them with this PC and my sister's PC
but I haven't been able to get them back again so far. :whistling: Since those
times I am reluctant to save important stuff to CD and remember so little, if
anything about how to save to CD. So you see, because of my experiences
above, I figured that my chances would be better if I got an external hard drive so
If my PC failed It would have no effect on the external hard drive. But of course
you kindly informed me this wouldn't be a very safe option.

So far the only luck I have had with safely saving anything is by floppy disk! But of
course the storage space is just too limited.

Even though I now save as many of my precious photos as possible to an safe online
site, photography is my passion. I have a home based bookeeping business too and
really need some way to protect my info without having to sell a family member to
afford it.

What are my chances with a zip drive or something like that? :blink:

Again Thank you very much for your valuable time :)

Edited by PC_viktim, 24 November 2006 - 07:35 PM.

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I have been using external hard drives for some time, both USB and firewire. I would suggest the best option for an external hd is to get a good enclosure (with its own power supply and fan) and then install the eide hard drive of your choice. I have three ADS usb enclosures (as I said, with power supply and fan) with Western Digital hard drives installed. An enclosure will cost between $20 to $50 depending on what you want. You can get a 250 G hard drive for less than $100.00 (about $96.00 at Sams club).

I don't recommend prefab off the shelf external hard drives based on the multitude of problems with them that I have seen posted here. Many are not designed to be user serviceable, and some posters said they couldn't even open them up without damaging them. With an enclosure and the hd of your choice, if it stops working for some reason you can always take the hd out of the enclosure and put it inside of your computer as a slave drive and possibly recover your data. When like you, I was in the market for getting an external hd I almost went prefab (I had narrowed down my choices to Seagate and Simpletech). I am glad I didn't do that. I have been quite happy with the results I get from my self assembled external hard drive units.

Edited by austin_o, 24 November 2006 - 07:00 PM.

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