Backup Necessary? 2 Externals?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Donz0r, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Donz0r macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2006
    I just purchased a 500GB WD MyBook for 110 w/ tax.
    Is it really necessary to get another one to backup all of my files? If this thing does fail, is there any way to get the files off of the drive?
    I'd imagine that if it failed, the actual Disk would still contain all of the data, when these things fail is it just the housing that fails or the HDD itself?

    With 2 of these drives, my total cost is getting pretty close to $500! It doesn't seem like it's all worth it.
    You could get an HP Slimline PC w/ HDMI and a 500GB internal HDD for 500 bucks!

    Also, does anyone have any experience with this drive?

  2. .mark. macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2007
    Jersey, C.I.
    if "it fails" it depends what is actually failing! if that makes sense? i.e. if it's the enclosure that fails then your data is likely to be fine - just swap the HD into another enclosure. However, if the hard drive fails then your screwed.

    If you want fault tolerant storage (i.e. storage that can survive a HD failing) you need to look into raid or manually mirroring onto 2 hard drives (or a drobo - very easy but quite expensive - now with fw800 though!)
  3. .mark. macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2007
    Jersey, C.I.
    i thought you said you get them for 110?
  4. Donz0r thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2006
    110 + 110 + 250 for ATV w/ tax = 470
  5. Donz0r thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2006
    makes perfect sense, idk about dropping another hundred, i've never experienced hard drive failure before, it seems like something that would rarely ever happen.
  6. .mark. macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2007
    Jersey, C.I.
    famous last words! haha! It's completely your call - like you siad they are relatively rare but eventually every HD will fail. I'm quite paranoid about it so I'd encourage you to make it fault tolerant but that's just me.

    I look at it this way - if you only have one HD and it fails would you pay 110 to retrieve your data? if yes then get the extra HD now, if no then don't.

    at the end of the day, you could just buy one drive and it work flawlessly for you happily ever after... or it could crash in a weeks time and you files are lost forever...
  7. Donz0r thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2006
    Very good perspective, thanks. IDK, paying 500 bucks for this streaming business seems like a lot, esp b/c I'm sharing my main TV w/ my 2 roommates. I have a 22'' monitor and 5.1 in my bedroom. And I could just hook my iPod up to my xbox for music, and watch DVDs and Blu-Rays in the living room.... and save 500 bucks.
  8. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Some comments to add/compliment what has already been said.

    Hard drives can and do fail. I have a bunch of failed hard drives from various manufactures if you would like to see them.

    Hard drives will fail when you least expect them to. Like right after downloading a bunch of songs and movies from iTunes. Especially when you go to back up to another HD right after this. Been there got the T-Shirt.

    Hard drives can fail via a variety of ways. Here are some examples:

    - Software (OS) issue. If only the directory structure is corrupted, usually you can recover the files.

    - Hardware such as the disk motor is dead. You can recover the data via a data recovery service.

    - Hardware such as the head grinding into the platter. Probably won't get much from the hard drive depending on how long this has been happening and how much of the surface it has contacted. Will need to use a data recovery service.

    - Hardware such as the platter being old and worn out. Depending on the situation, software like SpinRite might be able to recover the data.

    If you are backing up via cloning (using software like SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner) you will need double the space of the hard drive you are going to clone. So if your HD is 250GB, you will need two 250GB external HDs. Then you will clone to each alternatively on a daily, weekly, or whatever system you set up. Personally, I use weekly.

    You need to ask yourself how much of an issue would it be if you lost the data you saved since your last backup. For many, a week could be pushing it. For others, monthly is enough.

    On a side note, I am very weary of incremental backups. Over the years, I have seen so many failures with a backup system such as this. Additionally, do not use encrypted/compressed backups. If something fails you loose everything. If it is normal folder/file backup, many times you can recover some if not all of the data unless it is a physical HD crash.

    When you do your backups, think about having one backup stored in a different location than your computer.

    Hope this helps.

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