USB 2.0 External HDD or Enclosures
Okay, time to add some portable storage. Who here has some experience with external USB 2.0 Hdd enclosures? How's the speed? Is it easily hooked up to Win98SE, ME, 2000 and XP? Any buying recommendations?
I got a generic one from Newegg. The speed's very good (if it were me, I'd use it for backup and data files rather than games and other speed-sensitive stuff), but the fan is LOUD -- much louder than my nice little Antec Sonata PC.
Hey Loyd and other "full-time hardware testing dudes," do I *need* a fan for a 7200 rpm hard drive in a ventilated plastic enclosure if I'm not running it 24/7? (I only turn it on when doing a backup, although that's in part because of the noise.)
I had one (before USB 2.0 sadly) and found it a decent solution. Now I use a Slave drive for all backup purposes. It's much faster than USB2.0... much cheaper too. I had a Buslink and thought it was fine.
After losing 2 months of Baby Pictures (in Kapz...I'm sure Brian would approve) I decided to get serious about backups.
The only reason we didn't lose 6 months of BPs was because I had burned most of them onto CD.
First, I wrote a batch file that backed up the pictures to a second HD once a day. Then I installed a RAID set as the second HD and moved the pictures there.
That's when my computer started getting those sucky errors all the time.
Now that I've got a new MB and the PC is stable again I actually set up a RAID set as the single "drive" in the system. All our files are redundant on two Western Digital drives.
I also continue to burn the photos onto CD.
I'd definitely recommend RAID if your MB supports it (and a lot of them do!) because it's so transparent...no work on your part to get the redundancy.
For important files though, an offsite backup is essential. We put the CDs in a safe-deposit box. (I suppose we could just bring them to my Dad's house or something but that wouldn't sound as cool.)
A few years ago I worked for a company that had safely placed its important data on RAID arrays. Said Raid arrays went down taking down BOTH drives. Much panicked recovery ensued.
RAID is good, but it's not foollproof. And in a way, you're doubling your chances that something will go wrong by storing your data on two drives -- although obviously you have the added safety net of the redunancy.
So RAID good, but keep those CD-R/DVD-R backups going too.
I just print my photos and make them into photo albums ($2 for wire spiral binding at Office Max). For some reason I just can't stand CD-Burning.
Here at my company we now have a nice server with RAID replacing 2 servers without RAID that would just copy the files over the network. Same amount of failure.
Looking for a backup solution, I realized that buying tape software from Veritas or what have you is expensive. So we're going to use external USB 2.0 hard drive enclosures. I'll ROBOCOPY over the hard drive contents, and use NTBACKUP for the Exchange/System State stuff, also over to the hard drive.
The drives are heavier and less shock resistant than the TR-5 tapes I was using, but its my boss taking them to the offsite storage location (his home), and he knows not to throw them around.
As for the "redundancy" part, it was more cost effective for us to get a Dell 4-Years-On-Site-In-4-Hours-Via-Parachute service contract than actually setup redundant servers and the like.
I had to get both USB2 and Firewire and just got a western digital 160gb drive. Nice. I have no complaints, except in general, i wish the PCs went with firewire over usb.
If you get just usb you can get one for quite a bit cheaper.
Be careful Andrew! I've read some things that suggest that some of the paper and ink that is available is highly likely to degrade.
Originally Posted by Bub, Andrew
Apparently, if you go with the right ink manufacturer and the right paper you should be ok, but there's apparently a big difference in longevity between the worst performing ink/paper combos and the best.
Hope you're using archival quality ink and paper, or you'll be wishing you'd burned some CDs down the road a bit...
Originally Posted by Bub, Andrew
Whoops, just read Spoofy's post. He's right. Canon, for instance, formulates its ink and paper so that, in conditions where they're not constantly exposed to light, their ink and Photo Paper Pro are good for about 70 years.
But similar tests of refill-quality inks (that looked indentical on initial prints) and generic papers showed fading after a few years. (I think they used special lights -- UV? -- to simulate the passing of time at a faster rate.)
I've noticed they don't look so good if exposed to sunlight but in albums they're doing well. I've mostly used Kodak semi glossy two-sided paper and HP ink. Anyway, I'm not that worried. If they start degrading I can reprint or color copy. It's not like actual photos don't degrade too.
Anyone can create a scenario where your backup solution is inadequate. I figure with two hard drives and printed shots, my digital prints are a hell of a lot safer than the old physical photos in photo albums.