External Hard Drive. Which one

  montrachet 11:47 14 Dec 2008

Not sure if I am posting on the correct forum and I am probably opening a can of worms.
I would like to buy an external hard drive for backup purposes and archiving.
Something in the region of 500Gig. And in order to separate the backup from the archive, preferably a unit where it is possible to partition the drive.
Reading several reviews I cannot make up my mind as what manufacturer for reliability etc.
Would anyone care to comment on their experiences please.
Thanks in advance.

  MAJ 12:00 14 Dec 2008

There are lots of good ones around, montrachet, all can be partitioned. I bought a LaCie 500GB USB2 external model click here for a friend about a year ago, he uses it for backups in his business. So far it's worked flawlessly.

  Tazfan 14:16 14 Dec 2008

The cheaper option, which is the one I employ, is to buy a Hard Drive of whtever size you want, then buy a Caddy for it to go into. Then, using software, (Acronis for example) you can create images of your PC for restoration purposes.

  montrachet 14:16 19 Dec 2008

Thankyou to MAJ and Tazfan for your responses. The problem I am coming across when reading reviews on these products is that nobody seems to have had the same unit in use for long enough. By that I mean 3 to 5yrs.
Perhaps I am looking for too much.
Thanks again and best wishes for Christmas and 2009.

  DippyGirl 15:20 19 Dec 2008

This click here is a review of several popular models from last months PC PRO

...and Happy Christmas to you too

  sheila.weston 15:28 19 Dec 2008

I bought a 300GB Seagate Drive earlier in the year and it is good and sturdy. I have just got a 640GB WD Elements from my PC technician, but it hasn't got an on/off swith - most odd!

I really think that two smaller drives are better than one with huge storage - one for a daily backup and one to be kept elsewhere for a monthly backup.

  €dstowe 16:58 19 Dec 2008

I've had two WD MyBook drives fail on me.

  JYPX 18:22 19 Dec 2008

montrachet - If you have a look at customer comments on Amazon.uk (for pretty much every make of external drive) I think you are bound to come to the concusion that these companies have not yet figured out how to make an inexpensive caddy (for it is almost always the caddy that fails) that is robust enough to outlast the hard drive inside the box. So Archiving is a problem and may need to be duplicated. Backup is not a problem. The chances of both internal and external drives failing at the same moment are almost zero! My advice would be to buy either the Seagate or Maxtor drive currently on sale in Tesco supermarkets, simply because I have never found them (Tesco) wanting when electrical goods have failed.

  montrachet 08:54 24 Dec 2008

Thanks again to all who have posted on this thread.
My thoughts on this have moved on a little and as what I am looking for is reliability I am wondering if a USB flash drive might not be more appropriate for me. I appreciate that it is not as flexible as an external or internal hard drive and I do not think I will be able to partition it to use some for archiving but it has the advantage of being solid state. It is now possible to buy 32GB for around £50 and as my backup is small only around 15GB this will cope for quite some time with my needs. I could then use a smaller one, say 4GB, for archiving.
Any comments would be appreciated.
Happy Christmas everyone and a peaceful 2009.

  canarieslover 09:27 24 Dec 2008

I would certainly not consider flash drive as the 'reliable alternative'. They are just as likely to fail as any hard drive in normal usage. I bought an external USB caddy about six years ago with it's own power supply. I originally put an old 8gb drive in it as that was all I needed then. I now have three 60gb Maxtors spare that I put in the caddy at various times, all of which are left over from upgrades. It takes me about 3 minutes to change a drive in the caddy and be plugged back in and working. I can partition the drives if needed. None of the drives are less than four years old and are still working well, which is more than I can say about a couple of the flash drives I've had in the last two years. Buy a caddy and a good make of hard drive and you can replace it as necessary.

  tullie 09:39 24 Dec 2008

Buy a usb external drive,no need for a caddy.

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