Dual Hard Drives

By RTWmaniac
Feb 28, 2009
  1. I'm in the market for an external hard drive and I remember someone mentioning these. It sounds like a no-brainer for me but I'm finding very little information about them. Do they even exist? Are they a good idea or should I just go with a standard ext hard drive? If I should get one, I'd really appreciate a link for one, ideally a 1 TB split into 500 GB halves, or even a 2 TB split into 1 TB halves.

  2. jdillman1502

    jdillman1502 TS Enthusiast Posts: 120

  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,150   +597

    hum; the original post didn't mention RAID so why reference it?

    The subject "Dual HDs" and then the content of partition a single into two parts is confusing.

    Google for "external USB HD" will find lots of drives that are easy to setup.
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    Yes the external drives are easy to set up. You can partition them any way you want, then format them. Some come with detailed instructions, some don't. Plug in the USB external drive, right click on My Computer, select Manage, disk drives and select the USB drive in the list. Delete the existing partition, and repartition like you want. Format and you are good to go
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    I think RAID got mentioned because of 'dual hard drives' and external, and it was compared with 'standard ext hard drive'.

    So that made me think the dude is wanting to know about the single enclosure 2 drive externals vs the single enclosure single external that is most common.

    Personally, I would just go with a single drive external. The dual ones have a RAID type setup and I'm not real well versed on what your options are to run them, but I'm sure it boils down to half the space, twice the reliability, or 2x the space half the reliability. Neither sound like a good option to me, but that is just my opinion.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,150   +597

    I second that. With all the issues seen on Techspot re raid, I would strongly advise
    against all raid for home users. If you want to ensure you can keep your data,
    use either Reduntant Copy to a second media device or Simple Backups to a second media device.

    Apply the K.I.S.S. principle :)
  7. RTWmaniac

    RTWmaniac TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry for the confusion... I'm a noob with most of this.

    I want an external hard drive to keep important files as backup and to clear some space on my laptop. But I feel a lot better having two hard drives to back them up on, in the event that one of them fails. I just want a simple USB connection and, if possible, no extra steps in transferring the files to both drives. I was under the impression these "dual hard drives" (sorry if I'm misusing the term) automatically saved files to each drive.

    I don't know if they make these or I have to build one myself. I have read a little about Raid and it's way over my head. Hopefully this clears up the confusion.
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    I would just get a single drive external that is large enough to duplicate your current setup to. Most store bought externals come with backup software (example. Maxtor OneTouch). Use the included software then to back up your system. I don't really see a need for an external with 2 drives in it, its expensive, and if you use the external as a pure backup drive then you already have your data in 2 locations. 3 locations, especially when all 3 are in the same physical location (your house) is unnecessary.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,150   +597

    You're describing a Raid-1 complex.

    see this description
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    This is an example of the 2 drives in 1 external enclosure. It is what I would avoid:

  11. RTWmaniac

    RTWmaniac TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have used my internal hard drive to its capacity, so I need to start cleaning it out. And I just want the added comfort of having it backed up twice.

    This is exactly what I am looking for. Why would you avoid it?
  12. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Because I don't like the idea of RAID. But that is just my opinion. Basically you have 2 drives in that situation and you either have them mirroring themselves (good if one dies) or you are using them as 1 large drive (very bad if one dies).

    If you can accept that you are using half the storage capacity of the drives combined then that is probably a decent solution for you.

    In light of you having your internal already filled up and are looking for another, it may be a good decision for you to get one like what I linked. I may have overlooked you saying that earlier, all my advice was based on your current internal not being almost at capacity.

    It *might* be more cost effective to buy an internal that is the size you think you need, and then clone your current drive to it, then swap the drives, so your new internal is now your main system drive. Then hook up the old internal as just a secondary internal. Then get an external of the same size (or larger) of your new internal, and use it purely for backups. That is quite a bit of work though :D
  13. jdillman1502

    jdillman1502 TS Enthusiast Posts: 120

    Buying an external enclosure with 2 drives will obviously increase the price, but your files will be slightly more protected. The question of risk vs price is only one you can answer. If you do decide to get 2 drives and RAID them, make sure you use RAID 1(mirrored), do not use RAID 0(striped). RAID 1 will only protect your files in the event of an actual drive failure. If the files you copy to the external drive get corrupted, the corrupted file will be written to both drives.
  14. RTWmaniac

    RTWmaniac TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think I'll go with the one in the link SNGX provided. It comes preconfigured in RAID 1, I like the comfort of the extra drive, and I think the price is worth it. Thanks for your help everyone! And feel free to add additional comments.
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