External Hard Drives

Well for the past couple of weeks I have been busy backing up files and adding a couple new hard drives to the studio / work flow.  Funny thing was that when I built my editing computer I thought that having a couple 250GB drives would be fine. Boy how fast do these fill up!!  So I have been moving files to external drives. In addition to the standard back up drives I use for archiving I added a 2TB external work drive to the editing computer to use as a daily drive for files that are not ready to go to the back up (my backup drives are off 99% of the time and only get powered up when I am backing up or retrieving).  On top of this I added a 1TB WD Passport drive to transfer files from the studio to my offsite back up computer at the house.

Today when picking up another drive I had a chance to talk to a guy about hard drives and he had some good points that I thought that I would pass along.

Passport drives (the small portable drives used for transporting files) experience a higher than normal failure rate as many people that use them do not realize that they should be kept still when running.  They are an actual spinning hard drive and are subject to shock – to keep them running properly you should keep them still when using and on a flat surface (like he said many people use them on laptops and when on the move so they get a lot of abuse).  When not in use and transporting do so in a padded case and try not to drop.  Also, these drives are designed for occasional use, they are not built to run 10 hours a day as they do not have any cooling system in them.

External Hard drives – If you are looking for a drive that you are going to use 8 – 10 hours a day get a drive designed to cool itself, also one that stands up is better than one that lays flat.  ALSO, if you do use drives that lay flat never stack drives that are running a lot as the heat build up can cause problems.

A side note – if you are using any hard drive to store pictures (and that is all of us) make sure that you have a back up of some type.  I do not know how many times in a week I hear about someone loosing photos as their drive died or something happened that wiped everything out.  I strongly recommend NEVER putting pictures on a main computer drive (the one with the operating system) get a separate drive installed in your computer, and use an external as a back up at ALL times for the main storage drive.  If you need a back up program many drives come with one or look for a program such as Visa Versa Pro that will allow you to easily back up files and over write the old files with the newer ones.

A little caution now hopefully will save a lot of lost files later!

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