Recommended external USB/Firewire hard drives

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by uesjd, Aug 18, 2006.

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  1. uesjd

    uesjd Registered Member

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    I need to set up a client with an imaging system. Since she has a laptop, I haven't got the option of installing a second internal hard drive; instead, she will purchase an external drive.

    I have seen many references in this forum to problems with a TI rescue boot disk being able to access certain external hard drives because of lack of the appropriate Linux drivers.

    Can anyone recommend a particular external hard drive (or a particular product line of external hard drives) that are known to work with a TI rescue boot disk?
     
  2. MerlinAZ

    MerlinAZ Registered Member

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    I've got a WD drive.
    I'm sure you won't have a problem with any of the major brands.
    Get one with a good return policy, and make sure it works.
    Sometimes it has to do with the chipsets/drivers and you'll just have to see if it works.
     
  3. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    I've got two Seagate and two Maxtor USB drives.
    No problems with any of them.

    Do not waste money on the "one button" feature.
     
  4. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    It's not the HD itself but rather the chipset in the external enclosure (and sometimes the combination between said chipset and the motherboard) that may cause problems.

    I have a JMicron JM20337 chip in the LC Power enclosure (IDE/SATA combo) and works fine. Generally, NEC chipsets are said to be the safest choice.

    The problem is how to ascertain in advance which chipset will be installed in the enclosure.
     
  5. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    It works OK with the Western Digital Passport - 120 GB that I use for my Dell E1505 Laptop.
     
  6. uesjd

    uesjd Registered Member

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    I understand --- plus, there seems to be the additional problem of compatibility between the chipset in the enclosure and the chipset in the PC that is going to be be backed up.
     
  7. uesjd

    uesjd Registered Member

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    I have a Maxtor myself, and the one-button feature is a waste -- especially given the software that comes with it. (I use Image for DOS/Windows instead of the software that came with the Maxtor, but for this client, I would like to recommend something more user-friendly, which is why I'm considering advising her to get TI.)
     
  8. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    I too along with Crofttk, have a WD Passport 80gb 5400rpm. Works great with my desktop PC, and Acronis. I could imagine how well it would work with a Laptop. ;)
     
  9. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    At the risk of repeating myself, and to add some further confusion. I use ATI full backup (image) from my pc to two external (usb) hard drives. It works fine and is validated when using my pc.

    However, both externals (maxtor and samsung) will backup but NOT validate when I use my laptop. The concensus is to get a PC card with a USB port NEC is the one that is most commonly suggested, for my laptop, but I haven't tried this yet and I don't know if it will work.
     
  10. tachyon42

    tachyon42 Registered Member

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    If your client wanted a small light weight aluminium external box (easy to travel) with NEC chipset which supports a 9.5mm 2.5 inch notebook IDE disk then consider this USB 2 mobile box:
    http://kyo.com.tw/product_detail.php?ProductID=32
    It comes with dual USB Y cable so that if whatever external notebook disk you install into the mobile box draws more power than can be supplied by one USB port them simply plug the second lead into another USB port on the notebook.
    I bought one of these from the manufacturer who has been selling them recently on ebay and ships from Taiwan (ebay seller hankue1). None on ebay today but maybe you could ask kyo about local distributor.
    It works fine with TrueImage rescue disk on my Dell Latitude C640.
    If your client's notebook only has one USB port or only USB 1 (like my C640) then you'll also need a PC card (PCMCIA) to get extra USB 2.0 ports (again I'd suggest getting NEC chipset).
     
  11. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    Isn't this a bit much. Gotta buy and "external box" a "pc card with usb ports".......just to make ATI work on a notebook........gimme a break!!!!
     
  12. tachyon42

    tachyon42 Registered Member

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    No, it is not necessary to buy extra hardware to make TrueImage work on a laptop. The user can always create a Secure Zone. However, that's not exactly the most ideal situation if there is a disk crash or the laptop is lost/stolen.

    The original question was:
    Given that the user will purchase an external drive I was suggesting the possiblilty of a 2.5inch notebook drive rather than a 3.5inch drive.
    In either case there is a disk which is inside an external enclosure/box.
    It is possible to purchase either a combined enclosure+disk (possibly as a sealed unit) or the two separate components which the user can join together. I chose the later because I had a spare notebook disk drive.
    In either case it is necessary to make a physical connection between the drive and the external box. If the notebook already has two available USB 2 ports then a PCMCIA card is not required and it's simply a matter of connecting to the USB ports. I pointed out the possible need for the PCMCIA card in case the user had not considered this situation.
    Similarly, to use an external enclosure on a PC it would be necessary to purchase a USB PCI card if the PC did not have available USB ports.
    So ....gimme a break!!!!
     
  13. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    Hey..don't take it personally, it was a comment about ATI, not your clever workarounds. I was just saying that its sad that in order to use ATI one has to go thru the machinations you describe. Your taking this personally. Kudos to you for figuring it out, but shame on ATI for making you have to work it out.

    Acronis>>>>>>>>>>>>>>gimme a break!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  14. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello Max0071,

    You are barking up the wrong tree I'm afraid. If data is being corrupted when reading or writing very large files from external USB hard drives then there is invariably a problem with either the motherboard's USB sub-system or the external HD enclosure's USB to IDE Bridge chipset (or possibly both). It wouldn't matter whether TI was creating the data direct to the external HD or the .tib image file was being copied from the internal HD to the external HD via Windows Explorer. The following threads amply demonstrate my point:

    <Who DOES NOT have a problem with corrupt images>

    <External USB/Firewire drives that work>

    <External Hard Drive Recommendations>

    Regards
     
  15. tachyon42

    tachyon42 Registered Member

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    I now realise that your comments are about ATI and are more related to the problem you've got with your Toshiba laptop, which you've discussed in other threads, rather than the subject title of this thread.
    However the answer I gave may be appropriate in both situations.
    The originator of the current thread hasn't experienced a problem with TrueImage per se. The laptop owner in question, just lacks the hardware to perform backups of data (with or without TrueImage) to a second disk.
    I had a similar situation with my C640 having just one USB 1.1 port and a single internal disk.
    In your situation TrueImage doesn't work successfully on your laptop for as yet unknown reasons. Based on the investigations you've reported previously it seems to me that it's probably a laptop chipset issue.
    If you really wanted to investigate further you should identify what USB chipset is used in the laptop then check with Toshiba and/or chipset manufacturer to see if there is a firmware upgrade. You could then search this forum for any reported problems using this chipset.
    Also make sure you've got the latest BIOS.
    There are no guarantees but a PCMCIA USB card (NEC chipset) might be a simpler way to solve your problem. If it works then it would confirm that the problem is to do with using the laptop USB chipset.
     
  16. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    thanks tachyon
     
  17. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    Logic dictates that it could only be my USB or motherboard on my laptop. I can backup (image) from c: to c: on my laptop and get a validated image. However when I go to my externals validation is corrupt. So if I'm thinking right its got to be the USB/motherboard on my laptop. The usb works for other chores I've asked of it. And I know both my external HD's are ok...cause the work fine with my pc. BTW its only 8 Gigs, i'm fully backingup!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2006
  18. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    I would call 8GB a "very large file"!! Anyway, an easy way to check whether it's TI or your motherboard USB chipset/external USB enclosure chipset combination is as follow:

    - Create an image on your internal hard drive.
    - Download this <free checksum utility>. Install and run the utility then click on the ellipsis sign to browse to and select the image file you just created. Calculate and note the MD5 checksum for it.
    - Use Windows Explorer to copy the image archive on the local hard drive to the external hard drive and calculate a MD5 checksum for the external copy.
    - Compare the two MD5 checksums. If they are different then you definitely have a hardware problem of one sort or another.

    Regards
     
  19. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    Thanks Menorcaman. Did exactly as you suggested. The MD5 values, which are a bunch of numbers and letters are VERY different. The total number of bytes
    (6,292,565,504) is exactly the same. What does this all mean. There are CR32 and SHA-1 values as well, which I assume are of no concern to us in this instance.

    Awaiting your analysis. I presume from your latest post that I have a hardware problem. If this is the case do you suggest I get a PC usb card, which seems to have worked for others. Don't understand why, but I guess the reasoning is that the chipset for my internal USB is not compatible with my external HD's. I dunno......
     
  20. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Hi again max0071,

    While we wait for Menorcaman, there is one more easy test you can perform and report about.

    Connect the external drive to the laptop using another USB cable (the shorter the better) and also connect to a different port on the laptop. If you previously used a USB hub in between, eliminate it and connect directly. Then redo the copy and MD5 checksum test to see if the two values match this time.

    The CRC32 and SHA-1 results are for the same purpouse, only achieved by alternative methods. Comparing the MD5 strings is informative enough.
     
  21. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    It means that, although your files may be exactly the same size, their contents are different by at least one bit, which is a definitive determination that your hardware isn't doing the job the way it should be. I'll lkeave therecommendation on hardware to the others but NEC USB chipsets seem to be the most fault free and the most compatible.
     
  22. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    I presume when you refer to hardware it is the hardware on my laptop not on my External HDo_O?
     
  23. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi again max0071,

    Yes, you definitely have a hardware problem. However, there is a chance that the corruption is being caused by flaky RAM.

    As it's a laptop we are talking about, you can't repeat the MD5 checksum test on an internal HD to internal HD large file copy, which would be a good test of the RAM (a fail there is usually caused by a bad or too aggressively timed RAM module). I therefore recommend that you download <Memtest86+ Version 1.65> and run it continuously for a few hours (preferably overnight). There should be zero errors reported at the end of the extended run.

    Regards
     
  24. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    hey again bVolk, crofttk and menorcaman:

    Firstly thanks all for your comments and helpfull suggestions:

    bVolk: I did the shorter direct (always was) usb cable and redid it as you suggested........same result VERY different md5 checksums.

    Menorcaman: I will download the memtest link and try that.

    One other thing that may be of impact: On checking my BIOS under Advanced / Legacy USB support: it is "disabled". Under Item Specific Help, it says:

    "Enable support for Legacy Universal Serial Bus": Dunno if this means something cause it means nothing to meo_Oo_O??
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2006
  25. tachyon42

    tachyon42 Registered Member

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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2006
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