Recommended external HD for backup?


S

Stan Brown

The Samsung 2 TB external USB hard drive that I use for backup is now
failing, after just about a year of fairly light use. Does anyone
have a recommendation for a reasonably priced and reliable HD?

(I've heard "portable hard drive" and "External hard drive", but I'm
not really sure of the difference. If it helps, I'm looking for the
kind that comes in its own enclosure, not a bare hard drive that has
to be mounted in an enclosure.)
 
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P

Percival P. Cassidy

The Samsung 2 TB external USB hard drive that I use for backup is now
failing, after just about a year of fairly light use. Does anyone
have a recommendation for a reasonably priced and reliable HD?

(I've heard "portable hard drive" and "External hard drive", but I'm
not really sure of the difference. If it helps, I'm looking for the
kind that comes in its own enclosure, not a bare hard drive that has
to be mounted in an enclosure.)
I get the impression that "portable hard drive" is used to refer to 2.5"
drives that get their power from the computer's USB port, whereas an
"external hard drive" may come with a "wall wart" that supplies the
needed power.

I think every brand of drive has its fans and its detractors. All I can
tell you is that all but one of my dead drives are Western Digital. I've
had only one Seagate drive fail, and that was after the 5-year warranty
had expired and after it had sat unused for several months.

My son had a Toshiba portable drive that appeared to be failing, but
copying the data to another drive then reformatting the Toshiba seems to
have taken care of the problem. The same might work with your Samsung.

Perce
 
D

Dave \Crash\ Dummy

Stan said:
The Samsung 2 TB external USB hard drive that I use for backup is now
failing, after just about a year of fairly light use. Does anyone
have a recommendation for a reasonably priced and reliable HD?

(I've heard "portable hard drive" and "External hard drive", but I'm
not really sure of the difference. If it helps, I'm looking for the
kind that comes in its own enclosure, not a bare hard drive that has
to be mounted in an enclosure.)
I've been using an external 500 GB Seagate for a couple of years without
any problems.
 
K

Ken Blake

If it helps, I'm looking for the
kind that comes in its own enclosure, not a bare hard drive that has
to be mounted in an enclosure.)

A drive that comes in its own enclosure is almost exactly like a drive
that has to be mounted in an enclosure. The only difference is whether
you have to spend the five minutes or so to do the mounting yourself.
Even if you're all thumbs, it's extremely easy.

My view is that you should make the choice based on the quality of the
drive, and the total cost, and forget about whether or not it's been
pre-mounted.

And as far as I'm concerned, "portable hard drive" and "External hard
drive" are just two names for the same thing.
 
J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

Ken Blake said:
A drive that comes in its own enclosure is almost exactly like a drive
that has to be mounted in an enclosure. The only difference is whether
you have to spend the five minutes or so to do the mounting yourself.
Even if you're all thumbs, it's extremely easy.
I would second that - not least because the price of drives in
enclosures seem to go up with capacity much in line with naked drives,
rather than just being a fixed amount more than the naked drives.
[]
 
M

MetalStorm©

The Samsung 2 TB external USB hard drive that I use for backup is now
failing, after just about a year of fairly light use. Does anyone
have a recommendation for a reasonably priced and reliable HD?

(I've heard "portable hard drive" and "External hard drive", but I'm
not really sure of the difference. If it helps, I'm looking for the
kind that comes in its own enclosure, not a bare hard drive that has
to be mounted in an enclosure.)
i use a lacie usb3 that gives me blazins speed when i do a backup
just my $0.02
 
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E

Ed Cryer

The Samsung 2 TB external USB hard drive that I use for backup is now
failing, after just about a year of fairly light use. Does anyone
have a recommendation for a reasonably priced and reliable HD?

(I've heard "portable hard drive" and "External hard drive", but I'm
not really sure of the difference. If it helps, I'm looking for the
kind that comes in its own enclosure, not a bare hard drive that has
to be mounted in an enclosure.)
5 or so years back it was much cheaper to buy an enclosure and hd
separately. But these days the shelves are stacked with enclosed ones,
and, as always happens when the market gets filled, the prices have come
down.

It's very difficult to get any objective data on brand reliability.
There are so many in use that any sampling is bound to be small and
biased. I've adopted the habit of buying the one currently on special
offer at the PC store, and I've not been let down yet. My latest one is
an Iomega 1TB, bought about 2 years back, used every time my main PC is
switched on, and showing no sign of deterioration.

Ed
 
K

Ken Blake

5 or so years back it was much cheaper to buy an enclosure and hd
separately. But these days the shelves are stacked with enclosed ones,
and, as always happens when the market gets filled, the prices have come
down.

OK, I don't suggest that an enclosure and hd separately is the best
choice, Rather, I suggest that it should be evaluated as a choice,and
it *might* turn out to be the best buy.

It's very difficult to get any objective data on brand reliability.
There are so many in use that any sampling is bound to be small and
biased.

I'm with you entirely.
 
W

WaIIy

A drive that comes in its own enclosure is almost exactly like a drive
that has to be mounted in an enclosure. The only difference is whether
you have to spend the five minutes or so to do the mounting yourself.
Even if you're all thumbs, it's extremely easy.

My view is that you should make the choice based on the quality of the
drive, and the total cost, and forget about whether or not it's been
pre-mounted.

And as far as I'm concerned, "portable hard drive" and "External hard
drive" are just two names for the same thing.
Well, the "portable" drives can be many things such as basically a
laptop drive in soem type of sealed enclosure.

A real external drive is a drive that can be made internal.
 
W

WaIIy

OK, I don't suggest that an enclosure and hd separately is the best
choice, Rather, I suggest that it should be evaluated as a choice,and
it *might* turn out to be the best buy.
It sure makes it easy to restore your computer, just drop the drive in.
I'm with you entirely.
Seagate has been erratic the past few years. I've gone all Western
Digital.
 
S

Stan Brown

I think every brand of drive has its fans and its detractors. All I
can tell you is that all but one of my dead drives are Western
Digital. I've had only one Seagate drive fail, and that was after
the 5-year warranty had expired and after it had sat unused for
several months.
I appreciate the recommendation.
My son had a Toshiba portable drive that appeared to be failing, but
copying the data to another drive then reformatting the Toshiba seems to
have taken care of the problem. The same might work with your Samsung.
Thanks for the tip! I'll try it Monday at work where I have a hard
drive big enough to take what's on this external disk.
 
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R

Robert Sudbury

An external drive (pre-populated with the vendor's drive du'jour) typically
doesn't come with as long a warranty for the drive itself compared to a
drive bought separately, then dropped into the enclosure of your choice.

1yr vs 3yr or even 5yr for some separate OEM drives. Some lesser known
populated external drives can even come with a lowly 90 day warranty.

A packaged external enclosure may also be populated with a drive that is
slower rotational speed, or less cache than a separately purchased drive.

5400rpm vs 7200rpm, and 2MB vs 64MB cache.

Some super cheap external drives may even come populated with a drive that
uses the now obsolete Parallel ATA interface. If the enclosure fails, you
may pay a premium to find a replacement enclosure that supports PATA drives
vs the current SATA.

Then consider the system(s) you'll be connecting this external drive to.
USB1.1? USB2.0? USB3? Firewire? eSATA? ... Find the enclosure or external
drive that matches the fastest external and internal connections for the
drive and system(s) of your choice.

I've been turned off Seacrate for decades. I have not been let down by
Western Digital.

Stan Brown said:
The Samsung 2 TB external USB hard drive that I use for backup is now
failing, after just about a year of fairly light use. Does anyone
have a recommendation for a reasonably priced and reliable HD?

(I've heard "portable hard drive" and "External hard drive", but I'm
not really sure of the difference. If it helps, I'm looking for the
kind that comes in its own enclosure, not a bare hard drive that has
to be mounted in an enclosure.)


--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com
Shikata ga nai...

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signature database 6606 (20111106) __________

The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

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--
[Robert]


__________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature database 6606 (20111106) __________

The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

http://www.eset.com
 
S

Stan Brown

The Samsung 2 TB external USB hard drive that I use for backup is now
failing, after just about a year of fairly light use. Does anyone
have a recommendation for a reasonably priced and reliable HD?
Thanks to those who responded. If I counted correctly, we have two
people who like Seagate and hate Western Digital, and two who hate
Seagate and like WD.

"Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both no and
yes." :)
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

The Samsung 2 TB external USB hard drive that I use for backup is now
failing, after just about a year of fairly light use. Does anyone
have a recommendation for a reasonably priced and reliable HD?

(I've heard "portable hard drive" and "External hard drive", but I'm
not really sure of the difference. If it helps, I'm looking for the
kind that comes in its own enclosure, not a bare hard drive that has
to be mounted in an enclosure.)
Since there have been several conflicting (and I would say incorrect)
descriptions in this thread of the difference between portable and
external hard drives, I'll describe what all of the ads I've seen and
all the drives I've seen or bought think the difference is.

External hard drives are 3.5" drives premounted in enclosures. They
might come with an external power supply, a small brick to provide 5 V
and 12 V power to the drive, or they might come with an AC power cord to
drive an internal power supply. They are not small.

They will connect to the computer by one or more of the usual
interfaces: USB2, USB3, eSATA, or FireWire.

Portable hard drives are hard drives which are also in fact external,
but they are 2.5" drives in a very compact case, and they are powered
through the data cable, which is almost always USB2 or USB3.
 
Q

Quilljar

2TB Seagate with built in backup software very good buy and works like a
dream with Win 7 64 bit.
Q
 
S

Stan Brown

A drive that comes in its own enclosure is almost exactly like a drive
that has to be mounted in an enclosure. The only difference is whether
you have to spend the five minutes or so to do the mounting yourself.
Even if you're all thumbs, it's extremely easy.

My view is that you should make the choice based on the quality of the
drive, and the total cost, and forget about whether or not it's been
pre-mounted.
Staples has a 2 TB Seagate FreeAgent Desk on sale for $99 this week.
CNet gave it a strong positive; user reviews were scathing about the
included software (which you don't have to install) but generally
positive about the drive itself. It's got a three-year warranty.

The manufacturer's site indicates they're out of stock, but Staples
still had stock this afternoon and I ordered one.
 
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S

Stan Brown

I appreciate the recommendation.


Thanks for the tip! I'll try it Monday at work where I have a hard
drive big enough to take what's on this external disk.
At work the drive ran flawlessly, both on the same laptop where I had
a problem over the weekend and on the company desktop. I wonder now
if maybe I just didn't make a good connection with the USB cable on
5 November, and assumed the drive was failing.

PartedMagic[1] includes a utility to check health of hard drives and
predict incipient failures, so I'll give that a try when I get a
chance.


[1] http://partedmagic.com/doku.php
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

At work the drive ran flawlessly, both on the same laptop where I had
a problem over the weekend and on the company desktop. I wonder now
if maybe I just didn't make a good connection with the USB cable on
5 November, and assumed the drive was failing.
Just to support that idea -

I just had a deal like that a few days ago, trying to get a device
installed in a newer computer.

The software did weird things and the device (a GPS data logger) was
never recognized. I even tried installing the drivers in the VM with Win
XP, but that also failed.

It was late, so after restoring everything to where I started, I went to
bed.

The next morning, just for fun, I tried another cable and it worked! But
I had plugged into a different port, and it turned out to be the port,
not the cable.

The old USB assembly has now been replaced by a new one that is better
made and doesn't fail to make contact :)
PartedMagic[1] includes a utility to check health of hard drives and
predict incipient failures, so I'll give that a try when I get a
chance.

[1] http://partedmagic.com/doku.php
 
B

Brian Matthews

Staples has a 2 TB Seagate FreeAgent Desk on sale for $99 this week.
CNet gave it a strong positive; user reviews were scathing about the
included software (which you don't have to install) but generally
positive about the drive itself. It's got a three-year warranty.

The manufacturer's site indicates they're out of stock, but Staples
still had stock this afternoon and I ordered one.
Or Amazon for a similar HDD;

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-FreeAgent-GoFlex-External-STAC2000106/dp/B005IA84AA/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1321168369&sr=8-4

This drive comes with pre installed backup software and formatted as
NTSF. But you can format it to erase all the backup data on it.

A very good drive and it's also $99.00. Also, it's USB 3.0, if you
ever get that feature (if you don't already)

Only a 2 year warranty though. But the way HDD prices are falling, you
could probably buy another one soon and back up the 2 TB drive. : )
 
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S

Stan Brown

Not just similar, the same!
This drive comes with pre installed backup software and formatted as
NTSF. But you can format it to erase all the backup data on it.
Advice in reviews is to delete the Memeo backup software and use the
drive as plug-and-play with Windows Backup or a decent third-party
backup.
A very good drive and it's also $99.00. Also, it's USB 3.0, if you
ever get that feature (if you don't already)
When I click that link, it's $119.99, not $99.00 or $99.99. Do you
*really* see it for $99.00? I've heard Amazon sometimes gives
different prices to different people, but this would be the first
actual instance I've seen with my own eyes.
Only a 2 year warranty though. But the way HDD prices are falling, you
could probably buy another one soon and back up the 2 TB drive. : )
When mine arrived from Staples, it was USB3 and had a two-year, not
three-year warranty. I'm guessing that the specs changed and the Web
pages I looked at hadn't been updated. Since USB3 is downward
compatible to USB2, I'm not too concerned. The warranty is a
disappointment, but it's still better than the one-year warranty on
my present drive.

My understanding is that because of floods in Thailand, hard drives
are becoming scarce. That would explain why Seagate is out of stick,
for instance.
 

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