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Alpo

External hard drives ??

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Do they have, or need, an operating system? Or do they just act as big flash drives - big big big storage facilities?

 

How did they connect? Do they have a built-in cord? Or just a female slot you stick a cord into? If it is a slot, I presume it would be USB? So I could take my cord that attaches my phone to the charger, unplug it from the charger and plug it into the external drive, and download or upload all types of files between my phone and the external drive?

 

Just looking to increase my memory storage here folks. I have a 32 gig SD card in the phone, and several thumb drives -- 8s and 16s, along with one 32.

 

Thinking that a one tb external would ease my storage problems for a little while. Probably be harder to accidentally misplacement, also.

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It will pretty much just act as a big flash drive.  Plug it in, it gets a drive letter assigned and you can access it.

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31 minutes ago, Wayward Slim said:

It will pretty much just act as a big flash drive.  Plug it in, it gets a drive letter assigned and you can access it.

 

And it woks best if your system has USB 3.0.

 

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These days most of them have a usb3 slot and come with usb3 cable which is on the drive end different from anything else you own, on the computer end it is a normal shaped usb plug.

 

it is easy to break on the drive end, be careful.

 

 

 

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You can use them any way you want.

 

you can have your entire system set up on one, including your operating syste , various software packages, folders, individual files, etc., etc.  

 

Or, use them as a very large file storage appurtenance.

 

Cat Brules.

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Alpo,

 

Are you looking for an external drive to connect directly to your phone or one that connects to a computer?

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Some are powered by the USB connection.  Some require an external power source.  But they work like a large thumb drive.  I've got a personal one with 2 TB that I have had for 10 plus years and it's still not full.

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44 minutes ago, One Eyed Sam said:

Alpo,

 

Are you looking for an external drive to connect directly to your phone or one that connects to a computer?

Both would be nice. I assume that I will get another computer one day. But since mine crapped out two years ago I've been getting by on the phone.

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I believe I'm going to go for it.

 

Sam's has a 2T Seagate for $70.00. day before yesterday I spent 15 on a 32 gig thumb drive. Five of those thumb drives would be 150 gig for $75, versus $70 for 2,000 gig.

 

My financial wizard says that's a go.

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Dang amigo, how much data you gonna load? 32 gigs is a pretty good crapload, you get into terabytes and that's a crapload of craploads.

JHC

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Memory is like a gun safe.

 

Get bigger than you think you need, because you're probably going to fill it up.

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6 hours ago, Alpo said:

Do they have, or need, an operating system? Or do they just act as big flash drives - big big big storage facilities?

 

How did they connect? Do they have a built-in cord? Or just a female slot you stick a cord into? If it is a slot, I presume it would be USB? So I could take my cord that attaches my phone to the charger, unplug it from the charger and plug it into the external drive, and download or upload all types of files between my phone and the external drive?

 

Just looking to increase my memory storage here folks. I have a 32 gig SD card in the phone, and several thumb drives -- 8s and 16s, along with one 32.

 

Thinking that a one tb external would ease my storage problems for a little while. Probably be harder to accidentally misplacement, also.

 

Most likely your phone will not recognize it. the ability to talk to the drive is part of the BIOS of a computer and most phones lack the ability to access a hard drive. even one that communicated via USB.

 

Even the size of SD card your phone can access will be a function of its BIOS.

Here are the types of SD cards and their capacities.

 

SD: Up to 2 GB

SDHC: 2 GB to 32 GB

SDXC: 32 GB to 2 TB

SDUC: 2 TB to 128 TB

 

USB Flash drives  with up to 2 TB of capacity are also available.

 

All types of storage media including Hard Drives, SD Cards, and USB flash drives have a front end that handles communications with the parent device. The circuitry is powered up when you plug in the device.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Alpo said:

Memory is like a gun safe.

 

Get bigger than you think you need, because you're probably going to fill it up.

You not gonna fill up a 2T drive unless you load a few hundred movies.

JHC

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I got 14, counting that one I bought day 'fore yesterday. I don't remember whether the littlest is 128 k or 256k. I know it's awful damn little. :D Worked with Win95.

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Few years back, I wanted a large extermal hard drive.

It was large. 160 gig bits. (larger for the time.

I still have it because there are 6 or 7 macines backed up on it over the years.

All still accessable.

But there was a time it failed and had to be reformated and I had to rebuiild the data.

That was not fun.

Fortunutely, I keep the hard drives from my machines that are retired.

 

After that ordeal, I started using Thumb drives.

At first they were 256 in size but rapidly got bigger.

 

Now I have many thumb drives from the 256 on up to 32 gig.

I found I could keep various projects by putting associated projects on the same drive.

I also build web sites (not oftern) that I put on their own thumb drive along with the 3 programs I need to maintain them.

 

Now if a drive fails, I only have to rebuild a little data.

With each thumb drive hold one web site data and programs, I can carry it in my pocket and plug in to any computer and do the updating at the persons desk the web site is for.

Or on any laptop.

 

Cell phones do not work well with large drives or even large memory cards.

 

I have an old thumb drive which if I remember correctly is a 256 meg drive has over 30 years of my busined books in Excel and Lotus format.

 

I buy thumber drive, usually 16 gig, in lots of 12 or 24 when on sale for a couple of dollars each.

I have accounting files (check book with exctra columns for tax purposes)   share by loading the data and then just gicving the drive away.

 

It sounds nice to have a large external hard drive until you have to rebuild it.

I like the individual thumb drives. (I maintain over 250 web pages each web site on it's own drive)

 

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OP,
The USB interface provides a common connection to any device that supports USB.
Windows, Apple, Linux.. they all support USB hardware.

The file system structure on your disk can be unique to an operating system.
AppleOS, Windows NTFS and Linux all use different file structures.

External USB disks can either be physical (spinning) or solid state (flash memory).
Physical drives are subject to mechanical damage.
Don't move them when powered up, don't use in lieu of a Harley chain in a riot, etc.

Solid state drives have a fixed number of Writes they will sustain before failure.
You can READ an SSD as many times as you want.

Samsung is the top name in SSD, and why I put them in all my customer machines.
All devices fail, eventually.
Vital data should be on 2 or more different devices for safety.

I burn vital data to DVDs, store in the bank safety deposit box, in addition  to multiple disk copies.
I have a literal lifetime of software development that I do NOT want to lose.

I have much better reliability with Western Digital than I do with Seagate, over many years.

 

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On 7/16/2020 at 3:50 PM, Alpo said:

Memory is like a gun safe.

 

Get bigger than you think you need, because you're probably going to fill it up.


I’m a big fan of external backup drives.
 

I don’t know how much data you have, and my suggestion is to buy TWO(2) external backup hard disc drives and use them to (if you have a computer-installed hard drive) back up your computer.  Same backup data/at the same time.   This, so you have two identical backups to your computer at any given time in case of the improbable event.
 

Saving everything to “mega-size” thumb drives makes me uncomfortable.  

Researching all equipment is worth the effort, I believe.  

 

For personal use, (my opinion) large drives, I think, are unlikely to be filled up.

 

I was a business and software consultant, working 12hr+ days for a long time (a small part of my business experience).  I always planned for the absolute worst, and continually backed up my client-furnished “desktop” laptop computer, AND to my personal external hard drive. 
 

I had planned for two weeks to go to Japan for 2 1/2 weeks.  The Friday mid-morning prior to my flying out Saturday, evening, my desktop equipment (client laptop) just quit and started smoking.  I instantly pulled the plug on my personal external drive.  


All of the data was on the LAN, but not in one place....meaning hours, or a day or two, to find and recover properly restore everything.  Their computer wizard fired up a brand new laptop, configured it, partitioned the drive and downloaded my configured data from my personal external hard drive to the new laptop.  
 

I kept that tech there into the wee hours, checking and rechecking the new laptop computer, installing unique company software, configure for offline and online use at world-wide locations, loading my (unauthorized) unique programs from my personal discs, deleting crappy manufacturer-installed bs software, then repeatedly shutting down and restarting the box, to check out functionality of the new machine and software, and ensuring my local and remote access to the various company networks.  He thought it was cool, and I was headed into ~40 hours without sleep.  
 

So, my personal dedicated external backup drive, which mirrored my company laptop drive, saved all my critical data.....everything, properly stored, and mirroring the fried, unrecoverable laptop.  I’m a big fan of external backup drives.

 

Cat Brules

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23 hours ago, bgavin said:

I burn vital data to DVDs,

 

I have had bad luck using DVDs for long term storage.  I try to access it a year or 2 later and the files are unreadable.  Been having that issue with floppies and CDs too for years.  I had been using the HD on my computer, but recently I discovered that if you don't access the files often enough those can get corrupted too.  Flash drives are the only thing that haven't failed me yet (barring the few that were physically damaged). 

 

I say that to ask how are the DVDs working for you?  Do you check the data periodically?  Do you do something special?  I basically just mount the disks as read/write volumes. 

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Rewriteable CD are not very stable in my experience.
Have not used them in many, many years.

Computer memory (RAM) is constantly read and rewritten as a background task in hardware.
The memory cells are volatile, and have to be constantly refreshed.
Magnetic media (disk) probably needs a refresh after several years, no empirical knowledge here.. I just do it.

I have no empirical experience with the life span of flash memory, so I don't trust it as a single-source backup.
After decades in this business, I figure everything fails or becomes obsolete, so I keep double copies (or more) of vital data.

I mirror my server volumes, then run backups to different media, then archive copies to yet other media.
Over the years, mirroring has paid off both for clients and my own servers.

I wrote all the backup code, so it runs unattended for the most part.
All of my clients have very poor habits for backing up, so automation is the key.

If you have a safe deposit box, it will hold USB drives, thumb drives and DVDs without needing a big box.

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19 hours ago, bgavin said:

Magnetic media (disk) probably needs a refresh after several years,

 

What does it mean to refresh?  I read that before and took it to mean you just need to access the data.  View the document, move it's location, something like that.  Is that all it is? 

 

Up until recently, I guess the hard drive was working better because I'd switch computers every few years and have to move the data. 

 

 

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All binary data is stored as zeros or ones.. or "no-charge" vs "charge".
This charge can decay over time, where it isn't a strong "1" or a clear "0".

Refresh occurs when the hardware reads each individual bit, then writes that bit back to its location as a zero or one.
Electronic computer memory (RAM) decays very rapidly, so this process is perpetually running in the hardware.
Disk and Flash memory have far longer decay life.

When you copy a file or photo from one disk location to another, this rewrites (refreshes) the data.
You can copy one entire disk to another to refresh all the data.
Opening and saving a file does the same.

Floppies die from physical damage most of the time.
The ones I have seen that a no longer readable have a big circular scratch in the media, from a chunk of something under the read head.

Hard disks die because the user moves them while powered up, bounces the heads on the media and trashes the drive.
For customer critical drives, I replace them after 26,000 hours of run time.  3 years at 24x7 operation.

Thumb drives fail after X million writes to a given cell.  
They have a fixed lifetime for Writes.

Unlimited number of Reads.

If it moves, it will break.
If it is electronic, it will die.

There is a free-for-home-use sync program called "Syncrdible" that works very well.
Create a job for each of your backup devices.
Plug them in and run the job.
It will sync the external disk with whatever you choose on the computer disk.
It is accurate, fast and painless.
But.. you have to remember to do it.

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