Backing Up Data To A Hard Drive
In times of increasing memory capacities, backing up your data isn’t quite as easy as it was a few years ago. Optical media is totally unsuited for saving the volumes of data that are generated today. Well, what could be easier than backing up your data by simply copying the contents of an internal drive to an external one?
Hard drives are available at low prices, around 10 cents per gigabyte, and there are two primary ways of connecting an external drive to a computer: USB 2.0 and eSATA. We have already introduced some of the adapters that make connecting an external hard drive to a PC easier in this story on storage accessories.
Connecting via USB 2.0 or eSATA?
Connecting via USB 2.0 works without problems on the vast majority of computers. eSATA drives can also be connected to and disconnected from the computer without needing to restart the operating system, just like a USB memory stick. When using eSATA to connect, you must ensure that the controller is capable of AHCI mode—only then is it possible to connect/disconnect devices without restarting. The only thing missing with eSATA is an icon in the task bar which enables you to safely remove devices.
In order to be able to operate the external drives in an appropriate manner, it also makes sense to acquire a drive housing. It is now possible to purchase units that can support more than one drive. This article investigates what can be expected from a housing designed for multiple drives.
Thats just my opinion on it, im sure people who use a lot of firewire products (i only use it for my ext HDDs but) might disagree but the idea of having just one I/O choice to me is better...its like display port for monitors...why oh why didn't they just leave it with DVI/HDMI
It's called "Isochronous transfers". Critical when you're dealing with real-time audio or video. USB doesn't provide that. Also makes bulk data transfer (like backups, for instance) perform more consistently.
USB was never designed for bulk data transfer. That's why it sucks so badly at it. Ever wondered why a 480 Mbit USB2 connection (That's 60 MB/s) can barely achieve between 35 MB/s in real world transfers? That's because the protocol sucks at bulk data transfer. USB was designed for keyboards and mice. To replace low-speed serial ports. Not for high speed bulk data transfer. The USB protocol is inherently deficient in this regard.
Firewire, on the other hand, was designed *specifically* for bulk data transfers. It's obvious when you look at its efficiency at these kinds of tasks. Firewire 400 (that's 50 MB/s) achieves around 42 to 45 MB/s in real world performance. Far FAR more efficient than USB at moving data.
My vote would be for ALL external data storage, audio, and video devices to be firewire only. Make everything else USB.
Firewire does indeed use DMA. That's another advantage it has over USB, at least in terms of performance. Everyone knows from back in the PATA disk days, that DMA transfers are way faster than non-DMA transfers.
But for professional audio/video, there is only one option and that's Firewire. No such thing as pro a/v products that use USB. They just don't exist. So when you say that "companies disable fw interfaces" I suppose it depends on what sort of company you're talking about. Not a production studio that's for sure!!
Again it's hotswap! 4.'something ... http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancements/HotSwap.shtml it's an amazing tool and it works very well. Solves the problem listed on page 1 about no add/remove icon.
I use Acronis True Image disk utility to make and exact copy when the system half way reboots. Then I turn off the power and swap disks. A few applications like Photoshop can still detect they have been copied. But besides this its a 5 minute replacement if my HD ever gets corrupted.
Otherwise it takes about 4 LONG days to rebuild the system from scratch.
Five minutes vs four days. Go figure!