Network storage drive(s)

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Good evening everyone, I would like to install some sort of backup solution for my home network. Here is my network: (1) Windows 7 desktop, (1) Windows 7 laptop, (1) Windows Vista laptop and (1) Windows XP desktop connected through a combination of wireless and hard-wired to a Linksys Cisco wireless router. The XP computer happens to be housed in a fairly large computer tower with numerous slots for extra hard drives and a nice large 400watt power supply. I have a few spare hard drives laying around from 160GB-300GB. Can I install one or two of these spare hard drives into the XP machine and make them "public/network" hard drives that the other computers will have access to in order to backup data from the other machines? Thanks.
 
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1,645
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SF Bay Area
Invest in a RAID array, they come in different flavors and sizes.. best ones are the ones that come without drives, you can buy any size drive you want, like 4 3gb units, which could give you 12 gigs without any redundancy, or 9gb in a RAID5 setup which would allow for 1 drive as a hot swap. chances of more than 1 drive dying at the same time is extremely slim. If anything though, you can get a cheap hard drive enclosure with an ethernet jack on it, plug it into your LAN and use it as a goto drive for important stuff. Also.. I always recommend a battery backup/UPS unit. biggest killer of electronics is brownouts and surges. a basic powre strip doesn't do much. a UPS will keep the voltage at a constant and when power goes out it'll keep things up for maybe 20minutes of time, give or take.
 
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2,120
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Southeast Michigan
You could plug the extra drives into your XP box, set up shares, and then map your other machines to them. That'd be cheap and easy since you already have everything. EricF's suggestion of a RAID array is a good one, but more costly. We have a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo that we use in our office and it's been really good. Does your Cisco router have a USB port to which you could attach an external hard drive. If so, you could go that route. I recently purchased a 2 TB Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desktop Hard Drive at Costco for under $100.
 
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1,451
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Grand Rapids, MI
I've been looking at getting a network drive also. For sharing files in a safe RAID with the addtional ability to backup to a USB HDD for offsite storage. This would allow me to go with smaller drives for the computers. The Synology 2-drive DS211J looks pretty appealing to me. Anyone have any experience with Synology drives? I already have two 1TB USB drives I rotate offsite that I would still use to backup up the Synology RAID. Thoughts?
 

GMFan

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Wow. I spent an hour and installed a 160GB HD I had laying around into the XP machine. I installed the drive into the tray, slid it into a hard drive bay, connected power and IDE cable (this computer is old) and formatted in NTFS. Then I set to sharing and mapped the drive onto the other computers. All computers now have the network drive located in 'My Computer' That was easy! What's really nice too is that my Lenovo laptop has a one key backup button on it which opens backup software. I can now image the HD onto the network drive. Only downside is that the XP machine limits the drive to 127GB. The machine specs are as follows (built this machine back in 2003): AMD 64 2800+ 1.8GHz 768MB RAM Chaintech Motherboard (2) 160GB HDs (1 local, 1 for the network storage) 400watt power supply It has three more hard drive bays available too. I was going to install a 300GB drive but the 127GB limit made me install only a 160GB HD. I love server cases! What finally got me serious about backing up my data is we had a server HD fail at work today....luckily we have CDPs networked which continually back up the data in the office and offsite. I've had a HD fail on my personally a few years ago but always procrastinate backing up my data...and I hate dealing with external hard drives. Doing it through the network is 1000x easier. edit: Ok, I already noticed a downside. Moving 50GB of my music from my laptop (wirelessly) to the other computer is SLOW. But hey, it was a free solution.
 
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Do you (or others) have your stuff backed up and stored off site in case of fire, tornado, or other disasters? I ask, because you seem concerned to not lose your data.
 

GMFan

Thread starter
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NC
Originally Posted By: doitmyself
Do you (or others) have your stuff backed up and stored off site in case of fire, tornado, or other disasters? I ask, because you seem concerned to not lose your data.
I backup mainly out of convenience. If my data were lost it would be more of an inconvenience than a disaster.
 
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