[SOLVED] Which backup drive should I get?

Mar 28, 2020
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Hello,

I am looking for a second hard drive for backup. External, not imbedded to a PC or a laptop.

I have read that Seagates tend to fail more frequent than other drives, so I have decided to look at WD drives only. I am looking at getting 1 or 2 TB drive.

My issue is that I don't know what to get in terms of type, size and configuration. What is best? So many options, it's confusing.

Do I get WD passport or 2.5" internal HDD and just use an enclosure for it (which I have). Or do I get a 3.5" internal and use an enclosure (I'll have to buy an enclosure). Do I get 5400 rpm or 7200 rpm?

I am less worried about the rpm, but I am just confused which configuration is best as I can't decide!

Price wise everything tends to be similiar. I think the 3.5" internal + enclosure, ends up being the most expensive by a little bit, but that doesn't matter much to me.

I will await for your recommendations! Thanks
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
It's you'e choice.
If you only have USB2 then 5400rpm is fine. If you have USB3 then you will get much better performance from a 7200rpm drive. WD D10"Game Drive' have 7200 rpm drives inside but don't come in 2.5" size so you will have to grab a WD Black ($$$) if you really want the smaller size from WD.

You might look into a G-tech drive like this one: https://www.newegg.com/g-technology-model-0g04101-1tb/p/N82E16822205236
I don't know another company that uses 7200 drives in a small external unfortunately.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
It's you'e choice.
If you only have USB2 then 5400rpm is fine. If you have USB3 then you will get much better performance from a 7200rpm drive. WD D10"Game Drive' have 7200 rpm drives inside but don't come in 2.5" size so you will have to grab a WD Black ($$$) if you really want the smaller size from WD.

You might look into a G-tech drive like this one: https://www.newegg.com/g-technology-model-0g04101-1tb/p/N82E16822205236
I don't know another company that uses 7200 drives in a small external unfortunately.
 
Mar 28, 2020
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It's you'e choice.
If you only have USB2 then 5400rpm is fine. If you have USB3 then you will get much better performance from a 7200rpm drive. WD D10"Game Drive' have 7200 rpm drives inside but don't come in 2.5" size so you will have to grab a WD Black ($$$) if you really want the smaller size from WD.

You might look into a G-tech drive like this one: https://www.newegg.com/g-technology-model-0g04101-1tb/p/N82E16822205236
I don't know another company that uses 7200 drives in a small external unfortunately.
Thank you very much for responding to me sir!

I live in Canada so our prices here are a bit more lopsided than US prices. Amazon.ca has the best prices so I would reference everything from there.

Yes I do have a USB 3 port so for sure I would want to take advantage of it. Those drives that you mentioned are a little bit over my budget, I was aiming at around $130 CAD or cheaper.

Is there a difference between the WD P10 and D10? It looks like the D10 is 8TB or over. I think I decided on a 2TB drive. Also I don't care about the size. It's not going anywhere, it'll stay at home. I'll be using it as backup only.

From the drives below which one would you recommend:

https://www.amazon.ca/WD_Black-Drive-External-Compatible-WDBA2W0020BBK-WESN/dp/B07VMTNDMK/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?keywords=wd+black+p10+2tb&qid=1585435486&sr=8-1#aw-udpv3-customer-reviews_feature_div

https://www.amazon.ca/G-Technology-G-Drive-Mobile-2TB-USB/dp/B076Y128SH/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?keywords=G-Technology+2TB&qid=1585434968&refinements=p_85:5690392011&rnid=5690384011&rps=1&sr=8-1

The WD my passport is 89 bucks also uses USB 3 but it's 5400 rpm. I'm assuming it'll give me less than 100mb/s speeds?

I know I said I won't consider seagate but are they actually bad drives? The reviews on this one looks good. It's a Barracuda 7200 rpm with 256MB cache whatever that means. It's $75, if I get enclosure for it I'll be at $100. There 2TB WD Blue7200 rpm isn't available, the 1TB is but it's 64mb cache.

https://www.amazon.ca/Seagate-Barracuda-Internal-Drive-3-5-Inch/dp/B07H2RR55Q/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?keywords=2tb+7200rpm&qid=1585436200&sprefix=2+tb+7&sr=8-1#aw-udpv3-customer-reviews_feature_div

Also what is the difference between the 64 MB cache and 256 MB. Is this something I should worry about or is it only for if I install windows on it?

I'm thinking about the WD Black P10 right now but just want your opinion on the others as well before.

Again thank you for your help.
 
Mar 28, 2020
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Btw I only have a USB 3.0 port. The WD Black P10 says it's USB 3.2 Gen compatible. Will I even get it's rated speeds?

Edit: everywhere online it says it's a 5400 rpm drive. Maybe that's the difference between the P10 and D10.
 
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Mar 28, 2020
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The P10 is 5400rpm's, the G-Tech says it's 7200rpm's.
Yeah for sure the G-tech would be best.

Now would there be any difference in performance or reliability if I get a 3.5" internal 7200 rpm and put it in an enclosure or HDD base ? 64 Mb vs 256 Mb cache? This option vs the G-tech external?
 

Flashgo1

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i looked up a lot of those externals for other purposes

2 examples.
WD elements is a 3.5 inside an encloser. expected life about 6 months of constant use or 2 years. drive is in a plastic hot box with terrible cooling. from many reviews on newegg.

WD passport is a 2.5 built into an encloser. as in encloser is part of the drive itself. case will get warm but sitting on a desk it will never over heat. and i have 5 of them running around all over 2-4 years old. just dont drop while in use cause they are spinners.

the elements are cheaper and can get very large capacity for fairly cheap. best buy deal month back 8TB for $150
the passports are little more expensive but seem to be able to cope with constant use. 4TB $110 last i checked.
 
Reactions: Hawk.m2
Mar 28, 2020
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i looked up a lot of those externals for other purposes

2 examples.
WD elements is a 3.5 inside an encloser. expected life about 6 months of constant use or 2 years. drive is in a plastic hot box with terrible cooling. from many reviews on newegg.

WD passport is a 2.5 built into an encloser. as in encloser is part of the drive itself. case will get warm but sitting on a desk it will never over heat. and i have 5 of them running around all over 2-4 years old. just dont drop while in use cause they are spinners.

the elements are cheaper and can get very large capacity for fairly cheap. best buy deal month back 8TB for $150
the passports are little more expensive but seem to be able to cope with constant use. 4TB $110 last i checked.
Thanks for responding.

Have you done a crystaldiskmark on your WD passports? I am wondering how fast they are.

Right now I'm torn between the G-tech because of the 7200 rpm. But I'm just not sure whether it'll be more economical and even better if I just get a 7200 rpm 3.5 internal with 256 MB cache and slap it in an enclosure. I think 'building' my own external might be faster than the G-tech? But I just don't know.

I think I'll keep WD passport in mind though, it looks like it has the best value for the $$. Maybe better for mobility.
 

Flashgo1

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i have never truely tested them for speed. just recently got a system that even had usb 3.0. with 2.0 bus on a laptop a 10gig file transfer was doing 30mb per second at the same time. and held there for over 3 hours

both drives got very warm but never had an issue. i dont remember the transfer on my home system that had the usb 3.0. but it was so much faster. i think its a 7500 rpm drive.

if you ever need a large internal drives, shuck the elements for the white labaled reds inside. if it dont work, look up 2nd pin hack.
 
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Reactions: Hawk.m2
I find external USB drives to seem less reliable...(based strictly on the number of people who have them fail when they really need them; my own 3 year old Toshiba 3 TB 7200 rpm works fine, but, I only use it for 2 hours every few months for infrequent image backups, of which I've slacked off on as I have everything important stored in 2 cloud locations anyway, and can reinstall WIndows in 5 minutes anyway....)

If you have a free 5.25" bay (normal CD-ROM sized bay), I'd consider an Icy Dock bay that allows both a 2.5" drive and/or a 3.5" drive, and, simply use a quality internal hard drives or an SSD in a docking bay as your backup destination. (The Icy Dock bay is typically $38-$45 or so, and most come with individual power and eject switches, in case you are worried about backups be disconnected from OS afterward).

WD Red drives are reasonably priced up to 4, 6, even 8 TB....; prices go up from there at a higher rate per 2 TB increment)
 
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I find external USB drives to seem less reliable...(based strictly on the number of people who have them fail when they really need them; my own 3 year old Toshiba 3 TB 7200 rpm works fine, but, I only use it for 2 hours every few months for infrequent image backups, of which I've slacked off on as I have everything important stored in 2 cloud locations anyway, and can reinstall WIndows in 5 minutes anyway....)

If you have a free 5.25" bay (normal CD-ROM sized bay), I'd consider an Icy Dock bay that allows both a 2.5" drive and/or a 3.5" drive, and, simply use a quality internal hard drives or an SSD in a docking bay as your backup destination. (The Icy Dock bay is typically $38-$45 or so, and most come with individual power and eject switches, in case you are worried about backups be disconnected from OS afterward).

WD Red drives are reasonably priced up to 4, 6, even 8 TB....; prices go up from there at a higher rate per 2 TB increment)
I am only using laptop though, which is why I'm looking for an 'external' backup. I will end up having to use an USB 3.0 enclosure or a mounting station. What would you recommend in this case then?

Also for non-server application. Purely data transfer and storage, is there an advantage of getting WD red say over WD Blue?

(I had a PC tower in the past, I stopped using it since I got a laptop and since I stopped gaming. Laptop meets all my needs. My current PC is outdated and slow, I never bothered upgrading it and not interested at this time)
 

Flashgo1

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i say use the passports. large storage and can be run flat out with no issues. a 4tb at walmart cost me 120 last time. and still smaller then a 3.5 out of a case just sitting on your desk.

the elements are huge in comparison and have heat issues.

tho if you need very large file transfers, shuck the element and plug the adapter and HDD back together outside the encloser preferably on something rubber on your desk. the element uses a white labeled red drive. an 8TB element is on sale on amazon right now for 150US. 140 at bestbuy

WD blue is a 5400 RPM drive. the white is 7200RPM.

shucking is were you remove it from the encloser.
 
Reactions: Hawk.m2
Mar 28, 2020
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i say use the passports. large storage and can be run flat out with no issues. a 4tb at walmart cost me 120 last time. and still smaller then a 3.5 out of a case just sitting on your desk.

the elements are huge in comparison and have heat issues.

tho if you need very large file transfers, shuck the element and plug the adapter and HDD back together outside the encloser preferably on something rubber on your desk. the element uses a white labeled red drive. an 8TB element is on sale on amazon right now for 150US. 140 at bestbuy

WD blue is a 5400 RPM drive. the white is 7200RPM.

shucking is were you remove it from the encloser.
What do you mean by the white label? I don't see WD element white label? Might be a stupid question.

Do you mean, get a WD element and remove its internal drive and put a 7200 rpm hdd instead?
 

Flashgo1

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Edited(late night and cant keep them straight in my head)
sorry if that was confusing, i was saying if you need small size and 4 tb is plenty, get the element passport.

if you need a whole lot more then that and know how to keep an exposed 3.5HDD safe, get the element and pull the hdd and adapter out of encloser and run them bare on a desk. the encloser causes the overheating issue and the high fail rate.


the HDD inside is a WD white. WD white is a relabled red they put in an encloser and does not have the same waranty as a true WD red.
 
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Reactions: Hawk.m2
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sorry if that was confusing, i was saying if you need small size and 4 tb is plenty, get the element.

if you need a whole lot more then that and know how to keep an exposed 3.5HDD safe, get the element and pull the hdd and adapter out of encloser and run them bare on a desk. the encloser causes the overheating issue and the high fail rate.


the HDD inside is a WD white. WD white is a relabled red they put in an encloser and does not have the same waranty as a true WD red.
Ah I get it now lol. So even though the WD red is advertised as a NAS hard drive. It'll still be suitable for regular pc transfer use? The real difference between the blue and the red is the rpm really? (I think there is a WD Blue 7200 rpm version though).

Thanks by the way you are giving me a lot to think about!
 

Flashgo1

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srry. i got them switched in my head. passport is the smaller size and more expensive per TB. get those for eternal back up.

the elements are the shuckable ones. data hoarders and me like them for large cheap drives to put in our pcs or home built NAS.
 
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popatim

Titan
Moderator
...But I'm just not sure whether it'll be more economical and even better if I just get a 7200 rpm 3.5 internal with 256 MB cache and slap it in an enclosure.
A 3.5" 7200RPM drive will be faster then a 7200 RPM 2.5" due to having larger platters in them.

Be wary of 256mb cache drives, those tend to be SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) and have known issues writing. Research before you buy.

You can get a 1TB WD Blue 7200rpm drive at a good price, they switched to 5400 rpm with the 2tb line.
https://www.amazon.com/WD-Blue-1TB-Hard-Drive/dp/B0088PUEPK

Anything larger from WD and you'll need a Black, Red Pro , or HGST (owned by WD) drive.

But then if you are willing to spend $130 CAD and only want 1tb, why not get a WD Blue 3d or Sandisk Ultra SSD for about that much and not worry about what happens when you drop it?
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
If you want a cheap 7200 rpm 3.5" drive then look at Toshiba. They've been fairly reliable for me but don't expect them to last 7 years and warranty support was horrid the last time I had to RMA one.
2 out of 7 have died within warranty and I didn't even bother RMA'ing this last one.
 
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But then if you are willing to spend $130 CAD and only want 1tb, why not get a WD Blue 3d or Sandisk Ultra SSD for about that much and not worry about what happens when you drop it?
I thought that SSDs "shouldn't" be used for general storage, and that their speeds are mostly utilized for windows and programs. And I have read that HDDs generally last longer than SSDs, especially because of the write/read. I also read that the even though SSDs are NAND technology, but they can still lose data if they aren't turned in for a while. I have had a few instances where I didn't back up anything for a year (I have not needed to though). Is this all not true?
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
I have.. Hmmm... 12 SSD's and not one has failed me ever so yes I still have my original Samsung 830 and Patriot Pyro SE (both are 9 yrs old) and in use daily in the 2 HTPC's. In that time I have gone thru 6 HDD's out of 16, not counting the one that was dropped.

A well made SSD is not an issue.
Finding a well made HDD these days IS an issue imo.
In any event, having an effective backup plan in place renders drive failures trivial.
 

USAFRet

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I thought that SSDs "shouldn't" be used for general storage, and that their speeds are mostly utilized for windows and programs. And I have read that HDDs generally last longer than SSDs, especially because of the write/read. I also read that the even though SSDs are NAND technology, but they can still lose data if they aren't turned in for a while. I have had a few instances where I didn't back up anything for a year (I have not needed to though). Is this all not true?
My system (parts below) is SSD only. As are all the systems in the house, except for the NAS box and associated drives.
The only reason that NAS is not also 'SSD only' is because I can't justify 50TB of SSD space. :eek:


Drives fail. Eventually, all of them.
The last two I've had fail were a 3TB WD Green (5 weeks old), and a 1TB Sandisk SSD (3 yrs, 33 days old).

In both cases, a real backup plan saved the day.
 
Reactions: Hawk.m2
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Thank you all. You all helped me, and I learned about shucking as well! If I could choose the best answer for all of your responses I would.

I am going to go with an external, either the g-tech or the passport, whichever one goes on sale. Speed is a bonus but not important as space.

In terms of a backup plan as per USAFRet said, I'm also going to purchase a 1TB 2.5 WD Blue, and place it in a caddy instead of my optical drive. That way I'll have 2 backups.

Actually 3 because I already store my main backup on an external 3.5" drive w/ an enclosure, but drive is maybe 8 years old, and the enclosure only works vertically so it fell a few times. It's a disaster waiting to happen lol. Good thing it's rarely used, cumulatively I probably only got 2-3 years out of it.

Thank you all.
 

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