Backup by internal removable disks

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
Clairvaux
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:47 am
Location: France

Backup by internal removable disks

Post by Clairvaux » Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:42 am

I am planning a build, and I want to include a backup solution with removable hard disks in the main PC case (maybe even running continuously in the background).

It seems there are plenty of external HDD solutions out there, and few internal ones. This strikes me as stupid. Why would one add extra clutter outside (enclosure, cables, power supply), when space, power and data interfaces are already available within one's PC case ?

I plan to have one (or two) rotating disks within the home, and one in a bank safe. My questions are the following :

- Opinions on the general idea ?
- 3,5" or 2,5" ?
- Preferred racks ?
- How to protect the disk once outside the rack (notably against electrostatic shock) ?
- How to keep it cool and silent inside the rack ?
- Any risk to the connectors associated with inserting and taking out the disk daily ?

The way I see it :

- 3,5" is cheaper, but either you put it in a trayless rack (and it comes out with the electronics naked and unprotected), or you mount it in a closed tray (and you need ventilation, with those 40 mm fans included in racks which are probably horribly noisy).

- 2,5" is cooler and more silent, but the only rack I found with a tray to protect the disk is the Icy Box MB 663 USR-1S (sorry, I'm not permitted links). And I'm not even sure one can buy extra trays separately.

Thanks for your insight.

atmartens
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:52 pm
Location: Baltimore, USA

Post by atmartens » Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:32 am

Well one reason for making backups is in the case of unforeseen events, such as fire, theft etc. I have an external hard drive in a separate room, and once a week I pull it out and run a backup from my computer. At some point I'll probably put it in the building where I work.

If you stick all your drives in the same computer case, you're only preparing for issues like disk corruption, not theft/accident. I think that's one reason why.

Ideally, you'd know someone in a different city and do networked backups with that person. That way, if there's an earthquake there, his data are safe with you, and if a volcano erupts and takes down your house, your data are safe with him. That's probably overkill for most people though.

Clairvaux
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:47 am
Location: France

Post by Clairvaux » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:02 am

atmartens wrote:
If you stick all your drives in the same computer case, you're only preparing for issues like disk corruption, not theft/accident. I think that's one reason why.
Agreed. Therefore the bank safe (which needs walking, but never mind...). But most external solutions are meant to stand on your desk, a few feet away from your case. That's no protection against theft, fire, lightning or your roof caving in...

And I guess that's how most people use them.

sub
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:27 am
Location: Belgium

Post by sub » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:08 am

Hi,

2.5" if you want a silent backup unit, it's very small to carry and don't need a Power Adapter

Here and here some reviews.


You can also protect your data with a password with TrueCrypt

Clairvaux
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:47 am
Location: France

Post by Clairvaux » Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:34 am

Thank you, Sub.

I can certainly default to an external solution if I cannot find an internal one. But I'd like to avoid the unnecessary clutter, cable, dust-gathering equipment...

I use True Crypt for my present "backup solution" (ahem...) : a 8 Go USB key. Works fine for the time being.

Cryoburner
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:25 am

Post by Cryoburner » Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:48 pm

With external drives, you have the option of easily disconnecting them and moving them somewhere else between use, without having to open up your case each time and potentially damage something inside. If you're planning on moving the drive around a lot, a 2.5" notebook drive might be better, simply due to the better shock tolerance typically built into them. There's also often some degree of additional shock tolerance built into an external case, making it safer than handling a bare drive. If you need a Terabyte or more of storage though, 3.5" drives might be better simply due to their lower cost.

If you don't want desktop clutter, one option would be to route the backup drive's cable somewhere off the desk. Maybe have it go into a drawer from behind, or somewhere else concealed away. Most external 2.5" drives don't require a separate power cable, making that a bit easier to accomplish.

alleycat
Posts: 740
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2002 10:32 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by alleycat » Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:48 pm

I've got one of these, it works well, and the Chinglish is hilarious:
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/33134-me-240

potsy
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 4:55 am
Location: Australia

Post by potsy » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:45 pm

I know the place you keep your backup is a side issue here, but I keep my second, weekly backup disk, in the car. Unlikely I'll lose the car and the house at the same time and if I do a backup might be the least of my worries!

Clairvaux
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:47 am
Location: France

Post by Clairvaux » Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:04 am

Alleycat : thank you. I can see that your Welland rack is trayless. How do you protect your drives once removed ? Do you just toss them in a drawer with the electronics exposed ? Isn't there a risk to fry the board through electrostatic discharge ? Or just a risk of mechanically damaging some of the delicate parts ?

Has anybody used the Icy Box MB 663 USR-1S rack ? It holds a 2,5" drive in an enclosure, which can either be inserted in the PC case, or used as an external disk (USB or SATA).

Potsy : hopefully there are no car thieves where you live, but doesn't the inside of a car get quite hot at times in Australia ?

Vicotnik
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 1828
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 6:53 am
Location: Sweden

Post by Vicotnik » Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:59 am

Before I had a disk server I used an eSATA docking station and a bunch of 3.5" HDDs. The HDDs are completely naked when used and needs to be handled with great care. But I stored the drives in plastic shells, the kind that Samsung ships their drives in. Protects the electronics while in transport and gives the drive some chance of surviving a small drop.

Wibla
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 779
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:03 am
Location: Norway

Post by Wibla » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:35 am

Yeah, save the clamshells when you buy a new drives, they make excellent storage for a drive, offering decent protection against smaller mishaps.

I use several internal drives for backup, and they all get stored in those clamshells when not in use.

josephclemente
Posts: 580
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: USA (Phoenix, AZ)

Post by josephclemente » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:04 pm

I use an "Antec Easy Sata" trayless bay to swap bare 3.5" drives. It is fanless and I haven't had any temperature issues with any drive.
http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=MjA2OQ==

For bare drive storage, I use WiebeTech DriveBox cases:
http://www.wiebetech.com/products/cases.php

Clairvaux
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:47 am
Location: France

Post by Clairvaux » Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:43 am

Many thanks to all.

Mr. B
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:41 pm
Location: New Orleans
Contact:

Post by Mr. B » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:30 pm

I guess you have all the advice you need but I'm posting anyway. Rotating discs out to an external location isn't a bad idea, although more troublesome than may be necessary. I have a two disc RAID1 array in my computer and a duplicate drive hooked up to my work computer across town which I keep up to date over the internet with Deltacopy.

Since you have a home backup, a bank safe might be a bit overkill for the third location unless the data on it is particularly sensitive. A friend's house or office would probably suffice.

Cryoburner
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:25 am

Post by Cryoburner » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:31 pm

That friend could be a spy! Don't trust him!

Clairvaux
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:47 am
Location: France

Post by Clairvaux » Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:00 am

Thanks Mr. B., any extra advice is most welcome. I still think this backup niche is not properly addressed by vendors (non-enterprise users such as me, who are building their own PC, and prefer an internal solution rather than an external one).

You mentioned you backup to your workplace via the Internet : how fast is that ? What sort of link do you have ? What do you need on the other end ? Do you need an always-on computer ? If it's another person's PC, how much do you slow him down ?

Incidentally, as I envisioned it, my bank would not be my third backup location, but my second, since my home is my office.

Mr. B
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:41 pm
Location: New Orleans
Contact:

Post by Mr. B » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:11 am

Both my home and work PC have broadband internet. I don't know what the exact speed it but it seems to be on par with uploading things to my website which is limited to 200-ish kB/s, so I usually let it run overnight. On the rare occasion it was running while I was at work, I didn't notice any trouble outside of a slower internet browsing experience.

Both machines require deltacopy to be running. The "server," namely the work computer has a deltacopy windows service running in the background. At home you initiate the backups with the client program.

Clairvaux
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:47 am
Location: France

Post by Clairvaux » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:39 am

I'll have a look into this Deltacopy product...

Incidentally, I was planning to build a RAID 1 into my future PC, just like you. Everybody keeps telling you : your disk drive will fail some day, but nobody seems to equate this with "RAID 1 is a minimum requirement". I don't get it.

I was also planning to fit it with ECC memory, and, no, it won't be a server, and, yes, I'm a bit paranoid. :D

Mr. B
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:41 pm
Location: New Orleans
Contact:

Post by Mr. B » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:47 am

Clairvaux wrote:Everybody keeps telling you : your disk drive will fail some day, but nobody seems to equate this with "RAID 1 is a minimum requirement". I don't get it.
That sounds like a good argument against RAID0, in which one disc failure destroys the array... but of course if you lose a disc in a RAID1 array you just replace it and the good disc(s) restore data to the replacement.

Vicotnik
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 1828
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 6:53 am
Location: Sweden

Post by Vicotnik » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:41 pm

Clairvaux wrote:Everybody keeps telling you : your disk drive will fail some day, but nobody seems to equate this with "RAID 1 is a minimum requirement". I don't get it.
Two HDDs cost more, draw more power and emits more noise. And RAID can be a source of problems in itself. For most people something like a script run at boot which backups the most important files, and making regular backups of other, less important data is sufficient. It is for me anyway.

Post Reply