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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Storage question - external USB3 VS Internal SATA
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Showing posts 1 - 13 of 13, (reverse)
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08/30/2014 02:24:24 AM · #1
My laptop hard drive is almost full due to the storing all my photos on it (the drive is only 500GB)

I like to have my photos accessible from both my desktop PC (in my office) and my laptop (living room) and use Google Drive as a backup solution with a local copy on both the desktop and laptop.

I was considering getting an internal 2TB drive for the laptop which will involve copying everything from the existing drive including the OS (Windows 8.1) to the new drive.

However I am wondering if an external drive would be a better solution? My main concern with an external drive would be speed of access. I like to be able to preview folders of photos and then flick through them so would not want this process to be slow - it is very slow when I access photos on one of my other backup network drives wirelessly.

Advantages of internal drive is there is no drive sitting around that the kids can knock off the table and no need for an additional power supply?

Advantanges of external drive - no need to copy the OS etc and the external drive could be attached to any PC. Could add a SSD instead but to be honest the laptop is fairly fast to boot up and run programs (as high spec and only a few months old)

Any thoughts or recommendations appreciated
08/30/2014 12:30:19 PM · #2
I use the external drives for mass storage. I keep files on the laptop until space starts getting tight, then I move all the older ones to the external drive. I rarely go back to the much older files, so it works for me. And speed of access is reasonable: when I want to work on older stuff I just copy it back over to the internal drive for the duration.
08/31/2014 02:43:14 AM · #3
Thanks Robert. I tend to need access to all my photos instantly. I really hate watching progress bars. Was hoping for. Solution allowing me fast access to all my photos from both machines. Have had several external USB drives die on me in the past so that is another factor.
08/31/2014 05:38:24 AM · #4
I had the same problem lately, my 500 GB laptop harddisk was almost full due to the number of photographs. And I needed a medium to create a back-up. So I bought a WD 'My Passport' Ultra 2 TB externe harddisk and I'm very pleased with it. It's connected with an USB3 connector and working with it is almost like working on my internal harddisk. Can't see any delay. Recommendable!
08/31/2014 12:01:20 PM · #5
What Kroburg says. My external drives are USB3 and the access is very quick. Maybe a little longer to LOAD or SAVE a photo, but from that point, no problem, since PS does all its caching locally. As a matter of practice I usually cpy images to the local drive to work on them, but when I do things directly on the USB3 drive, speed has not been a big issue for me.
08/31/2014 12:13:30 PM · #6
You almost always get better performance when the data is on a separate disk from the operating system/applications. Also, your data is more portable, and can still be accessed when your computer dies.

Sorry, but as someone who has used Photoshop since v 2.0 (actually since v 0.87, but it wasn't called Photoshop then) I have little sympathy for a complaint that an image mmight take a whole five seconds to load instad of three ...
08/31/2014 01:15:14 PM · #7
Thanks everyone. Sounds like USB3 is good to go. I will go with an external drive - pleased not to have to have to copy OS to a new internal drive.

08/31/2014 01:17:30 PM · #8
Btw Kees, be sure not to rely solely on the WD drive as I have had 2 of these die on me - on both occasions it was the interface in the enclosure so no data lost but still scary when it happens. Really pleased with Google drive as backup solution.
08/31/2014 01:31:30 PM · #9
Hi Paul,

I have WD My Passport 1TB - 2 years old & WD My Passport 2TB - 1 year old both perform well and still running.
Am not quite sure on the WD older model but these two Passport I had rockz. Get your best deal from //www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00E055H5O/?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&condition=new&creative=390957&linkCode=ur2&qid=1409505954
08/31/2014 01:53:41 PM · #10
Originally posted by P-A-U-L:

Btw Kees, be sure not to rely solely on the WD drive as I have had 2 of these die on me - on both occasions it was the interface in the enclosure so no data lost but still scary when it happens. Really pleased with Google drive as backup solution.

I know the risk Paul, I also have a LaCie external HD with interface problems. It works fine for 5-10 minutes and then the connection is lost and the computer doesn't recognise it anymore.
08/31/2014 01:55:58 PM · #11
Quite a pain to deal with when the interface card goes as some of these drives use some sort of encryption that the interface deals with - so if the interface dies you need to get a new interface to retrieve your data. Fortunately I was able to buy such an interface card off Ebay from America to get my data back.
08/31/2014 02:48:33 PM · #12
I have had disk failures with most major brands ... right now I am favoring Seagate.
08/31/2014 03:27:20 PM · #13
All hard drive manufacturers produce some drives that fail. The failure rate is typically somewhere between 2-4% per year. 2% is 1/50, and 4% is 1/25. That's per year. So if you start looking for failures, you will always find someone who had a "Brand X" drive failure. This also explains why about 20% of Amazon reviews for hard drives are 1-star reviews saying either that the drive was DOA or it failed within a short period of time. In addition, every drive will fail eventually. Every. Last. Drive. Will. Fail.

So, what to do?

Redundancy. Assume that any of your drives can fail at any time. Every piece of data that you care about should be stored on more than one drive. You should have backups, and possibly backups of your backups. For the really important data, at least one backup should be stored offsite. I personally have two backup drives that I swap once a week. I keep one on my desk at home, and one in my office downtown. Lots of people use online vendors for that as well. The other thing is at least once a year (and preferably more often), you should verify that you can actually recover data from your backups.

For my needs, WD Green and Black drives currently have the best price/features/performance, so that's what I've been buying recently. Your needs and desires may differ.
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