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Back-up Hard Drives


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I though this should be moved out from under "USB Memory" in case someone comes looking for this topic later.

The Maxtor has landed. It's not very big, rather unobtrusive really. I'm going to do something totally out-of-character for me and read the manual before I start plugging things and clicking away. I don't want to screw this up. Read tonight, install tomorrow.

I confess, I almost feel better already. When this subject first came up, I hadn't thought about it much. The more I did, the more I realized what a horrible mess I would be in if my computer crashed, taking my entire business with it except for the paper files (whoopie). It also seems to me that with the viruses and other weird crap running around, and what I hope is another 20 - 25 years to go in this business, the odds are that at some point it will happen. I can't sit back and wait for that day to come, what if it's next week? Frankly, $150 one-time looks like a bargain to me, for the critical insurance it provides, and the ease with which it does it. Hit the button at the end of the day, and you're covered. I can do that.

Brian G.

Computer Boy Scout

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Originally posted by kurt

It's not just a backup; it's a mirror of your C drive.

For the computer challenged among us (me), exactly what is the difference?

Think about it; anything goes down, you just plug in to another computer & your immediately in biz.

That sounds very comforting indeed. The next big-ticket item is probably a serious notebook / laptop, for several reasons. With the combo, if my main computer crashed I might be out of business for a good 5 or 10 minutes....oooooo, scary!

Brian G.

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Crash?

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Originally posted by Brian G.

Originally posted by kurt

It's not just a backup; it's a mirror of your C drive.

For the computer challenged among us (me), exactly what is the difference?

It's everything, including your Favorites, programs, preferences, etc.

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The Maxtor sounds like something I would be interested in. Does it work in a network environment?

Currently, we use one computer as a data server and backup across the network onto multiple hard drives. Once a week, we burn CD's of new data and take them out of the office. I guess I could connect the Maxtor to the main data computer.

What is the capacity of the drive?

I would be interested in any advice that would help to improve my backup process. Any good websites with this information would also be helpful.

Thanks in advance.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I finally got some free time Friday to call Maxtor about my installation difficulties and that odd noise it's making. The nice tech guy said it isn't supposed to make that noise, and immediately offered to ship me a new one. He also said to call back when I was ready to install the new unit and he would walk me through it. Lovely fellow.

None of this has soured me on the Maxtor (yet), it's still a very sound, intelligent idea. Stuff happens.

Brian G.

If At First You Don't Succeed....[:-banghead]

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Brian,

I give new meaning to the term "computer illiterate" Sounds like I should invest in a Maxtor one touch. Exactly where does it connect to the computer and how difficult is it to get up and running?

NORM SAGE I'm still comfortable with typewriters.

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Norm,

The one I have plugs into a USB port, but they have firewire and other options available. How difficult it is to get up and running I can't say at this point. I had problems on my first effort, but I have a defective unit (soon to be replaced). The customer support guy was great, so I'm just gonna call him back when I'm ready to go again with the new one. The instructions claim an "Easy 1-2-3" set-up. More to come on that.

Even if it takes a little effort, I still think it's a smart move to get it done. One-touch back-up + notebook = Plan B in a worst-case scenario, Brian stays in business.

Brian G.

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Norm,

I bought the 120 Gig back in Jan. - about $170. after rebate. I connected with the USB cable.

Installation is very easy and took only 15 minutes.

You can back up files and folders by just pushing the button or, as I have done, create a script to automatically back up your entire system at a particular time and day each week. Very easy to sleep at night knowing disaster recovery is sitting on my desk.

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I purchased the 120 because the price was relatively low, we have other computers and I was hoping to put off the the point at which the Maxtor would become obsolete. With my luck, if I got one of smaller capacity, my next computer would have a hard drive 1Gig larger than the Maxtor. Get the biggest you can afford.

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The Maxtor has landed again. Hopefully this one isn't a squealer. I hates a squealer, don't you Mugsy?

I've uninstalled the software since they have individual licenses and unit numbers, might goof things up. Tomorrow I'll take another stab at it, and if I get snagged I'll call the customer support tech immediately. May the force be with me. [:-masked]

Brian G.

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USB clone or mirror harddrives are a wonderful safety net. All harddrives crash sooner or later, it has moving parts and they wear out at some point. The maxtor one touch is easier to set up than a raid 1 setup.

If your operating system is older than Windows 98se then there are no USB drivers for your computer, you can either get a new computer or upgrade your Operating System.(OS)

Norm, If you only use your computer for work and do not have numerous applications installed then there is no need for you to buy a 180 GB HD to mirror a 30 GB one. If you plan to upgrade your machine later then a larger HD would make sense. Depends on your needs. How much of your HD are you using now?

Newer computers will have USB 2.0 (~40 times faster than USB 1)If you don't know if you have USB 1 or 2, here is a link on how to determine:

http://www.usbman.com/Guides/checking_for_usb_2.htm

Speed wise USB 2 is about as fast as a 40X CD burner..... cookin' fast.

Firewire is another way to connect an external HD to your network(or just 1 computer)it is ~50% to 70% faster than USB 2.

If you don't have a USB 2 or Firewire (IEEE 1394) port on your computer you can buy an add on PCI card that has both for ~$25 on up. A good one will run ~$45. Either way is fast and added security from data loss.

CZARONE, That was one sweet price on your maxtor 1 touch drive. Great deal! You wrote your own Script? I'm impressed, did you write code as a previous occupation? I never learned to write it myself, I've always been more interested in the hardware side. (doesn't take as much brain power)

Backup often and use Anti-Virus software, It's safe 'putin.

Remember Kids.... Jesus Saves, God Backs Up

Ron

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I have made the decision to buy a new Dell computer for a little more money than the Maxtor, network it into my system and use one of my old computers as a backup.

Systems are becoming relatively inexpensive when compared to just a back-up hard drive. The difference is only about $300, and that includes 17" flat screen monitor.

I get the benefit of a faster computer as well.

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Steven,

After tearing apart, then having to put them back together again,(working)almost every known make of computer on earth, I'll tell ya that Dell makes one of the better Pre-built systems. They use mostly off the shelf type parts and not fits me-only stuff. Much easier to work on and upgrade. Stay away from H.P. and Compaq! Buy the least expensive memory they offer, then add your own. Easiest thing to do to a computer. The more the better, ask if it will void their warranty 1st thou.[:-banghead]

Ron

rebuilding the wifee's this weekend[:-propeller]

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Well, I'm not out of the woods yet. I did the install today, hit the same snag, and called for help. I got a different guy who got me around the snag and into backup mode. But some time later as it was doing the lengthy initial backup it stopped.

Another call to yet another tech guy who told me I needed to switch to a different file system because the first one had a size limit. Now you tell me. So he got me through the changes, but then you need to wait about an hour to allow the software time to reconfigure. Well there were some other logs on the fire today so I did other things for a few hours. Then I try to backup again, and its asking me something about a location of a catalog for Backup Set A...how the hell should I know? What's a catalog in computer terms?

I've also been told that in order to "one touch" the backup I'll have to set up a "script", it doesn't come ready to do that. Say what?

By now they've gone home for the weekend, so I guess I'm stuck until Monday. I'll get there, but jeez. I'm running XP Pro, not XP, which may have something to do with all of this. My personal computer ignorance is a factor, no doubt. But when you read their "One Touch" ads or the "Easy 1-2-3" set up instructions, don't count on it. Keep the customer support number right there as you try it. Don't hesitate to call, they've all been very patient while holding my hand.

To be continued....

Brian G.

Part Bulldog [:-dog]

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Originally posted by Renron

Steven,

After tearing apart, then having to put them back together again,(working)almost every known make of computer on earth, I'll tell ya that Dell makes one of the better Pre-built systems. They use mostly off the shelf type parts and not fits me-only stuff. Much easier to work on and upgrade. Stay away from H.P. and Compaq! Buy the least expensive memory they offer, then add your own. Easiest thing to do to a computer. The more the better, ask if it will void their warranty 1st thou.[:-banghead]

Ron

rebuilding the wifee's this weekend[:-propeller]

Ron,

I agree. I have had Packard Bell, IBM, Gateway and Dell computers. There is no comparision. Once I bought my first Dell, I have become a loyal customer. We now have seven stations networked in my office and I am looking forward to the day that they are all Dells (three are Gateways).

Any suggestions about what to do with my old computers. I have a 386, 486, and 2 P-100's. I am about to take out the hard drives to destroy the data and dump the computers on recycling day.

I am still trying to figure out the most efficient way to make backups to take them out of the office once a week.

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I bought a Dell, and I have no complaints.

Ron, Chris, CW, Steven, whoever:

Do any of you guys happen to know what the location of a catalog for "Backup Set A" should be? It appears to be my option, but I never just take flyers and click on things I don't understand. The default is My Documents, but since I don't know what the heck its asking me I'm stuck...better to wait than to royally screw-up. Ring any bells?

Brian G.

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He shoots and HE SCORES![:-party]

I'm finally backed-up. I called Maxtor support and yet another tech walked me through the "script" set up in about 10 minutes. Hit the button, and whoosh, it went to work. Unfortunately I don't have the updated 2.0 USB port, so copying 6.1 gigs of hard drive took 2 hours. It then immediately turned around and checked itself against the hard drive for another 2 hours. Not something you'd want to do in the middle of a busy day, but it's done. I'm backing up like a crawdad, backing up like a dump truck, backing up like...well, you get the idea.

My "A" is so "C", its just-a-ridiculous. Now all I have to do is push the button at the end of the day, and the rest is automatic. From now on it will only update with the changes and additions, which I hope will be faster. If not, I'll hit the button and go to bed.

For any of you guys out there who are as dependant on computers as I am, I really, really suggest you get around to arranging some useable, simple form of back-up for your system. I feel very fortunate to have made it without a crash, but it can happen to anyone at any time. Get back-up, and use it.

Personally I'm still bullish on the Maxtor for the pure simplicity of operation (push one button) and low cost ($150 for 80 gigs). I had problems getting it set up, but others didn't. I talked to 4 different support techs, and all were very professional. Good support matters.

I'd like to thank Kurt, and by extension Mark, for posting on this subject, which got me to thinking about it in the first place. Hopefully I can afford a laptop in a couple of months, and Plan B will be complete.

Brian G.

Techno Boy Scout [:-glasses]

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Steven,

I have built over 200 computers for clients and customers as well as designed network systems for them. Dell makes some of the best "off the shelf" computers you can buy. I'm a HUGE computer game fan and build my own Overclocked systems. First one was the Celeron 266, quite a while ago. [:D]

It is not necessary to remove the hard drives prior to donating or recycling them. There are many free programs on the net that write Zeros and Ones to the entire drive to remove personal data. It is not enough to merely "erase" or "delete" the data as that just removes the address from the FAT or index. (like tearing out the index of a book, the pages still remain)

Most churches and schools will gladly accept donated computers. However they may not want the 386s or the P100s, then the dumps or computer recyclers in your area is the only bet.

CZARONE wrote; "I'm still wondering why most programs can generate and open a window to tell you there's a fault, but can't tell you what to do about it!" I always wanted to know about those too, so I asked my Guru. He said those notes are not for your information they are for the programmers benifit. They mostly mean nothing to us non programmers.

Ron

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Brian,

Congratulations on your back up![:-bouncy]

It is a wise move on your part.

As luck (and computer techonology)would have it, BestBuy ran an ad in the Sunday paper here in Sacramento with the Maxtor 1 Touch 120 Gig for $170. No matter what it is next week will see a faster, smaller, cheaper, lighter, sexier one than this week. Oh well. That's 'puters.

Ron

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