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  1. #1
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    Desktop External Hard Drive for images

    I have a shiny new Win8 desktop and wish to have another attempt at imaging.

    About a year ago I bought a 2TB WD My Book Essentials drive, only to discover it’s designed for continuous live backups, not images. After complaining to WD that it was not fit for purpose, they said images could be made using WD version of Acronis – an old version offered free of charge – but I still had no luck.

    Following advice here on the Lounge the drive was reformatted to remove the WD stuff and a new
    image made with Macrium free edition. This was successful, in that I could access and read files in the image. However, when I put a new hard drive in the PC to check that the image would boot, the external drive could not be found.

    So, to avoid a repeat of this failure, I’m looking for simple 2TB external drive that will work with images, preferably not WD. I’ve only found Seagate Backup Plus STCA2000200 and Seagate Expansion SGR 39211 – I’m put off by the name of the first, and the talk of making space on your PC with the other. Nothing about images. There are also a few Toshibas listed.

    Will either of the Seagates do what I want?

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  3. #2
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    Hi George,

    I guess it's hard for anyone to say whether those drives would work, without actually owning them. I have used both Iomega (my favorite ones, for historical reasons, going down to the amazing 100 MB Zip drives they used to produce) and Seagate external hard drives without any issues at all, both to image and restore, when booting from an Acronis boot disk.

    I would also feel inclined to suspect that your boot disc was really the one responsible for the WD hard drive not being seen, other than the WD disc itself. One thing that you can do to check on this is to create a Windows System Repair disc and boot from it, with the WD drive connected and confirm that the drive is available. If it is, you will know the lack of adequate support on the initial boot disc is to blame. If it is not available, then you will know that the WD is not that good an option - as a side note, I never, ever buy Western Digital disks. The only disks that have failed me were WD disks and I stay away from them as much as I can. I won't buy one even if they are the only option available (this is just my personal experience, other people will think otherwise).

    HTH

    Regards
    Rui
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  4. #3
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    Yes, my experience is just the opposite...of course! 3 or 4 Seagate (all bare internals) failures in the last year, no Toshiba, Samsung or WD failures (but there have been WD failures further back). My absolute favorites are the WD Essentials portable USB 2.0 and 3.0 drives; about a dozen (all capacities from 160GB to several 2TB units) in use and no failures yet (knock on head...er, wood).
    That said, almost any MBR drive that's 2TB or less, formatted NTFS should work without any issue for image backups and restore. So if the drive meets those requirements then I also suspect either the recovery boot disc is inadequate or the connection to the drive is not compatible (USB 2.0 should always work).

  5. #4
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    Two replies, two opposing views.

    At least this time I’ll be making an image almost immediately, not spending weeks reading the manual, contacting Acronis on how to create an image, buying a new HDD and seeking help on how to replace the old one, by which time the return period had expired. So if whatever I get does not do what is wanted, it can be returned.

    Rui, your second paragraph persuaded me to get the WD out of the box and have another go at using it. But the result was the same as a few months ago when my DVD writer software packed up and I wanted to back up to the ext. drive – the light comes on but the drive is not seen by the PC then or the laptop now.

    The problem may have been the boot disk as you suggest, although I seem to remember making several, but more likely the short mains lead necessitated standing it on the floor, where it got knocked over several times. Must take it to be recycled.

    Thanks anyway,

    George
    Last edited by georgelee; 2013-11-16 at 13:00. Reason: Grammar

  6. #5
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    George,

    I suppose you meant you connected the drive to the PC with Windows running? If so, did you try using different USB ports?
    Rui
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  7. #6
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    So you are saying it's just not seen period? If it's a desktop external that was knocked over when it was writing or reading, ya, that can do it; a cat knocked one of mine over once, didn't seem like that big a blow but the drive was toast.
    The little portables are fragile as well but they can be tucked into safer crannies; I think that contributes to not having one go bad so far.

  8. #7
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    George,

    I've been using WD USB HDs for quite a while without major problems. The only problem I have encountered is with my 1TB USB 3.0 WD Essential. If I plug it into my wife's Dell XPS 14z USB 3.0 port using a Boot USB key it will not show! If I have windows booted normally it shows up just fine. Why, well my guess is that the USB 3.0 is not supported in the BIOS and only after Windows boots and loads the appropriate driver will the WD show up. On my new Dell XPS 8700 desktop it works in either mode. Of course the laptop is "older" than the Desktop by about 1.5 to 2 years. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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  9. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I'm using WD's small 1TB passport drives for external image storage and they all show up fine on USB 2.0 ports when booting to restore images.

    I agree with RG, be careful with your USB ports. Some USB 3.0 ports on some computers will not recognize external drives when booting.
    Hard drive brands are irrelevant. I'd avoid using any HDD's brand backup tools. It's just better to format all new external drives and remove any potential crapware.
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    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  10. #9
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    If your external drive gets its power from the USB port, you have to connect it to one that provides sufficient power. If it doesn't work on one, try another. Start withe the USB 3 ports as they provide better performance.

    Jerry

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    George, Did you create a Macrium Reflect Boot Disk? Most Imaging apps I am familiar with you have to insert the Boot Disk for the app that created the Image, then use this to read the Image. A new HD will not have an OS so it has to be able to boot in some manner. The Boot Disk allows this.
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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medico View Post
    George, Did you create a Macrium Reflect Boot Disk? Most Imaging apps I am familiar with you have to insert the Boot Disk for the app that created the Image, then use this to read the Image. A new HD will not have an OS so it has to be able to boot in some manner. The Boot Disk allows this.
    Yes, and I still have the disk, which could be faulty. However, I'll make a new one after installing Macrium on the new PC.

  13. #12
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    Haven't read all the posts but remembered something that happened to a few years ago and thought i'd pass it on. Some backup/system image software will not allow you to Restore from an external drive and many will not allow you to Restore from a network drive (i.e., from another computer on your home network/Windows Homegroup). Worth checking before you commit to anything ....

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