Author Topic: External hard drive reccomendations  (Read 803 times)

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Offline Vgkid

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External hard drive reccomendations
« on: February 18, 2020, 06:29:45 am »
So my old external hard drive is undersized(500gb) generally it was not an issue, until the mobo on the laptop crapped out. Which left me with contemplating backing up a much larger hdd.
What i'm looking for
Interface: esata, usb 3.0(and up) or Thunderbolt3 connectivity.
Size : it will mostly sit on/under a desk, or stored out of the way.
Price: $250 and below, some leeway is there
Capacity: over 4tb
Needs to be reliable, internet access will not always be available.
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Offline rdl

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2020, 07:04:29 am »
I have four of these. The oldest is about 10 years old and all are working fine. The newest is about three years old so I can't really comment about the current model.

https://www.newegg.com/rosewill-rx-358-u3c-blk/p/N82E16817182247

WD Reds are $115 and often go on sale for less (the 4TGB 5400rpm model).

https://www.newegg.com/red-wd40efrx-4tb/p/N82E16822236599

However, for 4TB you might want to consider some kind of NAS setup instead.
 

Offline kripton2035

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2020, 07:08:05 am »
Quote
However, for 4TB you might want to consider some kind of NAS setup instead.
+++1
and consider also to backup the backup just in case... a NAS with an external usb backup is ok.

Online blueskull

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2020, 07:21:39 am »
Stay away from Thunderbolt 3. The connector is fragile, and connection drops once in a while if you wiggle the cable.
So far, the only cables I've used that don't drop connection are Apple 80cm ones. All active cables suck.
 
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2020, 09:43:19 am »
Whatever you do, please don't rely on a single hard drive to back up all your data. At least make two copies, verify them often and at the first sign of trouble, look at a replacement.
 
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Offline gabinetex

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2020, 11:57:25 am »

The WD MyBook 8TB were all the rage a few months ago among the datahoarders, they were buying them by the dozen, shucking them, and installing them into their NAS.

https://www.amazon.com/Book-Desktop-External-Drive-WDBBGB0080HBK-NESN/dp/B01LQQHLGC?th=1

Aparently, the 8TB and higher capacities are in fact relabelled  WD reds, or HGST He8, I don't remember... at half the price. (150$)
They have a 3 year warranty, which is longer than others.
The 6TB and lower have WD blues or something inside I believe....


I bought one, voided the warranty by extracting the HDD, and  I'm using it as an internal HDD at the mo.
 

Offline Vgkid

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2020, 08:11:52 am »
If I go the NAS route, any brands to look for/avoid?
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Offline kripton2035

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2020, 10:34:05 am »
can't go wrong with qnap or synology. and think of the drive to backup the nas.( big lightning strike and the nas power supply is dead with the drives...)

Offline Ampera

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2020, 01:04:29 pm »
If I go the NAS route, any brands to look for/avoid?

Depends on how computer literate you are, a box with a big SATA HBA running FreeBSD (not FreeNAS, though that works too), is what I use. Check out SFTP as a solution for data shares, as it offers random access data via SSH (meaning it's secure over WAN), is quite easy to setup, and has acceptable throughput on even slower machines. That being said, I have heard issues with files corrupting if multiple people write to it at once, so do your homework.

I get all of my drives from goHardDrive, they sell refurb HGST UltraStars for next to nothing (4TB drives are around 60USD last I checked, also check Newegg, they have some stuff up there for different prices and stock), and they are nice, reliable drives for the average Joe. I've got a 2TB one that's been in service for around 6 years, 24/7, and it's still kicking.
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Offline rdl

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2020, 02:55:49 pm »
A vote for FreeNAS here. If you have decent basic computer knowledge, FreeNAS is good option. It's very flexible, you can go really cheap and small, really expensive and big, or anywhere in between.

I have a small, sort of cheap, but pretty good FreeNAS setup.

FreeNAS 9.10.2-U6
HP N54L Microserver Gen 7
2x 4 GB Crucial ECC DDR3
2x 16 GB Sandisk Cruzer Fit (OS - mirrored)
1x 8 GB Generic USB flash drive (System dataset)
2x 2 TB Blue WD20EZRZ (Data - mirrored)
2x 4 TB Red WD40EFRX (Data - mirrored)

 

Offline David Hess

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2020, 06:08:37 pm »
If I go the NAS route, any brands to look for/avoid?

I have an old Netgear NAS box which has bugs which Netgear never bothered to patch so I would avoid them.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2020, 11:03:01 pm »
If I go the NAS route, any brands to look for/avoid?

FreeNAS is excellent, but you need some degree of technical knowledge.

If you're after an out-of-the-box consumer solution, Synology.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2020, 11:05:54 pm »
I'd look for one which supports Rsync to make (verified) backups quickly and don't require special software to recover the backups.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 01:07:12 am by Halcyon »
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2020, 01:07:37 am »
I'd look for one which supports Rsync to make (verified) backups quickly and don't require special software to recover the backups.


FreeNAS supports RSync and Replication tasks right out of the box. You can even use it to back up to cloud services if you wish.

(Sorry I accidentally edited your post rather than quoting. The buttons are next to each other.)
 

Offline thermistor-guy

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2020, 02:14:39 am »
So my old external hard drive is undersized(500gb) generally it was not an issue, until the mobo on the laptop crapped out. Which left me with contemplating backing up a much larger hdd.
What i'm looking for
Interface: esata, usb 3.0(and up) or Thunderbolt3 connectivity.
Size : it will mostly sit on/under a desk, or stored out of the way.
Price: $250 and below, some leeway is there
Capacity: over 4tb
Needs to be reliable, internet access will not always be available.

I suggest upping the budget and installing a NAS.

At home I use WD black drives exclusively, because of the 5 year warranty. Haven't had one of these fail on me.

For external enclosures I use Synology boxes. I still have a Synology DS106 working, and it must be ~13 years old. I'm about it replace it with a DS218.
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2020, 02:37:17 am »
At home I use WD black drives exclusively, because of the 5 year warranty. Haven't had one of these fail on me.

I am retiring my WD Black drives because one failed a couple weeks ago.  I would not use WD Black drives in a RAID configuration because they have not supported limited error recovery time since about 2010 when Western Digital updated their firmware to remove this function.  They were replaced by the RE series of drives in RAID applications.
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2020, 02:44:12 am »
I have a Netgear ReadyNAS 104 for about 5 years and ticking quite alright. It is furnished with four WD 3TB green hard drives.

It is mostly used for backup, thus it is not heavily loaded, but it has constant newer firmware releases.
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Offline rdl

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2020, 03:06:49 am »
To a certain degree, it doesn't really matter what drives you use with FreeNAS, but the WD Reds were specifically made for NAS use and seem to have a pretty good reputation.

I have a WD Black 1TB (one of four I own) and a 150GB Raptor that are 11 years old, but I haven't actually used the 1TB in about a year. The Raptor is still a daily driver, though that'll be coming to an end soon.
 

Offline Vgkid

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2020, 07:28:25 am »
The NAS route is looking good, will probable go with a Synology box.  Are these things ok to run over a wifi network? Don't mind upgrading that :)
Regarding hdd speeds then, is the 5.9k or 7.2k make a difference?
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Offline kripton2035

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2020, 09:27:42 am »
connecting to a nas over wifi will take 10x longer to transfert the files, but will work the same.
I always connected the nas to the wired part of the network. then clients can be over wifi if needed.

Offline Halcyon

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2020, 11:15:16 am »
At home I use WD black drives exclusively, because of the 5 year warranty. Haven't had one of these fail on me.

I am retiring my WD Black drives because one failed a couple weeks ago.  I would not use WD Black drives in a RAID configuration because they have not supported limited error recovery time since about 2010 when Western Digital updated their firmware to remove this function.  They were replaced by the RE series of drives in RAID applications.

Do not use consumer grade drives on proper hardware RAID controllers period. It's likely to end in tears. TLER (and other names) can cause problems with proper RAID depending on how it's set. Essentially the disk tries to do error correction and ignores certain ATA commands for a period (usually set by the manufacturer). Some RAID controllers interpret this as a failed disk and will kick it out of the array. There are some drives where you can adjust or disable this timeout (as in it will fail immediately), but for many, you can't.

If you're using consumer disks, you are far better off with something like ZFS (even with enterprise drives, ZFS offers advantages over traditional RAID).

At the end of the day, all drives will fail. I'm on about my 9th year using my 2TB Hitachi Ultrastar drives and whilst they are still working perfectly fine, they are starting to reach the limit of their serviceable life (considering they've been spinning for 99.9% of the past 9 years). I have redundancy in place on another server should the entire thing fall over tomorrow.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 11:18:03 am by Halcyon »
 
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Offline MrMobodies

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2020, 09:56:04 pm »
I once imported two Rosewill enclosures to clean up some mess but it turned out to be a big mistake.

I think they were these:

https://www.newegg.com/rosewill-rx304-apu3-35b/p/N82E16817182316
 
I used my own power supplies as they were a different plug and I know the LiShin 4 - 5 amps ones I use work well with many spares, The drives were in single not raid and it was fine initially.

The enclosures were on a shelf untouched but they both failed. The screen broke on one and intermittently worked and the sata port on the other stopped working a couple of months later.

In the end I used a 4 drive enclosure casing from an atx case that already had a fan attached to it and wired up to an atx power supply that which were all on shelves, put in a 1m esata to sata cable to the esata card and I had no problems after that and I tied everything down in such a way that the cables couldn't fall out on movement.
 

Offline emece67

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2020, 09:31:34 am »
The NAS route is looking good, will probable go with a Synology box.  Are these things ok to run over a wifi network? Don't mind upgrading that :)
Regarding hdd speeds then, is the 5.9k or 7.2k make a difference?

Hi,

Using here some Synology 2 bay NAS in various places since 5 years ago (the first one was a used unit I buyed just to test it, drives were new, though). So far, so good. Even the low-end ones (21xJ) do the job for a domestic use. I always used them in a wired LAN, sorry, can speak about WiFi performance.

Highly recommendable stuff IMHO.

Regards.

Note: Using also WD red drives. Not any issue up to now.
Information must flow.
 

Offline frogg

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2020, 02:01:24 pm »
Just mount an SSD in an enclosure.
 

Offline mrflibble

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Re: External hard drive reccomendations
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2020, 07:28:34 pm »
I'd look for one which supports Rsync to make (verified) backups quickly and don't require special software to recover the backups.
On the subject of rsync & backups, you might also be interested in rsnapshot. Basically it makes an LVM based temp snapshot of volume being backed up, and then performs an rsync on that snapshot. That way there are no problems if a file is being modified while the backup is still running. The backup will based on the files as they exist at the moment of snapshot. It's lightweight, and Just Works [tm].
 


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