External Storage Drives

Discussion in 'Storage' started by psanch, May 19, 2016.

  1. psanch

    psanch

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    I'm looking to pick up an external storage device in the next couple of months. What are my best options in terms of brand and pricing? I need something that's about 2TB.
     
    psanch, May 19, 2016
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  2. psanch

    sharatharadhya

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    You can go for a Seagate External Hard drive with 2TB. If this is only for your house then I would recommend you buy or build a NAS. Once you have a NAS you can connect every device on your network connect to the NAS and access the files. NAS will also help solve the issue of Duplicate files on different Devices. If you permit your Router and Windows for Uploads then you can access your files from anywhere around the world. Good Luck.
     
    sharatharadhya, May 19, 2016
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  3. psanch

    IBMPC8088

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    I would go with a Western Digital over Seagate if given the choice. The price may be slightly cheaper on a Seagate, but the failure rate is often higher. Not that bad on 2TB drives, but beware of the 3TB ones. If you have to choose between getting a 2 or 3, get the 2. If you can jump up to 4, then get the 4 if the price is right. There's something that wasn't done correctly with the 3TB drives and they still haven't fixed that. So I'd just go with a 2TB WD, Toshiba, or Hitachi external drive if choosing.
     
    IBMPC8088, May 19, 2016
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  4. psanch

    Corzhens

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    My experience with hard disk drives is Seagate only because that's the brand that is standard in price (not expensive and not cheap either). But right now that we are about to buy a new computer, we are thinking of purchasing another external drive for archiving. And it may not be a hard disk drive for we want to test the SSD - solid state drive which has no moving parts therefore has greater reliability. However, the price is the downside to the SSD, it is very expensive yet.
     
    Corzhens, May 22, 2016
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  5. psanch

    obliviousme

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    Seagate is really the popular choice when it comes to external hard drives. I think it's really durable and from the reviews i read online, many are satisfied with it. I might have to get myself one soon.
     
    obliviousme, Jun 13, 2016
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  6. psanch

    Vash

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    If you absolutely need to get a 2TB, then go for Western Digital Passport Essential. They are light and fast.

    If you do not have to get 2TB, then I'd suggest a SSD. Somewhere between 512GB to 1TB. You can easily get an enclosure for it and use it as an external hard drive.

    As the matter of fact, after my 7-year-old Dell Vostro 1500 died on me last October, I took out the 512GB SSD and use it as an external hard drive ever since. It beats the traditional external hard drives in term of performance.
     
    Vash, Jun 15, 2016
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  7. psanch

    SirJoe

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    I have had some unpleasant experiences with seagate drive while all the Western Digital drives I have are rock solid. It's well worth paying the little extra at the beginning, then having to pay a whole lot later on.
     
    SirJoe, Jun 19, 2016
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  8. psanch

    UpgradeMe

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    If I were to try transfer a 512 GB HD from a laptop, what's my best option for getting it off of this laptop and onto another one from that HD? Didn't want to make a new thread for it since this one's here already
     
    UpgradeMe, Jun 20, 2016
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  9. psanch

    IcyBC

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    I have only used Seagate and so far I am lucky with no problems, but I only bought the 1TB. The price for Seagate was suited with my budget, and I was not aware of Western Digital hard drive. Now I know :)
     
    IcyBC, Jun 22, 2016
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  10. psanch

    IBMPC8088

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    if you can access the laptop hard drive physically, you can use a usb hard drive docking bay for that. Basically it's just a device that turns any normal SATA or IDE hard drive (5.25, 3.5, or 2.5" drive) into an external drive for you. You can plug that into the usb port of the system you want to copy the drive to, and then copy the 512GB laptop hard drive onto the new system that way.

    If you can't physically get to the laptop drive, then the next best thing is to use a VNC gateway or network the computers together, and map a network drive so that you can copy from one system to the other that way. It's a lot slower than doing it with the physical drive over USB, but you can always get the data copied this way even if the hard drive is on a laptop to where you have to take the whole system apart to get to it (there are nice designs that let you get to the hard drive on the bottom of the laptop still, but there are newer laptop systems that force the user to disassemble the entire system just to replace the hard drive or battery. If you have one of those, it's less cumbersome to copy over the network, even though it does take longer to do it that way).

    Another alternatve you can use rather than setting up a computer to network, is to get a NAS (networked attached storage). It's an external hard drive that you can connect to your router that registers as a network drive you can map to. So if you have a router physically available and the laptop with the drive you want to copy but don't have the new target system yet, you can copy it over a network the same way but directly to the external drive using NAS and the router to do it.

    There's also the option of using a usb-to-usb network enabler for $25 (on average) from the store or making one yourself with a twisted-pair ethernet cable and setting up an ad-hoc network between 2 computers from the RJ45 ports on each, but the above 3 are probably what you want unless you really want to use the usb-to-usb device. There's 4 options for you right there that all work, but there's several more, too.
     
    IBMPC8088, Jun 22, 2016
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  11. psanch

    UpgradeMe

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    Wow, thanks for that! I'm definitely a fan of the USB route over the VNC/NAS option, because I have always thought plug-and-go options for USB were lacking (why is there no graphics card support system made with USB yet??).

    Once it's in the external, I just boot from the external itself yeah? The biggest issue I have is just transferring a TON, and I mean a TON of software settings (6 years of professional settings, hundreds of hours to redo them...many of them are automatically "learned," most important part of this process) into the old HD, but I'm pretty sure that's just a quick swap from the external to the new HD right? (I already lost about 40 hours of my life when some of the settings wouldn't xfer to linux, trying to stop loss here)
     
    UpgradeMe, Jun 22, 2016
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  12. psanch

    Dame6089

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    My brother uses a Seagate for his XBox and has had zero problems. They are pretty well reviewed on Amazon and are reasonably priced when looking at the other options on the market. So I suggest Seagate, but it's always worthwhile to read reviews before you buy anything. Maybe there is something better out there, but I am not aware of it currently.
     
    Dame6089, Jun 22, 2016
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  13. psanch

    SirJoe

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    I was looking at an old computer that I have the other day and I remembered this thread. So I went and took a look at it's hard drive. It's a 2 GB hard drive ( yes those things did exist lol) and it was made by a another HDD manufacturer that hasn't been mentioned in this thread. It's a Maxtor that at the time was a good hard drive, maybe not as good as Western Digital but still much better then Seagate. Maxtor was bought out by Seagate in 2006 so if you see this brand it's nothing more, nothing less than a Seagate with another badge.
     
    SirJoe, Jun 25, 2016
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  14. psanch

    IBMPC8088

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    Anytime. :) When it's in the external bay, it's still usually best to boot from a live CD or usb which doesn't access a hard drive to boot from, but loads a graphical operating system to RAM so that you can work with it as normal. Also, when not booting from the drive, no files will be locked on it like it is normally when you boot from a primary drive, so you'll be able to access the page file and any system or hidden files to copy them which normally wouldn't be possible to do.

    Note that this is just to copy the files as-is from one drive to another. If you need a more complete option and want to literally clone the drive sector by sector to make an exact duplicate of it that you can boot from as if it were the original drive exactly, then you'll want to use a cloning solution. There are live CDs that have and do that cloning for you also.

    If you're just copying important directories or folders to a backup drive, then you won't need to clone anything. But if you are trying to copy everything byte for byte to use as a perfect replacement of your original drive when booting from it, then you'll want to use a program like Norton Ghost, AOMEI backupper, or one of the other cloning solutions to make sure of that.

    Also, be sure to test the cloned drive physically in the machine as if it were the primary (if you have physical access to it to do that). If you don't, then you can also test out the cloned drive in VMware as if it were a physical drive in a physical machine. (You can do this with VirtualBox too, but it's a little more cumbersome and easier to do with VMware for most users).

    There's one other option that does work and I've used it before on older machines, and systems where I had extra hard drive space to fit 2 copies of the machine on one drive, but didn't have another spare drive handy until later. It is possible to turn a physical machine (your computer) into a virtual machine (a computer that runs in a box as a virtual software computer for Virtualbox or VMWare), and then turn that back into a physical machine again. I'm mentioning this last because it is possible to do and can overcome some situations, but it is a more advanced technique that can be complicated, and for the most part, it's best to use the other options mentioned above first unless you have no other option for cloning a machine to preserve it. If done correctly, you can instantly re-clone your system from an .ova or .vhd virtual machine file back to any blank hard drive. For most, this is not necessary outside of datacenters, so using a 1 to 1 cloning program is ideal instead.

    So remember that if you just want to copy folders to another drive, you can boot from a live CD and hook up an external drive or usb flash drive that is large enough to save the data.

    If you're trying to make an exact clone of your drive that can be used to boot from it as if it were the original without any differences, then you'll want to use a cloning solution instead that reads it either sector by sector.

    Most cloning solutions do make a virtual container for you just like a virtual machine conversion of your physical hard drive to a disk file would, but does CRC checks and verifies every byte of the data and other nice things to make sure that you have everything you need when cloning it.

    The only thing you need to watch out for it accidentally only cloning a partition instead of the whole drive you might need, or accidentally trying to clone a magnetic drive to an SSD or vice-versa without the cloning program knowing how to identify the differences between the two to set it up correctly.

    Always test the clone drive one way or another before deleting anything off of the original either way, though. Just to be certain.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
    IBMPC8088, Jun 25, 2016
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  15. psanch

    vinaya

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    I have WD My Password Ultra. It cost me $78. It has 1 TB storage. I am thinking to get another storgae device because my disk is almost full.
     
    vinaya, Jun 29, 2016
    #15
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