Advice on buying a hard drive for backup

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by riker1384, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. riker1384 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    West Coast
    #1
    I need something to back up my 40GB Emac. I got an Acomdata 3.5" external hard-drive enclosure. For a hard drive, the Seagate Barracuda series seems to have good prices, and I understand Seagate is supposed to be very good, correct? One thing is, the 250GB isn't much more expensive than the 80GB, but if I get the 250GB I'll want to keep it on the desk and fill it up. I was thinking my backup would be safer if it wasn't plugged in. I was thinking maybe get one of each, and keep the 80GB somewhere else when I'm not copying onto it.

    Does this seem like a good plan? Or, would it be safe to just get one drive and leave it hooked up? We've had lightning damage before, but nowadays I would have everything on a UPS.
     
  2. scienide09 macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    Seagate is a good brand. So is WD. So are others. On Macrumors you'll find a number of people both in favour of and against many of the popular brands.

    If the 80GB and 250GB models are nearly the same price, why would you consider the smaller drive? Purchasing it will nearly triple your $ per GB amount. Go bigger, and save the extra space for later.

    As for the drive itself, who says you need to leave it plugged in and connected? Eject the drive, then unplug the power supply. Store it in a drawer or on a shelf. Pull it out when you need it.

    Finally, backup is only backup if you have at least two copies of the data. If you plan on using the external as pure storage, then you should go for a third drive to backup the data that isn't also on your internal drive.
     
  3. riker1384 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    West Coast
    #3
    At Macmall it's $52 I think for the 80GB Barracuda and $75 for the 250GB.

    I want to backup my internal stuff which is essential. If I had extra space then I would use it for audio or video files, and I could live without that being backed up. The only problem is if swapping out the drives in the one enclosure is difficult or it wears it out or something.

    The only argument against only getting the 250 is if something could happen that would fry both it and my Emac at the same time. If I have that extra space and I use it, I'm gonna want to have the drive running so I can access that stuff, not put away in a drawer.
     
  4. scienide09 macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    If you are running a UPS, then chances are you're going to be fine. That being said, a UPS isn't going to protect you from a lightening strike. The best way to protect your data in this scenario is to leave both the computer and the drive unplugged when not in use. Or take your chances with the lightening (really, how often does this happen?).
    If you go with the smaller drive and leave it connected all the time and you get zapped, it could also be fried. Then you'd still be stuck.

    As you mentioned in your OP, you could get one of each. Use one drive as a permanent backup (not just storage) and connect it only to backup/restore. Then use the other (larger?) drive for a secondary backup of your important data, and for pure storage for video/music files that wouldn't be a big deal to replace if they were lost.
    Realistically, all you're doing in this scenario is a double-backup, ensuring that you have three copies of the important data instead of two. If both your internal drive and the large storage drive get zapped, your smaller external will have you covered for all the important stuff.
     
  5. steelfist macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    #5
    For Harddrives, i would recommend Seagate. i've used them for a long time, no problems at all.

    for the external case, there are a couple of criterias. The transfer speed varies between the cases, and also the cooling is also important. Also, the instalation and safty of the Hard Drive is important too. from this, i would recommend the coolermaster Xcraft.

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/CoolerMaster/XCraft
    http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/cooler_master_x-craft/
    http://www.3dgameman.com/content/view/2947/45/
     
  6. riker1384 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    West Coast
    #6
  7. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Canada's South Coast
    #7
    Make sure it has FireWire 800. As HD's get bigger, it takes longer and longer to do backups. FW800 takes about half as long as FW400. I have two LaCie d2 drives and I'm very happy with them.
     

Share This Page