External Hard Drives for Backup
Marshall University Information Technology recommends using one of two brands of external hard drives: Seagate or Western Digital. These brands are the largest makers of hard drives in the world and offer the best product warranties. Many other external hard drive manufacturers often use Seagate or Western Digital hard drives in their final products labeled with their own packaging and controllers. Although Toshiba, Fujitsu, Hitachi and Samsung are large suppliers of hard drives they are not as large in the marketplace in the US and do not provide as good of warranties and support at this time.
- Seagate Line***(Preferred): http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/external/freeagent/
Small and portable 250GB to 1TB no power required (powered from USB) is FreeAgent Go (500GB is the recommended best value effective November 2009 at $100-$130)
Deskside requiring power is the FreeAgent Desk or FreeAgent XTreme at 500GB to 2TB.
- Western Digital: My Passport Drives are small and mobile like the Seagate FreeAgent Go drives: http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/index.asp?cat=9
Desktop units from Western Digital are their My Book line: http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/index.asp?cat=8
Most external hard drives are equipped with USB 2.0 ports. USB 2.0 has a maximum transfer speed of 480Mbps. A growing number of drives ports also come with Firewire and/or eSATA ports. Newer desktop and notebook computers today are often equipped with External SATA or eSATA ports and to a lesser extent Firewire (IEEE 1394) and USB 3.0 ports. These optional interfaces provides a faster data transfer speed and when properly attached can deliver a two to five fold increase in speed thereby delivering a faster backup time.
Firewire (400, 800, and the new 3200) provide an intermediate transfer speed between USB 2.0 and eSATA but are not as predominate in the market today. eSATA provides a maximum of 3.0Gbps in transfer and is as fast as an internal hard drive.
USB 3.0 drives and ports (also known as SuperSpeed USB) are now available as of early 2011. This new standard should provide twice the speed of eSATA and nearly ten times the transfer speed of USB 2.0 and offer improved power management: USB 3.0 Finally Arrives by PCWorld magazine. USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0. Devices interoperate with USB 2.0 platforms.
***Please read the following if you use the Seagate or Maxtor Manager Backup Utility for backup protection on your computer hard drive:
If you use the Seagate or Maxtor Manager Backup Utility and have created a scheduled backup that may occur when your Microsoft Outlook e-mail client is running, you may want to review your backup logs to confirm that your Outlook archive (.PST) files are being properly backed-up.
Many data backup utilities (including the Seagate/Maxtor Manager) are not able to backup files which are open or locked by a running application. In the case of Microsoft Outlook, it will place an application lock on any archive files (.PST files) which you may be using and prevent the backup utility from successfully including the file in the backup data set.
The work-around for this issue according to Seagate is to close all applications (including Outlook) before you run a backup on your hard disk.
You may also want to consider switching to a backup application (such as Windows 7 Backup & Restore ) which can use Windows shadow copy services and which in most cases will backup locked/open files.