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Old Jan 19, 2008, 12:05 PM   #11
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thank you for your suggestions !!!! i have to admit some of it went over my head. when i wrote my initial message i did not have time to fully explain.

i prefer working on the old computer for a few reasons. the main reason is that is always available ( i live in a family addicted to world of warcraft). but the old one the minute themain intrenal hard disk is half full it stops working properly. i already had a second hard disk installed at one time long ago but now i need to keep it empty.

in it's younger day this computer " ran hot "whatever that mean ???? and the technician that worked on it just suggested getting a new one because it would be to expensive to fix everything that was damaged . so he just fixed what made it like it is. and told me it was a time bomb before it died. a year later i'm still using it:-).

i am used to saving everything on CD/DVD in case it dies. i just find it a pain to go look through all of them to find the photo i want. i also don't mind storing the photos in the new one i just never get to go on the one LOL.

do you still think the external drive would not work for me ??? it does seem like the best solution
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Old Jan 19, 2008, 1:09 PM   #12
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What you need is an on-line or anear-line storage system, and an external hard disk is a good solution for that. But an external hard disk is not a good solution for long term storage. An internal hard disk drive would be more reliable, but it would be less convenient to move data between the two computers.

You can use an external hard disk drive for what you want to do, but because of the inherent reliablilty problems with external hard disk drives, you shouldn't stoparchiving ontoCDs/DVDs.

When I said that external hard disk drives are unreliable, I didn't mean that one wouldn't be a good choice for what you're trying to do. I just meant that you shouldn't use it as the only place to store your photos.
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Old Jan 19, 2008, 3:34 PM   #13
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I tend to agree with TCav here, mostly. Using any one medium for storage is asking for trouble. With external hard drives, the greatest likelihood for damage or loss of data is when moving it around, or improper disconnection. If you keep it permanently connected, and in a place where it won't get banged or bumped, it should be as reliable as an internal drive.

Continue backing up on CD/DVD as well as some other medium. It sounds as if an external drive could be the best solution for you.

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Old Jan 19, 2008, 6:30 PM   #14
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VTphotog wrote:
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... With external hard drives, the greatest likelihood for damage or loss of data is when moving it around, or improper disconnection. If you keep it permanently connected, and in a place where it won't get banged or bumped, it should be as reliable as an internal drive. ...
I've been working with computers since 1980. FWIW, I've seen more external hard disk drives fail than I have internal hard disk drives. On all but one ocassion, I was able to recover the data from the external hard disk drives by removing the actual drives from their cases and mounting them internally. In other words, the drives themselves didn't fail; connectors or interfaces failed.
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Old Jan 19, 2008, 9:18 PM   #16
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BillDrewwrote:
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So I'd suggest that julianne use an external drive in addition to DVDs.
... in addition to DVDs. Good idea. I thought I said that.

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Then you missed the joy of paper tape and punch cards.
Punch Cards? No. I did not miss that "Joy".

Paper Tape? I got to throw some away. Does that count? I used some as confettiwhen theHostages returned from Iran.
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Old Jan 19, 2008, 9:39 PM   #17
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TCav wrote:
I've been working with computers since 1980. FWIW, I've seen more external hard disk drives fail than I have internal hard disk drives. On all but one ocassion, I was able to recover the data from the external hard disk drives by removing the actual drives from their cases and mounting them internally. In other words, the drives themselves didn't fail; connectors or interfaces failed.

My impression of external storage has been that most problems are caused by improper disconnections. If the drive policies are set to the defaults, then disconnecting without using the 'safely disconnect' can really muck things up. Same applies with file transfers from cameras and card readers. I recommend using the setting to optimize for quick removal, which disables write caching. (at least on flash drives and card readers) Your clients will tell you they never forget to use the 'Safely remove', but everyone forgets sometime.

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Old Jan 20, 2008, 10:27 AM   #18
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VTphotog wrote:
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My impression of external storage has been that most problems are caused by improper disconnections. If the drive policies are set to the defaults, then disconnecting without using the 'safely disconnect' can really muck things up. Same applies with file transfers from cameras and card readers. I recommend using the setting to optimize for quick removal, which disables write caching. (at least on flash drives and card readers) Your clients will tell you they never forget to use the 'Safely remove', but everyone forgets sometime.
Those are logic problems. I'm not talking about problems that can be fixed by Norton Disk Doctor. I'm talking about component failures. I'm talking about fried power circuits in external cases. I'm talking about PATA (or SATA) to USB interface failures. I'm talking about failed cables and connectorsinside the external cases! These have nothing to do with whether the user used 'Safely Remove' or not.
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Old Jan 20, 2008, 4:45 PM   #19
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TCav wrote:
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BillDrewwrote:
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So I'd suggest that julianne use an external drive in addition to DVDs.
... in addition to DVDs. Good idea. I thought I said that. ...
You did say that, though the point seems to be being lost in the discussion of the fragility of external drives. Will they survive the vibrations of a butterfly landing on them? - yes. Will they survive a two year old playing with them? - Not likely.

To the original question:
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is there a something out there that can hold ALL of my photos and that i can still play with both computers easily?
Are the two PCs networked? If not, that would be the first thing to set up. Then a large hard drive (internal or external) could easily be added to solve your problem. If your old machine is a "time bomb", add the stuff to the new PC so it isn't taken out if/when the old one fails.

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Old Jan 21, 2008, 4:01 PM   #20
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TCav wrote:
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rfortson wrote:
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TCav wrote:
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<snip>, but they are the least reliable storage medium. <snip>.
Why do you say that? Is it the jostling/moving around? I've always figured the reliability is about the same if the external drive is stationary. Are there other factors at play?
Yes. The more connectors you put in a system, the more likely it is to fail. With an internal HDD, you've got the cable between the HDD and the motherboard. With an external HDD, you've got the cable between the HDD and the USB controller, the cable between the USB controller and the connector on the case, the cable between the case and the computer, and the cable between the connector on the computer's case and the USB controller. That's eight connectors instead of just two. In addition, an internal HDD runs off the computer's power supply, whereas the external HDD needs its own, with all the connectors associated with that. Also, with an internal HDD if the HDD fails you lose your data; with an external HDD, if the HDD, the SATA to USB controller, or the external power supply fail, you lose your data. That's three components that could fail instead of just one.

I used to say that floppy disks were the least reliable storage medium, but those are almost gone. Now, it's external HDDs. There are just too many things that can, have, and will go wrong. No other storage medium is as precarious.
Thanks TCav, I see where you're coming from. Statistically speaking, it's true that more components increases the risk. However, redundancy is much easier.Just add a second (or third) drive for risk reduction.

I also like the fact that the USB drive can go with you. The last time I evacuated for a hurricane, the USB drive with all my scans of very old family photos (dating from early 20th century and even a couple from the 19th century) went with me, as opposed to the boxes of old prints. Granted, I put them away best I could, but I took comfort in knowing that a very good digital image went with me.

I'm getting ready to buy a new computer system and I'll probably add multiple internal drives for a RAID system. However, seeing that I can get a 750mb USB drive for under $200 now, I imagine I'll still use them.
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