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Need Help! Fragmenting an External HD

Discussion in 'Community Broadband & Computers' started by TeamDonzi, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. TeamDonzi

    TeamDonzi ShowMeTheMoney!

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    Can this be done if I want to back up 3 computers? Bought a 1TB from WD. When I set it up, there was no option for this, so I'm hoping you smarties out there can send advice. Thanks!
     
  2. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    It can be done.
    I suggest Googleing something like "how to partition an external volume in operating system" for detailed procedures.

    FWIW, it is not difficult at all if you have concerns about it being too technical.
     
  3. Ken

    Ken Member

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    If it's a USB drive, the easiest and fastest method would be to back up one PC at a time. Plug the drive into PC 1, back it up, then plug the drive into PC 2, back it up, then plug the drive into PC3 and run the backup. It's not especially convenient and it's not automated, but it'll get the job done.

    Is 1 TB going to be enough space to back up the 3 PCs?
     
  4. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    yea like he said, it can be done. You have 3 systems you want to back up, so how did you want to do this? Connect each one to it and back up data, or install this new drive on your network and "automate" your backup?

    And you want to see a drive letter for each system backup? Like drive "F" is for computer #1 and then drive "G" is for computer #2 etc.?

    Yea, that is a partition and has nothing to do with fragmenting. Might be easy to find someone to help you set this up. In Vista and XP this is easy... not sure about Win 7 but I am sure it is easy there too...
     
  5. TeamDonzi

    TeamDonzi ShowMeTheMoney!

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    Re: Partitioning an External HD

    Thanks guys. I looked up the info for partitioning, and it's not familiar language. I guess what I don't understand is this: If the set up of the EHD didn't ask me about splitting it up, is it even an option? Or is this something I can control from each computer?

    I know you're rolling your eyes, I can hear it from here!! I know what I don't know!!!

    Here is what I did: I backed up two computers manually like you said. But in the end, the old computer, XP#1 won't get backed up anymore, I really just need to transfer to newest computer W7-#3. Then it will be two computers, one Vista-#2 and one W7-#3.

    But Dave, your suggestion of setting it up auto is great and preferable. Don't know if I can figure it out, but maybe I'll get that lovely wifey of yours to help me!!

    So I'm nervous about hooking it up to new W7-#3 and downloading what I need because of the XP, Vista, W7 thing happening here. For right now, I really need to move tax info over so I can hurry up and wait for a delayed refund!! Hahahahahaha....grrrrr.
     
  6. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild New Member

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    If it were me, I would just buy another 1TB drive as the are around $100 dollars. This way each computer would have its own "dedicated backup" drive. This is how I am planning to do my backups as currently I have one external drive for 2 machines. Just haven't made it to the store to buy the other drive.
     
  7. Villager

    Villager Ashburn Village Resident

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    Having the external hard drive as a network device sounds good in terms of doing automatic backups for multiple machines but if there is a power surge (or something) and the external backup drive is plugged in wouldn't it be likely to get fried along with the PCs?

    FWIW, I have two computers and one external hard drive that I use for backups. I plug the EHD into one PC, do a manual backup, then plug it into the other PC and do a manual backup there. The EHD I bought has plenty of space for both machines and both backups are in their own folders on the external drive. I think that keeps everything separate enough to perform an emergency restore if necessary, without having to partition the drive.

    When I upgraded our desktop machine from XP to Win7 I didn't have any trouble moving the files I needed. I had backed up the XP stuff I needed (images, email, docs, favorites, etc.) to the EHD. Then when I did the clean, new install of Win7 I just moved those items back onto the desktop machine. At least, that's how I remember it. There might even have been some kind of option of doing that during the Win7 install, too, but I'm not sure. So you may not need a full "backup" of the XP machine if it isn't letting you do it. You might be able to move the files you need and then put them back on after the upgrade.
     
  8. IRideYZFR6

    IRideYZFR6 Linux Guru

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    TeamDonzi-
    This is how I set up my 1TB/WD for backups and a place that the family could dump photos, music, etc. I also have all drivers for my network printers on the 1TB/WD.
    1. Attached the USB 1TB/WD to my newest system in the basement, also this Dell Studio 9000 stays on all the time, it has a nice sleep feature which saves a lot of power.
    2. Shared out the entire USB 1TB/WD as “Mainframe”
    3. Create 9 directories based upon device and owner, i.e. “dad_laptop”, “dad_desktop”, etc.
    4. Set permissions to each folder based upon family user accounts. i.e. my son can only write/read/execute to his directories that match his computers. I did this so a family member can’t overwrite another family member’s data.
    5. Created additional folders within each device directory called “backups”. This is where I backup everyone’s data once a week.
    6. I set up task scheduler to auto the backups. I occasional will take a look at the current state of backups and if the scheduler missed I will remote into the device and kick off a backup manually.
    I am currently looking at Microsoft Home Server as another NAS solution, they are cheap and can also do incremental backups instead of fulls.
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/windowshomeserver/default.mspx
     
  9. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    WHS FTW =) Been using it for about a year now and love it-- easy to add more storage, folder replication (similar to raid-1) for your important stuff, does bare metal backups, serves all your media out, etc.
     

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