Post Reply Any other techies here? I need external HDD advice!
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Posted 2/9/16
I just maxed out 700GB on one of my PCs and I need an external HD like, soon. I want to hear a few recs on what worked for you, like the brand, price, etc. I want a drive that has a zero failure rate since I'm planning to make a major backup and the files are very important.

Also what do you all think of cloud storage? Is that a viable option for say, PC back up? I know for Macs it's possible with iCloud, but not too sure if Window 8 does the same through OneDrive...
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Posted 2/9/16

KiT-basher wrote:

I just maxed out 700GB on one of my PCs and I need an external HD like, soon. I want to hear a few recs on what worked for you, like the brand, price, etc. I want a drive that has a zero failure rate since I'm planning to make a major backup and the files are very important.

Also what do you all think of cloud storage? Is that a viable option for say, PC back up? I know for Macs it's possible with iCloud, but not too sure if Window 8 does the same through OneDrive...


Personally, I don't like the cloud storage services for large or important backups. Sure, they're great for sharing photos or songs or whatever across my devices, but for big transfers or important backups, I like having the physical media with me. It's a personal preference thing, I'm sure others will disagree with me.

Now, I haven't bought an external for a while, since I have a bunch at this point, but my last backup was a cute little 2 TB Toshiba drive. Got it on sale, I think for around $75 at the time, and it has worked great so far. My biggest issue was making sure it had USB 3.0 for transfer speed.

My general guideline for non-solid state is aim for under $40/TB, and aim for USB 3.0 (or eSATA if your machine handles it). If you're planning for a lot of external storage, using a hard drive enclosure is also a good idea long term - you just pop a (generally cheaper) internal drive into that, and you can swap those out as needed. However, I don't like travelling with those, partly because they're bulkier, but also because they seem like they might shake apart. So if you want something you can slip into a backpack or coat pocket, one of the slim external drives from Toshiba, Western Digital, or others is probably a good bet.
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Posted 2/9/16
First tip: Hard drives never have a zero failure rate. You can get an extremely reliable drive where the chance of failure is very small, but every drive will fail eventually and some batches will have one or two disks that fail sooner than others.

If the files are that important, back them up to more than one storage device (2 external HDD, a set of DVDs, Blu-Rays or flash drives).

I can't give you any specific pointers at the moment as my own back up disks are a few years old and unlikely to be on the market anymore.

I don't use cloud storage myself as I don't trust their security.
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Posted 2/9/16
I have a 2 TB Fantom Greendrive and have for 3 years now with no issues.
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Posted 2/9/16
Everyone's gonna have different opinions. Personally I've always been a fan of Western Digital external HDDs. I've had multiple WD Passports and larger MyBooks over the years that I've upgraded pretty much always for storage reasons and not technical failures. Currently using a 3TB MyBook and 2 TB Passport, while I have 2 other smaller Passports that are just kinda there so I have some extra things backed up on them just in case. They are mostly filled with media though, primarily anime.

I have read negative reviews of WD products about drive failures, but that has never been my personal experience. Worst technical issues I've ever had after 8-9 years of using WD externals is my recent 2TB Passport having problems staying connected when plugged into a USB 3.0 port. Can't say I remember how I fixed that as it was over a year ago that I had that problem and it hasn't been a problem since.

But as someone said, a zero % failure rate is an impossibility. You're dealing with a mechanical device with precise, moving parts so there will always be chances of failure.
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Posted 2/10/16
Hey, thanks everyone for your input, much appreciated!

Yeah, zero-failure is a bit much, I agree. But I don't want to go bananas backing stuff up only that I cannot retrieve any of my data down the road. Heh.

Yeah the" backup of a backup of a backup" is a really good idea--just don't know where to store these drives/CDs. I usually put them in my closet (where my clothes are), hopefully they're ok in there, no chance of getting rattled any time soon.

40$/TB is a great price point, and the speeds--yes, 3.0 is ideal. I'm looking around for a sale.
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