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davidcotton
2008-12-14, 06:31
Hi

Well looks like both usb drives I've got are about to go on me. One's just about had it and I don't trust the other. I do have the flac collection backed up but sadly not the mp3 version for the ipod.

So I'm after recommendations on drives. At this point I'm not sure whether to go with a 1tb drive x2 or 2 x 500 (1 for flac, 1 for mp3, once I've reconverted will back that up as well!). I'm also using a mac mini if that makes any difference. BTW it was toshiba drives that just failed on me so don't want to go with them again.

Oh also in the uk. Seen a couple of good deals for a)1 tb western digital around £80 delivered, or b)Buffalo 500 gig for £49.00 delivered.

Nice though this streaming stuff is I sometimes wish I'd just put the money to a REALLY nice cdp and have done with it.

Cheers.

bobkoure
2008-12-18, 10:43
Get 2 1TB drives. One for your collection - and one for a backup of it.
I run internal drives, but whenever I upgrade an internal drive, I buy an external of the same size or larger as a backup drive.

pfarrell
2008-12-18, 10:51
bobkoure wrote:
> Get 2 1TB drives. One for your collection - and one for a backup of it.

Or better, get 3 drives. one live, one short term backup, and one long
term off site backup. Automate the backup from live to short term.

When you go visit your kids, or inlaws or parents, take the short term
drive to their house. Put it in a closet. Install the other backup drive
in your system, make backups to it.

Visit the kinfolks periodically, swap drives.

Now you are safe from flood, fire, earthquake, etc.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

aubuti
2008-12-18, 11:01
Visit the kinfolks periodically, swap drives.

Now you are safe from flood, fire, earthquake, etc.
... and complaints that "you never come to visit me...."

Moonbase
2008-12-18, 11:30
Actually, yes. 3 IS a VERY wise choice. (For both backup and kinfolk relations.)

My experience also shows …
Keep away from nice-looking "Apple design" drives (or actually all drives that have a too small housing, (almost) no air vents, and plastic casing). Personally, I’ve had very bad experiences with LaCie units. (Regarding technical reliability, not dealer service—getting them exchanged was no problem, but 3 times in a row all data gone is BAD.)
Look for drives with a fan, if the noise doesn’t disturb you too much.
Prefer sturdy aluminium cases over plastic.
Always use the drive in the upright position on the stand. Air should (on most of them) be able to flow from bottom front to upper rear—don’t accidentally use them 180° rotated. They usually tend to heat up too much, very quickly.
Don’t place them in the sun or near a heater. Leave a minimum of about 5" room to left, right, up so airflow is good. (No putting it in the drawer or squeezed in between the books on your bookshelf.)

Lack of airflow and overheating really is the cause for early death on most of these external drives. Most are built for the »mass market«, so they must be cheap and the manufacturer wants to sell you a new one soon. Result: Design near the limits.

Interestingly, another cause for early death *seems* to be switching these thingies on and off too much. I have two here that haven’t been switched off for about 2 years now, are only "medium-hot" and in regular use (daily backup of music collection plus heavy use on the music files). Not ONE glitch and SMART shows still 100% good. Friends have the SAME type of units, all broken in the meantime. It may be a coincidence, but I still think it’s better for drives to run at all times and at about the same temperature, as opposed to being switched on and off every few hours.

I agree with bobkoure in saying: Get 1TB instead of 500GB. They give much more bang for the buck, and are about as reliable as the 500GB now.

If budget matters, I’d start out with 2x 1TB. Backup IS important—at this size, you won’t ever even DO one if you haven’t got an identical drive to back up!

Eventually, I’d try to follow pfarrell’s suggestion using 3 drives. His is really a VERY wise suggestion.

Another one: Try to get all two (three) SAME model and manufacturer. It’s just GREAT being able to swap parts in case a power supply dies, the casing breaks or whatever!

FredFredrickson
2008-12-18, 12:11
You know, with such a large library that I have, I've given up on buying more and more hardware, keeping things painless and safe are hard to do.

So I've decided on using an online backup program - there's an unlimited one for $5/month, no size limit called MOZY. Now I have 150GB and a 768kbps upload connection, so the initial backup is taking a few months-

but once that backup is done, it automatically updates the backup set with new and changed files, and does so quickly. So it turns out to be a really good solution.

Offsite, large, and easy. I prefer this.

And as always, keep multiple backups. An additional external HDD is always a good idea. The more backups, the less likely you will be to lose anything.

*DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT WORK FOR MOZY OR LOGITECH.

TiredLegs
2008-12-18, 12:28
Or better, get 3 drives. one live, one short term backup, and one long term off site backup. Automate the backup from live to short term.

When you go visit your kids, or inlaws or parents, take the short term
drive to their house. Put it in a closet. Install the other backup drive
in your system, make backups to it.

Visit the kinfolks periodically, swap drives.

Now you are safe from flood, fire, earthquake, etc.

I keep my offsite backup drive locked in a desk drawer at work. That way, I don't have to deal with the pesky relatives ;-)

By the way, I don't leave more than one of the backup drives mounted to the local network for any length of time. I lived through the "I Love You" virus of May 2000, which destroyed all JPG image files, MP3 audio files, and MPEG video files on any mounted volumes accessible to an infected computer. It was a close call that got me religion on backing up. Your backups are not safe from accidental or intentional deletion while they're on the network.

TiredLegs
2008-12-18, 12:52
You know, with such a large library that I have, I've given up on buying more and more hardware, keeping things painless and safe are hard to do.

So I've decided on using an online backup program - there's an unlimited one for $5/month, no size limit called MOZY. Now I have 150GB and a 768kbps upload connection, so the initial backup is taking a few months-

but once that backup is done, it automatically updates the backup set with new and changed files, and does so quickly. So it turns out to be a really good solution.

I looked into online backup services, but decided against using one (at least for now). Not only does it take months just to do the initial backup of hundreds of gigabytes, if you ever need to retrieve the files, it will take months to get them back. The speed of your internet connection isn't the limiting factor. The backup services intentionally limit the rate at which they trickle out data to any one user. Most of the services won't even tell you the data rate you can get copying files back out. And worse, if one of these services is going out of business, they do not guarantee that they will provide users enough advance notice to download all their files before the plug gets pulled on the service.

Mark Lanctot
2008-12-18, 13:10
You know, with such a large library that I have, I've given up on buying more and more hardware, keeping things painless and safe are hard to do.

Just curious - how large a library do you have?

They make 1.5 TB drives now, although they're still suffering teething problems, and 2 TB drives can't be that far away.

agbagb
2008-12-18, 13:34
bobkoure wrote:
> Get 2 1TB drives. One for your collection - and one for a backup of it.

Or better, get 3 drives. one live, one short term backup, and one long
term off site backup. Automate the backup from live to short term.

When you go visit your kids, or inlaws or parents, take the short term
drive to their house. Put it in a closet. Install the other backup drive
in your system, make backups to it.

Visit the kinfolks periodically, swap drives.

Now you are safe from flood, fire, earthquake, etc.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/


That's pretty much what I do here at AGB Towers with 3 x 500gb external drives: live, local BU, remote "in-laws" BU (as well as the main internal HDD of the desktop machine). I also use an on-line BU service (Carbonite), BUT that service isn't really designed or priced for a BU of 2 or 3 hundred gigs of FLACs: I use it chiefly to BU 20gb or so of documents, jpgs etc etc, but not music. So that leaves a vulnerability - if you sit and rip, say, another 20 CDs at home, and stick them in your live and BU drives, they are still subject to earthquake and fire until you next get to the in-laws.....

So what I do to cover the eventuality of losing the live drive and short-term BU drives *before* I've updated the long-term "in-laws" drive is to have a "New Additions" folder on my local main HDD which *is* backed up to Carbonite (it's seldom more than 1gb of new rips at any given time, and is a 3rd local copy of stuff which has been put onto the live and local BU drives). When I later slot the "New Additions" into the remote BU, I then delete the contents of that folder (which clears it from Carbonite) and then gradually build it up again with any further new rips.

AGB

pfarrell
2008-12-18, 13:46
agbagb wrote:
> - if you sit and rip, say, another 20 CDs at home, and stick them in
> your live and BU drives, they are still subject to earthquake and fire
> until you next get to the in-laws.....

At some point, you have to decide how much backup is sufficient. For
commercial CDs, you have the CDs themselves. And you can always buy
another copy if you suffer an earthquake, fire and flood before you get
to the in-laws.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

FredFredrickson
2008-12-18, 13:53
I looked into online backup services, but decided against using one (at least for now). Not only does it take months just to do the initial backup of hundreds of gigabytes, if you ever need to retrieve the files, it will take months to get them back. The speed of your internet connection isn't the limiting factor. The backup services intentionally limit the rate at which they trickle out data to any one user. Most of the services won't even tell you the data rate you can get copying files back out. And worse, if one of these services is going of business, they do not guarantee that they will provide users enough advance notice to download all their files before the plug gets pulled on the service.

This is true, but it's a whole heck of a lot safer than relying on myself to make regular off site backups- and at $5/month you can't beat it.

Downloading is not capped according to their TOS, and so I assume downloading 150 gb is actually pretty quick on a decent connection. (could do it overnight).

Mark- My music library is about 150gb, however I have hundreds worth of data in other stuff, I currently have 2 750gb HDDs in a raid mirror. I do video editing as well as music creation in my home studio. :-) About 40 gb in recorded wavs alone.

Max F
2008-12-18, 20:31
Seriously, get three hard drives. They are cheap enough. I had a WD myBook crap out on me, but with a backup ready to go. After that, I started thinking and almost loosing sleep about what if both drives were to go out - certainly a possibility I was not willing to risk. So, i got a second backup and feel much more secure now. I took one to work. Lets face it - it's not just the value of whats on the drives, it's also the amount of time putting into ripping discs, fixing tags, getting artwork. Lots of hours invested there!