valid points, but they aren't absolute

by ackmondual - 7/14/06 9:13 AM

In Reply to: External hard drive= waste of money. by farhansyed

ext hd shouldn't be used for very long term storage. While it's fail rate and 'shelf life' are shorter than CD-Rs and DVDR, it's still good

ext hd still offers conveniences:
-practical incremental backups
using read only optical discs forces you to backup data in huge chunks. Ppl don't want to waste a 700MB CDR for just 50MB of data. Yet, if they fill it up to get the near full capacity, that may take days or even weeks. If the work/data is that crucial, that's too long to be without recent backups

-compatibility
even if you use RW optical discs, there may be a small chance (haven't done this a while, so not completely sure) of failure. You burn something on a certain, and when you try to restore it later on using the same PC with the same burner and burner software, the data is mysteriously inaccessible. Even if this has become a moot point, there's still a chance that a DVD-RW burned with say, Nero on one PC may not work with another burner software of another PC or even another version of Nero. With ext hd, it's all either USB1 or USB2. If your PC has any of these (which most nowadays do), then there's a high chance it'll be compatible

-more sheer capacity
as another poster alr mentioned, ext hds have high enough capacity that one wouldn't be forced to backup stuff across 8 DVDs, or 50 CDs. This is actually fine for archives, but for stuff that one needs to access often, it may be quite a chore to have to swap discs all the time

-not every1 can just "clear out" internal hd space
true, for some ppl this is easier said than done b/c they're not exactly up to snuff on maintaining and organizing their data (as in they should've concerned themselves with this when they were about half capacity and not when they're down to 3% to 6% freespace), but for whatever the reason that they can't bear to lose their precious data and files (either over sentimental or legitimately important files), having an extra hd to dump some keepsake files is helpful to give them more time and space to organize stuff and maybe even burn some of it to permanently relive space from both HDs

-drag and drop interface
You can't beat that. Granted burner softwares are that way too, but there's still the actual process of burning the data, which isn't as quick as to an ext hd