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Store external HDD internally (for backup)

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September 19, 2011 9:23:53 PM

To whom it may concern:
Hi, I have a question that I have not seemed to find an answer for so I am here with a query. Can I store my external storage (system image and data backup) internally? I understand that it is ideal to store backups separate from the PC, but I live in a small place w/ no off premises location etc., etc.. I am also tired of moving my drives around and tired of the amount of shelf space and usb ports the external drives are taking up and I would hate to have to add more (I have enough usb devices). I have 6 external drives (1x160G, 1x640G, 1x1T, 1x1.5T, 2x2T) that I use for storage and backup. My idea is simple if it works and I am curious if I am facing any potential problems with functionality other than PSU failure and I am not too concerned about speed since it is for backup and I usually do backups when I am working on a paper for school or watching a movie. Furthermore, I have 1x1T(7200rpm) + 1x200G(10,000rpm) drives in my PC. My OS, programs, and documents are located on the 200G which will receive the system image backup and the data backup will include both drives (1T & 200G). I would rather use my external drives for storing ISO's, videos/movies, pictures, etc. and having duplicates of those files on separate drives just in case.

My plan will consists of the following;
option 1: (preferred)
I plan on using an using existing PSU, but I want to use a SATA II to eSATA cable and run it to a eSATA PCIe card. I can run the cables thru the existing liquid cooler holes to the exterior and plug them in directly to the eSATA card. Moreover, will this work if I need to restore a system image, or should I use usb?
option 2:
I have an old (about 12yrs) HP tower I can use mount the HDD and use a dedicated PSU. I then can run SATA to eSATA with a slot connector then eSATA slot to my PC.

Oh, and since I am typing and I forgot to look up this bit of info I will ask it now. My understanding is that is if I obtain an SSD drive, or any HDD drive for that matter I will be able to use the system image to transfer my OS and programs from the existing drive to the newer one. Is this correct, or do I have to contact Microsoft for a new product key (Windows 7 64bit)?

If there are any pertinent factors I am not thinking of I would like to hear of them other than the possibility of home fires or natural disasters, because if that happens it is all FUBAR anyways.

Thank You,
elmicnip :pt1cable: 
a b G Storage
September 19, 2011 9:55:20 PM

this idea is pointless... external HD's are the same as an internal HD but just inside a fancy plastic case with a sata to USB adapter. the idea of having an external HD is so that internal comptuer power failures do not impact the HD. you would need to make a seperate fuse system to prevent voltage spikes and install a backup battery inside the computer to prevent power drops from effecting this HD. if you wanted i suppose you could run the USB and power wires out the back of the case and not use the computers PSU. that would make a little more sense but still. external HD's do not have any magical power stabilization tech in them. when they get hit by a surge the PCB that converts the sata to USB generaly dies with out killing the drive, thats there main saving grace. having a good APC UPS with AVR tech to plug your computer into will give you much more protection than an external HD would.

as for your imaging yes thats correct. you can replace a HD and simply image over one to another. i have run into issues taking a platter drive and imaging it to a SSD, it does not always seem to work. you can only run that windows on a single computer. you can change computers with it but in the end that product key will only keep 1 computer activated.

if you do want the external internal i would cut off the usb end, solder on a internal usb connector so you can plug it into the MB and run the DC power cord out the back and plug it into a power surge protector. or you could not cut the usb and just run it out the back pci bracket and into a rear usb plug. wich ever you prefer.
September 19, 2011 10:54:04 PM

Actually I did not think about power surges because I do have a UPS. I was thinking of using bare drives in my PC not my externals, maybe I should have clarified that, sorry. The reason I was pondering this is because of system corruption and for convenience of a system restore because my understanding is if your system goes SNAFU you need your backup on a drive that is not plugged into the PC because the corruption could affect the drives that are plugged in. This way I just have to reach to the back of the PC and plug the eSATA or usb in. This will allow me to to have backup drives without having and external taking up limited space. I am even pondering the possibility of an in-line power switch attached to the case so I can physically turn off the power to the drives. Thanks for the input though.

Maybe I will pursue the old tower idea and make one large external drive that combines multiple drives. This way I can just get rid of the external drives that I do not cannibalize. With separate power protection it will be able to be completely turned off and I can even put a switch that will sever the data connection to my PC when not in use (I currently have over 5T of data and growing) this way I will be able to use it with my laptop too. Who knows I am just pondering and building it gives me something to do that is relatively inexpensive.

I just prefer homemade items for the aesthetic appeal and I dig the ghetto look. For example, I have worked in the restaurant industry for over 20 yrs and have accumulated a lot of aluminum and stainless steel items from many kitchens and am planning on taking a welding class so I can build a steel and aluminum desk that will contain all my components internally and be a PC desk/heatsink/entertainment center (think of a PC that Dr. Emmett Brown would build). I know this idea is overkill, but I think many consumer products are boring and generic. All this is at least a year down the road though. I may even attach a cooler to it so I can keep my frosty adult beverages near by.

Thanks again for your input.
a b G Storage
September 19, 2011 11:00:41 PM

well if you want to stick a dormant drive in yoru case there is no issue with that. it is possible for a virus to move from os drive to data drive but file system issues are not contagious and few viruses out there go for anything other that exe's or os drives. i personally keep my C drive with all my programs and os and have a raid 5 of internal drives with all my data on them. for a backup i use a 16GB jump drive with a mini xp install, some simple games such as escape velocity to play while imaging and a norton ghost image/software. i installed my raid drivers into the mini xp for faster transfer speeds. to reimage my os drive takes less than 10 min.
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