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244 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 85932 28-Jun-2011 13:03
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Hi everyone

I want to buy an external hard drive to back up photos, and wondering what the pros and cons are.  What features should I look for?

Many thanks.

Wasn't sure where to post this. 




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  Reply # 486900 28-Jun-2011 14:32
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They're all much the same. 3.5" drives need a power supply, 2.5" get power from USB. USB 2.0 is slow but everyone has it, USB 3.0 is fast and supplies more power, but it's only on the newest PCs.

Seagate and Western Digital are the brands to buy.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 486915 28-Jun-2011 14:57
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Okay - thanks, just a matter of looking for best price then.

Thanks you 




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 486923 28-Jun-2011 15:02
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dick smtih are selling wd 500g one for 87
pretty good
usb 2.0 is good enough, wd is preferred over seagate, but both are fine really




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  Reply # 486928 28-Jun-2011 15:06
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I've found WD and Seagate both totally reliable for internal drives, no idea about their enclosure quality though. If an external drives fails the first thing you do is crack it open and take the drive out, put it directly into a PC.

USB 2.0 is pretty slow. You might be able to watch a movie off it, maybe, but backing up large amounts of data is slow. eSata is faster, if your PC can do it, and USB 3.0 is fast top.

500GB is pretty small now, unless it's a 2.5" drive that doesn't need a power supply. Though saying that I have an 80GB one I still use.

My backups are 2x2TB offsite, plus 1x2TB of the most important stuff to a second offsite location, and Mozy backing up the critical data files. I don't back up images to Mozy, since I have 1.5TB of them and it's not practical yet.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 486932 28-Jun-2011 15:11
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I only use 2.5" hard drives
and out of the 2 WD, 1 seagate and 1 hitachi Hard drive, all 500g or 1T in size
only seagate, the newest one have power failure issues.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 486933 28-Jun-2011 15:12
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Bought an external Seagate 500 Gb Hard Drive from Dick Smiths yesterday for $69 .
It will just be used on my Openbox S10 .

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  Reply # 486934 28-Jun-2011 15:12
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2.5" drives don't have the capacity or performance I need, but they're probably fine for most people.

Just a reminder to everyone - offsite backups are important. Imagine losing your family photos, your video collection, your financial information, etc. Make offsite backups, and update them regularly. If you have small amounts of data use Mozy or some other online backup tool, Mozy's free for up to 2GB of data.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 486935 28-Jun-2011 15:13
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I see DSE also have a WD 1 Tb for $98 - I might as well have the extra capacity.  I'll only be backing up files, mainly photos.




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  Reply # 486955 28-Jun-2011 15:37
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silverbirch: I see DSE also have a WD 1 Tb for $98 - I might as well have the extra capacity.  I'll only be backing up files, mainly photos.

I have one of these and it's brilliant



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  Reply # 486957 28-Jun-2011 15:39
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blakamin:
silverbirch: I see DSE also have a WD 1 Tb for $98 - I might as well have the extra capacity.  I'll only be backing up files, mainly photos.

I have one of these and it's brilliant


I'm about to go and buy one now :-) 




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  Reply # 486970 28-Jun-2011 15:58
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timmmay: I've found WD and Seagate both totally reliable for internal drives, no idea about their enclosure quality though. If an external drives fails the first thing you do is crack it open and take the drive out, put it directly into a PC.

USB 2.0 is pretty slow. You might be able to watch a movie off it, maybe, but backing up large amounts of data is slow. eSata is faster, if your PC can do it, and USB 3.0 is fast top.

500GB is pretty small now, unless it's a 2.5" drive that doesn't need a power supply. Though saying that I have an 80GB one I still use.

My backups are 2x2TB offsite, plus 1x2TB of the most important stuff to a second offsite location, and Mozy backing up the critical data files. I don't back up images to Mozy, since I have 1.5TB of them and it's not practical yet.


USB2 is absolutely fine. I personally have eSATA and U320 SCSI RAIDs but I use USB2 regularly as well and it can easily sustain 30MB/sec, so suggesting it's not good for much more than watching movies is pretty unfair.

I also backup offsite as well (using Backblaze) and have all my approx 1.2TB of image files there... It was great to get the whole archive done while Bigtime was still around.

Cheers -N


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  Reply # 486973 28-Jun-2011 16:04
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True, in theory it's 60MB/sec, but in practice I just find it really slow. It seems faster and more reliable on Win 7 than on Win XP. Mine wouldn't have gotten near 30MB/sec. eSata goes as fast as the disks.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 486976 28-Jun-2011 16:14
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I find with some of the external drives the speeds are relatively slow when comparing to my HDD dock, both using the standard USB 2.0 connection. So I would look more to the drives than necessarily the connections.

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  Reply # 487183 28-Jun-2011 22:18
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silverbirch will be happy with usb 2.0, if not, crack it open and use sata. it seems he/she will only back it up once every now and again, then put it away. if they were to do daily backups etc, i would recommend something like usb 3 or a sata dock or sata 6 etc.

esata seems to be more mainstream now, laptops are coming with the ports for some time now. sadly by pc is all about the looks lol and my case is missing an esata, hotswap ftw :D

let us know how your new drive goes silver!




gz ftw




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 487185 28-Jun-2011 22:25
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Probably what I'll do is transfer all my photos to the external drive, it doesn't seem too slow, but I also save to USB drive, so I have two copies of the image.  I also print my favourites.

In future I'll immediately transfer to the external drive after I've finished editing, so will use it pretty regularly.   I'm an amateur so happy with how it's working.  Thanks for the suggestions.




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