RFC: External HD for backup of main HD - guidance?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by MB-G26, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. MB-G26

    MB-G26 Extraneous Lifetime Member

    Messages:
    8,983
    Likes Received:
    3,025
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Location:
    Missing Sharon
    I need to make a good, reliable back up of our WinXP Pro SP2 home machine. The C:\ HD is a 120gig, 49 gigs free space (and I haven't done any HD housecleaning in a while). We have an 60gig EXternal HD, the E:\ drive which hold the contents of my prior machine which took a total dump last summer.

    I would like to get a second EXternal HD to use solely as a backup data storage drive, and write subsequent, incremental backups to that. Most of the times I've tried to write a backup to either the DVD or the CD, I end up with some silly sw error at the very end of the session - PLUS, it takes forever and needs a human to sit there and feed it disks.

    Money is a big consideration budget-wise, yet it also makes NO sense to spend any money on a el crappo EXternal HD and just have it go bad later. So, mfg rep is also a big consideration.

    In looking at newegg's site, I noticed the following - which gives me some concern:
    Oh, also..... I have never, ever been able to 'get' the concept of "ghosting" or "imaging" a drive. Maybe it's a semantics issue, I don't know; but my brain comprehends two things in this regard - either a backup is the backedup data in compressed form, or an additional drive is an exact copy of another and its data. IOW, the data is on the backup drive in compressed form and in write sessions, or it is there in an exact duplicate form. The "ghosting" and "imaging" of a drive throughs my feeble brain for a loop ;(

    So..... any thoughts as to which mfg(s) I should look for especially considering the 'no DOS drivers' aspect?
     
  2. srhoades

    srhoades

    Messages:
    2,818
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    The only things that makes an external drive "el crappo" is the drive itself. Stick with seagate and western digital. My suggestion is to buy the drive and the enclosure seperate, much cheaper. Get Aacronis True Image 10. Around 29 bux from newegg. Make an image of the entire drive or select specific directories and then you can setup an incremental backup. Set it and forget it.
     

  3. EAJuggalo

    EAJuggalo

    Messages:
    1,044
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Eagan, MN
    IF you're looking for simplicity I would take a look at the Maxtor One Touch as well as the WD MyBook. With both of those you hit a button and back up all the non system data. I have an 80 gig external drive that I use only to back up the stuff I've put on my machine in case I have to re-install, once the reinstall is done you'll have the drivers you need to reload everything.
     
  4. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    Messages:
    27,500
    Likes Received:
    3,173
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2001
    Location:
    Indiana
    I agree with the above. I'm not sure its *much cheaper*, when you have to buy both. If you already have a drive, its definitely the way to go.

    Looking here, it seems most of the cheaper ones, are from names I've never heard of, YMMV.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010150414 131021346&bop=And&Order=PRICE

    If you want to go the buy a hard drive and enclosure route, this looks pretty good...

    160gig Seagate for $50
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148212

    Then an Enclosure--- $15
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817155211

    160gig backup for $65, hard to beat that. You can find some of the enclosures for even cheaper(around 12), but the reviews get pretty mixed when you go that low, and that one seemed to have decent reviews. I've got a 500gig WD drive I got for a really good price, and I put it in THIS enclosure This link actually has an 8min flash video on how to set one of these up. It'll be basically the same w/ any enclosure, and it is quite easy.

    I've got an 80gig WD drive from a PC that bit the dust a couple years ago, in a Dynex enclosure from Best Buy. Not the cheapest, but it works great and is quiet.

    Good luck

    IGF
     
  5. MB-G26

    MB-G26 Extraneous Lifetime Member

    Messages:
    8,983
    Likes Received:
    3,025
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Location:
    Missing Sharon
    Thanks all!

    Hope to order something next week.
     
  6. HAVOC

    HAVOC Remember CLM Millennium Member

    Messages:
    5,054
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 1999
    Location:
    Location: Location:
    I've had excellent luck with XP Pro's Automated System Recovery. It takes an image of your system drive with little intervention. It does require a floppy, but that seems a small price to pay. Since it installs a barebones XP before restoring, the 'DOS drivers' issue is moot.

    It's too bad they didn't include it in XP Home.
     
  7. Hooah

    Hooah

    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    HD are cheap now days. And I only use (or at least try) Seagate's HD. You can pick up a 320GB for under $100 now.
     
  8. Hooah

    Hooah

    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    What's a floppy? Seriously, I haven't had one of those in my tower for over 4 years.
     
  9. srhoades

    srhoades

    Messages:
    2,818
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    If you have a RAID controller a floppy is still a necesity, unless you have VISTA which will now let you load RAID drivers via a thumb drive or CD (about time).
     
  10. Hooah

    Hooah

    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    And actually that was the only time I wanted one, but I have a mobo that has 8 Sata connections so I just have them independent.
     
  11. Washington D.C.

    Washington D.C.

    Messages:
    5,218
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Location:
    Woestyn Kusdorp
  12. jeanjvr

    jeanjvr

    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    I use Norton Ghost all the time. In my opinion the most useful application symantec has ever produced.

    A simple Image is an exact copy of the source disk.
    A compressed image is just that simple image that has been compressed to save space.

    In both cases the image is one or more large datafiles in some proprietary format.

    The application creating the image knows how to put it back on any other physical drive you specify as destination.

    A solution that works for me:

    1.Clean install of windows, install all apps, updates and get it set up just right.

    2. Create a compressed ghost image of the clean system (mine's about 10GB in size with WindowsXP SP2\Office2003\Visual studio 2005\SqlServer 2005\MSDN documentation\Antivirus etc) and place it on a disk or two DVD's.

    3. Backup documents\files\projects on another disk every time I work on them.

    Edit : The DVD is created in nero and set to be bootable by using the files from a win98 boot disk (using a dos based Norton Ghost)

    I'm sure the newer image creators have more elegant implementations.
     
  13. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    Messages:
    27,500
    Likes Received:
    3,173
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2001
    Location:
    Indiana