Windows 10: External Drive (recommendations needed) Solved

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  1.    03 Feb 2018 #1

    External Drive (recommendations needed)


    I am in need of two external 5TB drives. I have searched for recommendations online, but I have neither the technical knowledge nor the experience to separatee the good from the bad information.

    I recently bought a Toshiba X300 5TB drive based on presumed reliability and mostly favorable reviews. I have been having nothing but problems with formatting and ejecting the drive. It's also constantly making clicking noises in a way I have never heard any drive make other than a defective one. So it's going back.

    I need two 5TB drives:
    USB 3.0 or 3.1.
    optimized for intermittent use (I will use them no more than maybe once a day, mostly less often)
    I prefer a bare drive that I can put in a fan-equipped enclosure of my choice over a drive that comes with an enclosure
    reliability is paramount since these drives will hold a photo library.
    one of these drives will be my pc's backup drive, the other one will the external drive's backup.

    I am grateful for any recommendations based on personal experience.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 10,553
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       03 Feb 2018 #2

    Hi battlezone

    I've always had good results with Vantec products for enclosures.

    For spinning hard drives I think the best drive on the market is Western Digital, Black. Blues are also good. They don't make a 5 but make a 6TB.

    A true backup drive should not be online and connected. I say this as things like ransomware will find all drives.

    https://www.vantecusa.com/

    This may not be what you were thinking but have you looked at a NAS?

    https://www.synology.com/en-uk/products/series/value


    Ken
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.   My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. AndreTen's Avatar
    Posts : 14,602
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       03 Feb 2018 #4

    Caledon Ken said: View Post
    Hi battlezone

    I've always had good results with Vantec products for enclosures.

    For spinning hard drives I think the best drive on the market is Western Digital, Black. Blues are also good. They don't make a 5 but make a 6TB.

    A true backup drive should not be online and connected. I say this as things like ransomware will find all drives.

    https://www.vantecusa.com/

    This may not be what you were thinking but have you looked at a NAS?

    https://www.synology.com/en-uk/products/series/value


    Ken
    I would avoid WD Black for NAS. Perhaps you meant WD Red. But then, as OP stated drives will be used only once per day, so there is really no need for WD Red class (most reliable, or least dedicated drives for 24/7 operating conditions).

    I have great experience with WD drives, not so much with this capacities, and reliability can change with technology change...

    If reliability is your concern, check BackBlaze site. They have great statistic.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 10,553
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       03 Feb 2018 #5

    Yes didn't mean to tie the two topics together. The NAS comment was more on the enclosure, raid, capacity.

    Funny though, I put WD 1TB Blacks in both my PVR's. They run, disk active, 7/24 and have been going for at least five years. I have one WD 3TB Red and it has not been as reliable although I did not run it as a NAS, more copy when needed.

    My Raid in my Win 7 is made up of 1TB Blacks and they are six years old, running at least 12 hours a day.

    The only drive I would not buy is the WD Green.

    I also have a 4TB Blue, nice and quiet. It's less than a year old so no reliability history.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    04 Feb 2018 #6

    Is there a drawback in terms of reliability of drives that are designed for 24/7 use, if they are used intermittently? I am asking because I think it's possible that a drive made for running most of the time, gentle ramp loading is not a priority, and thus such a drive might fail faster in intermittent use compared to a drive designed for intermittent use.

    I understand that equilibrium (spinning platter without spinning-up and spinning-down all the time) is best for low bearing wear, but what about other design features that potentially affect durability under nonstop versus intermittent use?

    "A true backup drive should not be online and connected."

    Please elaborate. What do you mean by the external drive being online? The computer is obviously online and the backup drives have to be connected to the computer at least when doing backups.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. AndreTen's Avatar
    Posts : 14,602
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       04 Feb 2018 #7

    battlezone said: View Post
    Is there a drawback in terms of reliability of drives that are designed for 24/7 use, if they are used intermittently? I am asking because I think it's possible that a drive made for running most of the time, gentle ramp loading is not a priority, and thus such a drive might fail faster in intermittent use compared to a drive designed for intermittent use.

    I understand that equilibrium (spinning platter without spinning-up and spinning-down all the time) is best for low bearing wear, but what about other design features that potentially affect durability under nonstop versus intermittent use?

    "A true backup drive should not be online and connected."

    Please elaborate. What do you mean by the external drive being online? The computer is obviously online and the backup drives have to be connected to the computer at least when doing backups.

    When doing backups is fine (and obvious) for drive to be connected :) It is a measure of precautions to disconnect it after, so that any kind of nasty software (ransomware) doesn't have access to it. For business backups or sensitive data in general, one drive should be used to make daily backups and other should be in safe place (possibly other location) as a copy of backup data (in case of fire etc...)

    Oh, online means with network connection.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  8.    04 Feb 2018 #8

    So far, for 17 years, I have always had a primary backup drive and a secondary backup drive. The primary drive remained connected to my Mac (I had three different ones in 17 years) at all times, the secondary drive was connected only once a week or so when backing up the primary drive. In addition, I have regularly burned the most important files to initially disc, then later to DVD. The discs are kept off-site since I do live in earthquake country. If it's safer to disconnect the primary backup after every use, then I will of course do that.

    Regarding the recommendation of NAS and RAID, I will have to read up on these options, because I know little about RAID and nothing about NAS.

    I am wondering if the SMART feature is essential to have. Also, I heard a drive should feature TMR.

    Thanks for all the info, everyone!
    Last edited by battlezone; 04 Feb 2018 at 15:13.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    05 Feb 2018 #9

    Caledon Ken said: View Post
    Hi battlezone

    I've always had good results with Vantec products for enclosures.

    For spinning hard drives I think the best drive on the market is Western Digital, Black. Blues are also good. They don't make a 5 but make a 6TB.

    A true backup drive should not be online and connected. I say this as things like ransomware will find all drives.

    https://www.vantecusa.com/

    This may not be what you were thinking but have you looked at a NAS?

    https://www.synology.com/en-uk/products/series/value


    Ken
    I have two of these Vantec NexStar too, they have been pretty reliable. USB 3.0 + UASP.

    NST-366S3-BK - Vantec Thermal Technologies
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    05 Feb 2018 #10

    battlezone said: View Post
    So far, for 17 years, I have always had a primary backup drive and a secondary backup drive. The primary drive remained connected to my Mac (I had three different ones in 17 years) at all times, the secondary drive was connected only once a week or so when backing up the primary drive. In addition, I have regularly burned the most important files to initially disc, then later to DVD. The discs are kept off-site since I do live in earthquake country. If it's safer to disconnect the primary backup after every use, then I will of course do that.

    Regarding the recommendation of NAS and RAID, I will have to read up on these options, because I know little about RAID and nothing about NAS.

    I am wondering if the SMART feature is essential to have. Also, I heard a drive should feature TMR.

    Thanks for all the info, everyone!
    TMR is the type of head technology. At 5 TB drive density you are looking PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording) heads. It is not like you will have a choice.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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