Backup hard drive type quandary

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Patrick Sun, Dec 29, 2003.

  1. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Do I back up my main SATA boot drive with a cheaper PATA HD and using the SATA converter? Or do I just suck it up and buy an identical SATA HD and be done with it (which would mean paying a little more up front, around $30-$50 more) because the deals can be had on the PATA HD each week.

    The other thing that I wish I knew was whether or not Maxtor or Western Digital 120GB had the same amount of sectors on them or if the WD had more sectors (which would allow me to ghost the Maxtor onto it without any problems, otherwise, if the WD had less sectors, I couldn't ghost the entire HD from the original Maxtor to the WD backup HD).

    I have a WD 120GB still sealed in the box ($60 after rebates), but I don't want to install it and find out the sector count is less than a Maxtor HD. The Maxtor sector count was the same for either the SATA version or the PATA version.

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    FYI: I did do a test with ghosting my Maxtor 120GB SATA boot HD onto a Maxtor 120GB PATA HD (used to backup my other 120GB drive in another PC). I used a Highpoint Rockethead 100 SATA/PATA adapter with the PATA HD and connected it as a SATA HD to the motherboard's SATA controller. The test was successful as I was able to boot up the PATA HD with the SATA adapter in place, and XP booted up with no problems.
     
  2. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    I don't know if you're still deciding, but I found this thread in a search.

    The two hard drives don't have to be identical. I regularly backup my 160Gb Maxtor data drive (about 20Gb of data so far) to a 40Gb Western Digital drive using "Drive Image 7"

    Both my drives are PATA but I've also imaged SCSI to PATA so there shouldn't be any problem with SATA to PATA.

    Darren.
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I wound up just buying another 120GB SATA HD, I make a complete clone when I use Ghost to backup, not just an image file (plus I have lots of data on the HD, so even with compression via an image, I feel better with having a drop-in replacement if things go bad).
     
  4. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    FYI, Powerquest (now owned by Symantec) has a new version of Drive Image that works with network and Firewire drives. You can purchase an external drive enclosure and back up your system without having to open up the computer case.
     
  5. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    Acronis True Image is the best.

    They built me a custom CDR-image to boot from my HTPC without a real monitor in 640x480 VGA mode for $0. Works perfectly with Firewire/USB/Network drives as well.

    Edit: with -> without
     
  6. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Joseph S, Acronis does look very good at an intial glance, particularly the incremental backup facility. The interface looks similar to Drive Image 7.

    I'm going to keep them bookmarked incase Symantec screw up Drive Image now that they've taken over Powerquest.

    What I love about Drive Image 7 is that I can backup my OS drive "on-the-fly" without having to reboot or use an old DOS boot disk. I just set it going, make a cup of coffee and it's done!

    Partick, I haven't ever considered making complete clones of my drives. Does that mean that if a drive fails you can just swap the drives and be up and running without any kind of restore procedure (assuming your clone is current)?

    I've got my data drive in an IcyDock enclosure which would make swapping drives a breeze.
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Yes, that's the idea. With hard drives so cheap nowadays, my time is worth more than having to rebuild a drive from backups and incremental backups should it fail. Just my take on the situation for personal backup strategy.
     
  8. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    That's what I do at work whenever I set up a new workstation. I use the drive contents of a similarily configured workstation as the base for the new drive. Once the cloning operation is complete, I just install the clone into the new workstation and start her up. All that's left afterwards is to enter the new Windows XP activation code, change the user profile and I'm done. No time consuming software installations, no exhaustive Windows Update procedures, no nothing! Drive Image will even allow you to clone the source drive on a larger sized target drive, and resize the partitions to take advantage of the extra space if you wish. When the time comes for a hard drive upgrade, you're all set.

    Using a hard drive as a backup device really is the best methodology available today. For less than the price of a tape drive or even a DVD burner with a stack of discs, you can have your entire backup loaded on a hard drive that's ready to be activated in the time it takes to swap drives and unhide the partitions.
     

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