(B) Good External Backup HDD for using on 3 PCs

Hi, i am planning on buying a 3TB External HDD to backup some files of my 3 different PCs. 2 of them Windows XP Pro Sp3 x32, and one Windows 7 Ultimate x64.

Do you have anny recommendations for a good drive and program? Are the included Bakcup software good enough for handling 3 different computers?

Here are the 2 options that i have in mind, but please recommend me others if you think there are better solutions on a "smilar" price range...

Seagate Backup Plus 3 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive (STCA3000101)

WD My Book 3TB External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0 File Backup and Storage

LaCie 3 TB Porsche Design P'9230 USB 3.0 (302003)

LaCie 3 TB Minimus Hard Disk USB 3.0 (302004)

Note: Also please clarify me this. I read somewhere that 3TB HDDs or 4TB HDDs where "better" or more "reliable" than 2 TBs , because  they have more platters? or something like that.....well i dont remember excactly the words...But i know somebody mentioned that a 3TB was better for some reason, besides the obvious of more space to store files....


2nd Note: This is a copy of a previous question I made that somehow got DELETED just after i posted it, so i copied the same question and posted it here again.
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Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
"Better" isn't a good term -- but the larger drives do tend to be FASTER, because most 3TB drives (and all 4TB drives I'm aware of) use 1TB platters, so they have higher areal density and thus a faster data transfer rate.

However .. unless you're using a USB v3 connection (for both the drive and the PC), that won't matter; as you'll be limited to USB v2 speeds regardless of the performance capabilities of the physical drive.   All of the drives you listed are in fact USB v3 units;  but do your computers have USB v3 ports?    

As for backup software => I would not use the backup utility that ships with the drive.   Just reformat the drive and/or delete the bundled software; then install whatever you feel comfortable with for doing your individual backups.

Rather than moving the drive around to your various computers;  I'd simply attach it to one of the PCs and share it across your network -- then just back the other computers up across the network.

Any of the drives you listed is fine -- I'd use either the Seagate or WD unit.
David Johnson, CD, MVPConnect With a Mentor OwnerCommented:
LaCie is a relative unknown (purchased and waiting regulatory approval by Seagate) in the PC world. There are relatively few players left in the Hard Drive industry (Western Digital/Seagate/IoMega)

WD My Book 3TB External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0 File Backup and Storage uses a non standard USb cable and the mount is rather flimsy (NR)

I'd go with the Seagate myself.. Do remember that if you don't have a copy still on the other machines then the backup is just a copy and if the drive fails then you lose everything. Data Recovery companies are REALLY Expensive.
The ugly part is the W7 built in backup will not work with those drives.
They are 4K sector and the W7 backup just flat out will not work.
Fixed in W8 though.
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I recommend you also look at the LaCie d2 Quadra as well, I have had one running for 4 years in the cupboard under my desk without a hitch. It does USB 2/3, eSATA or Firewire 400/800. Otherwise you should consider setting up two backup disks, WD or Seagate, with the assumption that one disk will die. But, one is better than none!

For backup software, if you are just backing up files and not system images you should consider CrashPlan Free. Set up an account, install on the PC with the backup disk, configure settings to transfer inbound backups to your backup disk location, install on all your PCs, configure the backup set, and set the Destination as the backup PC.
marsiliesConnect With a Mentor Commented:
How are you planning on backing up the 3 computers? Are you planning on carrying the harddrive around to each PC and plugging it in for backup? Or are you planning on permanently attaching it to one PC and making it a network share? For the former, you're backups are likely to suffer as you probably won't be attaching it to all 3 PCs every day. For the latter, the PC it's attached to will have to stay on nearly all the time for backing up to the drive to be effective.

A better option may be to get a "network drive" or NAS for use in the home. This would allow all 3 PCs to backup to it on their own schedules, without requiring any one PC to be constantly on. Furthermore, the NAS could also be used for serving music, pictures, and videos throughout your home. You could look at some of these:

As for reliability of 2TB vs 3TB & 4TB, I've actually heard the reverse, where 2TB drives are considered more reliable at the moment.
unrinoceronteAuthor Commented:
Hi, somehow i duplicated this question, and i closed the first one and forgot about this one... Nonetheless there is some good advice here, and i thank you all for your comments.

I have decided that for this time and situation i am going with a Bare Drive and use it with my External DOCK (or soon i will buy an external enclosure for it) . As soon as i get my HDD delivered i will try out the software recommendations.

For other situations (My girlfriends MAC, and my NAS) i have decided to go with Brand External Drives, like the ones i  mentioned, since it will be easier to use and manage (at least for my girlfriend)...

MARSILLES: reading your last comment gave me a good idea. I already have a small one bay QNAP NAS (TS-110 Turbo NAS), that i am now using for storage of all my WORK files (is not a backup). All my computers access the work files in the NAS, since they are not stored locally in each computer. BUT the thin is that for my work environment, i have decided that at the end of the year i will buy a BIGGER 4 bay NAS, so in that moment i can erase everything in my small NAS and use it as a backup as you suggest.
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