External disk drives and portability


D

David Arnstein

I'm planning to use external disk drives for backup. I'm looking at
the nicely packaged enclosures from Maxtor, Western Digital, and Seagate.

I keep one set of backups "offsite," and this is giving me a bit of a
worry. Roughly once a month, I hand-carry backup media from my PC to
the "offsite" location. On the return trip, I hand-carry some media
from the "offsite" locaton back to my PC.

I don't know how wise it is to carry around 3.5 inch disk drives all
the time. These drives are designed for desktop use, after all.

Would it be wiser to use 2.5 inch drives? These are more expensive,
but these are designed for use in notebook computers. Perhaps they are
better able to handle the rigors of transportation?

Thanks for any suggestions. Recommendations for specific products would
also be gratefully accepted.
 
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M

Malcolm Weir

I'm planning to use external disk drives for backup. I'm looking at
the nicely packaged enclosures from Maxtor, Western Digital, and Seagate.

I keep one set of backups "offsite," and this is giving me a bit of a
worry. Roughly once a month, I hand-carry backup media from my PC to
the "offsite" location. On the return trip, I hand-carry some media
from the "offsite" locaton back to my PC.

I don't know how wise it is to carry around 3.5 inch disk drives all
the time. These drives are designed for desktop use, after all.

Would it be wiser to use 2.5 inch drives? These are more expensive,
but these are designed for use in notebook computers. Perhaps they are
better able to handle the rigors of transportation?

Thanks for any suggestions. Recommendations for specific products would
also be gratefully accepted.

You have two technical issues, one trivial, one slightly more
important:

1. Environmental. Neither drive type has the edge in this, although
there exist more and better enclosures for 2.5in drives than for 3.5in
drives... but as a general rule either drive type in a ziplock bag
will be pretty safe from any environmental issue!

2. Non-operating shock. The 2.5in drives wins this one, but not by
as much of a margin as you might think! Where the 2.5 inch disks win
is in *operating* shock, where they do very well indeed.

The biggy, though, lies in capacity: since the maximum capacity of a
2.5in disks is less than a quarter of that of a 3.5in disk, the risk
of losing *all* of the data is much less: one 3.5in disk dying can
lose you more than 4 times as much data...
David Arnstein (e-mail address removed)

Malc.
 
R

Rod Speed

I'm planning to use external disk drives for backup.
I'm looking at the nicely packaged enclosures from
Maxtor, Western Digital, and Seagate.
I keep one set of backups "offsite," and this is giving me
a bit of a worry. Roughly once a month, I hand-carry backup
media from my PC to the "offsite" location. On the return trip,
I hand-carry some media from the "offsite" locaton back to my PC.
I don't know how wise it is to carry around 3.5 inch disk drives all
the time. These drives are designed for desktop use, after all.
Would it be wiser to use 2.5 inch drives?
Yes.

These are more expensive, but these are designed
for use in notebook computers. Perhaps they are
better able to handle the rigors of transportation?
Yes.

Thanks for any suggestions. Recommendations for
specific products would also be gratefully accepted.

You'd get a lot more protection against dropping
if you not only use 2.5" drives but also carry them
in those decent cases with stiff foam in them that
are used for cameras etc as well, still inside the
case supplied with the drive too.
 
L

Lynn McGuire

I'm planning to use external disk drives for backup. I'm looking at
the nicely packaged enclosures from Maxtor, Western Digital, and Seagate.

I am transitioning from VXA-2 tape to the Western Digital USB2
200 GB external drive. Works very well. Make sure that you
have a power transformer, USB cord, etc at your offsite. Be sure
to get at least double the capacity of your backup.

This drive comes formatted FAT32. I still have yet to figure out
how they formatted it that way since the biggest FAT32 drive is
suppose to be 128 GB.
I don't know how wise it is to carry around 3.5 inch disk drives all
the time. These drives are designed for desktop use, after all.

If you drop it, test it and if it fails, throw it away and redo your
backup as soon as possible. At least you are not carrying a box
of 20 nine track tapes (been there, done that, got the tshirt).

Lynn
 
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C

CWatters

1. Environmental. Neither drive type has the edge in this, although
there exist more and better enclosures for 2.5in drives than for 3.5in
drives... but as a general rule either drive type in a ziplock bag
will be pretty safe from any environmental issue!


... and on this subject. Watch out for condensation of you bring the drive
from a cold storage environment to a warm room.
 

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