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External hard drive as a backup or primary?





funnyerror
Hi, I have had my computer for a long time, and my 80GB hardrive is almost filled to the max. Do you think I should buy an external hardrive to use as my main drive or a backup? Are there slowdowns when using an external hardrive? P.S. I use the PC mostly for gaming.

-JC
diduknowthat
I don't think Windows likes to boot from external harddrives. Why are you getting an external? Why not get an internal one, which often have faster rpm, access and seek time. And you will probably be bottlenecked if the harddrives is USB.

If you REALLy want to get an external, then make the internal 80gig the primary drive, and use the external one as storage.
uros
Windows can boot from external drive, but i really suggest not to do it, as the system will slow down considerably. Try swapping the data between two disks and use Ghost for that so you don't lose anything.

bye
k_s_baskar
My suggestion is going for another internal HDD...

All ATX Cabinets (Except some mini types) will have blank space to attach additional Hard Disk drives in it.

So you can get a new HDD and attach as secondary. In case if your cabinet did't have space than you can upgrade your HDD to 300 GB or more.
Smile
PseudoKnight
I'd get a larger drive (250GB or more) and use that as your primary. Higher density = higher performance, and that's where you want to be loading all your programs. Use the 80GB one for manual backups for data you don't want to lose if your primary dies.
psycosquirrel
USB interface = MUCH slower than IDE interface. You definently do NOT want to run a USB external as a primary. Internal IDE drives are cheaper than externals anyways.
ocalhoun
You could buy an external enclosure and a larger hard drive, then take the old one, put it in the enclosure, and put the new one in internally.
You'd then just have to put the old data on the new drive. (The new drive will probably come with software that can do this.)

Alternatively, just delete some stuff. It's hard to believe that you have 80GB of stuff without having anything you could live without.
You might also consider compressing the drive, although that will also decrease performance. Perhaps you could just compress the files that are taking up all the space (movies? audio? images? software?).
william
Well, you could use an external hard drive as your primary, but that is not such a good idea. A USB or Firewire interface is much slower than an IDE interface. Anyway, why not just buy an internal hard drive and make that your primary? I suppose one reason why is that you might not have any internal bays left to install a hard drive. Anyway, if you do get an external, make it your storage drive and not your primary. You could transfer large files (eg. videos, music, games, etc.) to the external drive and delete them of your internal. That way, you use the internal as your primary and the external as your storage drive. You should probably opt for at least 160 GB if you do get an external. If you want to use it for backups, you might want a little more. Anyway, basically use an external as a storage, and the internal as the primary/boot drive.
funnyerror
I will probably just go with an internal as most of you suggested, because I do have the need for speed. I can also use an external or the other internal as a backup that way.

thanx for the replies Very Happy



-JC
orcaz
IMO, the primary disk shud be an internal HDD, because it surely performs much better and faster than USB hard disks. if im not wrong, there is a certain speed limit in USB transfers, so ur external drive shud act as backup instead.
diduknowthat
orcaz wrote:
IMO, the primary disk shud be an internal HDD, because it surely performs much better and faster than USB hard disks. if im not wrong, there is a certain speed limit in USB transfers, so ur external drive shud act as backup instead.


Yup, USB has a max speed of 480mbps while SATA 3.0 has a theoretical max speed of 3gbps, however no current harddrives can reach that speed due to restrictions on the harddrive itself.
shwetanshu
I use Laptop's Toshiba 40GB hard drive with External Casing as my back up for my important files such as music, movies, my creations, and some docs.... I copy only that which i dont have on a DVD/CD
mikethm
funnyerror wrote:
Hi, I have had my computer for a long time, and my 80GB hardrive is almost filled to the max. Do you think I should buy an external hardrive to use as my main drive or a backup? Are there slowdowns when using an external hardrive? P.S. I use the PC mostly for gaming.

-JC


You should buy the most cost effective harddisk to be installed internally. I would recommend 200GB as these are currently best on the price to space ratio. Bigger ones are not cost effective at the moment.

However you can consider buying a DVD rewriter as these offer even better price to space ratio... the drawback is the bother of having to insert discs when needed.
psycosquirrel
Yeah, but DVD media will decay over the course of 3-10 years depending on usage.
ocalhoun
^So will any media. Hard disk data will deteriorate if it's not used often enough.
Jaan
NEVER use external as primary, as everyone before me said. Why would you want it as primary? Just transfer some files... and another idea would be to buy an internal hard drive, then an external enclosure (about $30) if you want both. I have an external 400gb, but only cause I have two laptops. Oh yeah have you thought of partitioning? Like a partition for backups? Get partitionmagic, very useful prog.
Cheers.
brycearonium
never use an external as a primary. you can buy and new hardrive and put it in your computer and take the 80 out as a backup, or you can buy a new one for a backup and copy most of the stuff onto the new one. but don't use the new as an external primary.alsoconsider getting a large size so you don't have that problem again, and maybe even try partitioning it into seprate drives, soy ou can have multipule drives to backup to on the same drive.
peaceninja
i use my usb disk as my 'primary hardddrive', and i use an external harddrive as a back up.

i have a series of DOS scripts written onto my USB drive that automatically backs it up on my external. Also my external harrdrive has its own batch scripts that backs it up on another external. All this is done within minutes.

Man i'm a nerd
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