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Windows 7: External Hard drive-advice


13 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 Prtofessional
 
 
External Hard drive-advice

l have finally bought a WD My Book Essentials 1TB with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.Can anyone help me re setting this up or is it simply plug in,connect and off you go?
l have a Desktop Computer running Win 7 Professional and the main reason l bought this 'external Hard drive' is l am sick of the alarming amount of discs l have accunulated over the years for my Backups.
Another concern l have is that some people have had external drives crash and their data l do not think can be retrieved-am l correct on this?
l am not a heavy user so there has never been a real necessity to purchase an external HDD and l do realize l could have simply got the WD Elements for Desktops or even the Seagate Freeagent again for Desktops.No l did not want anything portable as have several memory sticks if need be.
If anyone has some suggestions re installing etc l would appreciate the help as l am terrified of any pitfalls l may come across like when l had Vista (not my choice)
Thanks in anticipation.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

13 Jan 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by schnauzer View Post
l have finally bought a WD My Book Essentials 1TB with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.Can anyone help me re setting this up or is it simply plug in,connect and off you go?

Another concern l have is that some people have had external drives crash and their data l do not think can be retrieved-am l correct on this?

If anyone has some suggestions re installing etc l would appreciate the help as l am terrified of any pitfalls l may come across like when l had Vista (not my choice)
Thanks in anticipation.
Any hard drive, external or not, can fail at any time for no apparent reason. That's why you need a backup. A purist would tell you to use more than 1 method---you can buy a little 4 GB USB thumb drive that can hold most or all of your text files and they are a decent choice for a second method.

Data can often be recovered from hard drives---but only at a high cost ($1000 or more?), so try to never need to do that.

USB devices are usually recognized simply by being plugged in.

What happens when you plug the external drive into a USB port? Do you see a little icon for it in your system tray? Can you see the drive within Windows Explorer?

I've never used external drives, so you MAY have to format it and you may have to go to Disk Management in Windows 7 to assign a drive letter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2011   #3

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by schnauzer View Post
l have finally bought a WD My Book Essentials 1TB with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.Can anyone help me re setting this up or is it simply plug in,connect and off you go?
l have a Desktop Computer running Win 7 Professional and the main reason l bought this 'external Hard drive' is l am sick of the alarming amount of discs l have accunulated over the years for my Backups.
Another concern l have is that some people have had external drives crash and their data l do not think can be retrieved-am l correct on this?
l am not a heavy user so there has never been a real necessity to purchase an external HDD and l do realize l could have simply got the WD Elements for Desktops or even the Seagate Freeagent again for Desktops.No l did not want anything portable as have several memory sticks if need be.
If anyone has some suggestions re installing etc l would appreciate the help as l am terrified of any pitfalls l may come across like when l had Vista (not my choice)
Thanks in anticipation.
Hi Schnauzer - I just got a WD Essentials 3 TB Drive for pretty much the same reasons. I am using the USB 3.0 interface - works great !!!

If you haven't already done so yet, hook up your new drive and run disk management (right click My Computer and select Manage). All the drives hooked up to your computer will be displayed.

Then right click on an unallocated region of your new hard drive (you will be able to tell which one it is because of it's size) and select "New Simple Volume" from the drop down menu. In the new simple volume "wizard" click "Next" then accept the maximum default size and click "Next" again. Accept the default drive letter (or choose a new one) and then click "Next" yet again.

Finally, in the "Format Partition" dialog box click "Next" to format the new Drive for the maximum partition size and the drive letter you've chosen. To complete the operation click "Finish" to finalize setting up your new Drive.

You should now see your new drive in My Computer as a blank, brand new drive. Backing up is a Very Wise idea. The biggest danger isn't that you're going to "lose" something, the biggest danger is that the Windows OS can become "corrupted" and this cannot be repaired. If Windows becomes corrupted you would want to restore everything you had on the drive at the time you made the last back up.

Everybody has their own philosophy to "backing up". As for myself, I usually don't try to back up individual files. I just backup the entire contents of the OS Drive - it's called a "Mirror Image". You can use "Windows Backup Image" or you can buy a separate program like Norton Ghost 15. There are lots of different backup programs. I like the Norton one because its easy to use. I also make backups with the Windows Image Backup utility. I do both just to be safe. I have too many hours invested in installing and setting up all my programs to lose everything - better to be safe than sorry as they say.

And make sure you create a Windows Rescue Disk in the event that you are unable to boot into Windows at all (when you buy a product like Norton Ghost the Install Disk doubles as the bootable rescue disk). To boot from any bootable rescue disk you'll have to hold down F12 as the computer boots so that you can change the drive boot order so that the computer boots from your CD drive. Thats unless you had already configured your drive boot order so that the computer tries to boot from the CD first.

Good luck, and if you are very lucky you'll never have to do a disk image restore. But chances are, sooner or later, you'll have to. Hope this was of some help.

By the way, you will probably also want to keep your last two or three backups on the new drive and to cover all your bases make a copy of your latest good backup, put it on another removable drive, and keep it separate from your computer in the unlikely event your WD Essentials Drive fails. All bases covered now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


13 Jan 2011   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Just plug it in a deal with it like a folder. I would not partition it - just define folders as subfolders of the drive. That is a more fexible use of the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 10, 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

Along with windows system image, you can use the free Macrium and Western Digital has a download of a scaled down version of Acronis you can download. I use all 3.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 Prtofessional
 
 

My God l am 'gobsmaacked'(English Expression for you US people!)l am now terrified of doing anything after reading all your kind advice.
Because l had Vista Prem back in 2007 l am absolutely paranoid about anything to do with Computers as had to re-load that sysytem as stupid Dell sent it to me pre-loaded with Norton and they do not go well together to say the least and in fact nothing worked with Vista but the 1 good thing it had going for it was the back ups plus Windows Mail.
l think l had better do some extra homework before l set My Book Essentials up as l am now more scared than before.
If you are wondering what or who l am l am an Academic hence the lack of experience re tech stuff as my Staff do everything for me in the Faculty but at home l have to do all as the other half is not Computer literate at all since he is a Medico and only understands how to diagnose human ailments and operate on people.Won't even change a light globe.Guess you have worked out l am a female so l do not want any rude jokes or comments thanks!!!!
The main problem is you cannot really learn all you need to know from Books it is really a hands on experience and although l have come a long way compared to the vast knowledge most people on this Site have l do not think l will ever be as competent as any of you so once again Thankyou so much for your kind advice and help and l will try my best and pray my system does not crash.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 10, 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

Don't worry quite so much. If you have problems you can't fix just come back here. We will help you fix them. That is what this forum is for.

Just remember, computers are like life. You learn the most when you make mistakes and have to learn to correct them. I think most of us here were where you are at one time. I have had to re-install windows hundreds of times. Mostly because I messed it up myself. But, in the process I learned what not to do and how to fix it. We are here to help if you have problems, so just enjoy your computer and have fun.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by schnauzer View Post
My God l am 'gobsmaacked'(English Expression for you US people!)l am now terrified of doing anything after reading all your kind advice.
I can understand the anxiety, but you can get by it.

One step at a time.

If your foremost concern is the new drive, you need to plug it into a USB port on your PC and tell us if it is recognized by an icon in your system tray (screen lower right) or if it shows up in Windows Explorer along with your other drives.

If it does not show up in Windows Explorer, you may have to go to Windows Disk Management and give it a drive letter for it to come out of its slumbers and be usable.

So we need more info on where you are right now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Just take one step at a time, ask questions here and someone will help you through it.

Let us know where you are at now, have you plugged in the USB cable to the computer?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #10

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Dont be "gobsmaacked" - The only way to learn new things is to try them
Good Luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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