Need a hard drive for archiving photos

I’m thinking about buying an internal and enclosure-probably seagate brand since that seems popular. Do I need to worry about any other specs other than the size? Like compatibility with my OS (winxp home with sp1) or connection (I have USB, not sure if it’s 2.0 or not). I’m not going to be using this on a daily basis, just when I need to clear out my cf cards. I will get an enclosure with a fan though (probably a venus brand which is what I have my dvd burner in). Any advice? I’m looking to get one that is around 120gb to 160gb. In 4 yrs of digital photography I have amassed about 10gb of pictures including the lousy shots. I do have a bigger mp camera now but figure 120 gb should last me another 5 yrs or so at least. thanks. :slight_smile:

The Hitachi, Samsung and some Seagate drives are considered reliable by many. But to put it bluntly, if you only have one copy of your data you will eventually lose it regardless of how it’s stored. 10GB is certainly easy to put on DVD’s, making multiple copies and using top quality discs. The external HD isn’t a bad idea, and it’s convenient, but don’t make it your only method of storage.
120-250GB drives are cheap and plentiful. Get the largest one you can afford. The enclosure is not too important, cooling fans aren’t needed for occasional use when the drive is shut off most of the time. I like 5" enclosures, cause they do have fans and can also be used for optical drives.

I agree with rdgrimes, secondary drive, external or internal are great for backing things up. but dont reply on ONE means of backup. I use an internal secondary drive, an external USB hard drive and regular back up onto DVD’s to safeguard my data. ( and while you need to buy the top quality DVD’s you dont have to buy the fastest. I use 8X taiyo Yuden or Verbatim for my back ups)

Thanks. It’s actually going to be my 4th means of backup. LOL. I have my pictures on 2 copies of cd, one here at home and one at the bank, a dvd at home, plus on my internal hd. I’m going to add the external HD and reburn the cds in the next couple of months. Right now they’re on the inexpensive disks from when I first burned them but I’ll be making a new home copy on TY disks (maxell pro) and a new bank copy on efilm disks. The dvd are just so that if I have a hd failure I will try to restore from dvd first since it’s quickest to burn a lot of files onto. If the dvd is bad, I can either use my cds at home or get the ones at the bank. I’m very paranoid, obviously.

as for afford, I really can’t afford any over $100 right now, which is why I’m going to go for the 120-160 internal plus enclosure-then if I need more space I can just swap out drives. Good idea about getting a 5" enclosure-more versatility. thanks for the replies!


That’s not overly paranoid.
I image all my data and OS to a RAID-1 array (redundancy), plus copy images to external HD which remains turned off and unplugged when not in use. I also keep DVD copies, replaced weekly, in a fire-vault. Critical data is also copied directly to DVD every week.

There are some excellent values in HD’s right now, especially IDE drives. Check out NewEgg.

I do similar. Just replace when i make back-ups in fire vault.

Thanks-I’ll check newegg out. I bought my dvd burner and enclosure from them so I’ll probably just get the same enclosure and a 3.5" hd (which I’m assuming will fit without an extra purchase of some kind?)

ok I need more help. There are a LOT of different options! I tried going to but every single page firefox pops up with ‘this page has no data’ over and over unless I hit the stop button. Every single page.

So anyway I am looking at a seagate 7200.9 160gb in an enclosure that I can use with USB, and have win xp and a dell dimension 4500, do I want the SATA or the IDE Ultra ATA?

You want the IDE/UltraATA - most USB cases don’t support SATA drives.

ok I’m about to hit submit and have just one more question. I’m going to get the same AMS venus enclosure that I got for my dvd burner (it’s a 5.25" enclosure). I read that the seagate 7200.8 series was less than reliable. Would you get a 7200.7 series that I read is more reliable or would you chance it on a 7200.9 series which may not have been out long enough to have many reliabity tests yet? I’ve settled on a 160 gb but other than that just trying to decide between the 7200.7 and the 7200.9. I read that the 7200.9 has just one platter but don’t know what that really means (and if it’s good or bad) or how many platters the 7200.7 has.

eta: I am only looking at the 8mb cache ones.

As you can tell I do a lot of asking and research, yet still don’t know much.

i would see that u should go for the 7200.9 series - newer — mostly better from what I’ve experienced … and is quieter. Having one platter is good - it means that inside the hard disk the information is recorded on one platter instead of more. This means there’s less weight, more shock resistance as well, but it does mean higher density [and hence it can be less … reliable long term … though usually it makes little difference with well manufactured drives]

And what makes you think the 8mb versions are better than the 2mb ones?

If you don’t use RAID, there will be absoluteley no difference.

The difference is obvious.