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  1. #1
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    External hard drive plus dvd burner?

    So yesterday when I was working from home, we had a brief loss of power due to that saucy minx, Sandy.

    This led to a brief powering down of my computer. Had difficulty rebooting because my computer and my external hard drive have never really gotten along. Those problems led to the realization that I hadn't done a real backup in months.

    Like I said, my external hard drive and my computer have never gotten along (it screws up internal diagnostics just by being plugged in and pretty much every time I want to access anything off it, I have to unplug it from the usb port, power it down, then restart it and plug it back it - so automatic backups are a no go).

    So yeah, I need a new external hard drive. Any recommendations for a cheap one that works well? This is complicated by the fact that the dvd drive in my tower stopped working 6-9 months ago. I don't know if this is a driver issue or a mechanical issue, but suffice it to say, the computer doesn't recognize the cd/dvd drive either. So I was thinking about getting an external one of those as well. Do they make such a thing as an external hard drive that also has a cd/dvd drive in it? Or is that simply called a new computer?
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  2. #2
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    There is no guarantee that a new drive will cooperate better than the old one, if it is your computer that is at fault. Consider verifying/updating your USB drivers. Perhaps it is the root cause of the DVD drive issue. Although, it wouldn't surprise me that it was HW-related - I don't think optical drives are all that reliable.

    As far as optical drives, I bought a Samsung for my recent build. No troubles at all. For hard drives, I chose WD caviar black. The first one didn't work properly, but it's replacement had been solid. I also have two older WD USB drives. Both have been flawless. My NAS is Buffalo - a few years old and zero issues.

  3. #3
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    I believe the current external hard drive that I have is a WD. I probably ought to just buy a new computer as this guy was just a cheap acer and it makes weird noises from time to time. I keep meaning to delete and re-install the drivers for my dvd rom and see if that fixes it, but I'm not quite that handy with the computers and when the instructions tell me to start messing with the registry, I chicken out.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  4. #4
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
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  5. #5
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    I have a Linksys NAS (out of production, sorry) and it gets backed up to a Seagate external USB 3.0 drive.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  6. #6
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    That looks awesome, but cost more than my cheapo computer did.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  7. #7
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    My external back up drive (1 TB HP) caused cold boot issues with my old computer which was a ten year old P3 machine... it had to be disconnected and I used a switched usb hub to make my life easier.

    The new machine and the external hard drive get along famously.

    If it has automatic backup software you might want to check the drivers to make sure they are current...

  8. #8
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    I actually lack the automatic backup software, so I've been using cobian. It's just a pain because the computer only recognized the HD sporadically (had this problem when connected to a different computer too), so most times the backup will fail because it doesn't recognize the target drive as being present. I've had this issue where it causes problems with the cold boot before, but only very rarely because it's often not recognized, so when it does happen, I forget that it's happened before and I only have to unplug the HD to fix it. I wonder if I can figure out how to update the drivers and see if it'll then be recognized always. How do I go about doing that with Windows 7?
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  9. #9
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Being a Linux guy, the automatic backup software isn't written for me, so I wrote an rsync script to backup the NAS. Two whole lines of code. All I have to do is plug the external drive in and mount it up, then run the script.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  10. #10
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    i have a bluray drive for back ups .i want to do a bit per bit back up .you know ther type that makes ta pc exaclty the same as when hardrive died os faverites etc etc anyone know of a program that will do that to bluray?

  11. #11
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    So yesterday when I was working from home, we had a brief loss of power due to that saucy minx, Sandy.

    This led to a brief powering down of my computer. Had difficulty rebooting because my computer and my external hard drive have never really gotten along. Those problems led to the realization that I hadn't done a real backup in months.

    Like I said, my external hard drive and my computer have never gotten along (it screws up internal diagnostics just by being plugged in and pretty much every time I want to access anything off it, I have to unplug it from the usb port, power it down, then restart it and plug it back it - so automatic backups are a no go).

    So yeah, I need a new external hard drive. Any recommendations for a cheap one that works well? This is complicated by the fact that the dvd drive in my tower stopped working 6-9 months ago. I don't know if this is a driver issue or a mechanical issue, but suffice it to say, the computer doesn't recognize the cd/dvd drive either. So I was thinking about getting an external one of those as well. Do they make such a thing as an external hard drive that also has a cd/dvd drive in it? Or is that simply called a new computer?
    Do you have a decent net connection? If so, and you're interested mostly in easy backups, it may make much more sense to use an online backup service for critical files. You can get a couple of GB free on a bunch of different ones like Dropbox, etc, and effectively unlimited storage for a couple bucks a month.

    I have about 1TB of storage on Amazon's S3 service, for six computers around the house. Costs $15/month, and unlike most things, the cost keeps going down. ;-) The initial upload took a couple of days, but is only a few moments to sync up in the background on an hourly basis now.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  12. #12
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Hmm, that's not a bad idea. I could just expand the stuff I have on Google's servers. It's not like they don't already own my soul anyway.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  13. #13
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    The problem with your USB devices may be power. Most pre-made PCs have a power supply that barely handles the stock configuration. Add a lot of USB peripherals drawing power and things tend to drop off or fail due to undervoltage. Whenever I build a PC I figure in extra overhead for just this reason. For a pre-built, try using a USB hub with its own external power supply even if there's enough ports available on the tower to take the load off.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  14. #14
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    +1 on the USB Power as possible issue. New external hard drives should come with a power adapter to ensure that power is enough to spin the drive. Go get new external drive.

    As per the DVD... those fail... get a new one if needed. Any new cheapo 20 bucks dvd burner will do.

    But what this thread is missing is how to avoid loosing data due to a power glitch: GET A UPS!
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

  15. #15
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    USB Y-cable for power. I think my USB 3.0 drive came with one and I know all of my external USB DVD burners do. It isn't necessary on my Dell at home (old Optiplex GX620) but it is on the Mac Mini in my office.
    --Ben
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    Current Linux Usage (by machine): Arch: I Debian: II openSUSE: I

  16. #16
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Actually, my external drive, a western digital 500 gb something or other, did come with it's own power supply. But a powered hub is a good idea, especially if I'm going to get an external dvdrom. Still trying to figure out the updating driver thing.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  17. #17
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    Actually, my external drive, a western digital 500 gb something or other, did come with it's own power supply. But a powered hub is a good idea, especially if I'm going to get an external dvdrom. Still trying to figure out the updating driver thing.
    Dude.... DVD Burner: $15.99
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

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