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Cadillac of External Drives? Lemons?

I was going to purchase an external HD --- one to two terrabites.  Just wondering if there's one that has a reputation of being more reliable than others, and whthere there are any lemons I should steer away from.
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RaiderNationDelegate
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RaiderNationDelegate
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16 Solutions
 
rindiCommented:
In my point of view you shouldn't buy any ready made drives, but rather a USB case for the drive, and the drive as a separate unit.
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JiggyKaTukraCommented:
Over the past few years I've purchased a number of external HDDs and I've been looking for the cheapest one's as well as being reliable. I found that I've never had a problem with:

Buffalo
Western Digital
Hitachi

I've been fortunate not to come across any lemons.

Hope that helps.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have a Western Digital 1TB USB hard drive and it works just fine. I do not consider it to be a lemon. .... Thinkapds_User
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
Anyone comments re: Rindi?  Should I get a 1.5 tb drive and a separate enclosure?
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have no problem with Rindi's point of view. This allows you to remove the drive for another purpose or replace it.

On the other hand, the USB enclosure for a ready made drive probably costs less than a dollar or so, meaning that the 1TB drive from WD is likely very little more expensive with ready made enclosure than without. I don't see a different purpose for my own 1TB drive so I was happy to have it enclosed.

Different points of view, that is all. .... Thinkpads_User
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JohnnyCanuckCommented:
I've got a 1TB Hitachi Simpledrive that I've been using for three years with no problems.
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ee_reachCommented:
I've got two LaCie Minimus 2TB Externals.  I did a lot of research on external HD's before I chose them and they have lived up to their excellent reputation.

E.g., One of them has been running about 20 hrs/day 5 or 6 days/week for the past year, due to the nature of the data we have on it.  Even so, it is quiet and it remains cool to the touch.  

Also, they take up almost no room.  

The minimus supports USB 2 and USB 3, but we use only USB 2.  

They come in 1TB, 2TB, and 3TB sizes.

Hope this helps.
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nobusCommented:
i just repaired a WD Passport 1 TB drive - to show all drives can go bad.
i support Rindi's view : use a normal drive (much cheaper) + a USB bridge case with it's own power supply
this will eliminate all kind of connecting, and power up problems (disk not recognised, etc)
you also can swap different drives to use as external
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rindiCommented:
To add to nobus above, harddisks you buy separately often have 3 or 5 years warranty. If you buy them as a finished external disk they will probably have an year or less (depending on the laws in the country you buy the product) as those are usually OEM disks used inside those cases.

If the case stops working you can get another without having to replace the whole thing.
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CallandorCommented:
All drives eventually fail - use that as your standard operating procedure.  Occasionally, one particular model develops more than average problems, such as the IBM "Deathstar" in the distant past and Seagate 1TB drives a few years ago (http://www.tomshardware.com/news/seagate-7200.11-failing,6844.html).  Almost all desktop drives today have the same failure rates; some have longer warranty periods than others, which make them more attractive.  If you are really concerned about reliability, you can get enterprise drives which are designed for 24x7 operation (desktop drives are not), but they will cost a lot more.
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xemaCommented:
I have Toshiba 1 TB drives for a couple of years with out any problems, they are desktop models with eSATA conectivity.
Also I use reclaimed HD's with a USB casing, 2.5 " laptop or 3.5" Desktop.
As long as you don't drop them you'll be dealing with same odds no matter the make & model.
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nobusCommented:
right now - best look for eSata connectivity, and USB 3 for speed
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
*I have a Seagate 1.5 TB external backup drive that has worked great.  Funny.

My objective is to have a backup drive that is constantly backing up my computer's drive.    

Nobus, I went on Fry's Elect. web page, and the "all-in-one"  drives are about the same price.  WHat's a bit confusing is that there are 1 TB drives that cost more than 2 TB (or even 3TB) drives.    Again, I'd prefer quality to quantity.   I have perhaps 1.25 TB  at the very most.  All things being equal, it would be really nice to have the headroom...

FYI, I'm posting a question on backup software.
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rindiCommented:
Remember that for backing up you need more than one drive, and then you have to cycle between them. That gives you several versions you can restore from in case of issues. So "quantity" in the sense of several drives would make sense.
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
Rindi-
Are you saying it would be advisable to have two externals?   This makes sense.
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rindiCommented:
At least. One would be kept off site and the other used for the day's backup, and then you would swap them.
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CallandorCommented:
That's why the enclosure is more useful - you can rotate out internal drives, which are cheaper than external drives in a self-contained unit.  A dock is actually better if you're not going to move it around: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817198048
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RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
This is all making sense....
I just went to Fry's and purchased a 2TB Hitachi for $89....    I'll back up with this and the existing Seagate 1.5 TB I already have and then get something else that I can keep in storage (in case of fire or whatever).   Does this sound reasonable?

The issue now is that I don't want to do complete backups of a HD every week.... I just want the new files...   So this raised the question of what backup software is easiest to use.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
... Does this sound reasonable?

Yes.

So this raised the question of what backup software is easiest to use.

That is probably a new question (many choices of software to choose from) and this question was about drives.  

I make infrequent backups with Symantec Ghost onto a 1Tb USB drive.

I sync my data to my other computer 3 or 4 times daily on the premise that both computers will not fail at once.

.... Thinkpads_User
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CallandorCommented:
I use Acronis, which allows incremental backups.
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ee_reachCommented:
I use crashplan for continuous backups.  I have a very reasonably priced unlimited offsite account with them, plus they have free software that you can use to do backups to other drives or on other machines.  

Therefore, tf you have access to a machine offsite, you can use their free software to continuously backup to your remote machine and also back up to multiple drives locally.
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nobusCommented:
i dont use backup software - in case of problems, it just makes data more difficult to recuperate
so i just copy my files regularly
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rindiCommented:
Most backup software can be setup to do incremental or differential backups. Differential backups mean only files that have changed or are new after the last full backup will be backed up the next time, and incremental backups mean that only files that are new ore have changed since the last backup will be copied.

Depending on your OS there may already be a usable built-in backup tool Windows 7 has one for example). If you prefer something 3rd party I'd recommend the Products from Paragon:

http://www.paragon-software.com/index.html

If you want a high-end solution then it would be shadowcopy from StorageCraft:

http://www.storagecraft.com/
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xemaCommented:
I use Fbackup, http://www.fbackup.com/, creating a mirror, so the information is avaible from any machine. Also I do backups of a server one in the same building and one that's taken away.
Advantage of a "proper" back up; It uses less space, drawbacks can't be directly read
Advantage of a mirror back up; It can be rad on any machine, drawback uses more space
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