Re: External Hard Drive
- From: "R. McCarty" <PcEngWork-NoSpam_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 17:49:10 -0500
Also, with the cost of USB Thumb (Flash Memory) drives, I'm now
recommending customers purchase a small size one and place financial
and other documents on one for storage in their bank's safety deposit
box. CD/DVD-R(W)s are fine expect that most lock boxes will not
accommodate their size, unless you use one of the Mini style disks.
"Anna" <myname@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
I bought an 250 GB Iomega external hard drive last month and cloned my
little 30 GB system using Acronis True Image. It took about two hours
Uncle Grumpy wrote:
What a WASTE of such a large drive.
You'd be better off to partition that external drive, and to use
Acronis True Image to make an image of your current drive in one of the
In my own case, my main drive is an 80GB, I have a second internal of
30GB, and a 120GB external.
I clone the main drive weekly to the second internal drive, and use the
external drive for images, and other things (five partitions).
"Sam" <samsarak@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
It was on sale.
I don't understand why you say I'm wasting it. I intend to keep on
filling it up. What I want to do is save all the images and documents
for my children to have 20 years from now.
I'm trying to figure out what partitioning really does. Seems like a
partition is just like a large file. If my hard drive fails, all the
partitions fail, correct?
True Image made two partitions even though I didn't ask it to. It made
an exact copy of my computer. You suggest partitioning my external
drive. What should I do with the extra partitions?
Another question I have is, when you clone each week, do you erase the
previous clone first?
Thanks for replying.
First of all, it's fine to use your USB external HD as a storage device,
including cloning the contents of your internal HD to that USBEHD for
backup purposes. Understand that when you use a disk imaging program >>
such as Acronis True Image to perform the cloning operation whatever
prior contents were on the USBEHD will be replaced by the new clone.
This is an automatic process - you need not "erase" the previous cloned
contents on that drive.
With the relative costs of large-capacity HDs so low these days, there's
certainly no major negative in having a 250 GB HD as your external HD. I
suppose it's reasonable to assume that by & by you'll be replacing your
30 GB internal HD with a considerably larger one, so the now-extra
capacity of your external drive will certainly come in handy at some
Now as to the clone you created...
Why it took two hours to perform the cloning operation I don't know. You
>> didn't indicate the volume of data on your source disk, but assuming
you were cloning, for example, 20 GB of data, it shouldn't have taken
you more >> than an hour, if that. (I'm assuming your computer has USB
2.0 capability as I'm certain your USB device has). With a "modern"
machine, i.e., processor & HDs, cloning speed in this instance should be
about 400 to 450 MB/min.
A clone is a clone is a clone. When you make a direct disk-to-disk clone
as >> you apparently did, whatever partitions that are on your source
disk will be cloned to the destination disk. So if your USBEHD has two
partitions following the cloning operation, then your internal (source)
drive contains two partitions. Is it possible that your computer is an
OEM machine and contains a so-called "recovery" partition placed there
by the manufacturer?
There is really no need to manually partition your USBEHD if your basic
objective is to use that device solely as a simple recipient of the
cloned contents of your internal (source) HD. If, however, for one
reason or another you determine that another partition would be useful
on that external drive for some sort of ancillary storage capability,
then you are free to create that partition. But there's a problem in
doing so with the ATI program (at least with the version 8 program - I
don't know if there's any difference with the newer version 9 edition).
Based on my experience with that program, ATI will not allow
partition-to-partition cloning, at least with respect to *direct*
disk-to-disk cloning operations. It's an "all or nothing" proposition in
the sense that when you clone the contents of your internal HD to your
USBEHD, whatever partitions that were previously created on the external
drive will be deleted as I mentioned above. There are some disk imaging
programs that have the capability to clone on a partition-to-partition
basis but to the best of my knowledge the ATI program does not provide
As to your question "If my hard drive fails, all the partitions fail,
correct?", you bet they do.
You're most certainly on the right track in terms of using a disk
imaging program to clone the contents of your internal working HD as a
systematic and effective backup tool.
Retry the cloning process and see if it you're still experiencing
problems with the untoward amount of time it's taking to complete the
process. If you're still having problems let us know, and provide
details about your computer, operating system, how you're undertaking
the process, etc. and we'll see if we can help you.
"Sam" <samsarak@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
Wow, Anna, thanks so much for your kind and information-packed response.
I have a 160 GB internal hard drive. It is a 2005 Gateway, with USB 2.0,
and it came with a recovery partition D: My complete clone was 34 GB.
I don't need to clone the recovery partition, right? Also, with 250 GB
on the external, can't I rename the cloned partitions and then clone
again? Sort of like having complete restore points on the external?
Wikipedia says: "It is recommended to create multiple partitions or use
multiple hard drives with the operating system stored on one partition
and with the rest of the partitions and/or drives allocated to
applications and data."
That sounds a bit confusing but I believe I understand that I could
create a 40 GB partition and keep all my digital images there and it
would be easy to access them by simply opening up that partition with XP,
right? When wiki says 'applications' I'm guessing they mean things like
programs I've downloaded? It is interesting that they suggest separating
the applications and data from the operating system - why is this?
I thought cloning was the best I could do, but I think that I can tell
True Image to back up only the new files or changed files instead of the
whole thing. I understand backing up is different than cloning. The
Iomega External came with Back Up Pro, also. I wish I had more time to
research these things. I hope to have more time when the boys are a
little bit older. The most important thing to me is that I have cloned
my computer finally. I had been losing sleep worried about my computer
failing and losing all those pix. I was saving them every now and then
to DVD but that's Once I get a very large volume of pix and documents I'm
going to remove the clone from the EHD and fill it up with the pix and
videos and then pack it away for the boys to open in twenty years. They
should be able to examine a hard drive in twenty years, don't you think?
Thank you for your advice.
OK. Sorry I misrepresented the size of your internal HD. Somehow I had the
mistaken impression it was only 30 GB. Anyway, glad to hear it's 160 GB.
My advice is not to be unduly concerned with cloning your recovery
partition. It's fine to do so and it might come in very handy at some
future date should you need to restore your system. It surely takes up
very little disk capacity and poses no problem re the disk cloning
process. In sum, continue exactly what you're doing now -- clone the full
contents of your day-to-day internal working HD to your USBEHD. Do this on
a systematic & routine basis and you'll be fine.
I really would not be concerned with creating multi-partitions either on
your internal or external HDs at this point. As long as you continue (as I
have emphasized) routine & systematic cloning of your system you will have
an ample supply of security and your day to day computer operations will
be just fine. As you gain more & more knowledge re using your PC it's
possible that for one reason or another you may want to multi-partition
your drive(s). But for now my advice is not to do so.
No, I would not trust retrieving data from a HD twenty years from now.
That's asking too much. While the HD can be used for relatively short
periods of time to store data, such as the way you're now using that
device, it is simply not designed as a long-term repository of data. There
*might* be no problem in accessing data from a twenty-year-old HD, but it
is simply too risky to contemplate. So please do not look upon a HD to be
used in that fashion.
The better course of action is to archive those (irreplaceable) documents
& photos so that they can be accessed in future years - perhaps many years
from now - by copying those items on removable media such as CDs and/or
DVDs. And it would be wise to make continuing generational copies of those
items every year or so. By that I mean you would make multiple copies of
those items, in effect, backups of backups.
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- From: Anna
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