Storage forum


Need info on use of external hard drives.

by SirAtomBrysicle / October 14, 2013 4:38 PM PDT

I am looking into buying an external hard drive. I want to store system images and file backups on it. is it possible to do this on a single external hard drive or is it advised to use a separate external hard drive for each of these tasks? If so, please explain my options and what you would recommend. Thanks in advance!

Running Windows 8

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Need info on use of external hard drives.
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Need info on use of external hard drives.
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
Re: external drive
by Kees_B Forum moderator / October 14, 2013 4:56 PM PDT

Sincde it has folders, like any internal drive, it's totally up to you what you store where, as long as it's a file. Most imaging programs make files also, so that should work perfectly.


Collapse -
by SirAtomBrysicle / October 15, 2013 4:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: external drive

Greatly appreciated.

Sorry if it seems I repeat myself but is it possible to put a system image on it, and also just other random files for backup, and still be able to successfully load the disk image using Windows 8?


Collapse -
Ext. storage
by Willy / October 14, 2013 8:55 PM PDT

Practically all ext. media is temporary unless truly "burn to disc" as in DVD, etc.. Ext. HD types tend to fail sooner or later, but they do the task for some time. I recommend you get what makes you feel comfortable on a "working ext. storage" and then when you have *SUPER critical data* that has to be never lost(cross-fingers) burn it to a disc. Thus, get your ext. HD and ext. DVD-R/W drives. Flash drives are great too for day to day use, but true critical data should be burnt. Otherwise, multiple copies are a must(on any media), again for anything that has to be saved and then retrieved. You can also think "online/cloud data storage" as well such as Carbonite service or similar.

tada -----Willy Happy

Collapse -
Thanks for advice. A few follow up questions
by SirAtomBrysicle / October 15, 2013 4:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Ext. storage

What's your recommendation for reliable optical DVDs for use of system image? and system repair disk?

My younger brother reset my windows pc which led to my hdd reinstalling the W8 os and that's it. Sad

I lost all my software and schoolwork so I am in the painstaking process of reinstalling drivers and programs, and attempting to get my system as close to what it was as I can. As soon as I accomplish that I am going to be taking a much more cautious approach to protecting my data, hence my original post.

Open to hearing what someone more experienced than I thinks about this process and how they specifically go about it.

Once again all input is appreciated. Thanks!

Collapse -
Personbally ...
by Kees_B Forum moderator / October 15, 2013 5:00 AM PDT

I much prefer an external disk for such a backup (for any backup, in fact) above a DVD. A DVD would be fine as an extra copy for really critical files. If those files are static (won't change any more) a DVR+R or DVD-R is best, if they change regularly, I'd recommend a rotating set of DVD-RW's.


Collapse -
All you need do is start reading some of the threads in the
by VAPCMD / October 15, 2013 11:38 AM PDT

storage forum where folks talk about their backup strategy.

Imaging my system to another internal HDD is my first choice, fast and easy, with a second and third backup on an internal or external.


Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!