External hard drive

Didn't find your answer?

Any advise on external hard drives they use to save for backup of files. Was looking at Seagate One Touch as has password and automatic backups.

 

Anybody reccommend?

Thanks

Replies (30)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By David Ex
30th Jan 2024 21:10

For some historic reason, I have a downer on Seagate drives. I use Western Digital and they do the job - touch wood.

Obviously usual rules apply about keeping more than one back up. (A lesson I learned the hard way many years ago.)

Thanks (1)
Replying to David Ex:
avatar
By Mentinor
30th Jan 2024 22:55

OUCH WD I have bad experiences , also ask Mr Sugar

Thanks (0)
Replying to Mentinor:
avatar
By David Ex
31st Jan 2024 14:57

Mentinor wrote:

OUCH WD I have bad experiences , also ask Mr Sugar

You mean Sir Lord Sugar? ;)

Thanks (0)
stonks
By WinterDragon
30th Jan 2024 21:11

Depends on your requirements. I have a bit of history with tinkering with computers so if I wanted a physical hard drive to store files locally and not on tinterweb then I'd probably buy an internal hard drive and either:

a) stick it inside my PC

b) connect it to the network so it can be accessed from any PC in the office

This would be cheaper than a USB hard drive but I already know what I'm doing (to an extent) so it wouldn't take me hours of troubleshooting to get it working.

The other option is to go for cloud storage like Onedrive/sharepoint or Dropbox. This has the advantage of being able to access from anywhere but you might feel more comfortable being able to hold the hard drive in your hands.

I think the IT industry has a rule of 3-2-1

3 copies of your data, on 2 different forms of media, 1 copy stored off-site in case of fire or flood.

There are other considerations for things like file transfer speed but excel files and the like are tiny compared to the files video editors/music producers will use so it shouldn't matter.

Pick whatever makes you comfortable and has a price you're happy to pay.

Thanks (1)
Replying to WinterDragon:
avatar
By johnward
30th Jan 2024 21:27

Yeah we have onedrive. Just wanted a hard drive as you say to have files in physical format.

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnward:
avatar
By Mentinor
30th Jan 2024 22:54

one drive is so slow when you have large data backup

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Mentinor
30th Jan 2024 22:52

I would buy external ssd 1tb plus a caddy so you can use it as external usb , it costs less than £70, even from amazon , stick to crucial and kingston , i avoid 2.5 mechanical particularly WD when i heard the clickety clack of death as the read write heads went ballistic ( think amstrad also had an issue with WD ?

yes you can buy 2.5 mechanical much cheaper but ssd is so fast

i use grandfather, father , son ..monday.. weds... friday ..

also i would avoid connecting your backup drive physiccally or electronically to a network , that is asking for trouble, it is a death wish

Thanks (0)
Replying to Mentinor:
avatar
By johnward
30th Jan 2024 23:48

Caddy?

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnward:
avatar
By FactChecker
31st Jan 2024 00:25

Computer geek speak for a 'stand' (something to hold object in position - typically to stop it falling over).

Thanks (2)
Intercity
By Mr Hankey
31st Jan 2024 08:25

I have: Samsung T7 Portable SSD - 2 TB - USB 3.2 Gen.2 External

Currently £153.48 on Amazon. Pleased with it, works well. Making sure drives are encrypted (not just password protected) is a sensible idea, so if stolen/ mislaid then reading the contents would be impossible for anyone else. I use Bitlocker which comes with Windows Pro editions.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Mr Hankey:
avatar
By johnward
31st Jan 2024 09:14

Actually was looking those up online. Do they do automatic backups?

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnward:
Intercity
By Mr Hankey
31st Jan 2024 11:41

Ummm I don't think they do. I just select the folders that require backing up, copy, then paste onto that drive which is so easy that I've never really looked into automating it.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Mr Hankey:
avatar
By johnward
31st Jan 2024 12:21

If you are backing up amended files does it just overwrite the previous file SAVED on the hard drive?

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnward:
avatar
By paulwakefield1
31st Jan 2024 12:45

I wouldn't worry too much about the drive having automated backup software. There are plenty of options out there for backup routines.

Thanks (1)
Replying to paulwakefield1:
avatar
By johnward
31st Jan 2024 18:21

Thanks sorry didn't mean to write saved in capitals last message

Thanks (0)
By SteveHa
31st Jan 2024 13:00

For backup I wouldn't get an SSD. The MTBF on SSDs is much shorter than on mechanical drives (though they are getting better).

Mechanical drives are, still, more robust, and to be honest, as a backup drive, speed isn't the primary consideration. Reliability is.

Thanks (1)
Replying to SteveHa:
avatar
By Mentinor
02nd Feb 2024 00:38

that is simply not true, studies show ssd clearly outperforms mechanical hdd in terms of mtbf by a factor of at least x5 , and that doesnt account for accidental damage like dropping it from a height of say 2 m. i dare you to drop your precious hdd drive to test this

Thanks (0)
Replying to Mentinor:
avatar
By paulwakefield1
02nd Feb 2024 07:57

Whilst it is true that SSD's quote a much longer mtbf, mtbf is really a pretty irrelevant statistic. It is slightly dodgy in the way it is calculated but most importantly even HDD's will usually quote something like 300,000 hours or 34 years of continuous use. It really doesn't tell you much.

In practice, data indicates HDD and SSD have not dissimilar failure rates in the first 3 -4 years and then HDD failures pull ahead.

And SSDs have other advantages as well as you have pointed out.

Some interesting Backblaze articles (or derived from Backblaze):
https://www.backblaze.com/blog/how-reliable-are-ssds/
(see also links within that article)

https://www.zdnet.com/article/are-ssds-more-reliable-than-hdds-this-rese...

Thanks (0)
Replying to Mentinor:
By SteveHa
02nd Feb 2024 08:51

I was probably wrong in referring to MTBF. But my point stands. The limited write cycles available on SSDs (although now much better than they once were) still makes them less suitable for long term use as a daily backup than HDDs.

Thanks (0)
Replying to SteveHa:
avatar
By Mentinor
16th Feb 2024 15:55

the point is nothing lasts forever , but i find ssd much more reliable that mechanical hdd, particularly with regard to hard knocks, just accidentally knock your meahnical hdd off the desk and ses wnat happens shortly afterwards , on balance you will hear the dreaded click of death

Thanks (0)
avatar
By JD
31st Jan 2024 13:02

One more for your list that has worked well for us - Synology Diskstation

Thanks (1)
Replying to JD:
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
01st Feb 2024 13:45

Yep that's what I use. Has automated backups.

I also use iDrive as my cloud backup.

(I also have a USB Hard Drive for backups but I have to remember to manually backup so I tend to use this if I need to recover a version from a while ago)

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Piltdown Man
31st Jan 2024 13:31

I am no computer wizard, but my solution is as follows:
Onedrive used for all data so that I have access anywhere I can securely access the internet. My regular daily laptop has two Samsung T7 portable SSD's plugged in whilst I am working in the office. I use FBackup which is set to backup onto one of those drives automatically every night at 21:00 and shut down after completion of testing. For the other drive I use FBackup manually to force a second backup (which does not auto shut down) every other day or whenever I am about to leave the office for an extended period. Fireproof safe for one of the SSD's when I leave and separate secure store for the other. Also, if you do use Onedrive, check the integrity of your main PC/laptop hard drive regularly. If it has or develops bad sectors which Onedrive cannot always reliably access, Onedrive can auto-delete files from that drive, so important to ensure Onedrive settings auto notify you when files are deleted, so they can be restored in time.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By The Brick
01st Feb 2024 10:13

Worth noting that Onedrive (though excellent for "on the move" and I use it myself) doesn't actually have a back up function. Hence if you accidently delete something it will also go in Onedrive too (usually about 30 days later, buts that no help if the deletion was accidental and you only notice when you go looking for last years workpaper!).

So in addition to a local SSD in the office(for physical weekly backups) I also use Cloudally which takes a Onedrive(and Outlook) snap shot every night.

So at any given moment I have:
Files on local laptop drive
Files in Onedrive cloud
Last nights snap shot in Cloudally cloud
Last weeks files in separate drive in office

Overkill or sensible precaution - you decide!

Thanks (0)
avatar
By charleso
01st Feb 2024 12:26

The same as another responder:
I have: Samsung T7 Portable SSD - 2 TB - USB 3.2 Gen.2 External

And what he says too.
Fast and efficient.

Thanks (0)
All Paul Accountants in Leeds
By paulinleeds
01st Feb 2024 14:23

I run an old DOS style batch file each night, weekend etc, as well as OneDrive etc, to back up to an external drive, actually a 1TB USB drive.

This batch file uses ROBOCOPY, better than COPY or XCOPY. It essentially updates and replicated what is on another drive, e.g. my C drive on the local computer to a backup drive. I map external or server (hard or USB) drives with a drive letter.

I therefore use something like:

@echo off
cls

echo.
echo Copy Work-clients files
ROBOCOPY "C:\Work-clients" "z:\Work-clients" /MIR /copy:DAT /R:0 /W:0 /LOG:c:\dump\AP_Sync1.txt /NFL /NDL

echo.
echo Copy Outlook pst files
ROBOCOPY "C:\Outlook" "z:\Outlook" /MIR /copy:DAT /R:0 /W:0 /LOG:c:\dump\AP_Sync2.txt /NFL /NDL

echo.
echo Copy Sage files data
ROBOCOPY "C:\sage" "z:\sage" /MIR /copy:DAT /R:0 /W:0 /LOG:c:\dump\AP_Sync3.txt /NFL /NDL

echo.
echo Copy Sage Accounts company data
ROBOCOPY "C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts" "Z:\SageAccountsData" /MIR /copy:DAT /R:0 /W:0 /LOG:c:\dump\AP_Sync4.txt

pause

Thanks (0)
Replying to paulinleeds:
avatar
By Mentinor
16th Feb 2024 15:57

i shudder when i hear about people using image file backups.. one simple error in the image and the whole is unrecoverable

Thanks (0)
avatar
By leekris
01st Feb 2024 14:53

Yes 3-2-1 as mentioned by Winter Dragon is a good rule.

I have an online backup - currently Carbonite - which updates changed files in real time. This is also useful on occasion to retrieve a file if I’m at a client.

I use Macs so have Time Machine which makes an incremental backup to an external disk every day (can be set to do this hourly). This also saves previous versions of files. There is similar software for other operating systems.

Finally a pair of external hard disks one of which is kept offsite and swapped with the other at the end of the week after being incrementally updated (except when I forget).

The Brick makes a good point that all these options will at some point remove the files from the backup if the original is deleted. This could vary from immediately (some file sharing software) or in the case of Time Machine, months or even years at the point the disk is full.

Onedrive and Dropbox are designed for sharing files between different devices and users, so are not true backup because of the risk of losing files through accidental deletion.

So you may also require a separate off-site disk for an archive of irreplaceable files or ones you want to remove to free up space. If REALLY irreplaceable you'd probably want a backup of this backup !

Modern software is designed to do all this easily, but a key point is to periodically TEST YOUR BACKUP to make sure it is in fact working how you expect it to be.

Thanks (0)
Tajinder Dhuria Accountant, Tax Adviser, Finance Adviser, Business Adviser
By tdhuria
02nd Feb 2024 15:21

We use Synology NAS (Network-attached storage) or personal cloud as it is commonly called, with two disk stations. One is the main drive that works as a server or cloud drive for all the PCs/laptops in the office or wherever in the world, and the second disk drive is a backup drive backing up the data in real time. In addition to this, the NAS is also connected to the firm's Google Workspace Drive. Here is the link to the latest model, the one we are using is 218+. It was the best investment we made, and luckily, just before Covid forced us all to work from different locations.

https://www.synology.com/en-uk/products/DS223

Thanks (1)
Replying to tdhuria:
avatar
By Mentinor
16th Feb 2024 16:02

i dont think small practices need backup in real time that is overkill

Thanks (0)