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External HDD for Backups - Technical Questions

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  • Hard Drives
  • External Hard Drive
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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September 7, 2010 8:29:54 PM

I wana buy 500GB/750GB External HDD for my backups and the brands i selected are Seagate and Transcend. Request not to specify any ther brands.

Now i had noticed tht all HDD are sadly USB 2.0 only and some transcend new HDD are USB 3.0.
I have a eSATA port on my thermlatake case, and so obviously i wanted to go with eSATA external because of increased transfer speed, but none of the above manufacturer has it - Whys tht?

1] Is eSATA a fail or there are issues using eSATA ?

2] Whts difference is i get a laptop HD and slip it into external case and if i go with branded externals one like above? Can i buy laptop HDD & eSATA + USB2.0 enclosure?

3] Which one seems to be better? only diff. i can see is transcend has 3.0USB which is useless to me as i dont have hardware tht supports it.

Seagate:
http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/external/free...

Transcend:
http://www.transcendusa.com/products/ModDetail.asp?ModN...

More about : external hdd backups technical questions

a c 367 G Storage
September 8, 2010 2:46:07 AM

eSATA is faster than USB2 - up to twice as fast if you have a SATA II HDD inside an external case connected by eSATA vs. USB2. I am surprised you cannot find an external drive with eSATA interface as ONE option. Many come with USB2 PLUS a second connection possible.

Why are you focused on a laptop HDD? Are you trying to get a very small compact external easy to pack up and transport? You can do that. Moreover, those HDD's and the external drives that contain them sometimes can work without any additional power supply brick, powered only by one (or two) connections to a USB port. HOWEVER, except in a few cases, no eSATA port has any power available for connected peripherals. So, if you've been looking for small external drives that do NOT have their own power supplies and depend on power from the computer, that explains why you can only find USB units.

You should be aware that external HDD's based on the smaller 2½" HDD's for laptops are much more expensive per GB, and do not come in very large capacities. But if you extend your search into larger external units based on the 3½" HDD size common to desktops, you'll save money and WILL find units with both USB2 and eSATA interfaces. BUT they all will come with their own additional power supply unit. his applies whether you buy a ready-made complete unit, or assemble one from an enclosure and a HDD bought separately.
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September 9, 2010 7:01:17 PM

Okay,

There is a slight change in my selection of HD, it will be the New Seagate GoFlex 500GB:
http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-FreeAgent-Ultra-Portable-...

Now, can anybody confirm tht if i can use this drive to get backup by using it internally via sata?

When the connection dock is removed, this drive appears to have standard SATA and Power connectors.... But am not sure if i can plug it internally.
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a c 367 G Storage
September 10, 2010 8:53:47 PM

Almost all external drives really do have a "standard" HDD unit inside a case, but it can be hard to verify this from the manufacturer's website. they don't want to tell you the "secret design formula". But assume for now that is the case herer. the related issues are:
1. Backup software does NOT make a BOOTABLE hard disk. Although it WILL copy absolutely everything you might need so that it can be copied back to (i.e., it can "restore") you original drive, it does not place certain critical files in certain required locations, And it does NOT place a key set of information at the very beginning of the HDD in what is called the MBR. without that correct MBR structure no BIOS can boot from the drive..
2. You MIGHT get around that first issue by using cloning software that does, indeed, place the right info in the right places and make a truly bootable HDD in the clone copy. I am not sure how well that would work in this case. What I don;t know - and maybe others can answer this - is what the impact of the pre-installed software is. I fully expect the pre-installed backup utilities etc. are placed in a small separate semi-hidden Partition on the HDD, maybe right at the start. I don;t know if that would interfere with, or be destroyed by, a cloning program that tries to re-write the MBR and place system files in specific locations in the main Partition. I think it can work, just not sure.
3. You have anticipated his point. Unless you know that your BIOS can allow you to boot from an external HDD unit, you might have some transplantation to do. In the event of a C: drive failure, you might just open up the external unit and move the HDD it contains into your computer's main case, connect it up and boot from it. That is, if the first two items above have been taken care of.

I was writing that there's a little detail to consider about connectors on laptop and desktop HDD's. But I see in the reviews of the unit that someone says it is unique in its design. The HDD itself is constructed like an internal 3½" HDD with standard SATA connectors on it, apparently, so it CAN just plug into a desktop machine, I believe. The external system includes a docking base that the HDD plugs into. The base connects to the PC via a USB2 cable to make it portable and external.
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September 13, 2010 4:58:36 PM

Paperdoc said:
Almost all external drives really do have a "standard" HDD unit inside a case, but it can be hard to verify this from the manufacturer's website. they don't want to tell you the "secret design formula". But assume for now that is the case herer. the related issues are:
1. Backup software does NOT make a BOOTABLE hard disk. Although it WILL copy absolutely everything you might need so that it can be copied back to (i.e., it can "restore") you original drive, it does not place certain critical files in certain required locations, And it does NOT place a key set of information at the very beginning of the HDD in what is called the MBR. without that correct MBR structure no BIOS can boot from the drive..
2. You MIGHT get around that first issue by using cloning software that does, indeed, place the right info in the right places and make a truly bootable HDD in the clone copy. I am not sure how well that would work in this case. What I don;t know - and maybe others can answer this - is what the impact of the pre-installed software is. I fully expect the pre-installed backup utilities etc. are placed in a small separate semi-hidden Partition on the HDD, maybe right at the start. I don;t know if that would interfere with, or be destroyed by, a cloning program that tries to re-write the MBR and place system files in specific locations in the main Partition. I think it can work, just not sure.
3. You have anticipated his point. Unless you know that your BIOS can allow you to boot from an external HDD unit, you might have some transplantation to do. In the event of a C: drive failure, you might just open up the external unit and move the HDD it contains into your computer's main case, connect it up and boot from it. That is, if the first two items above have been taken care of.

I was writing that there's a little detail to consider about connectors on laptop and desktop HDD's. But I see in the reviews of the unit that someone says it is unique in its design. The HDD itself is constructed like an internal 3½" HDD with standard SATA connectors on it, apparently, so it CAN just plug into a desktop machine, I believe. The external system includes a docking base that the HDD plugs into. The base connects to the PC via a USB2 cable to make it portable and external.



Thanx buddy for your help,
:-)
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