[SOLVED] External Backup Drive

atticus_maytrap

Commendable
Nov 12, 2018
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3
1,545
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Hi there,

so i've been using a Toshiba 1TB external drive as a monthly backup device. First of every month, connect the drive, format the drive, and then backup my data from the month.

A colleague of mine tells me that the monthly format and rewrite of all the data to the drive will cause it to fail quicker than normal.

Is there any truth to that? I understand that regarding drive failure its a question of when, not if, but am i speeding up the process by rewriting all the data in the fashion?
I had considered keeping it connected and using an automated to backup as it goes along, but i kind of like having the backup drive completely separate from my system
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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First off, kudos for being proactive with your data. Sadly, that thought is far too uncommon.

What you're doing with it is no better or worse than any other use.

The main thing to consider with this backup drive, is that it is a backup. A second or third copy of the data. Not the only copy.
This drive will eventually die, just like every other storage device.

But it is highly unlikely that ALL of your copies will die at the same time.


Having it permanently connected leaves the data vulnerable to things like ransomware.
You can have it unconnected AND automate the process.

Tools such as Macrium Reflect let you create a schedule.
First of the month, at 1PM, go. Or whatever time period meets your needs.
All you need to do is connect it before that, and disconnect when done.
 
Reactions: atticus_maytrap
The thing that kills external hdd is typically:
  • User moving the hdd while it's working.
  • Overheating (hide it under a pile of clothes while dumping data to it) and frequent start and stop cycles.
  • Remove it without use "save removal of hardware" (doesn't kill the drive, but may corrupt the partition table and potentially getting very hard/expensive to retrieve files)
  • Sudden death by no obvious reason.
Also, in some cases if a harddrive is on the bitter end of it's usable live, it may be too late to copy all files from it because being in active use over a period of time may be the thing that tip it over the edge, making the user loose a big portion of the data that was intent to be taken backup from.
 
Reactions: atticus_maytrap

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
144,736
8,692
175,340
22,585
First off, kudos for being proactive with your data. Sadly, that thought is far too uncommon.

What you're doing with it is no better or worse than any other use.

The main thing to consider with this backup drive, is that it is a backup. A second or third copy of the data. Not the only copy.
This drive will eventually die, just like every other storage device.

But it is highly unlikely that ALL of your copies will die at the same time.


Having it permanently connected leaves the data vulnerable to things like ransomware.
You can have it unconnected AND automate the process.

Tools such as Macrium Reflect let you create a schedule.
First of the month, at 1PM, go. Or whatever time period meets your needs.
All you need to do is connect it before that, and disconnect when done.
 
Reactions: atticus_maytrap

atticus_maytrap

Commendable
Nov 12, 2018
37
3
1,545
1
The thing that kills external hdd is typically:
  • User moving the hdd while it's working.
  • Overheating (hide it under a pile of clothes while dumping data to it) and frequent start and stop cycles.
  • Remove it without use "save removal of hardware" (doesn't kill the drive, but may corrupt the partition table and potentially getting very hard/expensive to retrieve files)
  • Sudden death by no obvious reason.
Also, in some cases if a harddrive is on the bitter end of it's usable live, it may be too late to copy all files from it because being in active use over a period of time may be the thing that tip it over the edge, making the user loose a big portion of the data that was intent to be taken backup from.
hey man, thanks for the reply

the only thing on that list im guilty of is not using the "safe removal of hardware" thing, i'll definitely be doing that in the future
thanks for the tip
 

atticus_maytrap

Commendable
Nov 12, 2018
37
3
1,545
1
First off, kudos for being proactive with your data. Sadly, that thought is far too uncommon.

What you're doing with it is no better or worse than any other use.

The main thing to consider with this backup drive, is that it is a backup. A second or third copy of the data. Not the only copy.
This drive will eventually die, just like every other storage device.

But it is highly unlikely that ALL of your copies will die at the same time.


Having it permanently connected leaves the data vulnerable to things like ransomware.
You can have it unconnected AND automate the process.

Tools such as Macrium Reflect let you create a schedule.
First of the month, at 1PM, go. Or whatever time period meets your needs.
All you need to do is connect it before that, and disconnect when done.
hey man thanks for replying,

i do perhaps go a little overboard with backups, i actually use 2 1TB hard drives that i backup to bi-monthly - using one of them one month, then the other one next month - just as an extra precaution against drive failure. And even then, this is backing up a separate hard in my machine, not the the OS HD

thanks for the tip on Macrium Reflect, ill check it out. Ive mainly shied away from programs like that because of all the background processes that apparently run with them, but i assume this is not such a problem for scheduled backups?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
144,736
8,692
175,340
22,585
hey man thanks for replying,

i do perhaps go a little overboard with backups, i actually use 2 1TB hard drives that i backup to bi-monthly - using one of them one month, then the other one next month - just as an extra precaution against drive failure. And even then, this is backing up a separate hard in my machine, not the the OS HD

thanks for the tip on Macrium Reflect, ill check it out. Ive mainly shied away from programs like that because of all the background processes that apparently run with them, but i assume this is not such a problem for scheduled backups?
'bi-monthly' is NOT overkill.

My systems get an Incremental every night. Or weekly, depending.
 

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