Buying a portable hard drive: Advice & suggestions?

By on October 29, 2013 10:03:48 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Borg999

Join Date 02/2006
+36
I currently back up all of my critcal files to an online service, but I'd like to be able to backup the entire contents of my hard drive, so that in the event of a HD crash or a particularly bad virus, I could just copy everything back onto a new HD (or the existing one), instead of having to reload dozens of programs.

I've done my due dilligence with researching portable HD's, but any ideas, advice, caveats or suggestions would be appreciated.
7 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 29, 2013 12:50:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Assuming you're talking Windows here:

First piece of advice: don't back up programs.  Even if you back up all the executable files in e.g. Program Files, there is going to be configuration necessary to run those of any complexity stored elsewhere (such as the registry), and possibly dependencies that get installed elsewhere (e.g. runtimes for frameworks that get installed into the Global Assembly Cache.)

What you *should* back up are documents, configuration, media (pics, songs, etc.), and save files for games.

Other than that, the only advice I have is

  • Go with something faster than USB 2 if at all possible, as backing up any substantial volume of files over slow data links is painful (leading to you skipping it.)
  • If you make lots of modifications, try to find some kind of synchronization program to manage keeping your files backed up for you (basically, you should be able to specify backed up locations, e.g. My Documents, rather than specific files.)

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 29, 2013 2:09:50 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

In terms of hardware, I'd suggest buying an external hard drive case that has a decent fan in it, and buying the hard drive of your choice to put in it.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 29, 2013 3:00:14 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

When you decide on the brand, take a look and see if you can buy it cheaper on Newegg.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Sign Up or Login and this ad disappears!
There are many great features available to you once you register. Sign Up for a free account and browse the forums without ads.
October 29, 2013 3:17:38 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Thanks Everyone!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 29, 2013 3:21:33 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Crastiloowa,
Assuming you're talking Windows here:

First piece of advice: don't back up programs.  Even if you back up all the executable files in e.g. Program Files, there is going to be configuration necessary to run those of any complexity stored elsewhere (such as the registry), and possibly dependencies that get installed elsewhere (e.g. runtimes for frameworks that get installed into the Global Assembly Cache.)

What you *should* back up are documents, configuration, media (pics, songs, etc.), and save files for games.

Other than that, the only advice I have is


Go with something faster than USB 2 if at all possible, as backing up any substantial volume of files over slow data links is painful (leading to you skipping it.)
If you make lots of modifications, try to find some kind of synchronization program to manage keeping your files backed up for you (basically, you should be able to specify backed up locations, e.g. My Documents, rather than specific files.)
 

Thanks Crastiloowa,

I was under the impression that I could use backup software to take an "image" of my hardrive (which I assumed included registry files), which would allow me to completely restore the HD exactly the way it was. This is not the case?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 29, 2013 4:10:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Borg999,
), I was under the impression that I could use backup software to take an "image" of my hardrive (which I assumed included registry files), which would allow me to completely restore the HD exactly the way it was. This is not the case?

Ah, you're making an image - no, that should be fine, and would completely restore programs.  You said "contents of my hard drive", though, which made me think otherwise.

One thing about using imaging software to be aware of is that if you have a "big vendor" PC (Dell, HP, etc.) they will often have a hidden partition to facilitate recovery and/or leave their proprietary utils.  Depending on your needs, you may or may not want to include that in your backup (gets into the question as to whether to take an image of a disk, or of a partition on the disk.)  

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 1, 2013 9:31:17 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

One backup hard drive won't be enough you'll need a minimum of two & as large as you can afford unless of coarse you can afford to loose the data your backing up

 

regarding imaging & what crastiloowa mentioned,yes backup the recovery partition if you don't use sector by sector make sure you include a txt file with the exact size of the recovery partition

creating system images or file/folder can allow you to recover to a new hdd if you so choose ,you don't need to include the recovery partition if you don't want to,won't mater if you have changed certain hardware as you can use differential hardware recovery if the recovery image was taken before any hardware changes were made

easeus todo backup is free as in no money to pay

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108431  walnut1   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000266   Page Render Time:

Home | About | Privacy | Upload Guidelines | Terms of Service | Help
WinCustomize © 2014 Stardock Corporation. All Rights Reserved.