External drives and backup methods

  Southernboy 20:36 07 Oct 2005

I have had many threads bemoaning the backup problems I have had with my new Evesham computer. Having removed the 750 Zip drive and all its software, and only using the One-Touch Maxtor drive as another hard drive, the computer seems to be working.

So I am considering taking a severe financial loss and scrapping both the Zip and Maxtor drives. Both worked fine with W98SE, and for a few months with XP SP2, but the Zip now continually crashes and the Dantz software (supplied with the Maxtor) continually appears to remove new entries from my MS Money files. This problem does not occur when backing up to Floppy discs which I am using as a stop-gap. Having spent months, unsuccessfully, trying to get either or both to work, I am on the point of calling it quits.

My question is this. I am thinking of buying a 300Gb external USB drive (without any backup software) and simply cutting and pasting my files to it. All the Maxtor drives are One-Touch, so can anyone recommend a reliable external HD, please. I have been told to avoid Fujitsu, but there are others. Although I am on a tight budget, quality comes before cost as far as I am concerned.

  shizzy 21:50 07 Oct 2005

Why can't you do this with the Maxtor you have already. You are not forced to use the software that came with it.

  iscanut 22:48 07 Oct 2005

I agree with shizzy. I have a Maxtor One touch drive, did not like the Dantz backup program so do not use it ! When I did use it originally, it had no effect at all on my Microsoft Money files at all. I use Acronis to image the drive regularly but there are many other imaging/backup utilities available. The Maxtor is a good drove, just ignore the One Touch facility !

  jack 08:37 08 Oct 2005

The Criterion is as always 'Let Windoze do the Work'
Supplied software with drives, cameras and the like are usually more trouble than their worth
The drive will do all you need with simple 'click and drag/click copy /click paste etc.

  stylehurst 13:36 08 Oct 2005

Why not use your existing Maxtor drive in the following manner.
Divide it into 2 partitions one for your system & program files & the other for your data.
You could then image your system & program files into one partition on say a weekly or monthly basis using Acronis True Image.
The other partition could be used to store your data either like a large floppy, or alternatively you could again use Acronis TrueImage which will use Incremental Backups if you so wish.
I have used this system for over 3 yrs now with no problems.

  jack 15:26 08 Oct 2005

A comment on Stylehurst suggestion

Programs dont export.
That is to say the programs folder in Windoze is part of the installation. So if you do have a system failure and have to reload- those 'backed programs wont work - You could however plant complete programs with the installation files on the hard drive -but why bother if you have the CD's?

  Ancient Learner 20:49 08 Oct 2005

I use my external drive continually, both for holding Acronis T.I. image files of my 'C' drive, and for copies of some other files which I simply drag to it. It is a perfect vessel to use to transfer stuff from one PC to another.

Just in case the procedure is not a familiar one, the drag to it is done by opening the drive from 'My Computer' by double clicking it, and, whilst this still open, find the file you want, adjust the position on the desk top, and then grab the file with the mouse (left Click and hold it), drag it to the drive and let it drop by releasing the mouse. I apologise if this is second nature, but I have many acquaintances who find this akin to witchcraft.

And in case you are determined to rid yourself of the Maxtor; I was mean, bought a caddy from EBuyer for £20, put an old 40GB drive into it and it has worked perfectly. However, I am sure that the Maxtor will work just as well without the fancy software supplied with it.

  shizzy 21:39 08 Oct 2005

If beginners use the right mouse button you get the option to "move here" No fear of dropping in the wrong place. I use my external drive the same as you.

  Southernboy 23:34 10 Oct 2005

that by using cut and paste, the Maxtor is now almost full. The Dantz software only carried out incremental backups, whereas cut and paste copies eveything. Because I also have lots of scanned documents on the disc, space is running out, hence my thoughts of buying a much larger disc. If I buy a digital camera at some point in the future, I will certainly need more space.

The problem with the One-Touch is that the button can get pressed accidentally. If I uninstall the Dantz software, will the disc still work? The backup software seems to be an integral part of the drive.

At the end of the day, I still think I need amuch larger HD, so my request for recommendations stand. I am looking for a slimline drive that will stand on its side as the Maxtor does - I have very little desk space.

Thanks to everyone.

  Southernboy 23:41 10 Oct 2005

I have never heard of this program. I would still like a backup program that, once having set the parameters, it will carry out incremental backups on command.

What worries me is when two perfectly good backup programs that worked perfectly on W98SE, start crashing, or causing other problems, on a new computer (when they are supposed to be compatible with the new OS), one wonders if similar problems will arise with other backup programs. Like many things with computers, it seems impossible to establish what is causing the problem, so one is reluctant to spend more money on something that may not work.

  wee eddie 23:51 10 Oct 2005

I hope you mean "Copy & Paste", so that you have a Copy on the PC and a Copy on the Maxtor.

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