Children of the Sun > Rise of the Machines

External Hard Drives

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So we're in the market for an external HD.  What do I want to look for?  We want something unobtrusive and easy to use.  Not really going to be backing up, just storing lots of media so we don't have to delete everything all the time.  So I'm thinking of something with a USB connection instead of something more complex.  Anybody have any experience with externals?

I've had horrible experiences with Western Digital. In my experience, they're pretty unreliable. Lots of folks disagree with me, but Mrs. RC and I have had two crash on us.

Seagate has always done me right. All the Women's Studies footage and edits are backed up on  them. They used to do a 500GB FireWire drive for under $100, but those seem to have gone the way of the dodo. Recently, I purchased a 1TB USB drive to back up all the Helena vids. That drive ran me $130 plus tax at Best Buy.

The key with externals is you want to move the data to a new external about every five years. Yes, trash the old one. If you're just archiving, you want to fire up the drive at least once a year to make sure the data is all there. Store in a cool, dry place and even get some of those packets of silica gel to absorb any moisture that may get in there.

But USB should be fine and easy. Most externals have backup software that installs automatically, but if you're just storing media, don't even bother with it. Just open up the drive on your desktop and start moving files. USB will take awhile if you're moving gigs and gigs of footage at a time, but just copy in batches and go grab a beer or read a book.

Hope this helps.

do they work just like another drive?  like, can you download directy onto them?

As long as it's hooked up to your computer, it's just like you're C: or D: drive.

After endless agonizing and research and annoying Nubbins to the point of madness, I finally settled on the Iomega 500 gb hard drive a year or so ago... I'm sure there's a bigger, better one now.  It's quiet, it's stood up against abuse and heavy use, and I'm very happy with it.

And, yeah, it's just like a regular hard drive.  Except the Iomega gets hot if it's on for a long time (like, days).  I wouldn't use it as a torrent box or something, if that's what you're thinking. 


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