Buying a new external hard drive

  Barnacarry 15:27 06 Aug 2008

I've just started looking for an external hard drive for backing-up purposes, around 250gb. Does it need to match the specifications of my computer if I use USB2 and is a Portable one better than a Desktop one and what is the difference?
Sorry for the silly question but the more I read about the various designs and performances, caches and buffers, etc, the more confused I get. I'm just looking for a bog standard, reliable piece of hardware.

  rawprawn 15:47 06 Aug 2008

I have click here and had no problems. I find an external HDD is what I need for my laptop.
It does what it says on the tin.

  chub_tor 16:01 06 Aug 2008

I use this for backing up both my desktop and laptop click here cheap and reliable

  crosstrainer 16:09 06 Aug 2008

Any USB hdd can be used for backups, and both of those posted above are fine. I use a similar 500GB model. The thing is, to really back up EVERTHING (Windows, all your programmes etc)

They need to be used with an Imaging programme...Many are available, and some are free, but many here including myself use Acronis True Image. It's not free, but it is the best (In my opinion)

click here

Using it with your new external hdd means that in the event of failure, you can restore the lot. Of course you need to schedule regular backups. I create an incremental backup once a week, or after a major software or hardwrae change.

  Barnacarry 16:12 06 Aug 2008

Thank you both for your help. I have gone for the Western Digital Elements 500GB USB2.0 External Hard Drive, only because this was cheaper (thanks chub_tor) and I will keep my fingers crossed.

  Barnacarry 16:19 06 Aug 2008

Sorry crosstrainer, I missed your post. As I have an original XP disc I'm not too worried about an imaging programme so long as I can remember to back up my files, photos and music regularly.

  crosstrainer 16:34 06 Aug 2008

True, but would you prefer to install all your programmes, windows, documents manually? Think about the time it takes.

Install windows

Chipset drivers

Motherboard drivers

Graphics drivers (update as required)

Anti virus and anti malware

The list is endless, and you sit there, feeding the thing CD's for hours.

I recently did a complete Acronis restore on this system:

2 500GB hdds full of data


Start Acronis:

Choose restore date required


Total time for total restore?

3.5 Hours! I know which I prefer :)

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