Use of USB external drive for backup and restore

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by sarutaro, Oct 18, 2007.

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  1. sarutaro

    sarutaro Registered Member

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    I have been backed up tib (on a physically separate D-HD) and restore tib within windows. In case I do reformatting C-HD, I used recovery CD for the restore. I rarely had problem with backup and restore. But I did not have any luck with an external "enclosure" for restore. So I am very concerned about the use of any external drive for ATI.

    Now, I have a USB, external Seagate FreeAgent (320 GB). This drive is as fast as the interndal hard disks. So I am tempted to use the external drive for both tib backup and restore. I would like to hear from you whether the use of the external USB drive is reliable as that of internal D-hard disk. Secondly, can I backup tib and restore within windows with the external drive? My OS is Windows XP Pro SP2 with all IDE hard disks. Sarutaro
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    IMO, an external is typically not as reliable as an internal for the following reasons:
    You are going through an additional interface - USB or Firewire.
    External drives have a bigger risk of being dropped or otherwise shocked.
    You have an connectors and a cable that is being inserted/removed way more times than the internal drive's connectors.

    That said, a USB drive in good condition is very reliable and I would trust it more than DVDs for reading archives from. Note that the internal HD drive reliably is lower should the system be hit with a severe power surge - assuming the external HD is not plugged in at the same time.

    If anybody cares my backups tend to be:
    Primary backup - internal HD
    Secondary backup - external (not all backups copied to external)
    Tertiary backup - networked drive or DVD (not all backups copied)

    The only way you can tell if your USB drive will run with TI is to try it and test it. It will very likely work within Windows; it is less likely to work with the Linux recovery environment on the CD because of Linux driver issues. However, these seem to be less of an issue as time goes on. Also, some USB chipsets don't like very large files which are exactly what archives are. Again, this seems to be less of a problem than it was.

    Note that if you are restoring a TI image of the active partition, typically the C partition, even though you start the restore in Windows the PC reboots to the Linux environment to do the restore since you can't restore the active partition with Windows running.

    Even though the HD in the Seagate box may be a regular HD the USB2 interface limits the transfer rate to 480Mbps which is slower than a regular HD. If the drive is plugged into an eSATA interface then it will transfer at higher speeds than USB2.
     
  3. sarutaro

    sarutaro Registered Member

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    Thanks seekforever for your very informative post.
    What you said makes a lot sense.
    Regards, Saruataro
     
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