Which internal hard drive and caddy?

  Drusen 12:06 11 Jan 2009

I've got a 250GB SATA Western Digital hard drive installed in my PC. I've never had any problems with it, but I want to buy another internal hard drive and a caddy so I can back up/clone the current one in case it fails. In the event of a failure, I'd remove the back-up drive from the caddy and install it in the PC.

Here are my questions:

1. Would you stick with Western Digital or are there better makes?

2. Are caddies much of a muchness or would you recommend a particular make?

3. Because of my plan to install the back-up drive in the PC in the event of a failure, would it have to have the same capacity (250GB) or could I buy something larger?


  DieSse 12:13 11 Jan 2009

Caddies are much of a muchness - IMHO aluminium ones are better from a heat point of view. I use caddies myself for both of my hard drives.

BUT - for a backup drive I use an external USB unit - it's far simpler to plug and unplug when needed than a caddy.

AND - I don't clone, I image4 - which is just as straightforward as cloning in the event of failure (though it takes longer), and uses significantly less drive space. It means I can get three full images (grandfather, father, son) on my backup drive - plus a daily data backup.

AND - it makes no difference what make of drive you use. You can use a small lightweight 2.5" drive, which needs no external PSU if you like.

  john bunyan 12:15 11 Jan 2009

Not sure if they still sell it but I bought an excellent SATA removable intenal mounted caddy (black but I think they did beige as well) via mail order from Maplin.(Check online catalogue) It "hot docks", is as fast as an internal drive, has a key to lock/unlock (I leave it by default unlocked ie off) and there is a flap that comes down when you remove it. I use the drive once a week with Acronis True Image to clone the primary drive.Don't have a view on HD makes but maybe easy to copy the one you have?

  DieSse 12:15 11 Jan 2009

AND - You can plug a USB drive into another system in an emergency (or for any other reason!) and get information from it.

  Drusen 12:23 11 Jan 2009

Forgot to say: HDDs seem to either have an 8 or 16Mb cache. I presume the ones with a 16Mb are faster?

  Jim_F 13:08 11 Jan 2009

IMO Larger caches aren't inherently faster but they do improve the speed of data transfer in typical operating conditions particularly with smaller files.

You don't say what software you want to use - if its the drive manufacturers software then Maxblast which works with Seagate and Maxtor drives may suite you best.

I believe that in the event of a failure you may still have to swap cables as Windows tracks the boot drive by physical device ID so this could be a downside.

If your board supports it have you considered RAID 1 ? (mirroring) as this would do exactly what
you want without the need for intervention or scheduled backups - in the event of a failure you just dismount the failed drive using RAID utilities.

Otherwise I'd say that what DieSse suggests is much more secure at the cost of an extra disk. The danger of the single copy solution is that this copy will inherit any problems (disk corruption or rogue software) that you do not notice immediately.

  Drusen 21:26 12 Jan 2009

What does MaxBlast do?

I plan to use Acronis for backing up.

What is 'image4'?

When you say 'swap cables' do you mean those that need to be unplugged from the failed drive and then plugged into the replacement drive?

Regarding RAID 1: not sure what this is. I have a JMRAID tool installed on my PC. Is this what you mean?

Should the back-up drive be the same size as the current c:drive (250GB)?


  woodchip 21:35 12 Jan 2009

You only need Acronis I also just vreate Images, But a USB caddy with Hard Drive in it is just the same as a USB external drive. As you have found out by taking the drive out, Why not just buy a new drive same as what you took out but nigger. Fit it in the caddy that you already have

  AL47 21:39 12 Jan 2009

my laptop backup drive is in a custom caddy which sits in the dvd drive space, came from ebay, no problems

i have one WD and one seagate drive,
personally i consider seagate the best but WD i would gladly buy again

  Longhouse 23:11 12 Jan 2009

I now use Seagate drives as I've had more reliability from them - they're the only mfr offering 5 year warrenties as far as I'm aware for standard drives as opposed to Enterprise or similar quality. Had several HSGT/IBM "Deathstar" drives fail and also had problems with Maxtor (now owned by Seagate) & Western Digital standard & RAID edition drives.

Agree the aluminium caddies seem to be good quality and I use Icy Dock drive bays in my machines - sound similar to the ones described from Maplins but check click here for prices / specs.

Not gotten round to imaging or cloning drives but back up data to external drives as others above and operate a mirror RAID for additional data security. Tend to believe that if my system falls over, Im better to renew the install from clean anyway to clear out any cr*p.

  DieSse 23:33 12 Jan 2009

What is 'image4'?

A typo - should have just been image.

A caddy drive is not just the same as a USB drive - you can't plug a caddy drive into another system instantly. And USB drives are instantly removable - only some caddy drives are.

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