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What to Look For in Ext HD for Home Video Storage

by kmsandrbs / December 29, 2008 1:23 AM PST

Current System:

HP 734n
2 80 gig internal hard drives (each partitioned with a recovery drive), not RAID
Windows XP
USB 2.0 and firewire

Have a mini-DV recorder, and would like to have the video files more readily available than just on tape (plus ... I'd like to take the tape elsewhere as a bette rback-up system). I don't do a ton of editing, and I won't mind transferring files I am actively using to my internal drives.

Also plan to use this to store other documents and lots of photos.

Back-up of videos will be the original tapes (and, after editing, DVDs), of everything else will be DVDs, all stored elsewhere.

Within the next year I will likely be purchasing a fairly low-end laptop for use as I get my PhD. Unlikley to be doing video editing on this, but would be nice to be able to access/use with this as well, but still at home, so portability not an issue.

Other uses of the computer are pretty much standard home usage (photo editing, light low-end gaming, reading Cnet Happy

My plan: to get a 250 - 500 gig external drive, with USB 2.0 connection. Use one internal drive for most applications, one primarily for video editing, and the external as storage.

Is this a reasonable plan?

Also ... from what I've read, for the most part, brand is not a huge issue with external HDs. They all have problems and should not be considered as back-up.

But what would you encourage me to consider as the most important feature(s) for how I plan to use it? RPM? Data cache? Something else?

I need to be frugal, but can be patient to find the right deal, if I know what to look for (and what to avoid). I'm willing to put together my own enclosure, if that is relatively simple (if that's your suggestion, if you have a particular site which explains the process, I'd appreciate the lead ... and, yes, I can google to find sites myself, but am asking if people know of one they would recommend).

Thoughts, suggestions, comments appreciated.

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What we use at the office are....
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 29, 2008 1:29 AM PST

Simple things. Cases from Newegg, and drives from same. A small philips screwdriver is helpful to own.

No one seems to analyze what they buy. We just get 2 and use software like SYNCBACK to keep things safe with those and the big server.

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If I understand the plan correctly, I see no backup
by VAPCMD / December 29, 2008 2:44 AM PST

of any kind. Was that intended or have I misunderstood ?

Might take a moment to read the many many POSTs on external HDDs and BACKUP before making a final decision.


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(NT) What is a good shareware to automatically back up files?
by markstopsmoking / December 29, 2008 7:18 AM PST
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Without a second copy of the unique data on at least one
by VAPCMD / December 29, 2008 8:59 AM PST

other reasonably stable media, there's no DATA REDUNDANCY or BACKUP. HDDs are not reliable as a single source for DATA storage... and that goes double for externals mainly because of extra cables, AC adapters, enclosure electronics, handling, etc.,. The best plan (for me) is backing up my C (OS and APPs) and D (Data) as compressed images to a second internal HDD. Images of C and D are copied from my second internal HDD to an external HDD and always disconnected/unplugged when not in use.


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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 29, 2008 10:22 AM PST

But do look again at SYNCBACK. "All too easy."

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Didn't talk much about backup
by kmsandrbs / December 29, 2008 8:31 AM PST

From what I read (did a few searches, read a number of threads), external HDDs are not good to be considered as "backup." (No write protection, reliability issues). So file backup will be through DVD/tape media, stored at work.

For the system, I have the two recovery drives. I'm actually much less worried about the system and applications than files. All of the applications I care about are re-installable. We don't have a business or anything like that, or any expensive software.

Does that clarify enough?

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