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  1. #1
    A loooong way from 1000! Cowgirl's Avatar
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    External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Hi all!

    I just got my first external drive, Western Digital 160GB. I usually just back up to DVD's so this is new to me.

    I've transferred some files to the WD, so...

    I can just unplug it and store it on a shelf right? Do you have to keep them plugged in? I do not need it to be attached at all times, I just wanted to backup some larger files, then attach back to my computer as needed.

    I know this is probably really stupid questions....I'm having a brain fart Its been a busy wedding season...

    Also, what brand External Drives do you use, or do you have any bad experiences with Western Digital?

    Thanks in advance
    Kathy

  2. #2
    Check out our D300 Pro Review! deckcadet's Avatar
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Um....no they don't need to be plugged in. Just make sure you 'safely remove'/'eject '(depending on your system) the disk before disconnecting from the computer and if it has a power switch, turn it off. I usually keep my Maxtor One Touch II 300GB drive unplugged and off for safety reasons.

    I personally have two maxtors (one quite old) and both serve me very well. I'm transitioning to internal drives in an eSATA enclosure, however, to save money for backups. External drives do come at a premium.
    Harrison
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  3. #3
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    I leave my Maxtor external HD connected but turned off unless I need it. Like it was mentioned, be sure to click on Safely Remove Hardware before shutting it off if you're using Windows XP. You might have to exit a program (Photoshop, for example) before it will disconnect.

  4. #4
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Not stupid at all.

    I agree with the others. I leave my two EHDs connected but (usually) turned off. The only reason really to disconnect the unit would be if you need the USB or Firewire port.

    BTW, in case you maybe though it was also a "stupid" question, you can swap the HD with other computers such as a notebook on the road, etc.
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  5. #5
    Erstwhile Vagabond armed with camera Lionheart's Avatar
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    I keep my external Seagate drive unplugged and disconnected in a safe place. I also have a USB powered Western Digital 120 GB that I keep with my laptop for quickly archiving photos from my laptop and transferring to my desktop (I use to just backup to my desktop through the wireless network, but it was way too slow when transferring huge amounts of data).
    Seek the Son and the shadows fall behind you.

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  6. #6
    Check out our D300 Pro Review! deckcadet's Avatar
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Good point about the separate backup in a safe place Lionheart. I'm rapidly becoming a believer in safeguarding my images from loss due to theft, fire, and so on. Therefore, since insurance doesn't replace shots you've already taken, i'm going the route I mentioned above (hot-swappable dual-bay eSATA 3gbps enclosure with dual high quality drives to start with) so I can have two drives mirroring each other storing all my shots with high speed access, easily change them out when necessary, and transition my current external and even some of these internals to secure off site storage in the event of natural disaster or other catastrophic loss. I'll be happier when they're in different cities too, but that's a story for a different day. I've gotten a bit upset about the whole thing since I have had a lot of HDs go down in the past.
    Harrison
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  7. #7
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Have you thought about saving your stuff on a flash drive? The great little things that go on your keychain. I just bought one and it's 4 Gig. It will hold tons of pictures. I even washed mine in the washing machine by mistake and it survived. I read that a DVD/CDR has a short shelf life 5 to 8 years. I save to them, but don't rely on them. I try a take all of my pictures of my kids with 35mm film. Negatives have a very long shelf life, many years beyond me.

  8. #8
    Liz
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Kathy,

    Good to see you around. I just got a Western Digital HD 120G - very small which I'm about to hook up to my laptop, so can't help with personal experience. However, they were selling like hotcakes at Costco, so there must be something good about them.

    Let us know how you do.

    Liz

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowgirl
    Hi all!

    I just got my first external drive, Western Digital 160GB. I usually just back up to DVD's so this is new to me.

    I've transferred some files to the WD, so...

    I can just unplug it and store it on a shelf right? Do you have to keep them plugged in? I do not need it to be attached at all times, I just wanted to backup some larger files, then attach back to my computer as needed.

    I know this is probably really stupid questions....I'm having a brain fart Its been a busy wedding season...

    Also, what brand External Drives do you use, or do you have any bad experiences with Western Digital?

    Thanks in advance
    Kathy

  9. #9
    Liz
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Steve, regarding your comment.....

    BTW, in case you maybe though it was also a "stupid" question, you can swap the HD with other computers such as a notebook on the road

    I have a vague recollection that when you do this - switch from one computer to the other - that there are some precautions to take. Is this correct? Can you just install the hardware to multiple computers?

    Liz

  10. #10
    Liz
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    I leave my Maxtor external HD connected but turned off unless I need it. Like it was mentioned, be sure to click on Safely Remove Hardware before shutting it off if you're using Windows XP. You might have to exit a program (Photoshop, for example) before it will disconnect.
    Steve,

    Stupid Question - I have XP - and an old Iomega external HD connected to my office pc. Please explain where I find the "Safely Remove Hardware" place to click. Usually I just shut it off (button on hd). I've had no problems so far, but this HD never has worked right - it needs a physical jolt (hit) before it will work. But that's another whole story.

    I'm finally replacing it with the new one.

    Thanks.

    Liz

  11. #11
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Liz, at the bottom near the right side of the screen you should see some small icons - just left of the clock. When you have a USB device connected, there will be an icon with a green arrow. Click it once, then click the device that you want to shut off. You may have to click on the silver arrow to the left of the icons to show some of the hidden ones. I'd show you a screenshot but I don't have any USB devices connected here...

  12. #12
    Poster Formerly Known as Michael Fanelli mwfanelli's Avatar
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    No Dismount for XP

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz
    Steve,

    Stupid Question - I have XP - and an old Iomega external HD connected to my office pc. Please explain where I find the "Safely Remove Hardware" place to click. Usually I just shut it off (button on hd). I've had no problems so far, but this HD never has worked right - it needs a physical jolt (hit) before it will work. But that's another whole story.
    With XP you do not have to dismount the volume as with older versions of Windows. Just shut it off or unplug it. XP knows what to do. If you have something open on the drive, XP will tell you about it first.
    "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." --Mark Twain

  13. #13
    Erstwhile Vagabond armed with camera Lionheart's Avatar
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Same one I've got Liz. They're great! It's fast, it's plug and play (used to be plug and pray in the old days-hahaha-anyone remember the days of windows 95?) and hot swappable, and best of all-really lightweight. Comes with a nice protective case that holds the drive and cables. Don't leave home or office without it.:-)
    Seek the Son and the shadows fall behind you.

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  14. #14
    Liz
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Thanks Steve,

    Well, I've learned something. I'm not the whiz-kid when it comes to computers as you can see.

    Liz

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    Liz, at the bottom near the right side of the screen you should see some small icons - just left of the clock. When you have a USB device connected, there will be an icon with a green arrow. Click it once, then click the device that you want to shut off. You may have to click on the silver arrow to the left of the icons to show some of the hidden ones. I'd show you a screenshot but I don't have any USB devices connected here...

  15. #15
    Liz
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    Re: No Dismount for XP

    Thanks Michael,

    Looks like I've been doing it the right way.....

    Liz

    Quote Originally Posted by mwfanelli
    With XP you do not have to dismount the volume as with older versions of Windows. Just shut it off or unplug it. XP knows what to do. If you have something open on the drive, XP will tell you about it first.

  16. #16
    Liz
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Thank you, Leon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lionheart
    Same one I've got Liz. They're great! It's fast, it's plug and play (used to be plug and pray in the old days-hahaha-anyone remember the days of windows 95?) and hot swappable, and best of all-really lightweight. Comes with a nice protective case that holds the drive and cables. Don't leave home or office without it.:-)
    I'm glad to know it works so well. I did wonder about the fact that it's so small. BTW, what is "hot swappable?"

    Liz

  17. #17
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz
    Can you just install the hardware to multiple computers?
    Well Liz, I don't have a lot of experience with this, but there's really nothing to install.

    Whichever computer you have the HD connected to simply reads it as an additional drive. You format the HD on the first computer you use it with, then (I'd imagine) it'd be good to go with others.

    Now if you mean the software that comes with many of these drives (ie one-touch backup, etc.), well I never use that stuff, so I'm not sure how that works...
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  18. #18
    Liz
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Thanks Steve,

    I think I know what I was thinking about. I had asked a while back if I could install PSElements on both hard drives - and there was a question with the software being installed on both HD's. The issue wasn't using the actual HD on 2 computers. Hope that isn't too confusing. Anyway, I understand now.

    Thanks.

    Liz

    Quote Originally Posted by Asylum Steve
    Well Liz, I don't have a lot of experience with this, but there's really nothing to install.

    Whichever computer you have the HD connected to simply reads it as an additional drive. You format the HD on the first computer you use it with, then (I'd imagine) it'd be good to go with others.

    Now if you mean the software that comes with many of these drives (ie one-touch backup, etc.), well I never use that stuff, so I'm not sure how that works...

  19. #19
    Erstwhile Vagabond armed with camera Lionheart's Avatar
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Hot swappable just means you don't have to turn off the computer to remove a device. Older components were semi-hotswappable: you had to click the "safely remove hardware" icon on the task bar before detaching the device, something you don't have to do with this drive, just don't unplug it during a file transfer :-o
    Seek the Son and the shadows fall behind you.

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  20. #20
    A loooong way from 1000! Cowgirl's Avatar
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Thanks everyone!

    Hi Liz!
    Kathy

  21. #21
    Erstwhile Vagabond armed with camera Lionheart's Avatar
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    Unhappy Murphy Strikes Yet Again

    Just when I was getting used to trusting my USB Western Digital drive.... I transferred 20 GBs of photos from my laptop to the drive to transfer to my desktop. I deleted the files off my laptop before completing the transfer from the USB drive to my desktop, and the USB drive is toasted. It won't read when plugged in to any computer...arrrrrgh. 3 GB of those photos are of our future 5th partner in the practice graduating earlier in the month...double AAARGGGGhHHH. Now I'll need to spend $1000 or more to get the data back.
    :-(
    Seek the Son and the shadows fall behind you.

    slowly inching to 2000

    Mac's Rule, Windblows drools
    Friends don't let Friends use WindBlows XPee
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/schrackman/clover.jpg">Lionheart O'Canon Feel Free to Help

  22. #22
    Liz
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    Re: Murphy Strikes Yet Again

    Leon,

    Why don't you start a new thread to get some help. There may be someone here who would know a much less expensive way to get them from your laptop and/or the digital HD. I thought it was fairly easy to retrieve data when deleted from computers.

    I'm sorry that this didn't work for you for very long. I better watch that new Western Digital of mine!

    Liz



    Quote Originally Posted by Lionheart
    Just when I was getting used to trusting my USB Western Digital drive.... I transferred 20 GBs of photos from my laptop to the drive to transfer to my desktop. I deleted the files off my laptop before completing the transfer from the USB drive to my desktop, and the USB drive is toasted. It won't read when plugged in to any computer...arrrrrgh. 3 GB of those photos are of our future 5th partner in the practice graduating earlier in the month...double AAARGGGGhHHH. Now I'll need to spend $1000 or more to get the data back.
    :-(

  23. #23
    Erstwhile Vagabond armed with camera Lionheart's Avatar
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    Re: Murphy Strikes Yet Again

    Unfortunately we've been down this road before with mechanical failures on drives. Extracting data from a fried hard drive takes a long time.The last time this happened it was a 160 GB drive, took 2 months with the drive running 24 hours a day before they extracted the data off the drive, then they had to piece them back together on a new drive. according to the company we sent to, it takes just as much time to extract 1 gb as it does 160, because the entire drive needs to be combed. The faster we want the data back, the more it costs. We went with the slow option, and it cost about $1400. Oh well...a lot of those photos were baptisms at church, and now the pastor wants photos to bring with him to a conference and i don't have them.:-( Fortunately, the practice related photos are always backed up in three places on our network, so the ones I had on my laptop were dispensable.
    Leon
    Seek the Son and the shadows fall behind you.

    slowly inching to 2000

    Mac's Rule, Windblows drools
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  24. #24
    Liz
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    Re: Murphy Strikes Yet Again

    Leon,
    I don't want to be redundant on this issue, but what about getting the images from the card(s). I'll give you this link before I give up (in which you posted previously). I think there is some reference to hard drives.

    What if you lost your digital images?

    Wow! What an incredible loss........or rather an expensive one.

    Liz

    Quote Originally Posted by Lionheart
    Unfortunately we've been down this road before with mechanical failures on drives. Extracting data from a fried hard drive takes a long time.The last time this happened it was a 160 GB drive, took 2 months with the drive running 24 hours a day before they extracted the data off the drive, then they had to piece them back together on a new drive. according to the company we sent to, it takes just as much time to extract 1 gb as it does 160, because the entire drive needs to be combed. The faster we want the data back, the more it costs. We went with the slow option, and it cost about $1400. Oh well...a lot of those photos were baptisms at church, and now the pastor wants photos to bring with him to a conference and i don't have them.:-( Fortunately, the practice related photos are always backed up in three places on our network, so the ones I had on my laptop were dispensable.
    Leon

  25. #25
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: External Drive Backup Stupid Questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    Have you thought about saving your stuff on a flash drive? The great little things that go on your keychain. I just bought one and it's 4 Gig. It will hold tons of pictures. I even washed mine in the washing machine by mistake and it survived. I read that a DVD/CDR has a short shelf life 5 to 8 years. I save to them, but don't rely on them. I try a take all of my pictures of my kids with 35mm film. Negatives have a very long shelf life, many years beyond me.
    Flash memory only has a 10-20 year storage life, because the electrons on the caps, can leak due to any type of radation, like x-rays or cosmic radation. The smaller the caps on the IC's the shorter the self life. But some magtenic madia does have a hundred year shelf life.
    GRF

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