Hard Driving Hard Drives

The caveman in me loves good hardware.  From the time that the monolith inspired that monkey to beat his cousin to death with a thigh bone, man has striven to kill man with the best toys.  As our technology improved, the nuances of our technology became more important.

In my life, one of the big things to keep an eye on is my hard drives.  I have a lot of them.  My Z800 has four internals, then I have four externals in a RAID, then I have my editing laptop with its internal and two externals, then there’s my PC and I’m building an external for it so I can back it up as well.

Complicated.  One thing to keep in mind though is this interesting fact: I don’t buy external hard drives anymore and in fact none of the externals I named are actually external hard drives.  The problem with externals is they each have a bus that will simply quit on you one day, long before the actual drive dies.  So what do I do?  I buy internal SATA hard drives http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=14&name=Internal-Hard-Drives and plug them into external enclosures http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=92&name=External-Enclosures which if they burn out, I can open, remove the hard drive, and swap out.

My old laptop died recently.  Sad, I know, so I took the hard drive from it (the laptop died when the power supply burned out) and planted it in an enclosure and by using some clever software http://www.laplink.com swapped over all my old programs and data onto my new laptop.  Now that the new one is up and running, I plan on putting the old one in an enclosure and using it as a backup drive to my new computer.

Doing this is cheaper (internal drives are often much cheaper and better made than externals, and external enclosures only cost about $20) and provides more flexibility.  For example, I have a friend who has 2TB of data I want to copy from him.  I can get a 2TB drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148506 put it in an external box http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817173043 take it to his house, load it up, then bring it home and put it into my workstation.  Best way to go.

Anyway, why bring this up now?  Well, one of the drives in my RAID has a faulty fan.  So I’m buying a $20 box to replace the one it’s in because the fan is hopelessly broken.  Problem solved.  Were this an external only drive, it would cost five times that.

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