Newbie and first external hard drive

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by innerpeace, Dec 3, 2007.

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  1. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Hi, I finally bought my first HDD and installed it in an enclosure. The drive is a 250GB Seagate Sata 3.0. The enclosure has both eSata and USB 2.0 connections out. My computer doesn't have and eSata port, but my motherboard does have onboard Sata 1.5 ports. My other internal HDD is IDE. My new ext. drive will be for images and data backups.

    1. Should I use the USB 2.0 connection or use the eSata bracket that came with the ext. enclosure and connect it to my computers internal Sata 1.5 ports?

    2. Which connection type would be more reliable and compatible with my setup?

    The small manual that came with the enclosure said that using the 'eSATA' bracket would not allow it to be hot-swapable. That is fine with me, I understand that using the bracket is not true eSATA. I will have more questions later if your willing to help.

    Computer: emachines W3410

    Motherboard: MICRO-STAR MS-7145

    HDD : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148262&Tpk=n82e16822148262

    Enclosure : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817173042&Tpk=n82e16817173042

    Thanks,
    innerpeace
     
  2. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Hello Innerpeace,

    I have my Seagate hooked up via USB 2.0, which works fine. I would suggest formating your drive to NTFS.

    Take Care
    Rico
     
  3. sick0

    sick0 Registered Member

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    if you're fine with eSATA not being hot-swappable, and speed is important to you, then use the eSATA connection...

    if hot-swappable is important to you, use the usb connection...
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    innerpeace,

    Try both. See which one you prefer. To use eSATA I have to shutdown, alter a BIOS setting and boot to Windows. The reverse when I want to remove the enclosure. So unless I have a LOT of data to transfer, I use USB mode.

    The transfer rate with USB is around 27 MB/sec. With eSATA it is around 50 MB/sec. These figures apply to transferring large files. The transfer rate for multiple small files will be less than these figures.
     
  5. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Thanks Rico, sickO and Brian_K. I decided to try the 'fake' eSata and after hooking it up, turning on the drive and then booting up. I can see the drive in Disk Management. I didn't have to do anything to the BIOS. Does this mean that my motherboard is configured for the Sata connections? Does this also mean that after I get the disk prepped and imaged that this connection type will work in an emergency situation? If not, can I use the USB connection later? Sorry, I told you I was a newbie.

    If everything is good with the connection, now what do I do? In Disk Management, I initialized the drive. I'm confused at what to do next. The drive shows 232.88GB or 238473MB. When and how do I format it to NTFS? Do I do it before, after or during making the partitions? Also, do I need to leave any extra space on the drive?

    Thanks,
    innerpeace
     
  6. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Hi Innerpeace,

    You can format the drive any time, at disk management select the drive. Select the drive by clicking anywhere in its related rectangle like area, a bunch of angled lines, indicates it's selected. Right click in the slanted line area, choose format, choose NTFS, then quick format. I found no reason to partition my ext. HDD. Mine will fill up with Shadow Protect images, only. Not sure what you mean by extra space?

    Take Care
    Rico
     
  7. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply Rico. I really don't have a strategy as to how I want to partition this drive which is part of my problem. I'm thinking about making 3 different partitions. From reading, I guess I should make all 3 "primary partitions". Am I right in assuming that after I make them is when I right-click on them and then format them to NTFS?

    I was a little confused about the terms "Primary partition", "Extended partition" and "Logical drive". From what I understand, an Extended partition is just an extension of a Primary partition in which Logical drives can be created. I don't think I have to worry about that though o_O .

    What I meant by extra space is, If for example I had a 300GB drive I make 3 Primary partitions, is it ok to divide them equally and not leave any space after the last Primary partition? In other words make 3 - 100GB drives. It now sounds silly after I typed it.

    Cheers,
    innerpeace

    Edit: I also noticed that my ext. HDD is showing as Disk 0 and my internal is Disk 1. Is this going to be a problem?
     
  8. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Innerpeace,

    Having three partitions( or any number up to four) sounds good-they can all be primary-format to NTFS then partition,using all the space available.

    The partitions don't have to be the same size ,obviously.

    A small bad sector reserve is kept automatically for repair and maintenance purposes using SeaTools, but this doesnt affect you.

    The Primary partition is the one containing the OS,but can be used anytime with a limit of four partitions per disc,so your'e OK..

    You will have to verify in BIOS that SATA is enabled-my M/board is different ,but possibly under Integrated Peripherals,you will find SATA settings-onboard and Ports.

    To make it easy enable all -except RAID.

    You should now have true eSATA-the E only refers to External,which was created with the bracket.

    Physically-it would be extremely difficult to connect internally and bad practise,in any case.

    Dont worry about the drive letter,as long as you remember which is which when you come to reinstall Windows for example.

    As a general rule-do not use USB,which causes a lot of problems with some backup utilities-and is half the speed or less for all usage.

    EDIT; You can dowload free DiscWizard-ATI for backup purposes and Seatools for diagnostics later on here;

    http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/

    If you click on "SATA drives" at the site, it will help in configuring the BIOS,if necessary.

    You can also convert the drive to SATA3 (twice as fast)by altering a jumper on the back of the drive,but possibly you wouldnt gain any benefit.


    The eSATA drive will now be available on demand,when its powered on:thumb:

    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2007
  9. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    In Windows Disk Management, I don't see the option the format first. That's what is puzzling me. When I right click the empty 'unallocated' space, I see New partition, properties and help.

    I saw the SeaTools on the Seagate site last night. I thought it might be hard to use so I didn't download it. I may have to give it a try.

    Messing with the BIOS is the part that scares me. I should also mention that the bracket is just a simple bracket and not an PCI or PCI-express card. I don't know if that makes a difference or not.

    Yes, I downloaded it last night and it was 104MB :eek: . I haven't installed it yet. I also have a free version of Paragon HD Manager 8 Special Edition (which is way smaller). I don't know which to use.

    That is good to know about the USB and ATI.

    Assuming that the bracket and BIOS changes work, I'm not sure the best way to test the true eSATA capability. The consequences could be bad if it's not.

    Thank you very much for your input Hairy Coo. I need all the help I can get lol. I'll also have a look at Seatools too.

    innerpeace
     
  10. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Innerpeace

    I had changed my previous post somewhat as I misread about DiscWizard -its ATI not a disc management utility, as you noticed.

    For a start definitely use DiscWizard -ATI for backing up-much better than Paragon-very easy to use.

    Why dont you use your Paragon HD Manager for formatting and partitioning-I found Paragon is easy to use for this purpose.

    Otherwise you will just have to persevere with Disc Management.

    You will have to brace yourself and enter BIOS,no harm will happen if you just concentrate on the SATA settings-there are only a few in any case.

    Check your MOBO instructions book for help

    The worst scenario is that the BIOS will corrupt(99.99% unlikely),which means you just reset to default on the mobo if that happens.

    As explained eSATA is just external SATA ,which means that the simple junction bracket(not a card) either came with the MOBO,or with the external drive-no difference!

    There can be no bad consequence when you try to use the new drive-it either works or it doesnt-you cant harm anything.

    Just double click on My Computer and the brand new drive should appear-test it simply by inserting a new folder,a document etc.

    Its then working! congratulations!!

    The primary rule is dont be let the hardware over awe you-by and large there is extremely little to worry about:D

    Also dont forget to download SeaTools for future maintenance-not necessary until trouble develops.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2007
  11. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Hi Hairy Coo and thanks for your help, advice and most of all your encouragement. I got in over my head when buying this OEM drive, but I believe I'm going to jump right in and tackle it now ;) . I just didn't want to mess anything up.

    I also download Seatools just in case. The Paragon version I have is limited, but I did see a partition section. I'll see what it can do, but first I'm headed to the BIOS :shifty: .

    And after reading your posts and thinking about it, my external drive connected through the bracket would be just like have an internal drive connection to my motherboards SATA ports. Thinks are getting clearer now :).

    Thanks again and take care,
    innerpeace
     
  12. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Ok, I went in the BIOS and everything looks ok from what little I know. I did see this and would like to know what it means. There was this entry "Onboard chip Sata" and the 2 options were "IDE controller" and "Sata Disabled". What does the "IDE controller" mean? It was selected by default and obviously I left it that way.

    I tried the partition wizard routine in Windows Disk Management and got to this screen.

    Format this partition with the following settings.
    File system: NTFS
    Allocation size in units: Default (should I change the unit size or leave it at default?)
    Volume label: New volume
    Perform a quick format (I will tick this box since everyone has recommended it)
    Enable file and folder compression (what should I do with this? It's un-ticked by default)

    Thanks again,
    innerpeace
     
  13. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    IDE is the controller for ATA drives,including SATA-so the default was correct,also for size.

    Do not use compression-just press the quick format button:thumb:
     
  14. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Thanks once again :). It looks like I'm good to go. Let's hope the next wizard screen doesn't hold any new surprises :p . I think I may google it and see if I can find all the screens and options tonight so I can spend tomorrow partitioning and formatting.

    Cheers,
    innerpeace

    Edit: Corrected spelling. I also wanted to add that it was the last wizard screen except for confirming all the choices.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2007
  15. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    In any case have a look at Paragon Hard Disk Manager,you may find it easier.

    Just right click on the drive-select Format and move/resize partition and experiment -nothing will happen until you press Apply on top bar.

    Even if something goes wrong,you can always correct it-just be sure you are working on the correct drive!!

    Good luck!
     
  16. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Ok, I got impatient and missed your last post. I have good news though, I created all three partitions (120GB, 80GB and 32GB) and quick formatted them to NTFS. It only took a few seconds for each one. Is that normal? I also was able to copy and paste my data to one of the partitions. One of the 1GB files took about 40 seconds.

    The only other thing I'm wondering about is disconnecting and/or powering off the external enclosure. The enclosure has it's own power supply and a switch. The only thing that connects the enclosure to my computer is a SATA cable which is hooked to the bracket on the back of my computer. The bracket's internal cable is then hooked to one of 4 SATA ports on my motherboards. (Sorry if I'm repeating myself, I want to be clear.)

    I've been leaving the SATA cable hooked to the bracket on the back of the computer all the time. I've also been powering up and down my computer prior to turning on/off the external enclosures power switch. True eSATA hot-swap is plug and play and I guess it doesn't require that on/off procedure. Should I try turning on the enclosures power switch with the computer running to see what happens? It would be a cool feature as I could turn the power switch on to backup and off again when finished. Please forgive my cautiousness as the vague ext. enclosures manual says there is a difference between eSATA and the bracket.

    Thanks,
    innerpeace
     
  17. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Yes-its normal for quick format to take so little time.

    I also have an external SATA HDD with a switch,exactly the same setup as you.

    All you need do is to use the switch on the new enclosure-thats what its there for.

    However,the drive wont be recognised unless you switch on before startup-ie the HD is working but not shown in My Computer.

    So power on before startup.

    You can power off any time.:thumb:

    Leave everything permanently hooked up.
     
  18. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Ok, I understand and that's what I will do. I guess I'm almost ready to create my first image :D. Thanks a million for your great help and advice! :)

    Take care,
    innerpeace
     
  19. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Well done!

    I must have a similar setup to you -my external also holds the backups from True Image-its working perfectly :)

    Bestest from the Coo.
     
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