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Best hard drive option for backing up a regular Windows home PC?

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Technique    22

Internal vs external?

If external then portable vs desktop?

 

On the back of my software thread

I could've asked this there but since this is about the hardware then i'm here...

 

 

I'm sure i'll miss some crucial info but ....

 

Windows 7 PC.

Photos, videos, documents, various files really (NOTE: For anyone who's helped on the DVD backup thread this is not about backing up DVDs)

I wont be taking the files here there and everywhere. If i need to transport files to another location to work elsewhere then i have a pen drive for that, this will purely be for making sure i don't lose my stuff purposes.

256GB SSD drive as OS

2TB drive

1TB drive

2TB SSHD which also has an OS on (Windows also) as well as various documents/music/videos/images etc.

 

Right now i have no backup schedule. I really should/could get in to the habit of setting it to happen in the early hours of a Sunday morning.

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Mindovermaster    1,557

Just get a 1TB external HDD, like WD Passport or Seagate Backup Plus. Easy transfer.

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Technique    22
11 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

Just get a 1TB external HDD, like WD Passport or Seagate Backup Plus. Easy transfer.

What do they offer over desktop HDDs then to make them your recommendation?

 

And just in case i'm not using the correct terminology here...

 

Passport: https://www.ebuyer.com/639104-wd-my-passport-av-tv-1tb-usb-3-0-portable-external-hard-drive-for-wdbhdk0010bbk-eesn

Desktop: https://www.ebuyer.com/728119-wd-elements-desktop-2tb-3-5inch-external-hdd-black-wdbwlg0020hbk-eesn

 

Though why you'd comment on the capacity, recommending a 1TB drive for the job when I have around 5.0-5.5TB of drives already i'm not sure. It's a bit baffling. Granted they're not at capacity but for space used it's way over 1TB.

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Mindovermaster    1,557

WD Passport and the like are easy to carry around from place to place. Desktop ones are more stationary.

 

Do they really have a difference? No, it's more of a piece of mind.

 

I just eyeballed the 1TB. I don't know how much data you do have. Or how much you need. Sure you can get any size up to 5TB (anything over that is killing yourself)

 

That was a suggestion, not just "get that".

 

Edit: If I were you, I'd get multiple HDDs, to spread out your data.

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Technique    22
Just now, Mindovermaster said:

WD Passport and the like are easy to carry around from place to place. Desktop ones are more stationary.

 

Do they really have a difference? No, it's more of a piece of mind.

 

I just eyeballed the 1TB. I don't know how much data you do have. Or how much you need. Sure you can get any size up to 5TB (anything over that is killing yourself)

 

That was a suggestion, not just "get that".

I questioned it (the 1TB) because when i don't say the response is we don't have enough info to answer your question.

So when i give as much as i can think may be needed ... it gets missed 😂

 

I didn't know if desktop ones gave a benefit of some sort. I'm not really bothered about the stationary side of things but if a passport drive will be no worse at least then i'll go for that.

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Mindovermaster    1,557

That's why WE are asking you what we need to know.

 

Totally depends on the price. Passport vs desktop.

 

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Jim K    11,246

"Best" is subjective.

 

You could get an external drive to backup the operating system and restore if your primary drive failed.  You can usually get a large external drive for cheaper than an internal drive (no idea why though). 

 

However, you also have this thread ...

 

Which has some useful information.  You could even back up the operating system to the various suggestions in that thread.

 

Personally, I would just get a 2 or 4 bay NAS (or whatever was suggested in the above thread) ... set aside folders for your Blu-Ray, DVDs, Pictures, etc...which can be accessed from other devices (using Plex or whatever) ... and also use it to backup the Windows computer.  Or, do both ... get a cheap external drive with enough capacity to backup Windows ... save Windows on the external drive and also save it on whatever method you decided in the "Backing up DVD/Blu Ray ..." topic.

 

If you have an old computer sitting around you could even turn that into a FreeNAS box.

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cork1958    1,466

Personally, I prefer external over internal just in case the day comes I need something bigger than a usb or pen drive to transport anything.

 

This question isn't trying to steal thread, but with an external hard drive, can you store more than 1 OS back up on it? If I remember correctly, with Windows 7 and the backups I had of several different machines stored on 1 external drive, none of them could be restored. I think that was due to the fact I had changed the original file name though.

 

So, can you store more than 1 OS backup from differing machines on an external drive and rename that file using Windows 10 and expect it to work when restoring?

 

I think this may some what fit this topic as OP will probably be doing multiple backups over time although maybe not from differing machines. :)

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Mindovermaster    1,557

If you back it up to an img or iso file, you can do that, I believe.

 

Edit: But, personally, I would back up my important data. Then I would do a fresh install every time.

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+DevTech    1,305
On 11/17/2018 at 11:32 AM, Jim K said:

You can usually get a large external drive for cheaper than an internal drive (no idea why though). 

These days the external drives are highly integrated and "configured to task" so they tend to user cheaper, slower drives, and completely integrated manufacturing so that for example, the USB connector is soldered right onto the drive PCB itself (and NO SATA connector exists) so that if you wiggle it to the point of needing replacing, the drive is essentially toast.

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+DevTech    1,305
On 11/16/2018 at 6:22 PM, Technique said:

I questioned it (the 1TB) because when i don't say the response is we don't have enough info to answer your question.

So when i give as much as i can think may be needed ... it gets missed 😂

 

I didn't know if desktop ones gave a benefit of some sort. I'm not really bothered about the stationary side of things but if a passport drive will be no worse at least then i'll go for that.

Ignoring cost, the main backup reason for USB external drives is to retrieve them from secure storage in a closet, friends home or bank deposit box, then perform a backup, power down the drive and return it to secure storage. This procedure essentially replaces the Cloud backup part of a backup strategy. The drive being powered off most of the time might be a more secure long term vault but opinions vary on that.

 

Almost no humans (outside of OCD) end up being organized enough to repeat all those steps repeatedly and frequently enough to be a primary backup strategy after they get tired doing it once or twice.

 

Devices that are always connected can remove the "human factor" by using scheduled backup software or creating a windows scheduled execution of some sort of copy script. This works best for most people but fails horribly for theft, fire, floods, tree falling on house etc.

 

Suggesting a size was just silly. Only you can know what you want to backup. You should plan ahead and buy a drive that is double or triple (or more) your current requirements or else develop a purchase plan that any new drive you purchase, you also buy a second backup expansion unit.

 

If your computer has room for another drive, you can put it there, but never use a drive "mirror" function in the OS since that is NOT a backup.

 

Drives vary all over the map in quality and it is almost impossible to predict since the only known reliable information on reliability is Backblaze.com but by the time they accumulate data to publish, the drives are no longer easy to purchase. In general Hitachi drives have towered over other brands in reliability.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mindovermaster    1,557
2 hours ago, DevTech said:

This works best for most people but fails horribly for theft, fire, floods, tree falling on house etc.

I can't see a tree being a factor...

 

But anyway, yea, they can fail...

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+DevTech    1,305
1 hour ago, Mindovermaster said:

I can't see a tree being a factor...

 

But anyway, yea, they can fail...

I have seen a tree that fell so that the main branch pierced right through the roof and through the bed in the master bedroom. Fortunately it was during the day and the occupants were at work..

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Mindovermaster    1,557
40 minutes ago, DevTech said:

I have seen a tree that fell so that the main branch pierced right through the roof and through the bed in the master bedroom. Fortunately it was during the day and the occupants were at work..

Whats the chance that your falling tree will hurt your HDD though? That's like 1/1Mil.

 

A birch tree fell in our yard, broke our power cord and cable cord. But a good darn dent in our wired fence. Luckily it didnt hit our or neighbors' house.

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Technique    22

I see it on the news - extreme weather in America, Japan etc etc.

 

I live in England. Now while extreme floods and being taken by grey beings living in flying saucers isn't technically 'impossible' it's certainly not likely, not likely enough for me to take my chances where things like that are concerned.

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+BudMan    3,229

Just so we are clear that other thread backup of his optical disks is more about use of the digital copy of his disks vs actual backup.  If all it was was backup of his disks then take a iso of it, store that iso as "backup" and continue to use the optical disk as you normally would.. And if that disk got damaged then you would just burn a new one from the backup iso.

 

So for discussion it would be nice to be agnostic to what is being backed up... But in the overall picture its hard.. You have a few disks there.. Not counting the 256G ssd 5TB.. Do all things on there need backup?  Clearly some files on there are more important that than others.. Pictures and Videos for example can never be recreated.  But your install of fortnite can just be reinstalled..

 

Also while a local "backup" is great - for critical stuff I would suggest multiples.. But what if there is a flood or fire or tornado takes your house and all of its stuff to OZ?  There go all your backups.. So sure you have your nas or some external disk that you setup some software to take a "backup".. In the big picture this is only 1 step.. You need an offsite copy as well - no sure you can get a couple of externals and rotate them so one is always off site and somewhere outside the lets call it tornado or earthquake zone.. Or for that matter the blast radius of a nuke ;)

 

While in that last scenario not sure your backup of going to be all that important...

The pdf paper on backup prob should be in this thread vs that other one.

 

So its a bit more involved than just what hard drive should you get for backup.. As the pdf goes over there are multiple options for backup.. You could burn off your important stuff to bluray ;)  I do this for my home video.. I actually use mdisc which is suppose to last 1000 years ;)  As one leg in the DR plan for these sorts of critical files.  Sorry but you can never get back video of your granddaughter in her ballet class as a 4 year old ;)  or her school play.. Etc. etc..  So there are multiple copies of these files locally.. My PC, my NAS along with optical disks on my shelf and with my son who is now on the other side of the country in CA..  While also on my host I have space with.. And another copy in glacier.. This is pennies to store - and meant for long term archive backup vs backup that you might need to use every other week.. It comes down to pennies a month to store the critical data here..  I was using crashplan, and used them even when they switched over to small business only.. But currently looking - I tried backblaze off my nas - that did not go well.. Large files did not actually backup even though said they did..

 

So adding a disk to your pc or external or nas - while sure that is part of it.. In the big picture does it matter if you have to reinstall your OS.. What you should be concerned with is the files that can never be recreated.. You can always rewrite a resume or worse case get a new copy of scarfac on bluray if the house gotten taken to oz in the next tornado.. I would make sure you classify your critical files and get them backed up to multiple locations with multiple methods. 

 

 

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