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External hard drive recommendations

Can anyone recommend a reliable external hard drive with firewire and USB interface? Many thanks.


by [a former member] at 2005-08-14 11:52:20 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) New York City , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

I have been using a couple of LaCie 250 gb firewire 800 drives, and no problems. I also have a LaCie 250gb Porsche drive and it too has been problem free for about a year now. I do not use them as everyday drives though, i only use them as archive storage and they are fully backed up.

by [former member] | 14 Aug 2005 12:08 | Sunset Beach, NC, United States | | Report spam→
Just wanted to chime in that I’ve had some bad experiences with Lacie ext. HDs, most recently with my 400 GB Firewire 800 which just died after just about a year of use. Honestly, I don’t think there are any external HDs that are really fool proof these days, at least not compared to other backup solutions that are available.

- John

by John Loomis | 14 Aug 2005 18:08 | North Carolina, United States | | Report spam→

What are the backup options you prefer?


by Geoffrey King | 14 Aug 2005 20:08 | Berkeley, United States | | Report spam→
I just got a LaCie 160G about 2 months ago, its working great. I use it very often. I would not invest in anything that is not a LaCie they are the best in the market…I am not getting paid to say this, but its your best bet!

by Juan Carlos | 15 Aug 2005 00:08 | San Francisco, United States | | Report spam→
it all depends on what you want to do. If portability is the first priority, get a bus-powered 2,5", lacie make good one, so do other people. you’re paying for the better cooling (and styling). if you’re willing to deal with power issues, get a 3,5" one with a power adapter as they’re much cheaper per gig. I like LaCie’s RAID array for semi-permanent storage, as it gives a reasonable level of redundancy and it’s faster than burning DVD’s. The problem is that it’s terribly expensive per gig. I’m wondering if something like the atech fabrication case wouldn’t be a good idea, and to which level a multiple-drive enclosure for 2,5" drives would be a good idea – you could get RAID, and the security it brings, in a reasonably-sized package that could be bus-powered by putting a half dozen of them in a nice aluminum box for the cooling. wouldn’t necessarily be too heavy, but cost could be a factor…

by [former member] | 15 Aug 2005 04:08 | karachi, Pakistan | | Report spam→
I just bought 250 G-Drive with 400 firewire and USB 2.0 ports. It was recommended to me at B&H Photo for its reliablility. I have had trouble with other external hard drives in the past such as the IOMEGA. This one seems pretty solid.

by Katherine Kiviat | 15 Aug 2005 11:08 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
Hey Geoff -
There was very recently another couple of threads on LS about archiving -
and the people who posted there probably know more than me… you might want to do a search. In summary, I think the main options are DVDs, ext. HD, RAID drives, tape drive, server storage, and finally, of course, multiple internal HDs. Tape, RAID, and server storage are all quite expensive, but very reliable — they also require a fair amount of nerdom to set-up, in my opinion. Ext. HDs, as I said earlier, really can’t be trusted without redundant backup being used. DVDs are a decent option, and certainly cheap, but its just a pain in the ass to backup on them if you create a lot of GBs like many of us do who only shoot RAWs, because it takes a lot of time. My new solution is going to be a redundant system of multiple internal serial ATA drives combined with frequent DVD burnings, just to be safe. Anyway, hope this is useful.
Best, -John

by John Loomis | 15 Aug 2005 11:08 | North Carolina, United States | | Report spam→
Many thanks to all of you for your helpful replies. Looks like a 160-200 GB drive is what I need, and I’ll back up further on CDs.


by [former member] | 15 Aug 2005 12:08 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
if you back up often, your drive will last forever. If you never back up, disaster is inevitable…

story of my life.

by [former member] | 15 Aug 2005 12:08 | Sunset Beach, NC, United States | | Report spam→
I think a good strategy is to get two identical drives, one to use, and one to back up to. It’s the only backup scheme I’ve found that’s simple enough for me to actually stick to reliably. Anything to avoid ending up like Patrick…

by Shinji Kuwayama | 15 Aug 2005 13:08 | Chicago, United States | | Report spam→
Nuff said. I’m heading to B&H today…

by [former member] | 15 Aug 2005 13:08 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
I am in a big back up mode this week, starting with all my orignal RAW “selects” to DVD’s and hopefully moving to all the TIFFS that came from them……I want to have all the RAWS on DVDs in numerical order, so it is easy to go back and find individual images. Once I get them backed up then I wipe the drive and reinstall the system and all my applications, and hopefully reduce the stress on the drives.

The other thing I do is to make sure I have more than one drive with OS (X) on it so that I can restart from a non-damaged drive, and also have Disk Warrior on my drives, to rebuild my directory if needed. Rebuilding the directory from time to time is also a good idea.

Another good idea is to have everything you need to rebuild a drive, applications, serial numbers, and especially the small drivers that acculumlate on multiple drives and also on a DVD…..so if disater hits, you are ready, and you don’t have to go back and get the downloads, etc.

by [former member] | 15 Aug 2005 14:08 (ed. Aug 15 2005) | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→

TechKnowSphere looked at my RAM and told me the could tell I had knocked my Pbk G4. I think LB and RAM are connected…
Oops, just seen you are in California, not in NYC.

Good luck.

by David Brabyn | 15 Aug 2005 14:08 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
I think J Loomis’s recomendation sounds good. I liked what I think either Sion Touhig or Johann Spanner recommended, burning on these gold DVDs: http://www.delkin.com/delkin_products_archival_gold_dvd.html. this was on another thread that i cannot find just now.

I know it is slow, etc, but it seems safer, and I have heard so many stories of external drives failing. Plus, a friend of mine here in the tropics avoids the drives as well, burns everything on CD and DVD and never has a problem. The heat and humidity down here are murder on electronics, not to mention the tendency for Nature to reassert dominion periodically. I now have a colony of ants picnicking in my laptop, so I am real nervous about the viability of these media.

by Jon Anderson | 15 Aug 2005 14:08 | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→

My understanding is that jpegs degrade everytime they are recompressed after a “save” or “save as” is made. How much I have no idea……

by [former member] | 15 Aug 2005 15:08 | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→

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John Loomis, Photographer John Loomis
New York, Ny , United States ( LGA )
Geoffrey King, 1st Amend. lawyer, photog Geoffrey King
1st Amend. lawyer, photog
San Francisco , United States
Juan Carlos, Photographer-Fotografo Juan Carlos
San Salvador , El Salvador ( SAL )
Katherine Kiviat, Photographer Katherine Kiviat
New York City , United States ( JFK )
Shinji Kuwayama, Software Engineer Shinji Kuwayama
Software Engineer
Chicago , United States ( ORD )
David Brabyn, Photojournalist David Brabyn
New York , United States
Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States


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