SATA II with external enclosure? - Storage

This is a discussion on SATA II with external enclosure? - Storage ; I'm looking for an external HDD that I can use for backing up my desktop. I'm thinking about going with an external SATA II drive/enclosure. That way I can upgrade to a bigger disk as needed, and I'd get 3Gps ...

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  1. SATA II with external enclosure?

    I'm looking for an external HDD that I can use for backing up my desktop.
    I'm thinking about going with an external SATA II drive/enclosure. That way
    I can upgrade to a bigger disk as needed, and I'd get 3Gps throughput. I'm
    relatively new to SATA and hope I can field some questions here...

    * Because the external HDD is for backup, I'm worried that if my OS (WinXP)
    becomes corrupted, somehow a bit will get flipped on the external drive, or
    the MBR of the drive could get messed up - preventing access to my data even
    after I reinstall my OS - and bye-bye backup. Is this a valid concern? An
    external USB drive, on the other hand, (although slower) is more independent
    from the OS and would be less likely to get messed up after an OS
    corruption - is this correct?

    * Would an external SATA drive be hot-swappable between computers? I would
    be using an external SATA port adapter
    http://www.cooldrives.com/dual-port-...-sata-ii-.html
    that essentially extends the SATA II port on the motherboard to the back of
    the case - is it safe to plug/unplug this like a USB port?

    * Would I get 3Gps throughput? I've heard that this is only possible with a
    PCI-X SATA card. Is this true? Shouldn't the SATA II controller on the
    motherboard provide this throughput?

    Thanks in advance!



  2. Re: SATA II with external enclosure?


    "deko" wrote in message
    news:%Wmue.32041$J12.26660@newssvr14.news.prodigy. com...
    > I'm looking for an external HDD that I can use for backing up my desktop.
    > I'm thinking about going with an external SATA II drive/enclosure. That

    way
    > I can upgrade to a bigger disk as needed, and I'd get 3Gps throughput.


    Nope, that's the peak burst rate of the interface and not the speed of the
    drive. Around 50MB/sec. is tops for today's drives.

    I'm
    > relatively new to SATA and hope I can field some questions here...
    >
    > * Because the external HDD is for backup, I'm worried that if my OS

    (WinXP)
    > becomes corrupted, somehow a bit will get flipped on the external drive,

    or
    > the MBR of the drive could get messed up - preventing access to my data

    even
    > after I reinstall my OS - and bye-bye backup. Is this a valid concern?


    Yes but obscure. The drive could also be hit by a meteroid.

    An
    > external USB drive, on the other hand, (although slower) is more

    independent
    > from the OS and would be less likely to get messed up after an OS
    > corruption - is this correct?


    NO, the same applies either way.

    > * Would an external SATA drive be hot-swappable between computers? I

    would
    > be using an external SATA port adapter
    > http://www.cooldrives.com/dual-port-...-sata-ii-.html
    > that essentially extends the SATA II port on the motherboard to the back

    of
    > the case - is it safe to plug/unplug this like a USB port?


    HW wise it's safe. The OS and driver software is a different issue and the
    answer there varies.

    > * Would I get 3Gps throughput? I've heard that this is only possible with

    a
    > PCI-X SATA card. Is this true?



    Nope, not with any card for sustained transfers.

    > Shouldn't the SATA II controller on the
    > motherboard provide this throughput?


    Generally they do for very short bursts.



  3. Re: SATA II with external enclosure?

    > > I'm looking for an external HDD that I can use for backing up my
    desktop.
    > > I'm thinking about going with an external SATA II drive/enclosure. That

    > way
    > > I can upgrade to a bigger disk as needed, and I'd get 3Gps throughput.

    >
    > Nope, that's the peak burst rate of the interface and not the speed of

    the
    > drive. Around 50MB/sec. is tops for today's drives.


    let's see... if 50MB/sec = 400mbps, then an 8-drive RAID 0 array [8*400 =
    3200mbps (or 3.2gbps)] would be needed to max out the capacity of the SATA
    II interface - is this correct?

    >
    > I'm
    > > relatively new to SATA and hope I can field some questions here...
    > >
    > > * Because the external HDD is for backup, I'm worried that if my OS

    > (WinXP)
    > > becomes corrupted, somehow a bit will get flipped on the external drive,

    > or
    > > the MBR of the drive could get messed up - preventing access to my data

    > even
    > > after I reinstall my OS - and bye-bye backup. Is this a valid concern?

    >
    > Yes but obscure. The drive could also be hit by a meteroid.


    Aghh!! Another thing to plan for...

    > An
    > > external USB drive, on the other hand, (although slower) is more

    > independent
    > > from the OS and would be less likely to get messed up after an OS
    > > corruption - is this correct?

    >
    > NO, the same applies either way.


    Perhaps the only way to ameliorate meteoroid risk (and still have decent
    throughput) would be to have 2 PCs connected via GigE interfaces with a
    crossover cable. Then I'd only have to worry about a scenario where TWO
    meteoroids fell - one hitting each PC. Nevertheless, if we entertain a
    50MB/sec ceiling for HDD throughput, the gating factor in data transfer
    (with a single drive) would be the drive. Furthermore, a USB 2.0 interface
    (480mbps) could then be expected perform as well as a GigE interface
    (1000mbps) since the HDD can only handle 400mbps. But I've tested that
    particular scenario by copying the same 1Gb of data from my PC to an
    external USB drive, and between 2 PCs over a GigE link. The results were
    that USB 2.0 took roughly twice as long. I'm not sure how to explain this
    if the interface was NOT the bottleneck... unless the external USB drive was
    significantly slower than the internal HDDs in the PCs.

    > > * Would an external SATA drive be hot-swappable between computers? I

    > would
    > > be using an external SATA port adapter
    > > http://www.cooldrives.com/dual-port-...-sata-ii-.html
    > > that essentially extends the SATA II port on the motherboard to the back

    > of
    > > the case - is it safe to plug/unplug this like a USB port?

    >
    > HW wise it's safe. The OS and driver software is a different issue and

    the
    > answer there varies.


    That makes sense. But the OS and driver can go up in flames as long as my
    data remains inviolate. I can always buy a new PC or install a new driver
    or OS - but I can't replace my data.

    > > * Would I get 3Gps throughput? I've heard that this is only possible

    with
    > a
    > > PCI-X SATA card. Is this true?

    >
    >
    > Nope, not with any card for sustained transfers.


    10-4.

    > > Shouldn't the SATA II controller on the
    > > motherboard provide this throughput?

    >
    > Generally they do for very short bursts.
    >
    >


    Thanks for the reply.



  4. Re: SATA II with external enclosure?


    "deko" wrote in message
    news:bCuue.2953$Bx6.1136@newssvr13.news.prodigy.co m...
    > > > I'm looking for an external HDD that I can use for backing up my

    > desktop.
    > > > I'm thinking about going with an external SATA II drive/enclosure.

    That
    > > way
    > > > I can upgrade to a bigger disk as needed, and I'd get 3Gps throughput.

    > >
    > > Nope, that's the peak burst rate of the interface and not the speed of

    > the
    > > drive. Around 50MB/sec. is tops for today's drives.

    >
    > let's see... if 50MB/sec = 400mbps, then an 8-drive RAID 0 array [8*400 =
    > 3200mbps (or 3.2gbps)] would be needed to max out the capacity of the SATA
    > II interface - is this correct?


    Nope, SATA is not like SCSI. Each SATA II drive is on a separate channel.

    > > I'm
    > > > relatively new to SATA and hope I can field some questions here...
    > > >
    > > > * Because the external HDD is for backup, I'm worried that if my OS

    > > (WinXP)
    > > > becomes corrupted, somehow a bit will get flipped on the external

    drive,
    > > or
    > > > the MBR of the drive could get messed up - preventing access to my

    data
    > > even
    > > > after I reinstall my OS - and bye-bye backup. Is this a valid

    concern?
    > >
    > > Yes but obscure. The drive could also be hit by a meteroid.

    >
    > Aghh!! Another thing to plan for...
    >
    > > An
    > > > external USB drive, on the other hand, (although slower) is more

    > > independent
    > > > from the OS and would be less likely to get messed up after an OS
    > > > corruption - is this correct?

    > >
    > > NO, the same applies either way.

    >
    > Perhaps the only way to ameliorate meteoroid risk (and still have decent
    > throughput) would be to have 2 PCs connected via GigE interfaces with a
    > crossover cable.


    On different continents in granite mines.

    > Then I'd only have to worry about a scenario where TWO
    > meteoroids fell - one hitting each PC. Nevertheless, if we entertain a
    > 50MB/sec ceiling for HDD throughput, the gating factor in data transfer
    > (with a single drive) would be the drive. Furthermore, a USB 2.0

    interface
    > (480mbps) could then be expected perform as well as a GigE interface
    > (1000mbps) since the HDD can only handle 400mbps.


    Both are peak theotetical rates and actual sustained throughput may not get
    there.

    > But I've tested that
    > particular scenario by copying the same 1Gb of data from my PC to an
    > external USB drive, and between 2 PCs over a GigE link. The results were
    > that USB 2.0 took roughly twice as long.


    HUH, what took twice as long as what exactly?

    > I'm not sure how to explain this
    > if the interface was NOT the bottleneck... unless the external USB drive

    was
    > significantly slower than the internal HDDs in the PCs.


    That may be the case. Use external SATA II.
    >
    > > > * Would an external SATA drive be hot-swappable between computers? I

    > > would
    > > > be using an external SATA port adapter
    > > >

    http://www.cooldrives.com/dual-port-...-sata-ii-.html
    > > > that essentially extends the SATA II port on the motherboard to the

    back
    > > of
    > > > the case - is it safe to plug/unplug this like a USB port?

    > >
    > > HW wise it's safe. The OS and driver software is a different issue and

    > the
    > > answer there varies.

    >
    > That makes sense. But the OS and driver can go up in flames as long as my
    > data remains inviolate. I can always buy a new PC or install a new driver
    > or OS - but I can't replace my data.
    >
    > > > * Would I get 3Gps throughput? I've heard that this is only possible

    > with
    > > a
    > > > PCI-X SATA card. Is this true?

    > >
    > >
    > > Nope, not with any card for sustained transfers.

    >
    > 10-4.
    >
    > > > Shouldn't the SATA II controller on the
    > > > motherboard provide this throughput?

    > >
    > > Generally they do for very short bursts.
    > >
    > >

    >
    > Thanks for the reply.
    >
    >




  5. Re: SATA II with external enclosure?

    > > > > I'm looking for an external HDD that I can use for backing up my
    > > desktop.
    > > > > I'm thinking about going with an external SATA II drive/enclosure.

    > That
    > > > way
    > > > > I can upgrade to a bigger disk as needed, and I'd get 3Gps

    throughput.
    > > >
    > > > Nope, that's the peak burst rate of the interface and not the speed

    of
    > > the
    > > > drive. Around 50MB/sec. is tops for today's drives.

    > >
    > > let's see... if 50MB/sec = 400mbps, then an 8-drive RAID 0 array [8*400

    =
    > > 3200mbps (or 3.2gbps)] would be needed to max out the capacity of the

    SATA
    > > II interface - is this correct?

    >
    > Nope, SATA is not like SCSI. Each SATA II drive is on a separate

    channel.

    Does this mean the SATA interface is WAY faster than currently available
    SATA drives? I've heard reports that a SATA II drive on a SATA II interface
    will provide a 7 to 15% increase in throughput over a SATA I drive on a SATA
    I interface (all other things being equal). This is far short of the
    theoretical speed increase of SATA I over SATA II.

    > > > I'm
    > > > > relatively new to SATA and hope I can field some questions here...
    > > > >
    > > > > * Because the external HDD is for backup, I'm worried that if my OS
    > > > (WinXP)
    > > > > becomes corrupted, somehow a bit will get flipped on the external

    > drive,
    > > > or
    > > > > the MBR of the drive could get messed up - preventing access to my

    > data
    > > > even
    > > > > after I reinstall my OS - and bye-bye backup. Is this a valid

    > concern?
    > > >
    > > > Yes but obscure. The drive could also be hit by a meteroid.

    > >
    > > Aghh!! Another thing to plan for...
    > >
    > > > An
    > > > > external USB drive, on the other hand, (although slower) is more
    > > > independent
    > > > > from the OS and would be less likely to get messed up after an OS
    > > > > corruption - is this correct?
    > > >
    > > > NO, the same applies either way.

    > >
    > > Perhaps the only way to ameliorate meteoroid risk (and still have decent
    > > throughput) would be to have 2 PCs connected via GigE interfaces with a
    > > crossover cable.

    >
    > On different continents in granite mines.
    >
    > > Then I'd only have to worry about a scenario where TWO
    > > meteoroids fell - one hitting each PC. Nevertheless, if we entertain a
    > > 50MB/sec ceiling for HDD throughput, the gating factor in data transfer
    > > (with a single drive) would be the drive. Furthermore, a USB 2.0

    > interface
    > > (480mbps) could then be expected perform as well as a GigE interface
    > > (1000mbps) since the HDD can only handle 400mbps.

    >
    > Both are peak theotetical rates and actual sustained throughput may not

    get
    > there.
    >
    > > But I've tested that
    > > particular scenario by copying the same 1Gb of data from my PC to an
    > > external USB drive, and between 2 PCs over a GigE link. The results

    were
    > > that USB 2.0 took roughly twice as long.

    >
    > HUH, what took twice as long as what exactly?


    Copying 1Gb of data from my PC to an external USB drive took twice as long
    as copying the same 1Gb of data from my PC to another PC over a GigE link.

    > > I'm not sure how to explain this
    > > if the interface was NOT the bottleneck... unless the external USB drive

    > was
    > > significantly slower than the internal HDDs in the PCs.

    >
    > That may be the case. Use external SATA II.


    External SATA sounds like the best backup solution - at least for backing up
    data. You could have a script run each night and backup all your data, and
    even maintain rolling "snapshots" of directories replicated each week (if
    you had enough disk space). For backing up your OS/Apps, the way to go
    would be use a separate System disk and clone it periodically with something
    like this: http://www.logicube.com/products/hd_...ation/echo.asp

    > > > > * Would an external SATA drive be hot-swappable between computers?

    I
    > > > would
    > > > > be using an external SATA port adapter
    > > > >

    > http://www.cooldrives.com/dual-port-...-sata-ii-.html
    > > > > that essentially extends the SATA II port on the motherboard to the

    > back
    > > > of
    > > > > the case - is it safe to plug/unplug this like a USB port?
    > > >
    > > > HW wise it's safe. The OS and driver software is a different issue

    and
    > > the
    > > > answer there varies.

    > >
    > > That makes sense. But the OS and driver can go up in flames as long as

    my
    > > data remains inviolate. I can always buy a new PC or install a new

    driver
    > > or OS - but I can't replace my data.
    > >
    > > > > * Would I get 3Gps throughput? I've heard that this is only

    possible
    > > with
    > > > a
    > > > > PCI-X SATA card. Is this true?
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > Nope, not with any card for sustained transfers.

    > >
    > > 10-4.
    > >
    > > > > Shouldn't the SATA II controller on the
    > > > > motherboard provide this throughput?
    > > >
    > > > Generally they do for very short bursts.
    > > >
    > > >

    > >
    > > Thanks for the reply.
    > >
    > >

    >
    >




  6. Re: SATA II with external enclosure?


    "deko" wrote in message
    news:c%vue.2961$Bx6.479@newssvr13.news.prodigy.com ...

    > Does this mean the SATA interface is WAY faster than currently available
    > SATA drives?


    Yep.

    > I've heard reports that a SATA II drive on a SATA II interface
    > will provide a 7 to 15% increase in throughput over a SATA I drive on a

    SATA

    Well any SATA[II] drive that is 7-15% faster than another SATA[II] drive
    will remain that 7-15% faster regardless on which drive is on which
    interface SATA vs SATAII.

    > I interface (all other things being equal). This is far short of the
    > theoretical speed increase of SATA I over SATA II.


    Right, the interface has nothing to do with it except that the interface
    should be faster. Drive speed is primarily determined by the number of user
    sectors per track & RPM AND the average access time.

    > Copying 1Gb of data from my PC to an external USB drive took twice as long
    > as copying the same 1Gb of data from my PC to another PC over a GigE link.


    That bears some further research.

    > External SATA sounds like the best backup solution - at least for backing

    up
    > data. You could have a script run each night and backup all your data,

    and
    > even maintain rolling "snapshots" of directories replicated each week (if
    > you had enough disk space). For backing up your OS/Apps, the way to go
    > would be use a separate System disk and clone it periodically with

    something
    > like this: http://www.logicube.com/products/hd_...ation/echo.asp



    Well the best way is to make a compressed image of the whole drive using
    something like Acronis's TrueImage.




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