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Cost effective, "safe" backup. I don't want to pay monthly for a backup. I recently "within the last year" had external hard drive failures.  I had an expensive seagate, large external that failed and it was only a year old. Thank you

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I will move this to the Windows Hardware Forum. Gear Talk is meant for Photography stuff.

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Alright, now that's settled.

First, I would NEVER purchase a Seagate HD. I'm sure there are folks out there who haven't had any problems, but out of all the brands that I have owned, or computers that I have fixed professionally, Seagate Drives fail all the time. In fact, I even had one smoke on me. Yes, there was physical smoke that came from the drive.

Anyway, let's talk on what you mean by "backup." Is this a data-drive only? How large are we talking in terms of capacity? What are you storing there? Oh and what is your budget? I'm not going to recommend the $79 Special from Best Buy, and "Expensive" is relative. My external HD that is 12TB EHD cost me just under $600 if I remember correctly. $200-$300 is average for a high-capacity "typical" EHD. What software are you using to backup? Or do you just copy files manually? Do you plan on keeping a drive off-site for extra redundancy? How critical are these files? How long to you plan on keeping said files? Is this for a business with client stuff or personal? One final question, how tech-savvy are you? 

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Brian, mine started smoking also.I’d like to spend $300 or less. I’m not doing professional anymore at this time. It’s for all personal images. I lost images on an external hard drive sometime  a year ago, so I bought a large (sea gate),  it was huge, so it could backup everything. It started smoking called the company who retrieved several images. Now I need something that won’t fail. I plan on keeping them with me. I’m a little more than elementary on tech.

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Computer specs, I have space on computer but don't want to clog it up. This is the only pc I have (thank to you), and it's what I edit on. 

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Edited by PaperCrowns

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On 2/8/2021 at 4:44 PM, PaperCrowns said:

I’d like to spend $300 or less.

OK, well that limits some options. A NAS unit isn't in the picture and we are back to a traditional EHD setup.
 

On 2/8/2021 at 4:44 PM, PaperCrowns said:

Now I need something that won’t fail.

Unfortunately, you will need to spend more than $300 to lower the odds of that happening. Hard Drives fail all the time. Most don't, but it sucks when it happens to you. Anything man-made can fail; regardless how much you spend. The difference is how you backup the data and what technology that you use to accomplish this. Of course, the more technology, like a RAID System, the more money you spend.

That said, I own and recommend G-Drives, which are Enterprise-Class 7200 rpm hard drives. Here is a 6TB Model of what I have for $349. Those type of HDs are usually built better and are meant for Servers, but i like the extra "Umph" than a EHD that is the "$79 Special" from Best Buy. The thing with G-Drives is they come Macintosh Formatted / Partitioned, but that's not an issue as we can use Windows' Disk Utility to delete the existing Partition and then use a Wizard to create a new one. Takes about 5 min or so to accomplish this. 

Brands that I avoid at all costs: Seagate. THEY ARE JUNK.

I like Western Digital, but only a certain line of Western Digital drives. This is known as the WD "Black" Line. Here is one that you may not consider, as it's marketed / meant for a Video Game System. WD Black 5TB P-10 Game Drive. If you can swing a bit more, there is a better deal, a 8TB version for $199. Again, all you need to do is reformat the drive to work with Windows. It's not that hard to accomplish.

So there is some options that meet your budget.

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You just said you don’t want a drive to fail and now you are looking at a “renewed” drive?!?!!! Are you nuts?

AKA, refurbished... meaning the drive failed and has been more than likely repaired with used parts?

Save up more money. Seriously. Yes, you are looking for a RAID based EHD or NAS. Plan on spending between $600-$1200 for quality. A RAID1 drive setup for $260 is like buying a $79 “Eco Friendly” EHD from a Big Box store; those drives are guaranteed to fail, it’s just a question of when it fails. Personally, I want my HDs beefy and near bulletproof and that usually entails using power. Never purchase a “Eco-Friendly” or “Green” HD  internal or external.


Why so much? If you really want redundancy and quality, you need to spend the money for it. A 12TB RAID1 drive will give you 6TB (before formatting) of storage space. A RAID1 is a mirrored configuration. One drive automatically writes to the other. So when one fails, there is a duplicate that you can work with until you replace the failed drive. The downside to RAID1 is that if you delete a file or a file is corrupted, it is automatically deleted on the other. There is no “fail safe” if you accidentally delete something or things get corrupted. The mirroring is instantaneous. 
 

Oh, BTW... RAID Drives advertise a RAID0 configuration, in where two or more HDs act in unison. So two 6TB act as one 12TB drive. The downside to RAID0 is if one drive fails, the whole thing goes. Why use a RAID0? When it comes to a traditional HD, SPEED. A RAID0 setup is faster reading/writing when it comes to a traditional/spinning HD. Flash Based Media, i.e. SSD, m.2 there isn’t that much of a performance boost. I’d use a RAID0 setup for cache area when editing video. 
 

RAID1 setups, take the advertised capacity and divide it in half. If you want more than 6TB , you need two larger HDs in a RAID1 configuration. Two 8TB (16TB advertised) or two 10TB (20TB advertised) etc. 

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Sorry, no I wasn’t going to buy refurbished, just that brand and tower type that interested me, sorry for being vague. I’m going with the other you recommended in the first link. The other information is really interesting and informative. I’ll buy the cheap one for now (6T), and save up for the expensive one. I really need two anyway, one on site and one off site. Thank you for taking the time and explaining. Bullet proof sounds awesome! 

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No worries. :) I just don’t want you to waste money. I hate-hate-hate wasting money on this sh*t. ESPECIALLY when it comes to HDs that my data is stored on. 
 

In reality, if you don’t want to utilize a Cloud Service, and that is understandable, you are looking at a RAID1 setup and a second HD to clone onto, and kept offsite. 
 

You can copy the RAID1 EHD onto a single EHD (that’s maybe slightly larger) weekly or monthly. Or daily...that’s up to you and your comfort level of what you can stand to lose. Then it’s just a matter of sticking to a schedule. 

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