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#175984 - 09/06/07 08:54 PM External Hard Drive
michael_d Offline

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 4191
Loc: Up yonder

I知 going shopping over the weekend. One thing I need is an external hard drive for the home PC. Mostly pictures and to use for the PC Vista critical back up. I知 really racking up hard drive space with all the pictures I知 taking with a 10 meg camera, so I知 guessing I値l need about a 1000 gigs.

Anything I should avoid? Or, any brand in particular I should look for?

#175985 - 09/07/07 12:08 AM Re: External Hard Drive [Re: michael_d]
oldskoolboarder Offline

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
1 TB? That's a lot. And if you plan on taking a lot of pix, you're gonna run out of space fast. You might consider some type of RAID stack/enclosure so you can swap drives. Then you can add drives as needed.

HP has a MediaSmart Server that is out or about to be. I've seen it and it's quite nice. Also, Data Robotics has Drobo w/ is an nice enclosure.

#175986 - 09/07/07 12:27 AM Re: External Hard Drive [Re: oldskoolboarder]
Haoleb Offline

Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 1488
Loc: Maine
Whatever you do make sure you have stored your important stuff on more than one hard drive. Should one fail you've always got an extra. Personally I have thousands of pictures that would be a great loss to me if that were to happen. I have them backed up on three different drives. And all my music and videos on two drives. And Everything I can think if is backed up on my 400GB external. I especially like the idea of the external because i can take it with me, Should a fire or other disaster ever happen I can unplug it and be gone in seconds, And even store it in a safe depost box.

Costco has a few externals from maxtor,seagate and WD, All pretty reasonable prices. Of course you can also find plenty of good deals online.
Haoleb's Audio/DIY Website

#175987 - 09/07/07 01:34 AM Re: External Hard Drive [Re: oldskoolboarder]
TCorzett Offline

Registered: 05/12/07
Posts: 44
Loc: Livermore, Ca
Brands of hard drives are going to be a lot like stereo equipment... everyone has their favorite and has a horror story about another. I personally use Maxtor drives (what other people swear against) with zero problems. I have 16 Maxtor drives next to me spinning away... some for over 6 years... with zero problems.

I would recommend getting an external hard drive case that can hold two (or more) drives and setting up a RAID1 (mirror). What this will do is write all the information to both drives, such that if one fails... the data will still be safe on the other drive. This will work for 400GB or 500GB drives, but much larger than that (1TB for example) it is hard to find single drives that large at any decent price/GB. If you want larger than 1TB, then I'd say getting a RAID5 would be the best option... but things tend to get expensive quickly at that stage (unless you build it yourself).

As for size... I'd buy what you need now (and for maybe 1 year) and then buy more in the future. Hard drives are getting cheaper and cheaper and larger and larger. You can get twice and much space for half as much money this year compared to last, and the year before then (I built 4x120GB 6 years ago for the same price as a 4x250GB three years ago, as a 8x300GB last year).

How much space do you really need? I shoot professionally ~13 events (three-four days each) at about 16GB/day. So far this year I have 193GB... and last year shot 396GB. On my 2.2GB RAID5 I have photos going back to 2002 and still have ~800GB left. Getting 300GB or 400GB drives should be enough, unless you're shooting a TON of images every day/week.


#175988 - 09/07/07 01:58 AM Re: External Hard Drive [Re: TCorzett]
spiffnme Offline

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5233
Loc: Los Angeles
My quick two cents...the 1TB Western Digitals can be VERY loud when their fans kick in. We have about 15 or so external drives at the office that we use all the time. The new 1TB WD's are the only ones that are really noisey.
"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

#175989 - 09/07/07 05:08 AM Re: External Hard Drive [Re: michael_d]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10415
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
I just bought the WD "My Book" 500gig, it is quiet and was cheap at Costco. I could have bought 3 for the price of the 1 TB units. It has some nice features like an external light show as it works and a lighted 'gauge' to let you know when it is getting full. You can use either USB or Firewire which is a nice feature when working on older USB 1.0 units, as I had to do recently. The firewire ability really sped things up.


#175990 - 09/07/07 07:25 AM Re: External Hard Drive [Re: michael_d]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
The problem with a lot of these drives, especially the high-capacity ones, is that they actually have two physical hard drives in them operating as one large disk. (The technical term is that they are "striped" together operating as a RAID 0 volume.) What this means is that if one of those drives should fail, you lose access to all your data, regardless of the integrity of the other drive.
I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

#175991 - 09/07/07 08:50 AM Re: External Hard Drive [Re: michael_d]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 11437
Loc: Central NH
Didn't you post that you were using Lightroom? If so, just import the photos into LR, but then offload them onto DVD data discs. LR will still keep indexes and keywords of the photos, so that you can search and look through the images... but the hi-rez versions are off the drives. When you back up a group of photos, clearly label the DVD, and add the keywords "DVD #14" or such in LR to find the photo easily.

I setup a new Photoshop computer fairly recently with a 24" Samsung, 4 gigs of RAM, and two 500GB F/W Maxtors. (I, too, have had excellent luck with external Maxtors and probably have 6 terabytes worth on a dozen or fifteen drives that I use for both video and still photo storage). The drives on the new PS computer are divided, with one drive being personal photos and the other business photos. I offload onto DVD, duplicate the DVD, and keep a copy off-premises.
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

#175992 - 09/07/07 10:00 AM Re: External Hard Drive [Re: MarkSJohnson]
michael_d Offline

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 4191
Loc: Up yonder
Thanks Guys I値l swing by Costco and pick up one or two if they have them. I suppose I better read up on this Raid thing.I have no idea what that is or means. Thank God for Google.

I am using Lightroom, but I do not have a file system that makes any rational sense, yet. I don稚 shoot professionally, so I知 not very organized and there痴 no consistency of what / where I take a picture. I tried Tom痴 filing method he gave me a while back, but it doesn稚 work for me. I知 not that organized to go off dates. I like the DVD backup idea and should try that as a second back up.

#175993 - 09/07/07 10:08 AM Re: External Hard Drive [Re: michael_d]
DanielBMe Offline

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Toronto - ON
You might want to look into Unraid from here Unraid

They have 3 versions Basic (3 drives), Plus (6 drives), Pro (16 drives). With the basic version you can set up 3 drives but one being used as parity. So if any single one of your data disks fail, it can be rebuilt without loss of data. I believe you can start with 2 drives, then when the one drive is full, just pop in another. I use it for my media server which has a total of 7 x 500GB drives right now.
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