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How much can I trust a external hard drive?


New Member
Well, my internal hard drive has been filling up fast so I thought I'd buy an external hard drive to keep all my customer files on (this is my main work station). So I bought a 100GB Fantom Drive, got it connected and ready to go... when I started to sweat. Can I trust this thing to keep all my customer files on it? Can I really delete all of them off of my internal hard drive and hope that they stay on the external one.... without it breaking or anything???

What are your guys thoughts? Will I run into any problems? Do I need to buy a new external drive every year to keep up with things? Are they that safe?

Any insight or input would be appreciated.


New Member
No problem

Hey flame i use mine the same way but always always backup to dvd. Really always save a copy somewhere. But yes you can use your portable but just remember everything has a fail rate and it does not matter if it is internal or external they all can crash. i have toshiba 20 gig drives that crash all the time i bet i have 20 that have crased (in canon copiers) and i send them to toshiba they send me a new one for free. If your drive does ever crash put it in the freezer for a couple hours and it will normally come back long enough to get your info off it. I hope this helps


Si Allen

New Member
An external hard drive is the same as an internal hard drive, except it sits in it's own lil cabinet!

Most external HD enclosures have USB and/or firewire cables. What you choose to install in them is up to you. DON'T buy a bargain mickeymouse HD, buy the best that you can find.


New Member
DVD'S HUM' - I used to back up to DVD's until one day I went to recover some files and realized that all the files had become corrupt.

Back up drive exactly like any other harddrive, can fail if dropped, or just from wear and tear, but unlikely, and it's your best source for backup !


New Member
So no problem deleting all my customer artwork files off of my work station and just keeping them on my external drive?

Reason being my computer has been acting up lately and I'm scared one day it may just quit, AND it's hard drive is getting rather full. So I thought an external would help solve those problems.
It is called the "rules of three"

1. File you work with
2. File Backup
3. File Archive

Backups and archives are not the same thing. Therefore, if it is important, you should have at least two more copies.


New Member
IMO .. 100 gigs is not enough if your into digital printing. My workstation has a 200 gig HD and its pretty much full (it has about 35 gigs left and i need that space for ripping jobs .. lats job i ran, the rip files took up 20 gigs of space to get processed). My decision has me going to buy another 200-300 gig HD and putting it into the workstation.

I also have a 200 gig HD that i keep at home and i occasionaly bring it in and hook it up to an external HD case and then copy my jobs folder onto it (without any compression). Once done .. back home it goes.

I wouldnt use an external HD for keeping my daily use jobs. I 'd be to worried about failure. I would definately recomend you keep a copy of your jobs on a separate drive and keep it out of the shop.

(edited to include): I dont think they are less reliable than internal drives. Just more vulnerable to unintentional accidents.
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New Member
external drives are just as reliable as internals, as long as you don't throw them around or drop them, or remove them without 'ejecting' or 'stopping' them. i myself have a 500 gb drive with all of my data on it :)

(and cd or dvd backups of important files are always a smart thing to do too)


New Member
Well, they advertised it as being able to "daisy chain" together with other Fantom drives, so I thought I could just add on as needed.

Now, I guess another question. If I wanted to take it somewhere, is all I do is just turn it off and unplug it? I can't really tell and it has only one more button than my flashdrive does. lol.

So would you suggest I get a bigger backup-only drive? Like a 500GB "strong box" style with an auto backup button? Then backup both my internal and external every night?
The size you need depends on how fast you are filling your drive. Quite honestly, nowadays many have gotten lazy about maintaining their HDD. This is primarily due to their low cost, as compared to what once was.

As for the daisy chain, the only ones I know of are the firewire, unless of course they started putting usb hubs in some of these cases - dunno.

Before you start getting all sorts of opinons, and recomendations, tell us what your machine is (specs and age). There really is a systematical and methodical way to handle HDD space, instead of just throwing money at drives. Corps have been doing it for years.

Also, just curious, right click on yor drive in device manager (with the Fantom plugged in of course) - who makes the actual hard drive?


New Member
I have went through a few external drives in the last few years...

Most have problems with heat.....
I have a WD drive that turned black from the heat inside the case....

My next one will be a nice small external case with a fan and I'll put the HD in it myself.

As stated above....POWER of 3's.....
The # 3. File Archive has saved my rear more than a few times....


New Member
Hmmm........... it doesn't tell me the manufactuer. Odd.

And Pro, it's supposed to be a USB style connection to daisy chain them together. I haven't looked into it totally yet though, I just opened it today.

Okay. Work station is a total piecer... but I've decided I'm not going to upgrade until I can REALLY upgrade. So.... anyhoo.

E Machine

2.80 GHZ Intel Celeron processor

80GB hard drive


Don't tease me.:tongue:


New Member
as others have said... NO DON'T DELETE ANYTHING YET!!

...you need to at the very least, get another fantom 100 gig & copy everything on to there, THEN it would be safe to delete off the hard drive in your computer.

Be carefule with backup systems, I lost 20gigs of work once because a computer professional :rolleyes: set up my backup system wrong & after moving 20 gig over to an external, I deleted it off the computer... the following Friday my scheduled backup "sync'ed" my computer with the drive and deleted that 20 off the external when it wrote the current weeks stuff to the drive. I guess it was set to "replace all" instead of "update"

My current situation is a server (with all my current data files on it) that is a "mapped drive" available from all 5 workstations. It backs up nightly to a second drive on the server, & I archive to a "network attached storage" drive (or NAS) every few months to free up space on the server.

I have 3 of the same 400 gig Simpletech NAS devices. One has all the work I've done for 10 years (The first 9 years is also on CD's... but I'll probably never need them again) Another drive has a second copy of all the work I've done in 10 years, & this drive is left at home in case of fire or theft at the shop. The third NAS has a Ghost image of all the drives in all 5 computers, so I can recover from a drive failure at any workstation with a minimum of effort reconfiguring all my device drivers, & custom settings etc.


New Member
Flame look into a program called Acronis. It is an imaging program that creates an image of your HD.


New Member
Thank you Signage!

That software looks awesome! And it's cheap...??? wow!

So basically it just images everything from one hard drive to another, in this case, a backup drive. Correct?

Sounds perfect and painless. And for $50 for the home edition.... wow.



New Member
i back up all my files on 2 x 250 gigs external hard drives, one i use and the other one is stored in a safe place. worth the investment.


New Member
any drive can fail for any number of reasons so have at least 3 stored copies somewhere I have 1)cd 2)dvd 3)external Hd
1&2 are in seperate location in a safe fireproof location


New Member
Good topic.
I recently added a 500 GB external drive 'cause the 80 gig in the machine was getting too crowded, and i do periodically delete, save to cd or dvd, defrag etc.. I agree that an off-site back up is best.
I had a fire in my shop a couple of years ago. ( an old baseboard heater failed to cut out and overheated setting the wall on fire in the bathroom) I lost some work that was ready to go out the door, but I also lost some files stored on cd's and floppies that were in the building. I'm lucky I didn't lose my whole shop! Redundant back-ups would have prevented my loss. It wasn't a really big deal for me ( the files, that is). I have not tried to use an internet storage service 'cause of my slow speed connection. But I think that may be an acceptable method.


New Member
Yes flame, you can also restore only what you want. You can then place the image onto a cd or dvd for off site storage. You can also choose how to break it up if it is to large for a cd so that it will fit across multiple cd's/dvd'd.


New Member
I use an exteranl to backup all my customer files and all my pics. I then keep the drive off site, just in case. I would suggest you do that with your accounting as well