Thanks for the advices so far guys, I am a beginner at external HD storage and still learning many things and your advices are more than welcome.
I have a few more questions to help me understand how these things work.
5a. I have a question about the RAID system in different external enclosures, is the RAID system built and work in the same way (the hardware or software included in making it) and can be equally reliable in different external enclosures with different prices and brands?
5b. Will the RAID system in an expensive external enclosure be more reliable than the RAID system in a cheap external enclosure?
5c. Is it possible sometime only the RAID system to fail and stop working but all the other components inside the external enclosure to work OK?
"My external encosure is not working anymore, I need to buy another one"
- "What happened? Was it the fan? The power adapter? The cables?"
- "No, all is working fine, just the RAID got corrupted somehow and doesn't work properly anymore"
Is such thing possible to happen?
6. I have a question about RAID 1, if I have 2 HDs that are half full with data, and I put both my HDs in an external enclosure with RAID 1, will both HDs be erased and all the existing data on both HDs will be lost?
7. Let's say I have 2 HDs in a RAID 1 external enclosure that are half full with same data and all is working good, after some time the external enclosure fails somehow and I need to buy another one, what will happen to both HDs when I put them in a new RAID 1 external enclosure?
Will all the data on both HDs be erased again?
Is there a way for the new RAID 1 external enclosure to recognize that both HDs have been in RAID 1 before and have the same data and continue to work normally without erasing all the data again on both HDs?
I plan to use my old laptop, which has been great for 5-6 years now and has only USB 2.0 ports, for 1-2 more years, I think I will buy a cheaper external enclosure the 1st time to get a good feel how all this works before I replace my old laptop with a new PC that has USB 3.0 or eSATA ports.
So right now I have only USB 2.0 ports on my laptop so even if I buy a USB 3.0 external enclosure I can't use the USB 3.0 speed for the next 1-2 years until I buy a new PC with USB 3.0 ports.
8. I see that many external enclosures have HD LED lights, will all these HD LED lights warn you with SMART error before the HD fails? Or only NAS external enclosures have the ability to warn you with a SMART error before the HD totally fails?
Will the HD LED lights in many average external enclosures warn you with SMART error before the HD fails? Or they will only light red color when the HD has totally failed and is already too late?
9. I read somewhere that "desktop storage devices can also offer redundancy", does that mean that laptop 2.5" HDs don't offer redundancy?
Is SMART error detection built only in 3.5" desktop HDs?
Or SMART error detection is built in 2.5" laptop HDs also?
I plan to copy all my 3 TB data on a 2 bay external enclosure, and after I copy everything I plan to use the enclosure only 1-2 times a week for 1 hour to copy some files back to my laptop.
10. Is it better if I have the external enclosure powered ON and working all the time even when I am not copying files on my laptop so I can monitor the HD LED lights if something bad happens before a HD fails?
Or is it better if I turn ON the external enclosure 1 time a week for 1 hour, copy some files back to my laptop and turn OFF the external enclosure, and turn it ON again when needed?
Thanks again guys and sorry for the many questions.