According to Jim

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Backup the Backup Hard Drive

The more things we have, the more things there are to break. At one time, there is no doubt about it, it was the simple life.

I went to do a backup today of my PC computer onto my external hard drive, and low and behold, the backup hard drive would not work. I only use the external hard drive to do complete backups, and hardly ever turn it on. However, when I turned it on this time, I heard a very strange loud motor noise. I turned the hard drive off, and noticed when I turned it side to side, there was a clunking sound coming from inside the drive itself. This obviously was not a very good sign. The external hard drive is basically an internal drive with an external case around it. The HD was a Seagate Barracuda, 500GB PATA IDE drive, inside a SimpleTech case.

When I pulled the hard drive out of the case, and then disassembled the HD itself, I found that the motor shaft had sheared off the platters section, and all the four platters were still locked together, but the spindle section itself was separated from the motor, and was loose.

Keep in mind, failures eventually will happen on any device, and the SimpleTech Seagate drive has been very dependable for three years or more. This can happen to any drive and I do have experience with other internal drives dying on me too.

So, I did not feel comfortable without having a backup of this computer, and ran over to Costco to get another HD drive. I got a pretty good deal on a 500GB Ultra Portable Hard Drive for $60.00 plus tax. Yes, I could have gotten a much bigger drive, but I wanted to do more research in this area of large hard drives before spending more money, and this drive provided a backup bridge so to speak.

The new external hard drive is actually pretty cool in that the drive comes with a desktop USB dock and a separate USB cable, along with a small protective soft case for storage. It also comes with backup software and other software that is both Apple Mac OS X operating system 10.4.11 or higher; 10.5.8; or 10.6.2 and PC Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 operating systems. The portability of the drive is nice in that it does not require a power cable. The drive gets all its power directly through the USB 2.0 plug.

I already had Acronis backup software [ Acronis Backup Software ] installed on my PC, and even as I write this from that PC, I am doing a complete backup to the new external hard drive. I will be feeling much better once that gets done.

I have come to the conclusion, you can never have too many backups. In fact, it is good to have a backup of the backup, and then if you want to go further, store it in a firesafe, or better yet, store one of those backups off site. I am still a bit reluctant to use online backup file storage at this time, though there are merits to doing that too.

01/20/2011 Update:

I am very happy to report that the computer is backed up. Now I am thinking I should upgrade the internal hard drive to a SATA 1 TB and remove the two old PATA drives (C and D drive), using one of them in the old SimpleTech enclosure, since that enclosure is set up for PATA IDE drives. Note, my computer MOB is new enough that it has the PATA connectors built into it. Maybe I might even consider changing from Windows XP and loading in Windows 7. Or, maybe I should get a 2TB drive and make it dual boot, or maybe a tri boot with Linux, or maybe even consider making it a quad boot to Google Chrome operating system. Oh my, the possibilities are endless!

01/21/2011 Update:

After I completed the backup, I started thinking about my wife’s computer, and the backup that was on the backup drive, which was no longer viable. I had some extra PATA drives, and decided to try installing one of the extra drives in the chassis of the SimpleTech box, even though I have a SATA and PATA to USB internal hard drive desktop adapter. I am happy to report, it worked. So, with that in mind, I now did a fresh backup of my wife’s computer. I would really be in trouble if something happened to hers. As I always say, you can never have too many backups.

Also, I took the plunge, and ordered a 1TB SATA internal drive from Amazon for my PC computer. I think I got a great deal on this Hitachi Deskstar SATA 2 HD. What do you think? Hitachi Deskstar 3.5 Inch 1 TB 7200 RPM SATA II 32 MB Cache Internal Hard Drive 0S02860

Jim

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