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Firewire Or Usb2 For External Hdd ?

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Hi, I'm thinking of using an external HDD for backups and am wondering what would be the best interface, firewire or USB2? Any thoughts on which would be preferable.

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Firewire Or Usb2 For External Hdd ?, Which one should I use for backups ?

For backup, tape.

For external HDD interface, SCSI.

Between the options listed, 1394b.

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Yeah, I'm leaning more toward firewire (IEEE1394) right now. The only thing about USB2 is it's more wide spread, so if I wanted to plug it into a different computer and dump some files then chances are it will have USB. That's the main reason USB is still under consideration.

I've seen some enclosures that have both USB2 and 1394, but so far I haven't seen this "combo" option in any of the enclosures that I like (nice airy ones with a decent sized fan).

BTW, does anyone know what the compatibilty is like with older OS'es ? For example, am I more likely to have trouble trying to get firewire working in Win98 or am I more likely to have trouble with USB2 ? What about Linux ?

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FWDepot has a few combo units.

The aluminum enclosures do not need a fan.

Personally, I have a WD1200JB mounted in a 5.25" FW enclosure with no fan. I put vents on the front and back along the top of the case.

I don't think FireWire and 98SE go together.

And for Linux, FW worked/didn't work depending on release (2.4.x) Again though, it depends on the version.

So USB for compatibility and FW for speed.

Dogeared

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This seems like a reasonable choice for "both", but recognize that there can still be USB 1.0/2.0 issues.

You have not defined your backup requirements, only the technologies you find to be of interest, but if the data matter to you at all I would be very concerned about considering this a "backup" solution.

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I am thinking maybe elaboration may be important here:

First, calling a HDD a backup, esp. versus traditional backup technologies like tape has several issues. The following considerations are not exhaustive, but things to think about if you value your data:

1. A backup should be removable and the media should never return, except in the case of a restore. "How far" is debatable, and has a lot to do with the nature of the data: other side of the room, other part of the building, off site location, out of state, other continent in an old salt mine, etc. The basic notion is that the backup should not be vulnerable to the immediate physical and software/system threats to that which is being backed up.

2. A backup should be of a media type different than the source media. This is due to the reduction of possibility of the same issues affecting the both source and backup similarly. Again, both physical and system-wide. A virus that wipes your source HDD will probably also do the same to a 1394HDD on your system, but will probably not affect a tape drive.

3. Tape media are much simpler physically/mechanically than drives. If the case does go bad, the tape inside is usually still good and can be re-spooled easily and with a high degree of success, compared to issues of head crash, motor issues, etc. that can plague drives.

4. In spite of the reduction in HDD costs, tape still tends to be much less expensive. Both go down in price all the time. Comparing my current tape backup set of about 8T the cost in today's $ is about $6300.00, including the tape drive, or about $0.80 a G. An external drive solution, assuming about $250 for a caddy-style enclosure, about $225 for 250G drives, and another $50 per drive for the caddies, is over $9K. Think in terms of at least three or four years when considering backup costs.

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Thanks for good summary of backup fundamentals bbt4, but I should have pointed out that this is not meant to be a fully fledged backup solution. It's just for the purpose of periodically mirroring drives to allow quick restoration of basic functionality in the event of hard disk failure. The size of critical data backup is only small and is done on CDR's

The aluminum enclosures do not need a fan.

Yeah, I looked at a little extruded Aluminium one without a fan. I was thinking the same thing, that it would conduct the heat away pretty good and therefore not need a fan. When I took a good look at it however, the drive was mounted onto a PCB (circuit board) within the AL extrusion and there was a little air space all around the drive so it never really made direct contact with the Al anywhere. This made me a bit skeptical that it would really keep things very cool at all. Also I'm inclined to think that the larger plastic enclosures would give somewhat more shock protection to the drive as compared with a small Al job in which the drive was a snug fit anyway.

So ideally I'm looking for one of the larger plastic/metal enclosures that can take either 5 1/4" or 3 1/2" drives, has a decent sized fan and has both USB2 and firewire. BTW I'm buying it locally, not online, so that’s why my choices are a little restricted. So far I've seen the type I want in USB2 or Firewire but not both. I'm sure I'll find one, just have to look around a bit. :).

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