Reliability of external hard drive vs DVD for system backup

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

If you were using an external hard drive to store your system backup [i.e.,
in case you have to do a bare metal up restore], would it be prudent to
proactively replace the hard drive in order to avoid having it die and
losing your system backup? I'm wanting to not take the risk that my system
dies at essentially the same time as the external hard drive.

So far, my philosophy has been that my system backup should be stored on a
media [CD's, DVD's or tapes] that is essentially disconnected from the
system - so no failure in the system could kill the system backup.

While this has come up as part of another thread, it's important enough for
me to make it more visible.

Thanks for any comments.
7 answers Last reply
More about reliability external hard drive system backup
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    fj <jelenko2@hotmail.com> wrote

    > If you were using an external hard drive to store your system backup [i.e., in
    > case you have to do a bare metal up restore], would it be prudent to
    > proactively replace the hard drive in order to avoid having it die and losing
    > your system backup?

    Nope, makes more sense to ensure that the external housing
    treats the drive well on temperature particularly and turn it off
    when its not in use and dont treat it bad physically.

    > I'm wanting to not take the risk that my system dies at essentially the same
    > time as the external hard drive.

    Thats quite unlikely, but unplugging the external will ensure
    that even say a very close lightning strike cant do that etc.

    You'd have to move it out of the building to
    protect against fire and flood and theft tho.

    > So far, my philosophy has been that my system backup should be stored
    > on a media [CD's, DVD's or tapes] that is essentially disconnected
    > from the system - so no failure in the system could kill the system backup.

    Yes, and you also need to consider if you really need a fully system
    backup on removable media. The risk is quite small, so there is a lot to
    be said for just having what you will slash your wrists if you lose on the
    removable media, and use the external hard drive for the much more
    likely situations where the internal drive dies or you do something really
    stupid to the contents, or an install etc comprehensively screws it etc.

    In the unlikely event of say fire or theft etc, those normally involve
    quite a bit of hassle replacing the hardware, so a clean install is
    no big deal if you have the irreplaceable stuff on say a DVD etc.

    And you can do an intermediate as well, use the files and settings
    tranfer wizard to write just the unique stuff to a DVD as well, so
    even say a fire is more of a nuisance than anything else.

    > While this has come up as part of another thread, it's important enough for me
    > to make it more visible.

    Isnt that the usenet equivalent of flashing ? Shame, fj, shame.

    > Thanks for any comments.
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Rod Speed" <rod_speed@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:3jr1bjFrh5ilU1@individual.net...
    > fj <jelenko2@hotmail.com> wrote
    >
    >> If you were using an external hard drive to store your system backup
    >> , would it be
    >> prudent to proactively replace the hard drive in order to avoid having it
    >> die and losing your system backup?
    >
    > Nope, makes more sense to ensure that the external housing
    > treats the drive well on temperature particularly and turn it off
    > when its not in use and dont treat it bad physically.
    >
    >> I'm wanting to not take the risk that my system dies at essentially the
    >> same time as the external hard drive.
    >
    > Thats quite unlikely, but unplugging the external will ensure
    > that even say a very close lightning strike cant do that etc.
    >
    > You'd have to move it out of the building to
    > protect against fire and flood and theft tho.
    >
    >> So far, my philosophy has been that my system backup should be stored
    >> on a media [CD's, DVD's or tapes] that is essentially disconnected
    >> from the system - so no failure in the system could kill the system
    >> backup.
    >
    > Yes, and you also need to consider if you really need a fully system
    > backup on removable media. The risk is quite small, so there is a lot to
    > be said for just having what you will slash your wrists if you lose on the
    > removable media, and use the external hard drive for the much more
    > likely situations where the internal drive dies or you do something really
    > stupid to the contents, or an install etc comprehensively screws it etc.
    >
    > In the unlikely event of say fire or theft etc, those normally involve
    > quite a bit of hassle replacing the hardware, so a clean install is
    > no big deal if you have the irreplaceable stuff on say a DVD etc.
    >
    > And you can do an intermediate as well, use the files and settings
    > tranfer wizard to write just the unique stuff to a DVD as well, so
    > even say a fire is more of a nuisance than anything else.

    Rod - Thanks for the comments.
    >
    >> While this has come up as part of another thread, it's important enough
    >> for me to make it more visible.
    >
    > Isnt that the usenet equivalent of flashing ? Shame, fj, shame.
    Sorry if I was inappropriate. I thought it was OK to bring up a point that
    was unrelated to a main thread.
    >
    >> Thanks for any comments.
    >
    >
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    fj <jelenko2@hotmail.com> wrote
    > Rod Speed <rod_speed@yahoo.com> wrote
    >> fj <jelenko2@hotmail.com> wrote

    >>> If you were using an external hard drive to store your system backup
    >>> , would it be
    >>> prudent to proactively replace the hard drive in order to avoid
    >>> having it die and losing your system backup?
    >>
    >> Nope, makes more sense to ensure that the external housing
    >> treats the drive well on temperature particularly and turn it off
    >> when its not in use and dont treat it bad physically.
    >>
    >>> I'm wanting to not take the risk that my system dies at essentially
    >>> the same time as the external hard drive.
    >>
    >> Thats quite unlikely, but unplugging the external will ensure
    >> that even say a very close lightning strike cant do that etc.
    >>
    >> You'd have to move it out of the building to
    >> protect against fire and flood and theft tho.
    >>
    >>> So far, my philosophy has been that my system backup should be
    >>> stored on a media [CD's, DVD's or tapes] that is essentially disconnected
    >>> from the system - so no failure in the system could kill the system
    >>> backup.
    >>
    >> Yes, and you also need to consider if you really need a fully system
    >> backup on removable media. The risk is quite small, so there is a
    >> lot to be said for just having what you will slash your wrists if
    >> you lose on the removable media, and use the external hard drive for
    >> the much more likely situations where the internal drive dies or you do
    >> something
    >> really stupid to the contents, or an install etc comprehensively
    >> screws it etc. In the unlikely event of say fire or theft etc, those normally
    >> involve quite a bit of hassle replacing the hardware, so a clean
    >> install is no big deal if you have the irreplaceable stuff on say a DVD etc.
    >>
    >> And you can do an intermediate as well, use the files and settings
    >> tranfer wizard to write just the unique stuff to a DVD as well, so
    >> even say a fire is more of a nuisance than anything else.

    > Rod - Thanks for the comments.

    No problem.

    >>> While this has come up as part of another thread, it's important enough for
    >>> me to make it more visible.

    >> Isnt that the usenet equivalent of flashing ? Shame, fj, shame.

    > Sorry if I was inappropriate. I thought it was OK to bring up a point that
    > was unrelated to a main thread.

    That was just my pathetic attempt at a joke |-)
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    As far as external drives, I think there are still quirky issues with most
    if not all USB and Firewire drive interfaces (which I am guessing you are
    considering). Why they aren't perfect yet is beyond me, it seems like
    SOMEBODY could figure out the issue and address it. Some folks don't have
    any problems, and some folks (like me) have problems only sometimes-and its
    always the worst time. Specifically "delayed write failure" messages. I do
    like using removable HD caddies for backup, the kind that uses either an IDE
    or SATA interface from inside the PC. This way a guy can keep another drive
    in a safe location in case of fire or theft and not have the external drive
    issues like heat and quirky errors.

    If you can fit your backup on a DVD, and deal with the procedure, that's a
    pretty good way to go. Good tape drives are hard to buy for reasonable
    prices. Usually its hard for an individual to justify the cost of a good
    tape drive, but in a business its certainly justifiable.

    --Dan

    "fj" <jelenko2@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:qEXBe.425125$cg1.274083@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    > If you were using an external hard drive to store your system backup
    [i.e.,
    > in case you have to do a bare metal up restore], would it be prudent to
    > proactively replace the hard drive in order to avoid having it die and
    > losing your system backup? I'm wanting to not take the risk that my
    system
    > dies at essentially the same time as the external hard drive.
    >
    > So far, my philosophy has been that my system backup should be stored on a
    > media [CD's, DVD's or tapes] that is essentially disconnected from the
    > system - so no failure in the system could kill the system backup.
    >
    > While this has come up as part of another thread, it's important enough
    for
    > me to make it more visible.
    >
    > Thanks for any comments.
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "fj" <jelenko2@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:qEXBe.425125$cg1.274083@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    > If you were using an external hard drive to store your system backup
    [i.e.,
    > in case you have to do a bare metal up restore], would it be prudent to
    > proactively replace the hard drive in order to avoid having it die and
    > losing your system backup? I'm wanting to not take the risk that my
    system
    > dies at essentially the same time as the external hard drive.
    >
    > So far, my philosophy has been that my system backup should be stored on a
    > media [CD's, DVD's or tapes] that is essentially disconnected from the
    > system - so no failure in the system could kill the system backup.
    >
    > While this has come up as part of another thread, it's important enough
    for
    > me to make it more visible.
    >
    > Thanks for any comments.
    >
    >

    Some people do a multiple plan backup, as an example.
    1. Local separate drive for images.
    2. External drive for images.
    3. DVD backup.
    4. Clone removable backup
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    dg <dan_gus@hotmail.com> wrote

    > As far as external drives, I think there are still quirky issues
    > with most if not all USB and Firewire drive interfaces (which I am
    > guessing you are considering). Why they aren't perfect yet is beyond
    > me, it seems like SOMEBODY could figure out the issue and address it.

    Takes time to get all the quirks out. Took that long with IDE drives.

    > Some folks don't have any problems, and some folks (like me)
    > have problems only sometimes-and its always the worst time.
    > Specifically "delayed write failure" messages. I do like using
    > removable HD caddies for backup, the kind that uses either an
    > IDE or SATA interface from inside the PC. This way a guy can
    > keep another drive in a safe location in case of fire or theft and
    > not have the external drive issues like heat and quirky errors.

    > If you can fit your backup on a DVD, and deal with the procedure,
    > that's a pretty good way to go. Good tape drives are hard to buy
    > for reasonable prices. Usually its hard for an individual to justify the
    > cost of a good tape drive, but in a business its certainly justifiable.


    > "fj" <jelenko2@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:qEXBe.425125$cg1.274083@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    >> If you were using an external hard drive to store your system backup
    >> , would it be
    >> prudent to proactively replace the hard drive in order to avoid
    >> having it die and losing your system backup? I'm wanting to not
    >> take the risk that my system dies at essentially the same time as
    >> the external hard drive.
    >>
    >> So far, my philosophy has been that my system backup should be
    >> stored on a media [CD's, DVD's or tapes] that is essentially
    >> disconnected from the system - so no failure in the system could
    >> kill the system backup.
    >>
    >> While this has come up as part of another thread, it's important
    >> enough for me to make it more visible.
    >>
    >> Thanks for any comments.
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Rod Speed" <rod_speed@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:3jra80Frgi00U1@individual.net...
    > fj <jelenko2@hotmail.com> wrote
    >> Rod Speed <rod_speed@yahoo.com> wrote
    >>> fj <jelenko2@hotmail.com> wrote
    >
    >>>> If you were using an external hard drive to store your system backup
    >>>> , would it be
    >>>> prudent to proactively replace the hard drive in order to avoid
    >>>> having it die and losing your system backup?
    >>>
    >>> Nope, makes more sense to ensure that the external housing
    >>> treats the drive well on temperature particularly and turn it off
    >>> when its not in use and dont treat it bad physically.
    >>>
    >>>> I'm wanting to not take the risk that my system dies at essentially
    >>>> the same time as the external hard drive.
    >>>
    >>> Thats quite unlikely, but unplugging the external will ensure
    >>> that even say a very close lightning strike cant do that etc.
    >>>
    >>> You'd have to move it out of the building to
    >>> protect against fire and flood and theft tho.
    >>>
    >>>> So far, my philosophy has been that my system backup should be
    >>>> stored on a media [CD's, DVD's or tapes] that is essentially
    >>>> disconnected
    >>>> from the system - so no failure in the system could kill the system
    >>>> backup.
    >>>
    >>> Yes, and you also need to consider if you really need a fully system
    >>> backup on removable media. The risk is quite small, so there is a
    >>> lot to be said for just having what you will slash your wrists if
    >>> you lose on the removable media, and use the external hard drive for
    >>> the much more likely situations where the internal drive dies or you do
    >>> something
    >>> really stupid to the contents, or an install etc comprehensively
    >>> screws it etc. In the unlikely event of say fire or theft etc, those
    >>> normally
    >>> involve quite a bit of hassle replacing the hardware, so a clean
    >>> install is no big deal if you have the irreplaceable stuff on say a DVD
    >>> etc.
    >>>
    >>> And you can do an intermediate as well, use the files and settings
    >>> tranfer wizard to write just the unique stuff to a DVD as well, so
    >>> even say a fire is more of a nuisance than anything else.
    >
    >> Rod - Thanks for the comments.
    >
    > No problem.
    >
    >>>> While this has come up as part of another thread, it's important enough
    >>>> for me to make it more visible.
    >
    >>> Isnt that the usenet equivalent of flashing ? Shame, fj, shame.
    >
    >> Sorry if I was inappropriate. I thought it was OK to bring up a point
    >> that was unrelated to a main thread.
    >
    > That was just my pathetic attempt at a joke |-)
    No problem.
    I'll keep in mind for the future.
    >
    >
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