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  • FIRST POST
    • secret tramp
    • By secret tramp 2nd Jan 18, 8:30 PM
    • 125Posts
    • 6Thanks
    secret tramp
    disconnecting / reconnecting external hard drive
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 18, 8:30 PM
    disconnecting / reconnecting external hard drive 2nd Jan 18 at 8:30 PM
    I have recently installed a new external hard drive (Adata HV620) via a USB 3.1 cable (there is no power lead) and am using Windows 7.

    I would prefer to have the drive unplugged and stored safely in case my PC ever got compromised and just reconnect it in when I need to transfer files to it.

    My questions are therefore:

    1. Is it safe/sensible to do this?

    2. Do I need to follow the `safe removal`procedure or can I just disconnect it when I have shut down the pc?

    3. How do I reconnect it - ie just plug it back in anytime/before switching on pc/or by some other method?

    I am obviously a non tech person, but given the recent publicity regarding internet security I would like to have my files saved off site in case of a disaster (I appreciate there is the cloud, but don't really trust that).

    Many thanks for any advice or words of wisdom.
Page 1
    • John Gray
    • By John Gray 2nd Jan 18, 8:37 PM
    • 5,201 Posts
    • 2,982 Thanks
    John Gray
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 18, 8:37 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 18, 8:37 PM
    1. Yes
    2. Always follow the Safely Remove Hardware procedure when the PC is powered on. After the PC is powered off, you can just remove the external hard drive.
    3. Yes - either reconnect before or after powering on
    And don't rely on a single backup drive - that also can fail!
    Maybe have a USB Flash Drive for secondary backup.
    Last edited by John Gray; 02-01-2018 at 8:40 PM.
    • A.Penny.Saved
    • By A.Penny.Saved 2nd Jan 18, 9:31 PM
    • 1,646 Posts
    • 863 Thanks
    A.Penny.Saved
    • #3
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:31 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:31 PM
    There is software which can do differential backups which would speed up the backups and take less time so that is worth looking into. You could probably find some freeware that will do it. Search for backup software and when you have a commercial name, search for alternatives on:
    http://alternativeto.net/

    If you have shutdown windows then the drive can be just disconnected. However leaving it connected in windows for any longer than required for backup is not really a good idea. Therefore once the backups are completed, do the windows Safe removal procedure to flush the drive cache before disconnecting the drive.

    A backup of the backup via a large flash drive might be a good idea. 1 and 2 TB USB 2.0 flash drives are fairly inexpensive on ebay. Write speed is around 5-8 MiB/s for the ones I was looking at. They are around 10 to 15.
    • secret tramp
    • By secret tramp 2nd Jan 18, 9:37 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    secret tramp
    • #4
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:37 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:37 PM
    1. Yes
    2. Always follow the Safely Remove Hardware procedure when the PC is powered on. After the PC is powered off, you can just remove the external hard drive.
    3. Yes - either reconnect before or after powering on
    And don't rely on a single backup drive - that also can fail!
    Maybe have a USB Flash Drive for secondary backup.
    Originally posted by John Gray
    Thank you very much for your clear and concise answers.

    I did originally try saving my files to a DVD and a flash drive but both methods were taking an impossibly long time to transfer my (10,000+ mainly MS Word) files. Maybe I need another of these things, one to stay connected to the PC and the other to be kept in the safe.
    Last edited by secret tramp; 02-01-2018 at 9:47 PM.
    • secret tramp
    • By secret tramp 2nd Jan 18, 9:46 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    secret tramp
    • #5
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:46 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:46 PM
    There is software which can do differential backups which would speed up the backups and take less time so that is worth looking into. You could probably find some freeware that will do it. Search for backup software and when you have a commercial name, search for alternatives on:
    http://alternativeto.net/
    Originally posted by A.Penny.Saved
    I did previously have a different external hard drive and had difficulties with adding files to it (mainly through my lack of expertise), but I did try some software called Synctoy, which resulted in me transferring the files from the external drive to my PC (and almost losing all my latest files) rather than the other way round. A terrifying experience until they got recovered from the trash folder!
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 2nd Jan 18, 9:50 PM
    • 20,326 Posts
    • 16,083 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #6
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:50 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:50 PM
    I've never bothered to keep external drives connected full time, mainly because I've only had laptops for the last 10 years but even when I had a desktop I didn't do it. As suggested, back up to at least 2 sources, and if you can, keep one of them off site so if something catastrophic happens (such as a house fire) you still have access to your data - I keep a drive in my detatched garage.

    I'd agree in general with the safe removal method, but I have one drive that sometimes thinks it's not finished writing even though it has and I just have to pull the plug, it's never yet caused me a problem but I accept that one day it might.
    • debitcardmayhem
    • By debitcardmayhem 2nd Jan 18, 10:03 PM
    • 8,540 Posts
    • 6,449 Thanks
    debitcardmayhem
    • #7
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:03 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:03 PM
    Fair advice above but 1 backup drive/location is not ideal for irreplaceable data, and leaving it attached is far from ideal, just my take on things
    • Peter999
    • By Peter999 2nd Jan 18, 10:06 PM
    • 510 Posts
    • 568 Thanks
    Peter999
    • #8
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:06 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:06 PM
    2. Always follow the Safely Remove Hardware procedure when the PC is powered on. After the PC is powered off, you can just remove the external hard drive.
    by John Gray;73651224[B
    You don't need to use the "safely remove hardware" anymore these days. By default, USB drives are set to disable write caching therefore you can just unplug the device without using the "safely remove hardware" icon.
    • emptybox
    • By emptybox 3rd Jan 18, 12:14 AM
    • 391 Posts
    • 202 Thanks
    emptybox
    • #9
    • 3rd Jan 18, 12:14 AM
    • #9
    • 3rd Jan 18, 12:14 AM

    A backup of the backup via a large flash drive might be a good idea. 1 and 2 TB USB 2.0 flash drives are fairly inexpensive on ebay. Write speed is around 5-8 MiB/s for the ones I was looking at. They are around 10 to 15.
    Originally posted by A.Penny.Saved
    I would be very wary of buying cheap high capacity flash drives from Ebay (or even Amazon sellers). They can often be fakes.
    Stick to recognised brands.
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 3rd Jan 18, 5:03 AM
    • 2,241 Posts
    • 1,520 Thanks
    Tom99
    If you use a 'mirror' option rather than 'back up' then it only copies over the files you have changed or are new. My weekly back up to a flash drive, using SyncBack, usually take less the 1 minute.
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 3rd Jan 18, 6:04 AM
    • 2,663 Posts
    • 3,409 Thanks
    unforeseen
    There is software which can do differential backups which would speed up the backups and take less time so that is worth looking into. You could probably find some freeware that will do it. Search for backup software and when you have a commercial name, search for alternatives on:
    http://alternativeto.net/

    If you have shutdown windows then the drive can be just disconnected. However leaving it connected in windows for any longer than required for backup is not really a good idea. Therefore once the backups are completed, do the windows Safe removal procedure to flush the drive cache before disconnecting the drive.

    A backup of the backup via a large flash drive might be a good idea. 1 and 2 TB USB 2.0 flash drives are fairly inexpensive on ebay. Write speed is around 5-8 MiB/s for the ones I was looking at. They are around 10 to 15.
    Originally posted by A.Penny.Saved

    1 or 2 TB flash drive for 10? Dream on. That size will cost in the region of 1k even on eBay
    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 3rd Jan 18, 9:09 AM
    • 3,648 Posts
    • 2,856 Thanks
    AndyPix
    1 and 2 TB USB 2.0 flash drives are fairly inexpensive on ebay. Write speed is around 5-8 MiB/s for the ones I was looking at. They are around 10 to 15.
    Originally posted by A.Penny.Saved

    What a load of rubbish


    Link or it didnt happen
    Running with scissors since 1978
    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 3rd Jan 18, 9:15 AM
    • 3,648 Posts
    • 2,856 Thanks
    AndyPix
    You don't need to use the "safely remove hardware" anymore these days. By default, USB drives are set to disable write caching therefore you can just unplug the device without using the "safely remove hardware" icon.
    Originally posted by Peter999

    Even so - Windows isnt the best at deciding if the device is of the "yank out" variety and sometimes still uses write caching.
    It is possible to turn off write caching manually in drive management
    However, there could be lock files open or other stuff going on in the background so it IS always advisable to use the safely remove option anyway.


    Not doing so to save 2 seconds of your life is just foolhardy
    Running with scissors since 1978
    • emptybox
    • By emptybox 4th Jan 18, 12:59 AM
    • 391 Posts
    • 202 Thanks
    emptybox
    What a load of rubbish


    Link or it didnt happen
    Originally posted by AndyPix
    You can certainly find them.
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2TB-1TB-OTG-USB-2-0-Flash-Drive-Memory-Stick-Lifetime-Warranty-UK-SELLER/162715387296?hash=item25e297c5a0:m:mPwOZDfPUAzsViW 3cL2AVPQ

    But I would say they are very suspect.
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 4th Jan 18, 1:59 AM
    • 2,241 Posts
    • 1,520 Thanks
    Tom99
    I agree, there are 25 reviews in the past month saying they are fake and max 8GB.
    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 4th Jan 18, 9:10 AM
    • 3,648 Posts
    • 2,856 Thanks
    AndyPix
    You can certainly find them..
    Originally posted by emptybox

    No you cant


    Running with scissors since 1978
    • womble12345
    • By womble12345 4th Jan 18, 1:16 PM
    • 427 Posts
    • 158 Thanks
    womble12345
    You had my hopes up then that 2TB drives had dropped in price.
    The 2TB flash drives have some good reviews but then there are some saying they are fake.
    Can anyone suggest a decent make for a 2tb flash drive? Can you send me a link?

    Thanks,
    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 4th Jan 18, 1:32 PM
    • 3,648 Posts
    • 2,856 Thanks
    AndyPix
    Gulp


    https://www.reichelt.com/gb/en/?LANGUAGE=EN&CTYPE=0&MWSTFREE=0&CCOUNTRY=447&ARTIC LE=207859&PROVID=2788&wt_guka=22596787817_79177367 417&PROVID=2788&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvaKzrLW-2AIVTrXtCh1OhQqKEAQYAiABEgJxm_D_BwE


    I like a quote i read about 2TB flash drives :-


    "If you have to ask how much they are - they are not for you"
    Running with scissors since 1978
    • womble12345
    • By womble12345 4th Jan 18, 3:39 PM
    • 427 Posts
    • 158 Thanks
    womble12345
    https://youtu.be/Kix3JKn08OU

    Certainly seems they are fake seeing as I can't find one from a reputable brand for less than 1000. That's a shame!
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