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Windows 7: What Kind of External Back up hard drive should I get?

29 Jan 2011   #11
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

I don't need a remote power switch, because my external case has separate power switches on each drive bay.

I do have some remote control switches, but I only use them to switch lights on and off. This is a little cheaper, if one needs 3 of them:

http://cgi.ebay.com/3-pack-WIRELESS-...item3cb353b528


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29 Jan 2011   #12
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Yeah, in Germany I also use one of those 3 way switches - it works on 3 seperate frequencies and the control has 3 seperate buttons. Since I always keep the disks below the desk, that is handy - also for the router. I have one Hitachi external disk that has an own switch. That one I keep on the desk. But the thing makes a lot of racket.
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29 Jan 2011   #13
MoInSTL

Windows 7 Professional x64, SP1
 
 

Has anyone tried an eSATA/USB docking station? Reminds me of a toaster, but supports 2.5"-3.5" drives and is hot swappable. It would be nice to pop my 3.5 back up disk in it using eSATA port on my laptop.

Newegg.com - Thermaltake BlacX ST0005U External Hard Drive SATA Enclosure Docking Station 2.5” & 3.5” USB 2.0 & eSATA
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29 Jan 2011   #14
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MoInSTL View Post
Has anyone tried an eSATA/USB docking station? Reminds me of a toaster, but supports 2.5"-3.5" drives and is hot swappable. It would be nice to pop my 3.5 back up disk in it using eSATA port on my laptop.

Newegg.com - Thermaltake BlacX ST0005U External Hard Drive SATA Enclosure Docking Station 2.5” & 3.5” USB 2.0 & eSATA
Yes, that is exactly what I am using and I posted earlier in this thread. I have 1 of these docks at home and I have one at work. And I am getting ready to buy another dock for home as I moved my first one from my computer to my cable box and it's acting as a DVR Expander now for my cable TV system...so I need another for my computer.

I use them on some boxes as eSata and other boxes as USB and they work great in both environments. I highly recommend going this route.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2011   #15
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post

Most standard mechanical hard drives cannot supply data sequentially at 120MB/s. Even my WD Caviar Black cannot hit that. It can burst there and can start out in an HDTune test there...but overall is well under 120MB/sec
So how do I interpret this 1GB sequential test for my Seagate Barracuda 7200.12
(ST31000528AS).
Attachment 135092


Add: The 512k and 2x 4k tests are random data tests.
It seems that with that test and your mobo that your 7200.12 indeed hits 120MB. I've got a 7200.12 in one of my machines and this is how it tests with HDTUne;


Either way, I don't think that most standard hard drives are pushing 120MB+ consistently....so I still don't think that I would insist upon a 7200RPM if it's external for backups. If you need all out speed, then by all means buy the 7200RPM and be happy. But if you can get a great deal on a 2TB drive, but find out that it's only 5400 RPM it doesn't mean it has to be a showstopper. It might only be the difference between 98MB/sec and 107MB/sec. And usually with a backup application, it's going to have a bit of processing time anyway..so your drive won't be running at it's max throughput most likely.

I'll have to give that other benchmark a run on my machine and see how my 7200.12 does.
I found HDTune & CrystalDiskInfo give similar results.
Your actually getting ~120 MB/s on the outer tracks (first 25% of your HDD).
The amount of data you can feed to your heads is proportional to radial velocity. This equals radius x angular velocity.
This accounts, in part, for the drop off curve and
- 7200 rpm gives greater transfer rate than 5400
- fuller disk = slower disk.
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30 Jan 2011   #16
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there
for backup speed isn't the most important parameter -- just get the LARGEST CHEAPEST external drive you can -- backup can run at ANY time -- at night etc etc.

After Backup don't keep the disk online.

Incidentally have 2 Disks -- so if one fails you've got another. Disks DO fail (fortunately not often) but you don't want to lose say 2 TB of data.

Cheers
jimbo
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30 Jan 2011   #17
essenbe

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider
 
 

I think all of the suggestions given here are good options. I have 4 externals. Redundancy is important. I have 2 Seagate Free Agent drives which I like. You can buy different cables for whatever interface you prefer and they are also good for portability. I have 2 Rosewill enclosures with 1TB Samsung spinpoints in them. They both have eSATA and USB 2.0 interfaces and work very well. The good point about them is you can swap drives out.
The Thermaltake option mentioned by pparks is a good option and much easier to swap drives. I have been considering one of those also.
Acronis and free Macrium are good choices for imaging. As far as user files and folders, I have just started using Microsoft's Sync Toy. So far it has worked perfect.
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30 Jan 2011   #18
MoInSTL

Windows 7 Professional x64, SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MoInSTL View Post
Has anyone tried an eSATA/USB docking station? Reminds me of a toaster, but supports 2.5"-3.5" drives and is hot swappable. It would be nice to pop my 3.5 back up disk in it using eSATA port on my laptop.
Yes, that is exactly what I am using and I posted earlier in this thread. I have 1 of these docks at home and I have one at work. And I am getting ready to buy another dock for home as I moved my first one from my computer to my cable box and it's acting as a DVR Expander now for my cable TV system...so I need another for my computer.

I use them on some boxes as eSata and other boxes as USB and they work great in both environments. I highly recommend going this route.
Ah, I didn't click on all of your links. That's good to know as I have considered one for awhile. I have an old WD external and USB transfer of Acronis images is too slow.
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30 Jan 2011   #19
GeneO

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot
 
 

Go for a 5400 RPM just because they run cooler. Heat is the enemy in an external drive enclosure and there are 5400 rpm that are plenty fast. I get 120 MB/s from 2TB WD Green external (eSATA). Try to get an enclosure with a fan. Some without fans are OK for short periods of activities, but backups take a long time so you want a lower rpm drive with a fan.

You can build your own eSATA - it is fairly easy and their are several good external enclosures you can buy.

Docking stations expose the sensitive electronic components of the drive to static electricity. This is not a good plan IMO for a permanent external - only for the odd need to duplicate a drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2011   #20
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
I get 120 MB/s from 2TB WD Green external (eSATA).
Hmm Interesting.

For the average person browsing the forum with say a notebook if you get a usb drive drive at a good price - go for it. Yes definitely have at least 2. Keep a reasonably uptodate image on both ideally with 2 imaging packages and your set.

I have 2.5 inch 5400/5200 rpm portables and 3.5 inch 7200 rpm. There is a noticeable difference in speed but not a major factor for me. If I'm not using the externals I turn them off. I try to keep my regular images to around 50GB.

My experience as well is that the 3.5 in 7200 rpm can get much hotter than the 5400 portables. I use a $10 fan to keep the temp down on a hot day.
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 What Kind of External Back up hard drive should I get?




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