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Author Topic: Dependable external HD??  (Read 4514 times)
andyptak
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« on: July 12, 2008, 03:44:02 PM »
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I just had two external HD's crap out in about a week.One 2TB Lacie and one 2Tb WD Mybook. Both were less than a year old. I can't afford to own crap like this - anyone recommend something really good?

I have a 4TB Drobo which I quite like, but Drobo won't sell to Canada directly anymore and their distributor here charges five hundred bucks for a three hundred and fifty dollar unit (isn't the dollar at par?) which is a rip off and I don't like the idea of giving them business if I don't have to.

But I need large, reliable storage. What to do? Thanks.
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2008, 07:12:23 PM »
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I've had good luck with Seagates, but everything breaks sooner or later.  Redundancy!!!

Nill
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WhiteDog
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2008, 08:59:36 PM »
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After a lot of research I settled on  Venus enclosure and a Seagate drive.  My single-drive Venus makes NO heat. After haunting forums for many weeks, only Seagate and Western Digital drives were seen to have received good reviews, as far as I could see. All drives can quit.

Depending on your location in Canada, I would get a delivery address ("mailbox") across the border and join the Nexus pass program. Then your US suppliers can send you stuff with a US address. If you go there every 30 days it is economical. Nexus is not currently for business use, except on the ourbound direction with nothing in the vehicle.

The Drobos are a wonderful concept; I do not have one.

Venus are sold in Canada by NCIX, and the dual RAID model at less then $150 is IMO a no-brainer:

"Blazing fast FireWire 400/800 interface with integrated RAID Technology RAID 0, 1, and JBOD options.  Hot-Swappable trays with online auto-rebuild function for RAID 1.  The DS3R is a perfect companion product for DVD authoring, 2D/3D animation, audio editin, streaming video, and system backup.  You can trust the DS3R for your storage protection of your digital photos, MP3s, and other important files than you cannot be without.  The DS3R can be stacked, or stand upright on your desk. "
 
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku...Media%20Systems
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The View
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2008, 01:13:44 AM »
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I use a g-tech external hard drive, which was recommended to me by a 20 years+ computer technician.

http://www.g-technology.com/Products/G-DRIVEQ.cfm

Has the recommended Oxford 924 chipset, eSATA, firewire 400 and 800 and the snailwire 2.0 (=USB 2.0). So there is no mix-up: it's the G-drive Q, the Q is important to get firewire 800 and eSATA. Only marginal price difference.

Very reliable.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2008, 01:13:55 AM by The View » Logged

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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2008, 07:51:51 AM »
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You can get the Seagate 1TB external for about $200 or less if you catch a special.  At that price, you can afford to get two or three for the necessary redundancy, and even rotate one off-site.  USB 2.0, eSATA and firewire, although only 400.  Probably not fast enough for production work, but a lot of bang for your backup buck.

Nill
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budjames
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2008, 08:20:43 AM »
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After going through several premature failures with LaCie drives, I gave up on them for external storage.

Now buy external drive enclosures from OWC (2 HD internal RAID and single HD) and use Seagate 1TB eSATA drives.

My MacPro 8-core has 4 x 1TB Seagate eSATA internal drives, 2 of which are configured as a RAID 0. I have an OWC external RAID 0 with 2 1TB eSATA Seagate drives connected via FW800 as my local backup. I store all of my photos and video on the internal RAID daily backups to the external RAID.

On my home gigabit network, I use a Netgear ReadyNAS NV+ filled up with 4 x 1TB eSATA Seagate drives. This is my archive device.

I have 3 single HD OWC external drives with 1TB eSATA Seagate drives that I back up to weekly and rotate in/out of a safe deposit box at my bank for fireproof redundancy.

My favorite back utility is ChronoSync because it works very well to mirror folders on my local drives and the ReadyNAS drive.

I have a 1.8 TB OWC RAID connected to my Apple Extreme that I use only for Time Machine backs for my critical data on the User folders on my MacPro, MacBook Pro and my daughter's MacBook. This is running all of the time for the inadvertent accidental file deletion recovery.

My 2 cents.
Bud James
North Wales, PA

As a previous poster stated, redundancy, redundancy, redundancy. Also, have a systematic routine that you stick with to make sure you have important data backed up.
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Bud James
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andyptak
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2008, 07:38:58 AM »
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Thanks guys.
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DavidB
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2008, 04:13:56 AM »
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Whatever you buy, there is a chance it will fail.  To cope with this there are several factors to consider:
  • RAID - if you can set up multiple drives in a RAID configuration, you shouldn't lose any data when a drive fails.
    If you instead just maintain backup copies of the data on multiple drives you'll have the same protection (at least up until the most recent copy).  For instance this is what we do with most laptop drives.  But RAID's better for this (multiple backup copies should still form part of your larger data management system).
  • Warranty - Drives with at least 3 years warranty are available (some of the Seagate/Maxtor units have 5 years).  This doesn't guarantee that the drive won't fail in that timeframe (although it does indicate the manufacturer's confidence) but if the drive does fail, at least you won't be out of pocket for a replacement (and the RAID should preserve your data).
    Remember to keep your purchase receipts so there are no hassles when using the warranty!
I've used Seagate drives for years (mainly bare drives to put inside machines or 3rd-party external enclosures) and have been very happy with both the reliability and performance.  FWIW, I have had poor experiences with some Samsung and Fujitsu drives in the past.  Recently I've branched out and added some Maxtor and WD drives, although I've chosen specific models rather than just "whatever's available".
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 04:17:29 AM by DavidB » Logged

andyptak
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2008, 12:30:09 PM »
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The 2TB Lacie that failed on me was set up as RAID. However, that doesn't help when the thing won't come on and just sits and groans. I took it to an outfit that specializes in recovering HD data in event of failure. Had it not been RAID the fee was $900, but because it was RAID the fee was $1400. I am no longer a fan of RAID.

I really like the Drobo unit I have, but I just object to getting ripped off by a Canadian distributor who is still pricing them as if the Cdn dollar was worth .75 cents US. I find it a bit slow at times, but unlike others I don't blame the fact that it's USB for this. I think it's the overhead in the firmware, because it seems to need to wake up and then it starts sluggishly. This even happens after a short period of inactivity, but I can live with it.

From what I read here, Seagate seems to be the way to go. Thanks.
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DavidB
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2008, 06:25:42 PM »
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Quote
The 2TB Lacie that failed on me was set up as RAID. However, that doesn't help when the thing won't come on and just sits and groans. I took it to an outfit that specializes in recovering HD data in event of failure. Had it not been RAID the fee was $900, but because it was RAID the fee was $1400. I am no longer a fan of RAID.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=208432\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Ouch.  Was that a 2TB unit arranged into a 1TB volume?  If it was configured as 2TB then there'd be no redundancy (what the "R" in RAID stands for) and it would just be a big striped volume with more than twice the probability of failure.
It's important to be conscious of critical single points of failure (in your case the Lacie box was a closed unit: a drive dying shouldn't have been a problem for a mirrored setup, but the box/controller dying would be a problem).
My own RAID setups are either in a ReadyNAS where I can swap out faulty disks (or swap good disks into a replacement NAS) or with external JBODs configured into mirrors through the OS's built-in RAID.

Of course, RAID on your primary storage is usually there to just save you from outages when drives die and to preserve your data since the last backup.  If you have regular backups in place (even just some cheaper USB2 1TB drives that have complete copies of the data and are rotated between on-site and off-site storage) then you'd only need HD recovery services for data since the last backup.  At that point the $900-$1400 service might not have such a significant value to you.  Backups can also save you from the errors that RAID doesn't protect against (e.g. human errors deleting files!).


Quote
I really like the Drobo unit I have, but I just object to getting ripped off by a Canadian distributor who is still pricing them as if the Cdn dollar was worth .75 cents US. I find it a bit slow at times, but unlike others I don't blame the fact that it's USB for this.
FWIW, the new model is USB+FW800 at the same price (at least here).  But the price is still not cheap.
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