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Old Mar 31, 2013, 8:18 AM   #21
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There are lots of ways to back up. I recommend all of them.
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 10:36 AM   #22
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The drives themselves are the same, but external disks rely on more complex interfaces (SATA to USB, SATA to FireWire, etc.) plus external power supplies, not to mention the myriad of connectors, both internal and external. All of those components are required for external disks, are NOT required for internal disks, and all of which constitute a single point of failure than will cause an external disk to fail.

The drives themselves are usually fine, and can often be removed from the external enclosure and mounted in an internal drive bay, but sometimes some part of the external disk (like a failed power supply) will cause the drive to fail so that it can't be used independently.

And, of course, the occasional drop from a desktop onto a floor doesn't help all those connectors.
well that makes no sense, a internal HDD relies on a power source and a computer, theres much more that can go wrong with a computer than an external drive. either way its not the HDD thats failing, its other components.
speaking from experience and working for nearly 3 years repairing computers id have to say that the C: drive on a computer is the one most likely to fail.

even though i have many external drives, most of which ive salvaged from broken laptops, i wouldnt ever use them as my only source of backups and i also use dvds and bluerays.
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 10:54 AM   #23
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The innards of a computer are much more reliable than the innards of an external hard disk drive.

I have no doubt that you or anyone else will have seen more internal hard disk drives fail than external hard disk drives, but that's just be cause there are a lot more internal drives than external drives. But presuming that the drives themselves are equally reliable whether they're internal or external, the fact that external drives rely on more components that are inherently less reliable, makes an external drive less reliable than an internal drive.
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 5:05 PM   #24
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i guess the main thing is if its not the actual HDD itself then it can be easily sorted by fitting it into a new housing and you havent lost your data.
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 6:29 PM   #25
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Rapidly spinning whirling mechanical thing with bearings,
question is not if a HDD will fail but when.

They may last a long time, but all will eventually fail.


Acronis True Image manages my backups and also provides a non-stop backup similar to timemachine on the mac's

I have scheduler run backups first to an internal drive, then have it copy the backup to an external USB3 unit. Also have a NAS (Network Attached Storage) unit, however even on a gigabit network it is slow as molasses in winter not a good way to do backups.

Some material is uploaded and archived at carbonite or photoshelter, also very slow (and expensive) options if you have large amounts of data.
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 8:43 PM   #26
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i guess the main thing is if its not the actual HDD itself then it can be easily sorted by fitting it into a new housing and you havent lost your data.
But sometimes, when a component of the enclosure fails, it takes the drive with it. Something like a failed wall wart (power supply) can cook the drive.
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 3:40 AM   #27
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well i cant find any mention of this happening so it cant be very common place, it seems the biggest problem with external drives is the psu failing which just needs then replacing, this can be avoided by buying a 2 1/2" usb powered external drive, the newer usb 3 ones are very fast as well.
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 4:31 AM   #28
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I can personally attest to it happening twice. Plus, when an external hard disk fails, most people don't try to figure out why and fix it; they just replace it.
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 9:10 AM   #29
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It comes down to belief.

Those who have not had an issue believe their data is safe, until their first failure.
Those who have had failures (I have, several times) take precautions.

Came back from vacation a couple of years ago and 3 out of the 6 1tb drives would not spin up in the old PC. I unplug everything when we are out just to be safe. Did not help, it was the long idle period after running for years that caused them to seize up.

Sending out for data recovery is NOT cheap, we needed to have one of the seized drives partially recovered. (Tax people can get really annoying if you lost part of a years accounting records.)
Look at the recovery companies many feedback page from people who have had hard drives go bad and needed access to their data http://www.capitaldatarecovery.com/feedback.html
If you are a member of PPoC (PPA in the US) and have the right insurance the costs can be claimed!

There are many of these data recovery companies around, if hard drives did not have a habit of failing they would not exist.

Also have had a raid controller board go bad in an external unit, a raid 10 enclosure and every drive in it was trashed by the failing controller.
Controller board was a warranty repair, but all the drives needed to be formatted and added back to the raid array. Saved by the backups that were being taken!

If you are using laptops, I haven't had a laptop yet that has not needed a drive replacement at some point in its life.

(also had a 60Gb SDD fail, but that is not a spinning Hard Drive.
They seem to have a surprisingly high failure rate now that I started to check into them
http://hexus.net/tech/news/storage/4...-failure-rate/ )

Technology is great, hard to do without it, but technology fails usually at the most inopportune times.

WoW I ranted on for a bit more than I planned, need to get another coffee!
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 9:28 AM   #30
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Apple used Sony hard disk drives in their Macintosh IIci, that Sony had used the wrong lubricant on the spindle berrings. If the computer hadn't been on in the past few days, the lubricant would get stiff and the drive's motor wasn't strong enough to overcome. Apple's instructions for fixing the problem was to lift the left side of the computer case about 2-3 inches and let it fall to the desktop. That was usually enough of a jolt to loosen the lubricant and allow the drive to spin up.

Did you try giving any of those 1TB drives a wack?
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