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external hardrive

Old 03-20-09, 06:32 PM
  #1  
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external hardrive

Need to back up about 50gb max off my computer so i can wipe it. The spyware has officially raped my computer.

3 questions.

-Does brand matter? if so which?

-Can I find one under 50?

-Is there any chance the drive can spas out and lose the files or they become corrupt or is it safe to leave them there for eternity.
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Old 03-20-09, 07:14 PM
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I dunno if you;d want one under 50 unless it needs to be really small/portable. I'd probably go for 100gb - never can have enough storage.
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Old 03-20-09, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Pheard View Post
Need to back up about 50gb max off my computer so i can wipe it. The spyware has officially raped my computer.

3 questions.

-Does brand matter? Not really, unless you're into that. All they are is a HDD and a USB interface. if so which? Pick your fave.

-Can I find one under 50? Yes.

-Is there any chance the drive can spas out and lose the files or they become corrupt or is it safe to leave them there for eternity.
All current storage media has a shelf life, even DVDs. What you will gain is redundancy. Both your PC's and the external drives must die for you to lose your data.
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Old 03-20-09, 07:44 PM
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Yes, brand can matter. Not all of them play well with all computers. I've had good experience with seagate drives, among others.
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Old 03-20-09, 07:56 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Pheard View Post
Need to back up about 50gb max off my computer so i can wipe it. The spyware has officially raped my computer.

3 questions.

-Does brand matter? if so which?

-Can I find one under 50?

-Is there any chance the drive can spas out and lose the files or they become corrupt or is it safe to leave them there for eternity.
If all you need it for is backing up 50GB of data, and you have a DVD-burner, then it's cheaper just to burn a bunch of discs. Regarding your specific questions:

1.) A little bit. There's a lot of off-brands with questionable quality. The cost of a higher quality drive is seldom comparable to losing your data. I personally recommend Western Digital or Seagate.

2.) Probably not for a name brand one, except when someone is unloading the last of an older model, but I see them on sale for $75 all the time. Newegg.com is a great place to watch prices, but Best Buy and Staples sometimes have excellent sales on external drives.

3.) Yes, but if you re-run the back-up occasionally it should last longer. If you're going to invest in a drive, the ideal way to get your money's worth out of it is to get some back-up software (there's free or for-sale versions available), and run a back-up to the external on a regular basis. This not only protects you against failure of your computer, but even stupid mistakes, like deleting a file you'll actually need in the future.

If long-term storage is something you want, I believe the current best practice is to get archival quality DVD's (they cost a little more), and keep them stored vertically in a dark place with reasonably stable temperature.

A couple miscellaneous recommendations: Run a virus scan and a malware scan (for malware, I like malwarebytes before transferring the files onto the external to make sure nothing follows. For an extra level of security, reboot in safe mode before doing the transfer. Unplug the external and plug it back in, or better yet plug it into another computer to make the files are there before you format your computer. Also, make sure you have driver discs available or download the appropriate files for critical hardware like your video card and ethernet or wireless adapter before you format.

And of course, make sure you have a windows disc (if you're doing windows) and valid product key (might be on a sticker on the side of your computer) before formatting.
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Old 03-20-09, 08:08 PM
  #6  
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^^^ Got that, Jon?

Now will someone please tell him how to put new cable wire into his housing without it fraying all over the place?
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Old 03-20-09, 08:27 PM
  #7  
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With 500GB about $100, why go much smaller?

http://www.staples.com/office/suppli...P2167:CL142595

This one is even in stock at the San Bruno Staples on Noor.
http://www.staples.com/office/suppli...2595:SS1036610
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Old 03-20-09, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by BlastRadius View Post
With 500GB about $100, why go much smaller?

http://www.staples.com/office/suppli...P2167:CL142595
While that's pretty impressive, transferring that much data over something as slow as USB makes me cringe.
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Old 03-20-09, 09:16 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by x136 View Post
While that's pretty impressive, transferring that much data over something as slow as USB makes me cringe.
I do it all the time for work.
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Old 03-20-09, 09:46 PM
  #10  
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100.00 will get you close or get you a terabyte drive. I got my first wd drive and it is nice as it goes to sleep when I put my computer to sleep. my other ones have all stayed on even when the computer is off.
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Old 03-20-09, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by msincredible View Post
I do it all the time for work.
I've done it before as well. Hell, I've even done it over USB 1.x.

Firewire is a great thing.
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Old 03-20-09, 09:54 PM
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firewire is old get a sata external drive.
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Old 03-20-09, 09:54 PM
  #13  
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pricewatch.com
this is all
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Old 03-20-09, 10:11 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by steveknight View Post
100.00 will get you close or get you a terabyte drive. I got my first wd drive and it is nice as it goes to sleep when I put my computer to sleep. my other ones have all stayed on even when the computer is off.
I like that feature as well.
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Old 03-20-09, 10:19 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by steveknight View Post
100.00 will get you close or get you a terabyte drive. I got my first wd drive and it is nice as it goes to sleep when I put my computer to sleep. my other ones have all stayed on even when the computer is off.
I was noticing that at bestbuy I think not sure, there was terabyte drives going for I think 130ish. But I'm not in need of that. I'm not necessarily looking for long term use of the hardrive, I mean I don't want to save files on there and leave them there, I'm going to transfer them back after I reformat the computer. What's happening is the computer now is snail slow, internet explorer, no idea why seems to get raped very easily by viruses and starts spas'ing out. So I'm getting popups, insanely slow load up times for things, and I'm afraid it'll get to the point where the computer will not want to boot up anymore and I'll lose files. I have about 2000 RAW picture files and some 2000 jpeg files I want to temporarily take off, I have some dvds but my burner is not being my friend these days, because of the slowness of the computer if I try to burn anything it will just freeze. With the hardrive I can transfer a little bit at a time, it'll take awhile, but my only choice at this point.
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Old 03-20-09, 10:27 PM
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Oh, and while you're going through the effort to maintain your computer, unplug it, open the case up, and blow the dust off the CPU heatsink. My girlfriend's computer was freezing up and the BIOS reported the CPU temperature close to 200 degrees. There was a solid mat of dust between the fan and heat sink. I cleaned it up, and now it's running about 120 degrees.

That's a tip most people should follow about once every year or two.
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Old 03-20-09, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by steveknight View Post
firewire is old get a sata external drive.
+1. It's not hard to find externals with eSATA; some ATX cases are even coming with the eSATA ports.
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Old 03-21-09, 01:46 AM
  #18  
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Here's a Maxtor 250gb drive for $58: NewEgg - Maxtor OneTouch 4

Be aware that you'll be copying the viruses to the hard-drive when you back up. When you reformat the laptop and do a clean install, make sure you install an anti-virus package as well. Update the virus-defs and scan that external hard-drive completely before you copy anything back.
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Old 03-21-09, 01:48 AM
  #19  
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Question. I got a Maxtor 320gb (made by seagate). What is the difference between going through the maxtor software, selecting files and backing them up, VS just physically copying files over to the F drive(external drive). Through the maxtor software it won't let me access my personal files.
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Old 03-21-09, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by iamlucky13 View Post
Oh, and while you're going through the effort to maintain your computer, unplug it, open the case up, and blow the dust off the CPU heatsink. My girlfriend's computer was freezing up and the BIOS reported the CPU temperature close to 200 degrees. There was a solid mat of dust between the fan and heat sink. I cleaned it up, and now it's running about 120 degrees.

That's a tip most people should follow about once every year or two.
I will definitely do that for sure!

and danno, I think i got that exact same one for 65$, just a few more GB.
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Old 03-21-09, 04:11 AM
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If you are worried about long term storage, you might consider a Western Digital My Book Mirror Edition, which is a hardware mirror of two disks. However, I'd use the cash that one of those would cost and pick up two inexpensive external disks and manually copy the data to each.

After you get your files off and your machine reinstalled, I'd consider a backup program that can automatically save data on a schedule onto the external disk. I personally like Retrospect (and Iomega drives ship with Retrospect Express), but several Vista editions, and XP Pro have a decent backup system too. Of course, you can get Acronis TrueImage which is easy to use.
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