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Thread: Portable hard drives, inexpensive backup, easy to use.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 1999

    Default Portable hard drives, inexpensive backup, easy to use.

    There is no longer any excuse for losing your data or operating system to a HD failure or Internet attack. As the portable hard drives continue to increase in size, the prices continue to fall.

    Backing up is easy as most drives come with auto backup software you can use if you wish. Capacity is now as much as 1 terabyte. Drive prices are down, under $99 for a 500G size unit and as low as $89 for a USB powered 250G drive smaller then a paperback book.

    The portable drive I bought yesterday measures 3" by 5" by 5/8" in size. It contains a notebook hard drive with USB controller in a case. It is powered by the USB device so no external power is needed. Drives of this type are available up to 500G. This one replaces a 60G drive that was becoming too small for my needs.

    The larger ones, based on the 3.5 internal drives, are a bit cheaper, but come in sizes up to 1.2 Terabytes. Like the notebook ones, they are priced according to capacity. They do require an external power source.

    Because I use Norton's Ghost to back up my C drive, here is how I set up my portable drives;

    1. Plug in the portable drive and let Windows configure the USB installation.
    2. The portable drives come with backup software that is optional for you to install and use. I copy the software to my D drive before doing the following.
    3. All the portable drives come formatted in FAT32. I will reformat them to NTSF as a Ghost backup file is too large for FAT32 to handle. That will take about an hour for a 250G drive.
    4. I then copy the installation software back to the newly formatted drive.
    5. A Ghost image of my C drive is copied or saved to the portable drive.
    6. The contents of my D drive is copied to my backup drive. D drive also contains a current Ghost backup of the C drive

    This notebook drive is now in my camera case which usually travels with me. That drive is always kept there.

    A second older external 80G backup drive is by the computer.
    A third older external 80G is stored off location.
    I have a fourth, the 500G drive, stored in a remote location containing backups of both the laptop and desktop. Two backups of the C drive are stored on it.

    The drives are all rotated and updated weekly. That way, I have as many as six backup copies of the C drive with varying dates.

    In the four years that I have had this computer, I have had to restore C drive at least 6 times. Two to replace the C drive and four to restore a malware corrupted operating system. The process only takes an hour including going on line to get current updates.

    Believe me, you don't want to go through a process of format c, reinstall everything. It will take days to do so.

    Backup, Backup, Backup!

  2. #2
    mnjrr Guest



    This is a very informative message you wrote. Perhaps the moderators can place this message as a sticky at the top of this forum?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Hanover Park, Il., USA.


    Wow, that is a lot of backup power!
    I just use an external Western Digital 500mb usb drive, copy all my critical stuff, then load it onto my old gaming rig. This way I have two copies handy.

    Cool stuff,


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1999


    The key to foolproof backup is the off site storage of the data. That way, in case of fire or thief, you at least, still have your data.

    Having those backup drives off site is a bit more secure then those data backup services that you pay a monthly fee for. While they are very secure having several backups of all data thanks to their multiple RAID storage servers, you could still lose your data if you let your account lapse as well as the possibly of having hackers breaking into your account or Big Brother snooping around.

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