Storage forum

General discussion

Can you backup an external hard drive?

by liz10185 / February 20, 2007 3:26 AM PST

I'm planning to put all my music on an external hard drive. Would I be able to back this up onto another external hard drive? For example, can I connect both to my computer at the same time and copy all files from one hard drive to the other?


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Yes. But not a "valid backup."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 20, 2007 3:32 AM PST

Since neither has a write protect switch the danger remains that a worm or disaster can strike down both copies. We also see that hard disks are 5 year components.

At the very least, put what you can't lose on a set of DVDR media.


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I forgot to note a tool to make this easy.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 20, 2007 3:37 AM PST
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by John.Wilkinson / February 20, 2007 3:33 AM PST

As long as you have a spare USB or Firewire port (depending on the external hard drive) to connect it to and your computer is capable of assigning a a drive letter to it, there is no problem in doing what you propose. In fact, you can use the free program SyncToy from Microsoft to sync folders between drives. That way every time after the initial sync it will copy over just the updated files, as you configure it to, limiting the amount of data that needs to be copied.

Hope this helps,

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The external back-up.
by mmannorre / February 23, 2007 7:34 PM PST
In reply to: Yes...

I note that the program is for XP; what about Windows2000? is there a suitable program for a similar procedure?
Thank you for your advice and interesting forums. As a layman and 'novice' user at least I can read and understand most of the questions and answers by your other members.

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(NT) No. But look at SYNCBACK.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 24, 2007 2:43 AM PST
In reply to: The external back-up.
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Storage Forum
by mmannorre / March 15, 2007 3:58 AM PDT

Thanks R.Proffitt 24/02/07.
Appreciate your time and advise.

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by liz10185 / February 20, 2007 7:00 AM PST

Ok great. Thanks for the help!

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Backing Up Back Up Hard-Drives
by fredschernig / February 23, 2007 8:30 AM PST
In reply to: backup

My suggestion: use two "external", USB-connected hard-drives. Then do a complete back up of the PC's drive to one of these external hard-drives. Next week do a complete back up to the second hard-drive.

Next week do a "sequential" back up to the first drive. This will back up ONLY files that are new or have changed since the last (in this case the original) back up.

The following week do the same with the second drive --- which will again ONLY back up changed or new files.

Many of the external USB-drives come with back up software. If both drives are identical only one of these application-software packages need to be installed on the PC.

With this scheme the last week will only be backed up on ONE back up hard-drive --- but all the other items are recorded on BOTH drives. If this is too risky, the sequence can be changed to shorter time periods, like back up to one drive on Wednesdays, to the other one on Friday / Saturday --- or any such combination.

This is a typical "industrial back up scheme" with alternate drives. For additional security the drives are then taken "off site" to a safe location, only to be returned for the next back up.

With the "right" software the back ups can be done without any further personal attention after the process has been started, thus can be started before we go to bed. After the back up has been completed (in the morning) the hard-drive can be shut off, reducing the operating hours / extending the life-time of the drives.

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Answer is YES....but external HDDs may not be the
by VAPCMD / February 23, 2007 11:11 PM PST
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