Internal hard drive for external backup safe?

  1. stickynote427

    stickynote427 New Member Silver Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Posts:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local time:
    18:40
    My System
    Loading...

    I am looking for a 1 TB hard drive for backup of five hard drives in my house - a Windows XP desktop, Windows Vista desktop, my Windows 7 laptop, and two unused Windows 98 desktop hard drives.

    I would like to back up the Windows Vista and Windows 7 hard drives every once in a while, but I actually want to back up all of the files on the Windows XP and Windows 98 hard drives so I can wipe all of them. I would like to reinstall Windows XP on the Windows XP hard drive and use the two Windows 98 hard drives for other storage and perhaps storing an operating system on.

    I am looking on eBay for 1 TB hard drives that are on the cheaper side; less than $100 is preferable. I found an external one for about $93, but it ended before I had a chance to buy it. Now all that I can find right now that is affordable are internal hard drives.

    Would an internal hard drive, used as an external hard drive, be safe to use for what I want (backing up a very large amount of files)? Would I need to be extra-gentle with this hard drive in order to make sure that the files will always be safe? Are there certain parts of an internal hard drive that shouldn't necessarily be touched all the time? Would it be wise to purchase an enclosure for this internal hard drive, or is that not a huge deal?

    If you have any tips for me, I would very much appreciate it.

    Thanks!
  2. paulanator

    paulanator New Member Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Posts:
    212
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Oregon
    Local time:
    17:40
    My System
    Loading...

    Re: Internal hard drive for external backup s

    Hi Stickynote,
    Using a hard drive to back up files is a pretty good solution, but here are some things to consider.

    Hard drives are mechanical and they do fail, and can fail, especially after time, and with a dirty environment. But they are a good, larger, reasonably price way to do it. Also long term storage for a hard drive can be risky, because the drive's contents can be erased, or even lost because of a defect or magnetic field messing it up.

    I am not one for the on line backup services, so that is out for me, just a personal opinion.

    As far as keeping really important info, I suggest burning them to DVDs. There are even Gold archival DVDs that are supposed to last for like 80 years or something, longer than DVD players will be around, I am sure... Hey where are those 5 1/4" floppies I had???? lol

    What I do is always back up my photos and really important documents on to DVD-Rs, they hold 4.6 GB, so they hold a lot. Also the R means they are not erasable, so you can't accidentally lose the data (unless you set it in the car with 190 degree temp from the sun!)

    I also backup the photos to the backup hard drive I have, for extra safety. Stuff you don't care about as much, you can just back up on the hard drive and not worry about the archive stuff.

    I use Acronis True Image Home, and it is about the best backup software I have found, and it runs around $40-50. There are also some freebies out there, but I did not care for them.

    Backup and restore system software and PC system utilities for Windows and Linux OSs

    If you are careful with the drive, and use an external case to keep it in, or put it internally, you should be OK, just make sure to keep your computer cleaned out from dust and dirt about every 6 months or so, that can kill a hard drive in a couple years easy.

    I would definitely not use an internal hard drive, outside of a computer case or HD enclosure.

    One last note, I know a lot of people mention using USB sticks, especially with their cheaper price, they are volatile memory, meaning they can be erased just like a hard drive, so they are not a good permanent solution.

    Most of this is from experience and my personal opinion.
  3. stickynote427

    stickynote427 New Member Silver Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Posts:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local time:
    18:40
    My System
    Loading...

    Re: Internal hard drive for external backup s

    So, at this point, do you think it would be best for me to get either an external hard drive or an internal hard drive with an enclosure?

    I never thought about using CDs or DVDs to save the files, considering I won't be needing to delete them later. I'll look into purchasing those as well.

    I'm quite sure I'd be careful enough with the drive; I'm not generally rough or careless with my computer stuff (throwing it into drawers, leaving it lying around on the floor, etc.).

    Thanks for the information.
  4. paulanator

    paulanator New Member Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Posts:
    212
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Oregon
    Local time:
    17:40
    My System
    Loading...

    Re: Internal hard drive for external backup s

    Hey Stickynote,
    I have a Western Digital My Book, and I love it. Don't have to find a case, all enclosed. Really a matter of what you like. I do prefer Western Digital Hard Drives.

    I am Not big on Maxtor's or Seagate's, again, just a personal preference, and everyone will have a different opinion. I repair computers for a living and I see a lot of those two drives going bad, seems like more than with the Western Digitals.

    Good luck, and let me know if you have any other questions!
  5. stickynote427

    stickynote427 New Member Silver Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Posts:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local time:
    18:40
    My System
    Loading...

    Re: Internal hard drive for external backup s

    I'm sure Western Digital is a very popular brand. I have not heard a lot about Maxtor or Seagate, although I definitely see Seagate more frequently. My friend has an HP 1TB external hard drive, and as far as I know, he is satisfied with it (paid $110 for it, though).

    Is there much of a difference between an external hard drive and an internal hard drive inside a separate enclosure?

    Thanks for the help.
  6. paulanator

    paulanator New Member Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Posts:
    212
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Oregon
    Local time:
    17:40
    My System
    Loading...

    Re: Internal hard drive for external backup s

    The internal vs ext drive is really preference. If you can find a good deal on a hard drive and enclosure you could save a few bucks, maybe, but probably not a lot.

    The external drives are just internal drives in a case, honestly. They are just prepackaged, I guess you could call it. Also those external drives usually come with some backup software, and it is pretty junky and clunky on all of the models, even the Western Digital.
  7. stickynote427

    stickynote427 New Member Silver Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Posts:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local time:
    18:40
    My System
    Loading...

    Re: Internal hard drive for external backup s

    Alright. I have noticed that some external TB hard drives cost around $100, and internal ones might cost $70 or $80 (on eBay at least), but when you have to buy an enclosure with it, it's about the same price.

    How can I determine what kind of hard drive enclosure to buy? I think I've seen "3.5" and "2.5," as well as ones that say they support something like 2 x 500 GB and not necessarily a TB hard drive. Do I need to find one that is IDE or SATA, or does it matter, or does it depend on the hard drive I get? (Are there IDE or SATA hard drive enclosures?)
  8. paulanator

    paulanator New Member Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Posts:
    212
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Oregon
    Local time:
    17:40
    My System
    Loading...

    Re: Internal hard drive for external backup s

    Hey Stickynote,
    The enclosures can do IDE, SATA and some do both, there are a bunch of them out there, including multiple drives. Another feature on some is a cooling fan.

    It really depends on the hard drive. I would probably get a SATA drive with a nice enclosure with a fan, and probably go with the 3.5". It is VERY much just opinion and what you like.

    But make sure you get the right case that will handle the type of drive you have, both size and type (SATA or IDE or both)
  9. niceget

    niceget New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local time:
    20:40
    My System
    Loading...

    Re: Internal hard drive for external backup s

    I was surfing today and saw this question which has been asked of me by hundreds of my Windows clients around the world. Here is my best suggestion.

    Two internal HDD. One for backing up the system, My Documents (XP) and Owner Files (Vista and 7). Throughput speed is much faster with two internal HDD. You can buy a new one or format your old one(s). Use NTFS and make the drive Logical or Primary. In either case, it is independent of the C: Drive. Never install Programs to the second HDD. Simply use it for Backup and Storage. Partition it as much as you like, but keep all system and program installations on your C: Drive. You will never go wrong by creating a complete system image using any type of highly praised Disk Manager or Backup Software. (My choice is Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2010 - I go back to 2006 with this software).

    I am a Freelance Computer Tutor/Troubleshooter since 2002. I know my stuff inside out. However. No expert has the perfect answer when using two HDD in a computer. I am explaining a very practical way to use two internal HDD.

    I've read the other suggestions here and they are all very good. But I like to keep life simple with my computers. Two HDD, C: Drive (System and Programs Z: Drive (System and My Documents or Owner Files).

    Very important documents, movies, music, etc, should be backed up on DVD or CD. These are the most durable and long lasting media.

    Hope that helps...

    Use Manage by right clicking on Computer or My Computer to assign Drive Letters and to shrink your HDD if you do not have special software.

    [​IMG]
  10. Wolfeymole

    Wolfeymole Elite PCHF Werewolf Tech Member Elite Member PCHF $Donator

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Posts:
    21,279
    Likes Received:
    1,366
    Location:
    The Slaughtered Lamb. On the Menu are Sheeps eyes.
    Local time:
    01:40
    My System
    Loading...

    Re: Internal hard drive for external backup s

    You might find that replying to a thread that is nearly 5 months old will not bear fruit niceget.

    A good reply though from yourself and one that members will observe. :mrgreen:
  11. niceget

    niceget New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local time:
    20:40
    My System
    Loading...

    Re: Internal hard drive for external backup s

    Well. One never knows when a person will happen across this post when surfing for hints and suggestions. I've come across several over the years that are over a year old, with no answer to the poster's question.

    Like you and many of us in the world who represent the "white hats", we simply want to help---when we can. :mrgreen:
  12. vger

    vger Posts: 74000 back in the VB days.... Staff Member Moderator Elite Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Posts:
    18,862
    Likes Received:
    1,746
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Local time:
    20:40
    My System
    Loading...

    Re: Internal hard drive for external backup s

    You just never know........welcome niceget to the PCHF........:)
  13. vger

    vger Posts: 74000 back in the VB days.... Staff Member Moderator Elite Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Posts:
    18,862
    Likes Received:
    1,746
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Local time:
    20:40
    My System
    Loading...

    This thread that has been marked as Pending for two weeks or more and has not been responded to, has now expired and therefore been closed.
    If you were unable to post due to reasons beyond your control then Private Message me, (Vger) as I closed the thread and I will re-open it for you.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
PC Internal Hardware Slow internal sata hard drives? Jan 9, 2014
PC Internal Hardware Internal Hard Drive Advice? Oct 2, 2013
PC Internal Hardware Can't access old hard drive (internal) Sep 9, 2013
PC Internal Hardware Internal hard drive not showing up Sep 3, 2013