Home – New Forums Tech talk External hard drive for back-up

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  • #986158
    CG
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    All the threads that came up in a search were rather old.

    Any current recommendations for an external hard drive for back-up? This is for an old BENQ laptop bought in 2001. I no longer have the purchase receipt and don’t even know what capacity it has so a low-end external hard drive but with a USB connection would be what I’m looking for.

    #1156571
    tf76
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    Can’t go wrong with WD hard drives.

    Regards,

    #1156572
    MatthewKeath
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    CG, post: 180463 wrote:
    All the threads that came up in a search were rather old.

    Any current recommendations for an external hard drive for back-up? This is for an old BENQ laptop bought in 2001. I no longer have the purchase receipt and don’t even know what capacity it has so a low-end external hard drive but with a USB connection would be what I’m looking for.Might be time to upgrade your computer ;) 13 years is a long time in IT.

    WD one are great – get a 500gig for so – you can’t go wrong.

    #1156573
    CG
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    Thanks, tf76 and Matthew.
    After I posted here, I found this article on LifeHacker: http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2013/12/five-best-external-hard-drives/

    Several of the comments are rather negative about WD drives. What are your opinions on the Seagate ones? Are the older Go-Flex models still available?

    #1156574
    arrowwise
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    Have recently grabbed a couple of the seagate 2TB USB drives. They are mains powered and USB3 – so quite fast. Great value.

    We perform daily backups using a nifty free backup tool called Karens replicator:
    http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptreplicator.asp

    Can be set to perform auto daily backups on a only copy data that has changed basis daily. Then just rotate one drive off site like weekly and it forms a quite a flawless no frills or confusion backup strategy.

    #1156575
    Brent@Ontrax
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    Hi CG,

    I’m not a fan of WD drives anymore, years ago they used to be good quality but they must have made a major change in their business model a couple of years ago and they tend to now only use the 5400RPM low quality drives in external USB and NAS cases which means they are slow and tend to die quickly, and even though they might still have warranty, you’ll loose everything on the drive when you send it in to be replaced.

    I always stick to Seagate and the Expansion drives are nice, you can pick up a 1Tb 2.5″ USB external drive from OfficeWorks for about $90, they are also USB3, it will still work with your old machine (USB1) but they transfer will be faster regardless.

    Also consider what software you are going to use for your backups. If you use the standard Windows backup, this will work but you MUST use the same version of windows to restore the data, otherwise it is a real pain or impossible.

    Anyway Hope this helps.
    Brent.

    #1156576
    CG
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    That certainly does help, Brett. It corroborates what I have been reading elsewhere about the merits of Seagate drives. I’ll send you a PM about the backup issue, as my legacy situation is unlikely to be of interest to others.

    #1156577
    Anonymous
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    Hi arrowwise,

    Welcome to the forum, and apologies that your first post was held up in our moderation queue for a while there, but it’s here now.

    CG, please note arrowwise’s additional comment below.

    Cheers,
    Jayne

    arrowwise, post: 180491 wrote:
    Have recently grabbed a couple of the seagate 2TB USB drives. They are mains powered and USB3 – so quite fast. Great value.

    We perform daily backups using a nifty free backup tool called Karens replicator:
    http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptreplicator.asp

    Can be set to perform auto daily backups on a only copy data that has changed basis daily. Then just rotate one drive off site like weekly and it forms a quite a flawless no frills or confusion backup strategy.

    #1156578
    markn
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    I use a number of external USB drives for my backups and rotate them regularly between a fireproof box (at home) and off site. I’ve been using 2x Seagate 1TB USB drive without issue for more than 2 years and have recently introduced 2 Toshiba 500GB drives into the rotation without issue. I use the free (and pretty awesome) Syncback to do all my backups.

    #1156579
    CG
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    Thanks, markn.
    Syncheck looks good – somewhere between Cobain and Karen’s replicator in user-friendliness. Unfortunately, it won’t run on my machine as I have XP service pack 2 and it needs SP3. I’m hobbled anyway as I don’t have a spare USB slot for the external hard drive; I have to detach the printer to plug it in. And I leave everything switched off whenever I’m not using the computer, so a new discipline of regular manual back-ups is going to be the best I can do. But that at least is a step forward.

    #1156580
    markn
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    CG, post: 180931 wrote:
    Thanks, markn.
    Syncheck looks good – somewhere between Cobain and Karen’s replicator in user-friendliness. Unfortunately, it won’t run on my machine as I have XP service pack 2 and it needs SP3. I’m hobbled anyway as I don’t have a spare USB slot for the external hard drive; I have to detach the printer to plug it in. And I leave everything switched off whenever I’m not using the computer, so a new discipline of regular manual back-ups is going to be the best I can do. But that at least is a step forward.

    That’s a shame. SyncBack is an awesome bit of software and I don’t like to think how many times it’s saved me from my own stupidity over the years.

    #1156581
    Past-Member
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    I realise this conversation is based on PCs, but just for anyone who is looking at external drives for Macs – I find the thunderbolt drives amazing. The daisy chain system of connecting them is great so that you don’t have to use up all your computer inputs. And they are incredibly fast and can be used to save files directly to, not just to your hard drive. Especially good for saving large files. I’m using LaCie but there are others of course and they also make fast USB and SSD versions.

    #1156582
    bigdipper
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    Brent@Ontrax, post: 180498 wrote:
    I always stick to Seagate and the Expansion drives are nice

    I’ve found the Seagate external drives to be a bit of a pain. We have returned under warranty at least 15 – 20 over the past few years. In comprison to Western Digital 2 drives returned (Note: we have far less WD drives in usage though).

    I’m currently looking at alternatives too but in my own experience would rate Western Digital above Seagate for external drives.

    #1156583
    arrowwise
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    markn, post: 180935 wrote:
    That’s a shame. SyncBack is an awesome bit of software and I don’t like to think how many times it’s saved me from my own stupidity over the years.

    Just be very careful when setting up SyncBack the first time. If not set up correctly and it is syncing both ways you can mistakenly compromise or lose your master files. It should always go from your primary to the backup drive and never the other way to be safe.

    #1156584
    MissSassy
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    I am curious why you are all still using hard drives for back up when cloud technology is so affordable.

    I have Google Drive for business set up and not a care in the world ever again.

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