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Help - Need to copy 320GB to/from single drive today - best solution?

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August 16, 2007 3:53:49 PM

I need to copy a 320GB drive today - it has a lot of small, small files. The drive I am currently copying is in a USB enclosure. The data needs to be moved to another drive - I don't care about the type of enclosure or if I need to change the first enclosure (or move them internal).

Cost is no object, but I need to be able to do it today with something I can run out and buy today - what are your suggestions? Even if it includes buying a certain type of computer. Thanks
August 16, 2007 4:27:20 PM

Well go buy a 500gb external drive, hook it up to your PC and then just copy the drive to the 500gb drive.

Any way you are going to do it will take some time, 320gb's of data is going to take some time.

To me that is the easiest way, buy an external HD that is the same size, preferrably bigger, and then just copy the files to the new drive.

Other options are to just buy in enclosure, remove the 320gb from the PC and then hook it up to the pc you have and copy it that way.

If your PC is on a network, you could always copy it across the network to a network drive some where.

Copying the files is the easy part, waiting till it finishes will be the hard part. As you are looking at a bit of time for this to happen, no matter how you choose to do it.
August 16, 2007 4:33:50 PM

I don't want to be ungrateful, but that was not helpful.

eSATA, hook them both up as internal? Those are actual suggestions.

The facts are that there are 600,000 files on a 320GB drive and 800,000 files on a 70GB drive I need to copy. I need to do it in about 10-12 hours and I am looking for actual solutions.
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August 16, 2007 4:38:06 PM

Well, not to sound mean, pull your head out of your butt and actually read what I said.

You have a PC, go out and buy an external Hard drive that connects either thru USB or Firewire connections, whichever you have, most likely USB.

Bring HD home, unpack, keep packing incase the HD is bad, then turn off PC, hook up USB/Firewire EXTERNAL drive to your PC, turn on PC.

When windows recognizes the drive, format the drive. After formatting is complete COPY your files from your 320gb INTERNAL drive to the EXTERNAL USB/Firewire Drive.

Repeat for the other 70gb drive.

This is an actual SOLUTION, but if you have no clue what you are doing maybe you should PAY someone ELSE to do it for you.
a b G Storage
August 16, 2007 4:44:25 PM

scubageek gave a sound solution. If you cannot simply plug in a second drive and copy away, you should probably follow his advice and pay someone else to do it for you.
August 16, 2007 4:54:57 PM

Scubageek - apparently you are not understanding what I am asking. I am looking for a technical answer using specific parts. Not "oh, just plug it and drag and drop". I know how to do that. I can buy things and move my hand. I am looking for someone who knows from experience.

For example, should I use two firewire enclosures? Should I use a single firewire card or two? Should I use e-sata for one or both? Should I hook them both up internally and what MOBO should I look for to do this the best way.

I have a very specific issue. A drive with 320GB and 600K files. A drive with 70GB and 800K files. This specific problem should allow for specific solutions.

Seriously - your solution was "Well go buy a 500gb external drive, hook it up to your PC and then just copy the drive to the 500gb drive." and "Its going to take time regardless" - If you think that is a solution then I hope you are not the type of person you would recommend I hire.

I was looking for someone who actually knows transfer rates for different solutions and propose the best solution. The reason I want to do it myself is that I am tired of dealing in our business with "consultants" who have no idea what the latest technology is, what the actual specs for solutions are, who do nothing but "go buy a 500gb external drive, hook it up to your PC and then just copy the drive to the 500gb drive" and then charge me a ton for the privilege.

Teach a man to fish...
August 16, 2007 5:03:58 PM

Can't teach someone to fish who won't listen.

I clearly gave you options, a few to be exact.

You make it sound like you want to spend upwards of couple thousands of dollars for a hard drive mirror machine you clearly DON'T need and probably couldn't comprehend how to use.

What you clearly need is an extra drive of 400gb's or better. Why I said 500gb drive.

You don't need an expensive solution, you need patience and the understanding you clearly don't have a clue what me or a consultant truly does.

I have built/repaired PCs for over 15 years. Sometimes the KISS standard is the best option. In case you don't know what KISS stands for, it is Keep It Simple STUPID. Last part in caps for your benefit.

Now, you can go online and buy a hard drive copying machine, you won't get one at a local store unless you are in a big city, and once again that is upwards to 1k in cost.

Now why I say you don't need that is because you are here and you believe there is a more simple way of doing it rather than just buying an external drive and drag and dropping the files. There isn't, unless you are hooked up to a network, and then you best hope you are on a gig network if not, the External HD option would still be faster.

You do understand the paying the ton for the privilege is you are paying for someones TIME they have to spend copying your files for you.

Save that money by buying your own drive and copying the files yourself.

You don't need an eSata drive, you don't need 2 firewire enclosures, you just need to hook up an External HD to the PC and drag and drop.

It clearly is that simple.

Oh, btw, with 10-12 hours time to do it in, you clearly also have the time.
August 16, 2007 5:12:40 PM

Scubageek - I am probably venting frustration at you that is not warranted. I have these drives with "professionals" at the moment and the 320GB has been copying for about 20 hours, the 70GB for about the same. Basically, this issue will arise in the near future and I can't rely on these people. So I need to understand how to do it better.

I do understand how these things work. But with this stuff minutes matter, hours matter. So if e-SATA saves me 2 hours or 30 minutes - it is worth the money. Take my word on that, it is true.

By the way, they sau they have been copying for that long - who knows.

How long should it take to copy 320GB/600K files from external USB to USB? What about 70GB/800K files?
a b G Storage
August 16, 2007 5:23:55 PM

Unless he spends more time arguing, then he will run out of time...

Let me get this straight: if the disk to be copied is in an enclosure, does that mean it can be taken out and hooked to the motherboard as an internal SATA disk (or IDE, whatever)? That would allow copying faster than through USB, but it takes time to set up. No guarantee it would actually save time.

Edit: e-SATA is faster than USB, yes. It should be the same speed as a regular internal SATA disk, as far as I know. If this is something you'll do a lot then an eSATA enclosure is worth buying IMO.
August 16, 2007 5:24:10 PM

You don't mention the type of drives that are being copied from. Without that knowledge an interface discussion is pointless. A superfast interface won't make a junk drive faster especially if you have to go out and buy an interface adapter. Pardon me for being blunt, but the attitude should be left at the door when asking for free advice. Your drives should not take 20 hours to copy period. Grab a drive cloning application such as ghost or true image and hook your drives up to their native interface (IDE, SATA, whatever) and have at it.
August 16, 2007 5:30:29 PM

Edit - thank you evam - that is what I was wondering. What kind of time should I expect if I go, say, USB to esata for these two drives?

This is very odd - I thought this would be the place to come.

I assumed I would get responses like:

The fastest solution will be to move the external IDE drive internal, using X motherboard which will allow the copy drive to be SATA. This should likely take X hours.

Or

two esata externals hooked to two different PCI esata cards is best.

etc.

Instead I am being berated.
August 16, 2007 5:33:34 PM

Boliver, I thought about the ghost imaging, but honestly, it is a bit technical to use, and most people coming in here for a quick solution won't have the technical skill or won't take the time to properly the ghost software to use it correctly.

20 hours? You are being taken to the cleaners on that, unless there is some real issue with the drives. Like lots of bad blocks and such.

So you got two hard drives, outside the machine, how old are the hard drives? May give a clue as to what they are IDE/Sata/eSata...

Firewire external hard drives are fast, faster than USB, but you have to have the Firewire port to use it.

Sounds like what you need are some 500gb external Firewire Drives that you can move from PC to PC.

Or you can pay a professional a bit of money to setup a SAN, Storage Area Network, for you and your business. This is a network based solution, but if you aren't that big, honestly the money outlayed isn't worth it. Not with plug and play SANs for small business out there.

Your options are out there, without knowing the type of business you are in, and your current setup, giving you options to keep this from happening in the future is a bit tough.

August 16, 2007 5:41:12 PM

Thanks scubageek - that was very helpful. Again - apologies all around for taking it out on you guys. This was very helpful - even if just to reaffirm I am getting screwed. No bad blocks. The drives being copied are 500GB Hitachi ATA/133 drives - maybe 6 months old.

The thing is , I need to do this again and again for production in a case (lawsuit). I am tired of paying crazy fees to copy raw data and want to set up in house. Copying these two drives will be like 5-10K, no kidding.

Do you do that sort of thing? Help set up a system for copying reproduction of huge drives with 100Ks of files? Shoot me a line winstonbike - at - hotmail.com
August 16, 2007 5:41:55 PM

winstonbike said:
Edit - thank you evam - that is what I was wondering. What kind of time should I expect if I go, say, USB to esata for these two drives?

This is very odd - I thought this would be the place to come.

I assumed I would get responses like:

The fastest solution will be to move the external IDE drive internal, using X motherboard which will allow the copy drive to be SATA. This should likely take X hours.

Or

two esata externals hooked to two different PCI esata cards is best.

etc.

Instead I am being berated.


Berated isn't what is happening. Your ungrateful attitude is what is happening.

You are here asking for options, then complaining about those options that you are given.

There are a lot of things a Consultant has to know before they give you options and it is that time getting those requirements that cost you money.

You are here on a Tech website asking for FREE advice without us knowing the particulars of your situation, i.e type of busines, drives your network setup, your technical knowledge.

We are assuming you have little technical knowledge and are giving you the simpleist answers because 99% of the people that come here, that is what they want in the end.

Now, either work with us or don't. As for me, I am getting tired of showing you how to fish to watch you cast your line into the nearest tree thinking you are a Bass Pro.
August 16, 2007 5:45:27 PM

winstonbike said:
Thanks scubageek - that was very helpful. Again - apologies all around for taking it out on you guys. This was very helpful - even if just to reaffirm I am getting screwed. No bad blocks. The drives being copied are 500GB Hitachi ATA/133 drives - maybe 6 months old.

The thing is , I need to do this again and again for production in a case (lawsuit). I am tired of paying crazy fees to copy raw data and want to set up in house. Copying these two drives will be like 5-10K, no kidding.

Do you do that sort of thing? Help set up a system for copying reproduction of huge drives with 100Ks of files? Shoot me a line winstonbike - at - hotmail.com


No it shouldn't take 20 hours to copy ATA/133 drives. But it isn't a 5 minute copy either.

So are you a lawyer copying data from client/defendant drives?

I am still trying to figure out how best to advise you. If you are technical, having an external drive and Ghost is a very valid option.

Are these your drives that you are backing up? Then just getting a backup program to start backing up your drives is what you need.

Options are there..just be a bit more helpful to us so we can help you better.
August 16, 2007 5:47:31 PM

The intent was not to berate you. We have no idea what your "Full" situation is, hardware is capable of, the actual amount of data, partition/format type, nor what your knowledge level is. Your original post was less than adequate to determine the level of service you require. I do tend to come off a bit harsh but it is unintentional. If you would care to enlighten us as to the details of your disks, your current hardware platform, and your level of knowledge it would make for a more accurate response on our part. You got the answer your question deserved.
August 16, 2007 5:47:37 PM

Basically assume I have a 500GB ATA/133 drive in an external USB/firewire enclosure - drive has 320GB and 600K files.

What should I buy to do the job right and quick?
August 16, 2007 5:55:39 PM

I don't know what kind of technical knowledge you have. But I'm going to answer your question with what I believe to be best, and this is the way I would do it.

Technically, in your situation, where there are hundreds of thousands of small files, no choice of interface or drive location (internal/external) matters whatsoever. The transfer rate will always be slow just due to the quantity of files. The NTFS file system has to write a transaction journal of every file operation and update the directory information in the MFT on every file copy to maintain the integrity of the file system. These operations are what is slowing you down, not the drive interface.

The fastest way to get this data from one hard drive to another is to hook up the source hard drive and the target hard drive internally on their native interfaces (SATA or IDE), and copy the partition with Partition Magic. By my calculations, this copy will take approximately 2.5 hours for the 320GB drive.

Now, most of use come here to the forum to help people and give the answers that we know, but most of us also do not have the time to hand-hold and teach. While what I stated is the fastest method, I can't really make a step-by-step post that teaches you how to do it or deals with problems if they come up. Partition Magic can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. Opening the external enclosure and putting the drive into a machine internally voids the warranty. There are IDE and SATA hookup issues like jumpers and BIOS configuration that will have to be dealt with. We can't take you through every last step.

But a partition copy is definitely the fastest method.
August 16, 2007 6:01:19 PM

Let's be friendly to one another :) 
make love, not war.

Anyway, i think eSATA might prove a benefit over USB, due to the lower latency and higher throughput. You could use a SATA -> eSATA bracket if your system has internal SATA ports, then you can use them to convert to eSATA since few motherboards have eSATA ports by default. Else buy a PCI-express x1 eSATA controller if your motherboard has PCI-express x1 slots.

An eSATA enclosure should not cost much more than USB. Then buy a seperate disk (a Samsung T166 500GB will do) and build the external drive yourself (very easy).
August 16, 2007 6:02:15 PM

winstonbike said:
The thing is , I need to do this again and again for production in a case (lawsuit). I am tired of paying crazy fees to copy raw data and want to set up in house. Copying these two drives will be like 5-10K, no kidding.


If you're doing this for a legal case, there's another whole set of considerations.

You have to have the ability to prove in court that the source drive wasn't written to. Standard copying methods won't do this, and any defense lawyer worth his salt will cast doubt into the jury's mind if you didn't maintain the integrity of the source drive.

You need to go look at stuff like this if you want to do this yourself as forensic evidence gathering for a case.
August 16, 2007 6:03:31 PM

winstonbike said:
Thanks scubageek - that was very helpful. Again - apologies all around for taking it out on you guys. This was very helpful - even if just to reaffirm I am getting screwed. No bad blocks. The drives being copied are 500GB Hitachi ATA/133 drives - maybe 6 months old.

The thing is , I need to do this again and again for production in a case (lawsuit). I am tired of paying crazy fees to copy raw data and want to set up in house. Copying these two drives will be like 5-10K, no kidding.

Do you do that sort of thing? Help set up a system for copying reproduction of huge drives with 100Ks of files? Shoot me a line winstonbike - at - hotmail.com


Now we are getting somewhere. Does your computer have internal ATA/133 capability? Will the drives to be copied change (i.e. IDE yesterday, SATA today, SCSI tomorrow)? I mean will you need to be copying drives of different types in the future?

An example of an automated solution provider

August 16, 2007 6:23:53 PM

Ignoring all the stupid bitching going on in this thread, and all the horrible attitudes:

Check your computer's motherboard to see if it has two available IDE channels. You'll want two instead of putting both drives on a single channel. This should increase throughput speeds. If you do not have two free ports, buy yourself a PCI add-in card such as the Promise Ultra133TX2. It provides two channels to attach your IDE drives internally. Make sure you have a minimum of other devices on the PCI bus if you go this route. Other devices will share the bus' bandwidth, slowing down the transfer. This is also the reasoning behind placing each drive on a separate channel.

IF you have a single PCIe x1 slot, or two, (about 1.2 inches long), you can also buy a Firewire 800 card SPECIFICALLY. It can provide a raw transfer rate of up to 100MB/s maximum (theoretical).
Buy a PCIe x1 Firewire 800 card (1394b). If you have two x1 slots, buy two cards. Make sure the card(s) have at least TWO Firewire 800 ports total.
Buy TWO external enclosures which have Firewire 800 ports as a connection option. MAKE SURE they connect to a IDE drive inside and not a SATA drive.
Buy Firewire 800 Cables, two, in case the enclosures do not include them. Both ends of the cables should be full-size Firewire 800 plugs, as both devices - the card, and the enclosure - should be too.

The Firewire 800 option actually may provide the best transfer speeds, especially if you can use two PCIe x1 cards.

I would suggest SATA peripherals or internals, but you're using IDE drives. It would likely be harder to find enclosures that connect externally via eSATA, but allow a IDE drive inside the enclosure.
August 16, 2007 6:34:52 PM

winstonbike said:
I don't want to be ungrateful, but that was not helpful.

eSATA, hook them both up as internal? Those are actual suggestions.

The facts are that there are 600,000 files on a 320GB drive and 800,000 files on a 70GB drive I need to copy. I need to do it in about 10-12 hours and I am looking for actual solutions.


It will take at least that long (20 hours) to transfer 320GB via USB.
If you can MOUNT the drives used inside of a computer it will run around 50MBps or so depending on the transfer speed of the drives themself and not the interface used.
a b G Storage
August 16, 2007 6:39:47 PM

Good points, SomeJoe. Winstonbike, the more technical details we have, the better will be the answers. Considerations about which we know nothing will make any advise potentially useless. What SomeJoe has said about the copying process might make a big difference.

Without considering any legal considerations this is what it sounds like you need. Get a dual-port IDE card like this one:
PROMISE ULTRA133 TX2 PCI IDE 66M PCI Controller Card - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Put this in a PC that has a SATA drive set as the boot drive. Put the Source IDE on one cable, and the Destination IDE on the other cable. If you build this PC in a tool-free case like the CoolerMaster Elite:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
...mount ing and removing drives will be quick and easy.
Consider SomeJoe's remarks about the copy method. Whether you use Windows to do it, a partition copying program, or some other software, the hardware part of the solution will be on hand just waiting to have the drives put into it for use.
If you like, we can spec the mobo, RAM, and PSU for this, but you may already have a PC in which this card can be used.
August 16, 2007 6:48:18 PM

winstonbike said:
Basically assume I have a 500GB ATA/133 drive in an external USB/firewire enclosure - drive has 320GB and 600K files.

What should I buy to do the job right and quick?


First see my other post.

Take the drive out of the USB case and mount it in a computer along with the other drive.
USB is slow as hell and SATA even @ 300GBps still can't transfer files faster than the HD it's self can read/write.
Most HD's can't use all of a ATA-100 connections bandwith.

Z
a b G Storage
August 16, 2007 7:00:23 PM

What you are paying the large fees for isn't just the copying of the data. Most people here could easily figure out how to copy that amount if data in less than 20 hours. You are paying for them to:

1. Maintain the chain of custody
2. To do a sector by sector copy
3. To ensure that the evidence drive cannot be written to during the copy

The sector by sector copy has to be done to preserve data that may be file system independent. Suppose you just copy all of the data in Windows, but there was data in a Linux partition. Then you are not truly copying the contents of the data and an evidence technician will not be able to recover all of the original data. Also by copying sector by sector "deleted" information from a file system may be recoverable. If you only do a file by file copy you won't get the deleted files since they won't show up in the MFT of the filesystem. The evidence drive must be protected from write so that the prosecuting attorney can not call into question the validity of data from the source drive.

P.S. The sector by sector copy is what makes this process take so long.
August 16, 2007 7:28:38 PM

You should be able to move the drive internally and use a dedicated controller card to significanly speed up the transfer. It's probably USB1.1 on a slow computer system that is hosing your transfer speed. A sector-by-sector transfer would also be a lot faster as file fragmentation wouldn't affect transfer speed anymore (ala Norton Ghost or similar).
August 16, 2007 7:33:53 PM

The very best solution for speed, back-up and reliability is to go out and get yourself a copy of Acronis TrueImage. Back up your external to your internal......very quick. Make sure to keep the image below 4.7 gigs so you can copy them to DVDs. Then, after you have determined WHATever kind of Storage medium, hard drive, etc... you can restore it knowing full weel you have an exact copy of waht was there....and most likely at twice the speed you currently are bemoaning. :hello: 

Communication is the response you get...You can not blame your listener for a response that is not adequate if your presentation was not clear
August 16, 2007 7:47:18 PM

1: You have an external HD (usb/firewire/esata) does not matter.
It 500gb in size.


2: You can get an internal 500gb HD for $120 at you local store
(mail-order wastes time)

Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB Hard Drive
7200RPM, Internal, 16MB, SATA/300

(if your pc is older than 3yrs, get the ide version)

http://www.compusa.com/products/products.asp?N=200112

OR you can get an external one for $129

Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 500GB Hard Drive
7200RPM, External, 16MB, USB 2.0 at (compusa too)



Now use and of the free sector by sector copy software below.

Should not take more than 10hours.


http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=sector+by+sector+c...
August 16, 2007 8:47:24 PM

The key word is "Evidence".

Will copying these files yourself stand up in court?

If need be could you testify in court that you are an expert computer technician specializing in data recovery?

Could you copy these files/hard drives and testify that nothing was lost, altered or excluded?

Dont throw caution into the wind.






!