Backup Storage

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johnincrete
Posts: 913
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:04 pm
Location: Chania

Backup Storage

Postby johnincrete » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:27 am

Some years ago, my disc drive was getting too full and I installed a second drive. I separated most data from the first, system, disc to the new data disc. Now the data disc is close to being full. My system cannot take a third disc. So I am looking at how I can release space on the data disc.

Has anyone any experience that can help me make the right choice?

It seems I have these choices:
1. Replace my data disc with one with more capacity. (It is what was considered a massive 500Gb a few years ago)
2. Buy an external disc drive and transfer data to it. (what I did before I got the 2nd disc. The external drive was exhibiting questionable behavior)
3. Use USB flash drives instead of an external disc drive. (are the very high capacity USB drives reliable?)
4. Use "cloud storage" (whatever that is!)

I have little, if any, data that I can class as pure archive stuff. There is much music as mp3 files that includes stuff of the "old days" that is not reliably available online, There are many pictures that, over the years, I have downloaded to be more easily available than trying to find them online again; they are for inclusion in documents I regularly produce. There are many videos, many of which are from now-defunct churches. And of course, many documents that I have authored over the years, some of which are book-length but many are texts of sermons which are referred often when composing new sermons. So much of the data is in the category of "sometimes referred to"

Kilkis
Posts: 12192
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Backup Storage

Postby Kilkis » Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:36 am

Working backwards:

4 Cloud storage is simply where a company sets up an online computer system with ultra massive amounts of storage and lets you use some of it. Dropboxis one example. You have an App on your computer and Dropbox storage appears as a folder in File Explorer just like the folders on your own hard drive. Obviously these are commercial companies who are working for profit so you have to pay. I think the cheapest account with Dropbox, which gives you 5TB of storage, is €12 per month. They do have a free account but that is limited to 2 GB so not suitable for solving your problem. The free account is quite good if you want to send some one a file but it is too big to attach to an email. You store the file in your Dropbox folder and then send them a link to it so they can download it, which is what I did recently to give forum members access to a document.

3 The biggest flash drive you can buy is around 512 GB such as this one from e-shop. It's a simple solution and should be reasonably reliable. It has the advantage that you can simply unplug it and take all your data with you. If you don't need to access the data very often you can also leave it unplugged until you need it so it gives you some protection if your PC gets fried by lightning. The downside is that you could get a 2 TB internal drive, i.e. 4 x, for less money and a 4 TB, i.e. 8 x, for only a bit more.

2 An external drive would be the easiest solution and quite cheap. For example you could get a 1 TB external drive for around €45 or a 2TB drive for around €65. Retrieving data from the drive will be slower than from an internal drive, especially if your computer is old and doesn't have USB 3.2. The drive will work with older USB standards but data transfer will be slower. Like the flash drive, if you don't need access to the data all the time you could also unplug it which gives you protection in the event of lightning damage.

1 For data you use on a regular basis an internal drive is always best since access is fastest and they tend to be the cheapest per GB storage. I tend to think of the above solutions as backup rather than regular storage. You could copy everything from your 500GB drive to an external drive and then delete everything that you don't need on a regular basis from the 500GB drive. That should free up a lot of space on the 500 GB drive and make it usable again. Moving photos and videos should free up a lot of space. You then only copy back files to the 500 GB drive when you need them and delete them again afterwards. The problem with replacing the existing internal drive with a bigger internal drive is copying all the existing data from the 500 GB drive to the new one if you have no free drive slots. You could buy an external USB to SATA adapter, plug the new bigger drive into the adapter, copy everything from the 500 GB drive to the new drive and then install the new drive internally in place of the 500 GB drive. Alternatively you could take the old 500 GB drive and the new drive to a computer shop such as Ροζακης on Anapafseos, i.e. the road from Mournies into Chania, just before it crosses Marko Botsari and they will copy if for you for a small fee. A cheap but good quality internal hard drive would be the Seagate Barracuda range, although it wouldn't be the fastest with a 5400 spindle speed. A higher performance option would be the Western Digital Black range with 7200 spindle speed. You can find low online prices if you search for either on Scrooge.

Warwick

Keltz
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Backup Storage

Postby Keltz » Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:50 am

It sounds like your data has personal value and some of it not easily replaced were it to be totally lost. I would suggest buying an external 1 or 2TB USB disc, copy your 500GB disc content to it, ditch the 500Gb disc and replace it with a 1 or 2TB internal disc with the same capacity as the external one.

Then use the external drive for backup only and work with the data on the internal drive. You will no longer have to worry about disc space and have access to backups at a reasonably fast speed and at comparatively low cost.

If you want to be frugil you can buy a disc drive case and SATA cable to hold your old 500GB drive and use it as another external USB drive at little cost. Most PC shops should be able to advise and supply.

Kilkis
Posts: 12192
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Backup Storage

Postby Kilkis » Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:22 pm

In general I agree with Keltz' recommendation except for the last paragraph. I doubt very much that John's PC has an external SATA connection so he would need to buy a 3.5" SATA HDD enclosure that uses a USB interface. The interface inside the enclosure is SATA but electronics in the case convert that to USB.

Warwick

Keltz
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Backup Storage

Postby Keltz » Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:20 pm

Kilkis wrote:In general I agree with Keltz' recommendation except for the last paragraph. I doubt very much that John's PC has an external SATA connection so he would need to buy a 3.5" SATA HDD enclosure that uses a USB interface. The interface inside the enclosure is SATA but electronics in the case convert that to USB.

Warwick


A SATA cable is a ribbon connector much like you will find inside most PCs and laptops to link an HDD to the motherboard, but as far as I know Johnincrete does not have much technical knowledge hence I advised to speak to a PC repair shop that can provide the equivalent cable along with the case to hold the disc and they would know what cable is required.

There is no such thing as an external SATA connection as PCs are Plug and Play, needing no technical knowledge to use. SATA is a system level connection but I guess Johnincrete just wants to know what to do.

Kilkis
Posts: 12192
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Backup Storage

Postby Kilkis » Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:39 pm

So what would you do? Curt a big hole in the side of the PC and feed the ribbons cable through it to the external device? I can 100 % guarantee that if you did that the PC would no longer meet EMC regulations and would be illegal. There are two types of external SATA connectors: eSATA and eSATAp. The former does not supply power and would work with an external device that has its own power supply. The latter also supplies power. See, for example, this Wikipedia article

Warwick

Mandraek
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:24 pm
Location: Apokoronas

Re: Backup Storage

Postby Mandraek » Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:04 am

have found ssd drives out perform all other storage methods as long as its within 500gb, USB powered so you only need a simple USB to SATA cable (pref usb3) cheap @50€ 480gb patriot on e-shop.gr, reliably faster than any but the best USB drives, long lifespan, low energy costs, conveniently compact etc etc

https://www.e-shop.gr/ssd-patriot-pbu960gs25ssdr-burst-960gb-25-sata-3-p-PER.323209

https://www.ebay.com/itm/143302928731

you will need to format them however which takes a little knowledge

Ps the reason I say within 500gb is that the price increases exponentially above 500gb, a 960gb is 92€ for instance & a 2tb 178€

Kilkis
Posts: 12192
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Backup Storage

Postby Kilkis » Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:14 am

It is certainly true that larger SSD drives are more expensive but I am not sure it is fair to say that the price rises exponentially? Using e-shop as an example the 480 GB Patriot drive you referenced costs €49.20 while a 1 TB Patriot drive costs €91.90 so over double the capacity for less than double the price. A 2 TB Patriot drive costs €178.90 so 4.2 x the capacity for 3.6 x the price. That's less than proprtional.

Similarly SSDs can be faster but I would be surprised if an SSD working through a SATA interface and then through a USB connection is going to be that much faster than a simple internal HDD using the SATA interface directly. If you really want speed you need a fast M2 SSD connected through a PCIE/NMVE interface. Better still two connected as RAID 0. You can buy a PCIE internal riser board that will take M2 SSDs but I have no experience of how fast they are. I would guess that a motherboard with built in M2 connectors and a matching chipset could be faster.

My current PC, which is now getting on for 10 years old, has a small SATA SSD as the boot drive with Windows and all programs and a larger standard SATA HDD for all data files. Typically it has a boot time of 33 seconds and there is no noticeable lag in loading programs. There is also a larger still external USB3 HDD acting as backup. I am currently waiting for prices and availability to settle down on Intel Generation 10 processors and motherboards. I will then probably build a Generation 10 Core i5 one with two PCIE/NMVE M2 SSDs configured in RAID 0 as the boot drive. If I do get round to it I will report back how it works out.

Warwick

johnincrete
Posts: 913
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:04 pm
Location: Chania

Re: Backup Storage

Postby johnincrete » Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:28 am

Wow! Thanks, everyone.
I do not have the ability to fit a new internal drive myself, But I am thinking of using the existing data disc in a caddy as an external device and having fitted a new 1TB internal drive. Some of the data - all in one folder - I will copy back immediately and the rest only as and when I need it. This seems to me as being the easiest of all the solutions you all came up with.

Incidentally, to move a batch of files from one place to another I use copy/paste which, of course, gives me two copies and I have to delete one set (and I often forget to use shift-delete so then have to empty the recycle bin). Many years ago, I had a bit of file maintenance software that contained a "move" command but that expired with, I think, Windows 3.1 or maybe it was DOS and didn't work with Windows, It also allowed two instances of the file directories being displayed side-by-side tp make the move easier. Like so much old-time software, it was easy for a non-technical type like me whereas so much Windows stuff is much less user-friendly, where "user" is an old man with fragile memory!

Once again, thanks all. And thanks to Caroline for this forum

Keltz
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Backup Storage

Postby Keltz » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:00 am

Sounds like a plan johnincrete. I find it safer to manually delete after the copy instead of using Move option in the rare case when the move is not successful and original file is no longer there. Keeps you in control. I also find Treesize a great disc space manager https://www.jam-software.com/treesize_free ,being a very usable free version.

Kilkis
Posts: 12192
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Backup Storage

Postby Kilkis » Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:19 pm

Since you intend to use a caddy anyway for the old disk your plan will work fine. Someone like Ροζακης would slot a new 1TB drive into the case for you at very low cost. I would issue one word of caution. As you add new material to the 1 TB drive it won't be backed up anywhere? You can't put it on the drive in the caddy because that is already full. How are you going to back up the new material?

In File Explorer if you highlight some files or folders and right click on them you have the choice to copy or to cut. You then right click on the new drive and click on paste. If you use copy the files will also stay on the old drive. If you use cut then they will be deleted. Cut then paste is effectively the same as move. Personally I prefer to use copy and then go and delete the old files once I am sure they are on the new drive. A bit of extra work for more security.

Warwick

PS I think Move was an MSDOS command. I would guess it can still be used if you bring up a Command Line Prompt, i.e. cmd.exe. It involves typing in the source directory and the target directory, possibly with parameters to decide if you want prompting before overwriting existing files. so I would suspect it is more prone to errors. I prefer to use a GUI and a mouse.

peebee
Posts: 915
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:07 am
Location: Kalyves

Re: Backup Storage

Postby peebee » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:57 am

johnincrete wrote: Many years ago, I had a bit of file maintenance software that contained a "move" command but that expired with, I think, Windows 3.1 or maybe it was DOS and didn't work with Windows, It also allowed two instances of the file directories being displayed side-by-side tp make the move easier.

I used some old software that did the same thing, one was called `Xtree' and the other `Norton Commander'.
They are not dead.
https://www.winnc.com/
https://www.ztree.com/


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