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Need Help! 1.5TB internal and 2TB external USB3.0 - Out of Space!

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November 25, 2010 3:32:46 PM

Got a dilemma, I have an internal 1.5TB SATA2 drive, a 60GB SSD drive (for Win7 OS boot), and I use a WD 2TB external drive using a USB 3.0 card as a full system backup using Archos True Image and use Mozy online backup to backup my pictures and important docs. I use my system for watching movies and 3D games.

But now, I'VE RUN OUT OF SPACE!! Also, worst yet, I don't have enough cables to hook-up another internal drive, although I *do* have room in my mid-tower for additional drives. I have a 450 watt PSU so I think I can run additional internal drives w/o any problems since I only have 1 gfx card.

I would like to know what should I do to increase my primary storage space (i.e. replace my internal HD, install a RAID controller and 2 HD's?) and corresponding backups? If I have 2 x 2TB internal drives, can I have 2 x 2TB external drives to back them up via USB 3.0?

Any thoughts, suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

And for those of you in the U.S., Happy Turkey day!


November 25, 2010 5:46:26 PM

Just a thought.. since I have a 2 usb 3.0 ports on my computer, would it make sense to add 2 dual-bay docks with two 2TB internal SATA drives in each dock?

In other words, 2 x 2TB drives in 1st dock acting as the primary HD and 2 x 2TB drives in 2nd dock acting as backup HD?
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a c 415 G Storage
November 25, 2010 8:28:03 PM

If you don't need all your drives online at the same time then I've found the docking stations to be a pretty effective way to go. You can buy bare drives to your heart's content and plug them in as needed without any fuss, and you save the extra money it takes to buy drives in enclosures.
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a c 342 G Storage
November 26, 2010 1:51:03 AM

My first thought is, are you actually using all the space? You are using a backup system, presumably on the external 2 TB unit. Many backup packages do NOT remove old backup files as new ones are created, so that you can roll back by several "generations" in case you find a problem. But that leaves it up to you to manage all those old backups and get rid of really old ones you do not need.

I assume that, on your one internal 1.5 TB unit, you have Emptied the Recycle Bin.

Now, you say you have space but no cables for more internal drives. That SHOULD be an easy fix. But one more thing to check: do you also have more mobo ports to connect additional internal drives to? If you have space to physically mount drives and mobo ports to connect to, you can get two cables to solve your problems. One is, you need simple SATA data cables to connect a new HDD to an empty port, and those are easy to get and not expensive. The other is you need power supplied to the new SATA drives. Two options here. Easiest is, is there one or more unused SATA power connectors coming out of your PSU? If not, I bet there are unused 4-pin Molex connectors coming from the PSU - the kind used for older IDE drives and many optical drives. You can buy adapters that convert those 4-pin Molex into SATA power connectors. If necessary, you can even get splitters that convert one 4-pin Molex into two of themselves, or possibly into two SATA connectors. So now you have data and power cables. If you had physical mounting bays and mobo SATA ports, you have all you need. Oh, maybe a set or two of the right screws to mount the HDD into the drive bays.
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November 26, 2010 6:09:13 AM

Paperdoc - good point!

Actually, on the 2TB external, I have direct system images of the SSD and 1.5TB drive which takes up 1.3TB and the remaining 0.5TB is complete backups or "generations" / version changes. And yes, I did "clean up space" and empty the recycle bin.

Since I wasn't able to save another full system image, I had to do a quick format to reclaim the entire hard drive to do another system image. Ideally, I would like to be able to save 2 or 3 full backup versions.

I thought about saving just the data files (music, videos, pics, docs, etc.) on the backup drive, but after re-installing Win 7 a few times and subsequent software, I decided I would rather waste space on the backup drive and save full system images than have to re-install software again.

I like your recommendation on getting 1 Molex -> 2 SATA connectors.. I wasn't aware of something like that existed - Have you had experience using such a cable? I'm concerned about voltage irregularities - having lost hard drives before in the past.

The bad news is there are no more unused SATA connectors cables (1) 1.5TB Internal hard drive, 2) SSD drive) Is there a way to "crimp/splice" the current SATA connector? Or buy a 1 -> 2 way splitter SATA connector? I looked-up my motherboard diagram here: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...

Thanks for your help!
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a c 342 G Storage
November 27, 2010 2:15:34 AM

The way to feed power to 2 SATA units from one Molex 4-pin PSU output is with an adapter like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Alternatively, you can convert one SATA power output from the PSU into two with one of these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

To get SATA data cables, look at things like these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Your mobo has 4 internal SATA ports at the bottom right corner - it looks like 2 are straight up and 2 are aimed in the mobo plane, as "right-angle" connectors. (I see it also has 2 external ports marked "SATA" on the back.) Note among the cables listed that you can get ones with straight connectors on both ends (the normal style), with one angled and one straight, or with both ends angled. Just get what you need to fit into the space available. (Sometimes an angled connector is used when there's a very close component like a video card interfering with a straight-connector-cable.)
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November 27, 2010 3:55:10 AM

Best answer selected by johndownstairs.
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November 27, 2010 3:55:54 AM

Thanks for the links.. I actually stopped by Compusa/Tigerdirect in Houston and got the cables. Appreciate your help!!
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