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Windows 7: Advice on backup drive options

18 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
Advice on backup drive options

I currently back my pc nighly up to a spare 320GB internal HD on my wifes PC that are connected via gigabit ethernet cards through a LAN and Netgear WDR3800 gigabit router. This works fine except that my photo album is so large I am running out of room on the backup drive. I am told by Dell I do not have a spare SATA slot on my own pc to put in an additional HD for backup (I already have 3 drives, 2 in RAID and 3rd for my photos). Every month I backup to an external drive I store offsite. Could I get some advice on what I see as my 3 options and suggestions on good hardware as reviews seem to be quite patchy.

1. Replace the HD in my wife's Dell PC with something bigger. I believe it is just a standard SATA connection
2. Buy a large external drive to connect permantently to my own pc by USB2.0
3. Buy a NAS storage device to attach to the Netgear Router

I'm guessing option 3 is the best compromise between speed (gigabit ethernet) and flexibilty (portable and can be used by any pc on the network) However reviews of seagate and Western Digital NAS drives other than just basic ones are pretty poor.

Thanks for any advice.

Mike


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18 Feb 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

If it were me I would go for #1. Secure, simple, and reliable.
But I would be fine with an external drive too (as long as it is powered by it's own adapter!) - but the transfer speed is going to be slower at USB2 than ethernet at gigabit.

Better yet, build your wife a new PC with lots of hard drive bays and ports and SATA 3. As a bonus you might get some snoogie points!
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18 Feb 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Hi Mike,

The home NAS solutions are often very unreliable (my experience with Thecus NAS was terrible), so if you are intent on that solution you need to be prepared to spend quite a lot for a decent solution.

I agree with TVeblen that another disk in your wifes PC is the easiest and more robust solution.

Something else you might alsoconsider for your Dell, is to add a PCI Express add-on card which has SATA connectors on it - this will allow you to connect additional HDD's, assuming you have the physical space for them in the PC case.

Regards,
Golden
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18 Feb 2012   #4

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Great. so can I buy any old HD and if so any recommended manufacturers?

Looking at the PCI option isnt this for connecting HD outside of the case? I assume you would need some sort of HD housing and would be useful for portabilty which I don't really need. If i wante dot go this route what do I need ot look for inside the case to know that the card would fit?
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18 Feb 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Golden's suggestion is to allow you to install another SATA hard drive into your Dell computer that you can use for backups rather than a in your wife's computer.

If you have an open PCI slot in the Dell then you can install the add-on card and then have more SATA ports to connect hard drives to. You would also need an extra hard drive bay and an extra SATA power connector.
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18 Feb 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

I also agree with the above posters, as far as brand i'm parcial to WD Cavier Black they have big cache and 5 year warranty, i personally have 2 500's and 1 1TB and i have never had a failure (knock wood).
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18 Feb 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by masplin View Post
Great. so can I buy any old HD and if so any recommended manufacturers?
Hi Mike,

Just a thought, if this is for backup, I wouldn't get an old HDD - you want something reliable for that.

Choices of HDD are pretty much the same and down to personal experience : WD, Seagate and Samsung are all pretty much the same, so stick to known brands.

Regards,
Golden
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19 Feb 2012   #8

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

I recently went through the same decision process after deciding that my internal 300GB SCSI drives (U320 in one machine, U160 in a second machine) being used for backup purposes were just not large enough. I wanted to retain more full/incremental generations for longer-term backup/recovery, and I also wanted to retain multiple "system image" backups of primary/secondary hard drives (using Macrium Reflect). Obviously the 300GB drive (which had other smaller partitions on it as well, so that all 300GB was not even available) was just too small.

I ended up going external USB, picking up a 2TB Verbatim 97580 Store 'n' Save drive (which is actually a Samsung HD204UI SATA drive inside). This is a USB 2.0/3.0 drive, and if used with a USB 3.0 adapter provides significantly faster transfer speeds than with USB 2.0.

So at the same time, I bought an inexpensive Transcend PCIe USB 3.0 adapter card. For me this is a no-brainer addition to the process and provides me with two additional USB 2.0/3.0 ports (I had already used up the 6 USB 2.0 ports on the back of my PC), so that both full/incremental and "system image" backups as well as other uses for the now-available additional 2TB of storage run almost at internal hard drive speeds.

Total investment, under $150 delivered.

Impossible to refuse.
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19 Feb 2012   #9

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

I did consider this USB3.0 option. My pc is about 2 years old. Is there any restricition on putting a card liek this into my pc i.e .anything I need to check in terms of specs that it will work and achieve the higher speeds?
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19 Feb 2012   #10

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by masplin View Post
I did consider this USB3.0 option. My pc is about 2 years old. Is there any restricition on putting a card liek this into my pc i.e .anything I need to check in terms of specs that it will work and achieve the higher speeds?
It's just a small PCIe x1 card, and takes almost no room. It's tiny, going back no further into the case than where the x1 slot itself ends.

So if you have an available PCIe x1 slot in your PC, you can use this card and essentially not ever realize it wasn't part of the motherboard. The PCIe x1 bus supports USB 3.0 speed.

And presto... for $13 you have two USB 3.0 ports!
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