The Conundrum of Big
Storage"> My system has 240GB on it -- two 120GB physical drives. I say that, not to brag -- I know quite a few people with even more storage -- but because having that much storage creates a major headache: backups. Backing up to CD-RW or even DVD rewritables isnt really an option, except for spot backups of critical documents.
Multiple PCs which more and more homes now have -- create even more problems.. And if youre deep into digital media, youll find that moving high-quality video and audio files from computer to computer can also clog up your network. Sure, you can always backup or transfer files over a network, but these file transfers can clog the net at inconvenient times. If you have a high capacity, portable drive, then you can perform multiple backups. Its the return of the sneaker-net!
The potential downside of using a hard disk for backup purposes is drive reliability. As we noted in our roundup of big drives, warranties for standard ATA drives used by most USB enclosures -- have been reduced to one year, while the "special edition" drives are still at three years.
This article is broken up into three sections. In the first section, we review external drive options, and discuss why we opted for USB 2.0. In the second, we review our selected drive enclosure, the Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Drive Enclosure Kit (FSU209), focusing on drive installation, system setup and performance. Finally we wrap up this story with some conclusions and final thoughts on external drives.
Read it sequentially for all the details, or skip around, using either the table of contents below or the in-place links above, to get right to the information you need.
However, since were talking about using an external drive as a backup system or secondary storage, its unlikely to be up and running as much as the primary drive inside your PC. If youre really worried, Maxtor manufactures a line of ATA drives specifically for secondary storage -- these drives come with a MTTF (mean time to failure) in excess of one million hours.