External USB Backup Solution: HD or DVD?

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

I am a computer technician who is looking for a means by which I can
backup data from some of my clients' older PCs that lack any kind of
mass removable storage. I'm wondering if I should go with a USB hard
drive or DVD-RW. Which is more reliable? I've read some things in this
newsgroup about overheating USB HD's that concern me. Are recordable
DVD's "dangerous" in the sense that when the dust settles after the
stadards wars I may be left with obsolete media? Is a viable
alternative to DVD's to backup my clients' data to an external hard
drive, then use my own system to permanently burn the data to CD-Rs?
Or should I just save a step and use DVD's, which would also be higher
capacity? (Also, less crucial point: Can movie DVD's be satisfactorily
played on USB 1.1 or 2.0 DVD burners?)

And whichever strategy I adopt, will a USB 2.0 card enhance performance,
even if the system's motherboard only supports 1.1?

Thanks ahead...

--
Dave
7 answers Last reply
More about external backup solution
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Dave Hardenbrook" <daveh47@mindspring.com> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1d3e59e36eb957fb9896b2@news.west.earthlink.net...
    > I am a computer technician who is looking for a means by which I can
    > backup data from some of my clients' older PCs that lack any kind of
    > mass removable storage. I'm wondering if I should go with a USB hard
    > drive or DVD-RW. Which is more reliable? I've read some things in this
    > newsgroup about overheating USB HD's that concern me.

    Use a 3.5" drive in a 5.25" USB case with a fan. Easy to assemble yourself
    and no overheating problem.

    > Are recordable
    > DVD's "dangerous" in the sense that when the dust settles after the
    > stadards wars I may be left with obsolete media?

    Possibly, but even hard drive filing systems change with time. I would do
    both.

    > Is a viable
    > alternative to DVD's to backup my clients' data to an external hard
    > drive, then use my own system to permanently burn the data to CD-Rs?

    Yes but how many CDR would that be? Best use DVD+/-R if you have a lot of
    data.

    > And whichever strategy I adopt, will a USB 2.0 card enhance performance,
    > even if the system's motherboard only supports 1.1?

    No. It will drop back to USB 1.1 speeds (=slow). Also support for USB 2.0
    was only added to Windows at XP SP1.

    Have these PC got LAN cards? Consider setting up a temporary network.

    Colin
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    If you need some good software the backups incrementally and has a
    great user interface, see
    http://www.backup4all.com

    It's by far the best I've used
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Dave Hardenbrook wrote:

    > I am a computer technician who is looking for a means by which I can
    > backup data from some of my clients' older PCs that lack any kind of
    > mass removable storage. I'm wondering if I should go with a USB hard
    > drive or DVD-RW. Which is more reliable? I've read some things in this
    > newsgroup about overheating USB HD's that concern me. Are recordable
    > DVD's "dangerous" in the sense that when the dust settles after the
    > stadards wars I may be left with obsolete media? Is a viable
    > alternative to DVD's to backup my clients' data to an external hard
    > drive, then use my own system to permanently burn the data to CD-Rs?
    > Or should I just save a step and use DVD's, which would also be higher
    > capacity? (Also, less crucial point: Can movie DVD's be satisfactorily
    > played on USB 1.1 or 2.0 DVD burners?)
    >
    > And whichever strategy I adopt, will a USB 2.0 card enhance performance,
    > even if the system's motherboard only supports 1.1?

    How much data are you talking about? If there's a lot of it you might want
    to consider tape. You can get DAT and AIT drives with USB and Exabyte's
    VXA drives are available with Firewire. If adding a board to the client's
    machine is acceptable then you could also go SCSI, which makes DLT or LTO
    an option. You'll find that if you're doing a lot of volume on this tape
    becomes very attractive.

    As for the rest, if you're just running the external drive for backups then
    heat shouldn't be an issue--if it seems to be running hot then you might
    want to mark the drive with tempilaq
    <http://www.probuy.net/products/TEMPILAQ.html> or Tempistik
    <http://www.weldingdepot.com> (<http://www.tempil.com> gets you data sheets
    and temperature charts on both) so you can tell if it's running above spec.

    The DVD standards continue to evolve, but the evolution is in the higher
    capacity drives and media. The dust is pretty much settled on the +/-
    issue and the solution was multiformat drives--any drive sold new on the
    market today can read and write both formats. Many of the LG drives also
    handle DVD-RAM, which, while the media costs more, is considered to be a
    better solution for data than + or - as it was designed for the purpose.
    The trouble with DVD is limited capacity.

    > Thanks ahead...
    >
    > --
    > Dave

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "CWatters" <colin.watters@pandoraBOX.be> wrote in message
    news:143Be.143597$E43.7641149@phobos.telenet-ops.be...
    > > And whichever strategy I adopt, will a USB 2.0 card enhance performance,
    > > even if the system's motherboard only supports 1.1?
    >
    > No. It will drop back to USB 1.1 speeds (=slow). Also support for USB 2.0
    > was only added to Windows at XP SP1.

    Now that I've seen Rods reply I've see what you were asking. Scratch my
    reply above... Yes you can install a USB 2.0 PCI card in a PC that only
    supports USB 1.1 on the mobo. The PCI card will work at USB 2.0 speed.
    That's actually what I have here.
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Dave Hardenbrook <daveh47@mindspring.com> wrote

    > I am a computer technician who is looking for a means
    > by which I can backup data from some of my clients' older
    > PCs that lack any kind of mass removable storage. I'm
    > wondering if I should go with a USB hard drive or DVD-RW.

    The most obvious difference is the speed, dramatically faster with a hard drive.

    > Which is more reliable?

    The hard drive as long as you dont drop things much.

    > I've read some things in this newsgroup
    > about overheating USB HD's that concern me.

    Thats easily avoided by choosing one that does cool the drive properly.

    > Are recordable DVD's "dangerous" in the sense that when the dust
    > settles after the stadards wars I may be left with obsolete media?

    Nope.

    > Is a viable alternative to DVD's to backup my clients'
    > data to an external hard drive, then use my own
    > system to permanently burn the data to CD-Rs?

    Better to use DVDs. Use two different media formats
    and then you cant get bitten by one format becoming
    obsolete. You need more than one copy anyway.

    > Or should I just save a step and use DVD's,
    > which would also be higher capacity?

    Yes.

    > (Also, less crucial point: Can movie DVD's be
    > satisfactorily played on USB 1.1 or 2.0 DVD burners?)

    Yes.

    > And whichever strategy I adopt, will a USB 2.0 card enhance
    > performance, even if the system's motherboard only supports 1.1?

    Yes, and very dramatically faster with a hard drive.

    > Thanks ahead...

    Is that anything like a head job ?
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Dave Hardenbrook" <daveh47@mindspring.com> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1d3e59e36eb957fb9896b2@news.west.earthlink.net...
    > I am a computer technician who is looking for a means by which I can
    > backup data from some of my clients' older PCs that lack any kind of
    > mass removable storage. I'm wondering if I should go with a USB hard
    > drive or DVD-RW. Which is more reliable? I've read some things in this
    > newsgroup about overheating USB HD's that concern me. Are recordable
    > DVD's "dangerous" in the sense that when the dust settles after the
    > stadards wars I may be left with obsolete media? Is a viable
    > alternative to DVD's to backup my clients' data to an external hard
    > drive, then use my own system to permanently burn the data to CD-Rs?

    I would copy to 2.5" USB HD, and burn to DVD-R on your system.
    There are too many problems with USB and burning in general on Win 98/ME.

    > Or should I just save a step and use DVD's, which would also be higher
    > capacity? (Also, less crucial point: Can movie DVD's be satisfactorily
    > played on USB 1.1 or 2.0 DVD burners?)
    >
    USB 1.1 is 1MB/s at best, which won't burn DVD at 1X. It may play most DVD Video.

    > And whichever strategy I adopt, will a USB 2.0 card enhance performance,
    > even if the system's motherboard only supports 1.1?
    >
    As long as the USB2 drivers work under Win98/ME.
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Wed, 13 Jul 2005 06:51:40 GMT, Dave Hardenbrook
    <daveh47@mindspring.com> wrote:

    >I am a computer technician who is looking for a means by which I can
    >backup data from some of my clients' older PCs that lack any kind of
    >mass removable storage. I'm wondering if I should go with a USB hard
    >drive or DVD-RW. Which is more reliable?

    Each has different failure mechanisms. Hard drives generally die
    suddenly and relatively unrecoverably, while DVDRs die slowly, with
    more options for recovery if discovered in time. I keep my data on
    both HD and DVDR as a basic risk management strategy.


    --
    Neil Maxwell - I don't speak for my employer
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