External Hard Drive backup, with ease

August 13, 2007 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Backup, Computers, Hardware | 1 Comment

This evening, I helped a friend set up a backup system. We ended up picking up one of the newer Western Digital ‘My Book Essential’ external drives at Costco (Canada) for an excellent price. (in “Where to back up“, I cover why this)

I was impressed – just plug it in and it loaded the drivers from the drive, offered the option to install the WD backup software, then offered to run a backup. While its not as sophisticated a backup program as the ones I’ve suggested, it is functional. I was able to create a daily incremental scheduled backup in a few minutes, without including the Temp, recycled bin, and so forth.
The drive turns itself off and on with the computer but can be manually shut down as well. It has intelligent shutdown in the event of trouble. It can of course be used as another drive for storing bulk media, etc too. And it has an indicator to show how full it is.

I personally prefer Imaging software for system backup, but this solution just works. And thats a better solution for many people.

It is indeed Plug and Play.

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  1. Just a follow-up to this post. The friends hard drive crashed about 10 days after we set this up. (the laptop took a hit while in use) The Restore program included assumes a working copy of Windows so cannot recover from scratch. It was also fiddly to use. It was necessary to reinstall Windows, then do a recovery. Time difference – about 3 hours vs the 20 minutes an imaging recovery would be. Certainly better than nothing, but do look at upgrading to a better imaging tool when you can.

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