View Full Version : cheap temp backup storage solution wanted

15-05-2004, 11:35 PM
hi all

i'm wanting a reasonably cheap solution to back up my data onto while i do a reformat. Running XP Home with a partioned drive. Had thought of moving everything across to other partition but figure may as well reformat whole thing.
The ideal would be xternal drive but they are a little too expensive just to do this - unless someone can come up with some really good ideas why else i would need one (please do!!!)


Rod J
16-05-2004, 12:13 AM
I find my CD writer drive an excellent backup device. The CDR disks are so cheap too now, or you can use CDRW disks if you prefer. How much do you need to backup? If the CD capacity is too small you could go for a DVD writer drive, but they are a bit more expensive and DVD media is still rather pricey.

16-05-2004, 02:56 AM
I don't quite see the point in reformatting the whole thing. What will that accomplish for you?

Put all the data you want to keep onto an existing or new partition, then format just the partition the operating system is on.

16-05-2004, 03:05 AM
> I don't quite see the point in reformatting the whole
> thing. What will that accomplish for you?

I concur.

Unless you want to change your partition layout there will be no benefit of formatting the entire drive instead of just one partition.

16-05-2004, 05:09 AM
Well, this is cheap - stick the data onto the second (D:?) partition, reformat c:, install the OS, move the data back to C:, then format D: and everything should be as new.

Not elegant, not particularly quick, but definitely economical ;)


16-05-2004, 05:14 AM
Why an external drive ? Internal are much cheaper, and maybe you could do a RAID set-up and get a useful speed up into the bargain B-)

That's my 2 cent's worth


16-05-2004, 06:30 AM
Treat yourself and get an external HDD - I find them indispensable (esp as my main computer is a laptop and I find the 20gig hard drive a little claustrophobic).
I have two 80gig, USB2, external hard drive. One is a Maxtor external drive and the other is a normal Seagate internal dive in an ICE conversion case. The ICE one worked out a bit cheaper and is also a bit smaller so easier to carry around in my laptop bag.

Uses that justify buying one (my uses anyway):
-Simple backup of my main machine
-MP3s of my entire music collection to always have with me
-Images of my important software CDs which I can mount as virtual CDs straight off the drive (much easier than carrying all the CDs around esp when overseas).
-DivX movies
-Downloaded shareware
-OS service packs and patches (handy when going around to fix up friends computers).
-Lots of reference information related to my work, scanned text books, etc
-Back up of 3 years worth of digital photos

16-05-2004, 10:59 PM
thnx for everones input - but I like 'hillisp' suggestion the most!!!! Nothing wrong in treating oneself every now and then ;\

I was wanting to reformat whole drive just to start off clean - had this laptop now 14 months and I've tweaked and played and done all sorts - thought it was time for XP to be 'born again'.

Repartioning is something to think about - then XP could have its own space, which I like the idea of.

So, 'hill' can you pass on some more advice please ( I like the way you think :)) I can buy an internal drive and put it into an 'enclosure' can't I??? Is that the way it works???

Looking at Maxtor 60gig and perhaps Firewire purely on a speed basis - tho price creeps up a bit for that - how does one go at making ones own 'enclosure'??? can you steer me in the right direction per chance????
I have googled but I need the correct 'labels' to use to sort the wheat from the chaff -

Any help anyone can offer shall be appreciated....


16-05-2004, 11:11 PM
An external USB hard drive is a great idea - I do a bit of data recovery (for some less technically able friends) with Knoppix and an external drive. I bought a 5.25" drive case so I could install a CD device if I wanted to - just need an 3.5" adaptor for the HDD. I have not bought any new drives - just use old drives such as 4.3Gbytes previously sitting in the cupboard.

16-05-2004, 11:30 PM
thanx John, you've given me a bit more to masticate on!!!! So, I don't even need to buy a brand spanker drive !!! I can go 2nd hand??? Kewl!!!! and what I save there I can use to get a real kewl case!!

keep these suggestions coming folks...i'm loving it.......


17-05-2004, 12:02 AM
You can either get a purpose build “external hard drive”, or a “hard drive enclosure” and fit a standard hard drive into it (just a mater of plugging it in and a couple of fixing screws).

Key specs are size (5.25”, 3.5” or 2.5”) depending on what sort of hard drive it can have installed, and connection (USB2, FireWire or a combo that has both). The 2.5” encloses are smaller and more portable but they take a laptop hard drive which is more expensive. Personally I wouldn’t get a drive that just had FireWire as USB is still more popular and it means you can plug it into almost any computer if you need to (for Win2k or XP you don’t even need to install any additional drivers).

The Maxtor one I have is a 5000LE external hard drive and that has the advantage of coming complete with its own backup software a button on the hard drive enclosure that starts it – so effectively one button press to back up my computer hard drive.

The other one was an ICE 3.5” IDE enclosure which I brought mail order though a Wellington crowd a year ago (can’t remember their name). Original power supply died within about 20 minutes of using it but they sent a replacement and have had no problems with it. http://www.ascent.co.nz/mn-product-spec.asp?pid=109641

Both are USB2 which I find fast enough. I can play music or watch DivX movies directly off the external drive without any skipping.

Here is a couple of links for NZ sites:




Hope that helps


17-05-2004, 12:24 AM
I think this (http://www.archive.org/web/petabox.php) might be a solution for you? Well for anyone really if you have money to burn...

17-05-2004, 12:58 AM

Thankyou for the links- now I know what I'm looking for it should be easier to find. I like the idea of the external drive, yet getting my hands dirty with an enclosure and drive...well, its a tough choice...at PCU there is a "removable bay" $55 'tho, not too aesthetically pleasing, however it would do the job, yes???? add 80gig for $140 tops.....i have plenty to think on, don't I???
thanx again Peter

>I think this might be a solution for you? Well for anyone really if you have >money to burn...

hehee - and be able to store it and pay the power bill :)

17-05-2004, 01:42 AM
The removable bays are designed to go into a desktop PC and plug into the internal IDE controller so the don’t include the USB (or FireWire) to IDE interfacing circuitry. So it wouldn’t be suitable as a external drive for a laptop (you did mention it was a laptop?) as there is no way to connect directly to the IDE bus.
You will need a external drive that has a USB or FireWire interface (whichever one your laptop has). But you should be able to get one cheaper than the $149 advertised at PCU, from memory I only paid just over $100 for my enclosure and that was over a year ago.


17-05-2004, 09:59 AM
ok I think I'm up with the play now:) TradeMe have new cases for buy now price of $80, a little cheaper than anything on pricespy etc, cheers for your help Peter