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  • External Hard Drives for Win10 backup

    Posted on jdamkeene Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support PC hardware Questions – Maintenance and backups External Hard Drives for Win10 backup

    • This topic has 8 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago.
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      • #2270413 Reply
        AskWoody Lounger

        It is time to get an external hard drive to backup our 2 computers, both running Win10 Home version 1909. I am do confused as to which brand is reliable & easy to use. Every brand claims they are the best, which we all is not true. I have never used one before so I some good sound guidance.  Would anyone be so kind as to give me your opinion? I need it to be affordable since we are seniors and on a fixed income. We need the best bang for our buck. Thank you kindly.

      • #2270417 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I suggest you look for a 1TB model as you can fit lots of backups on that. After that it’s whatever you can afford.
        Cheap is fine if it has at least 1 year warranty.

        Do you have any plans for backup software? We recommend free 3rd party apps as they have all the things you need and are generally easy to use.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2270519 Reply
          AskWoody Plus

          There is lots of good information in this thread already, but I’m adding my two cents as a retired user with relatively simple (non-power-user) computing needs.

          I second Paul T’s recommendations above. Since you mentioned “easy to use,” I thought it was worth mentioning that you don’t have to use any of the software that comes with external hard drives. Personally I ignore any built-in software and just use the drives as if they were big flash drives. I generally buy 1- and 2-TB WD drives. (I have more than one so I can alternate backups between them in case one fails, since that can happen sometimes.) For backup software I use Macrium Reflect free version. Others on AskWoody use it or other free backup software; many here can help if you have questions.

          I just wanted to emphasize that you’re not tied to whatever software might come with the external hard drive and you don’t have to use the software in order to use the hard drive, since that’s something I wasn’t sure about when I first started making image backups.

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      • #2270419 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve used many Seagate and WD drives. I almost always get one that is powered, unless portability is an issue. I usually don’t buy any 3TB drives as I have seen many with problems when initially released. I just picked up 3 WD 8TB EasyStore drives today. They were on sale for $139 with a 2-year warranty Friday but I see the price has risen.

        Just starting testing on them now so I can’t give any more info than that and have read good reviews on them. That said I do have some 8TB Segates and WD that are about 3 years old and have been treated roughly and they’re running fine.

      • #2270432 Reply
        AskWoody Lounger

        If you want it to be small, about the size of a cell phone, and not need to plugged into AC, then get a portable hd. Easy to move from one computer to another.

        If you want it to be about the size of a book and need AC power, then a powered hd is your choice and will give you better speed.

      • #2270453 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        I prefer Western Digital (WD). I have had other portables in the past from Seagate and those failed due to cheap adapters they put on the drive to make it work with USB.

        WD has been getting a little lazy on quality the past year or so on their casings though. I just picked up a 2TB USB 3.0 and within a day the casing popped apart and I had to use tape to hold it together. See attached picture to know which one to avoid buying. The quality of the drive is good, but the casing not so much.

        I also got an 8TB WD Elements and that drive is good so far. It does tend to run a bit on the hot side during long file transfers but it is within the specifications from WD. I picked up a little USB powered fan that blows on it and the temps of the drive seem fine (there were fine before but I like to keep them a little cooler).

        My oldest WD drive is nearly 5 years old and it still runs great. I can’t complain yet.

        The newer 2TB I got at Walmart for about $60. Probably could have got it cheaper online somewhere but I needed it that day.

        There are usually sales on some of these often so check out Best Buy and if you are already on eBay an comfortable with buying on there then I have seen some good deals, but make sure it is from reputable seller before you buy.

        I was able to get my 8TB WB Elements drive for around $135 a couple months ago and it was brand new (on eBay).

        Amazon runs a bit expensive in my experience for those.


      • #2270456 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        I use a USB 3TB WD HDD for image backups and data.
        The WD is on and active reading/writing 24/7/365 for the last ~5 years.
        I have another 8TB WD HDD for crucial data. This drive is disconnected and only connected during data copy.

      • #2277917 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        How much of your current Hard Drives (each one) is being used? I have 5 computers of varying ages but the ones I use most are 2 laptops w/ 256 gb SATA SSD. I use approx 60gb on each. Obviously I do not download movies or large games so I dont need a large external drive. 1 tb USB SSD drive is plenty for several images of each plus data backup. I cannoy fathom 2 or 3 terabytes of data- what takes up that much space? Movies, games(most games are not installed any longer- Interweb or separate platforms I spose. ) Consider how much data you have on each HD and consider it will be (can be?) compressed on the external drive. One drive for both yours and your husbands would probably be plenty unless you want to keep your data private.


        Be safe!

        PS Do a search(I use duckduckgo not google for reviews of external USB drives for a plethera of opinions!

        "Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare."

      • #2277923 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        I have just 1 laptop with 256GB M.2 SSD (OS), 1TB HDD for data.
        I also have 4 external HDD drives : 3TB for backups always connected, 8TB for backup of the 3TB drive which is disconnected, 5TB Media drive with music, movies, TV Shows. 512GB portable Samsung T5 for moving files to family, friends..

        • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Alex5723.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
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