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Old 01-26-2008, 04:48 PM   #1
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Backing Up My Laptop

I like to backup my laptop hard drive regularly for the usual reasons. With the advent of larger capacity hard drives and the size of photo files, using CDs is awkward at best.

What's the best way to go? I assume an external hard drive would work but is that the best choice?
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:59 PM   #2
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I use an external hard drive to back mine up. It certainly is not a perfect solution, but I figure If my computer dies then I have the external and if my external dies then I have my computer. The chances of both dying at the same time is very small.

I also keep copies of really important stuff (like my photos) in multiple places so I have those on CD or DVD, online, on my comp, and on my external.
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Old 01-26-2008, 05:00 PM   #3
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From RK's geek husband,

If you have your own network you can buy a network drive to back up over automatically (could be slow depending on network) or buy a one-touch external drive. He also suggested to google "one touch back-up" and you'll get loads of results for hard drives that allow you to back up the computer by plugging it in and pressing a single button.
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Old 01-26-2008, 05:05 PM   #4
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My dad has one of those one touch jobbies RK. He loves it. I think he even has his set up on a schedule so that he doesn't even have to touch it. It just backs up every night at xxx o'clock.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:53 PM   #5
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I am on a wireless network so I just hooked a Buffalo network drive to my router and use ChiliSync to back my stuff up. Gives me more options than one touch does. Also the image it creates can easily be transfered to a couple of DVD DL disks as Chilisync has a very good compression ratio and the image is smaller as a result.
I also will back up to DVD DL a couple of times a year, just in case. It only takes a couple of them to do my entire hard drive, which is about 180gb used.
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:09 PM   #6
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I only trust external hard drive, because if there is no internet access, any network drive can not be reached at all.
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:15 PM   #7
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A Buffalo network drive can be configured to attach to your router by USB or Ethernet, or attached to your computer both ways as well. This allows me to detach the drive and take it with me wherever I go. It also allows you to configure it for Internet access, meaning if you are somewhere else with Internet access and it is at home attached to the router you can log onto it remotely. I don't do this as I don't feel it is worth the security risk.
Also, attached to the router doesn't require Internet access, only access to your wireless network. Mine is in the basement in our 'office' space, everyone operates on laptops that connect to it via the wireless router. The wireless router is then connected to the cable modem which gives us all Internet access.
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:38 PM   #8
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I am in the external drive camp. As well as using discs. I have quite a little library going on, lol.
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:25 AM   #9
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I like to use an external drive. It's much more convenient to keep all of my data on a single disc instead of a library of CDs. The cool thing is, you can get the HD OEM and buy a case for it separately, which can end up saving you a lot of money. Last time I bought an HD the going rate was slightly above $1/Gig, but I managed to my 300G drive for $300.

Briefly looking on newegg.com it seems like the going rate is about 4G/$1, for external drives with case already attached and whatnot. That means you can get a TB of space for about $250.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:40 PM   #10
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Once I figure out why my DVD-RW burner will NOT burn, I plan on fixing that and burning a backup of my data. In the mean time, I'm currently using a 2 GB SD card to back up my data in (I only have about 1.5 GB of data). I've been thinking about creating a folder in the desktop pc to rip those files into as well. I've also been thinking about getting an external HD as well.

Personally, I like the ease of backing up my files to Flash Drives or SD cards. However, they can be wiped, so I would like to have copies of my data on a CD or DVD as well.
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Old 01-27-2008, 07:47 PM   #11
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I have had my eye on a Mini-Vault over at Tigerdirect.com, love to shop there lots of great stuff and tons of options. I am thinking of one with four drive slots and a DVD burner on it, should do the trick ;)
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:55 PM   #12
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I use an external hard drive and then I periodically back up to a DVD. I use smaller flash drives for backing up things I'm currently working on. I think any method that is convenient for you and that you will remember to do regularly is the method to use.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:48 AM   #13
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this is what i am getting for my PC. Newegg.com - ENERMAX Glory EB306U Silver Aluminum 3.5" USB 2.0 External Enclosure - Retail
Bare in mind its a enclosure only so you will have to buy a separate IDE drive. I all ready own a 80GB internal 3.5 inch HDD so i juts needed the enclosure. i like this one because it comes with back up software. Another good one is the Western Digital My Book drive with 500GB at a steal of 142$
Newegg.com - Western Digital My Book Essential WDG1U5000N 500GB 7200 RPM USB 2.0 External Hard Drive - Retail
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:37 PM   #14
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Yea that is a cool drive, Tigerdirect.com has the My Book Premium here:
Western Digital MyBook Premium 500GB 3.5" External Hard Drive - 7200, 16MB, USB 2.0, Firewire 400 WDG1C5000N at TigerDirect.com
For some reason, though, they listed the Essential and Premium at the same price.

But if the only thing you are doing with the drive is backing up your computer, then this is the better bet, a WD Passport drive, more than enough space to back up everything onto your computer and then some, very portable, easy to use and half the price:
Western Digital Black Passport 120GB 2.5" External Hard Drive - 5400, 2MB, USB 2.0 WDXMS1200TN at TigerDirect.com

And if you are curious as to what I was talking about concerning network drives as opposed to the cheaper external drives, take a look at this:
Western Digital MyBook World Edition II 1TB Network Attached Storage (NAS) WDG2NC10000N at TigerDirect.com

Anytime you have two or more computers hooked to a router (wired or wireless) you have a network and would benefit from a Network drive. Again, they can be used exactly the same as an external drive, or hooked to the network allowing multiple users to access them and back up to them. With 2 500gb HDD's two people can access the drive at the same time, each with their own drive to back up to and use as general storage with more than enough room left over.
Mine has 2 500gb drives and a DVD burner in it. Since I use DVD+RW disks, I can re-use the same ones over and over. I have 4 laptops connected to my home network, two users to each drive (for now, it has 4 bays so 2 are empty right now). The system automatically does a back-up of each computer once a week, then once a month it burns full images to the DVD+RW. I keep 12 DVD+RW disks, so I go back a year before I over-write a disk, and I use DVD-9 DL disks so it all fits (after compression) onto one disk instead of the usual 2.

Anyway, probably more than any of you cared to know, LOL. If the only thing you are looking for is to back up only one computer easily and without much though, go with the Passport style external drives, 80gb and up depending on how you are backing up and how much data you have. These are 2.5" HDD's so much more portable than the larger desktop drives, some you can just slip into your shirt pocket and off you go!
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick2272 View Post
But if the only thing you are doing with the drive is backing up your computer, then this is the better bet, a WD Passport drive, more than enough space to back up everything onto your computer and then some, very portable, easy to use and half the price:
Western Digital Black Passport 120GB 2.5" External Hard Drive - 5400, 2MB, USB 2.0 WDXMS1200TN at TigerDirect.com
I have one of these - a 160gb - and it's very convenient for me because it's pretty small and it doesn't require a separate power supply. It's powered by your computer's USB.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:32 AM   #16
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Back ups

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenOK View Post
Personally, I like the ease of backing up my files to Flash Drives or SD cards. However, they can be wiped, so I would like to have copies of my data on a CD or DVD as well.
DITTO--
I have my HD partitioned to 5 drives C: drive is for programs The other 4 are for data files. I can B/U 2 of the data drives on one 2 GB memory stick.

This does not include my pictures. They are on CD's with the intention of putting them on a DVD to play on a TV DVD player.

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Old 01-29-2008, 07:47 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the good info, guys. I'm planning on dealing with it when I get home.
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:52 AM   #18
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Man i wouldnt mind that NAS from WD. a RAID setup for storage would be pretty cool. Best part is its actually part of the network. that makes it alot easier than sharing the drive and leaving you PC on all the time so others can access it.
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:10 PM   #19
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So, when I get an external HD, do I have to buy an operating system for it? The laptop has XP Pro.
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:16 PM   #20
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I use 4 external drives I take a lot of digital photos , I also burn the photos to dvds.
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