Need new external hard drive for data backups.

Discussion in 'Windows XP Hardware' started by XPjonesboy, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. XPjonesboy


    Apr 18, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Hi All,

    I've been using a Western Digital 250Gb 'MyBook' external hard drive for a number of years now to back-up data from my
    Windows XPpro desktop machine. Given its age (nearly 5 yrs)and the fact that the drive is almost filled up, I really need to switch to a newer, higher capacity external drive (preferably 2-4 Tb) but am having a lot of trouble finding one that will be compatible with my XPpro OS. Can anyone offer any advice regarding brands, models and workarounds to get the larger capacity drives to play nice with good 'ol XP?

    Any help appreciated.

    XPjonesboy, Apr 18, 2018
  2. XPjonesboy


    Mar 30, 2016
    Likes Received:
    I recently bought a 1T 3½" WD drive (on sale 44 bucks). The specs dont include XP, however, they (so far) all still work with XP. Format it with an XP machine. I plugged one (with lots of data) into my '10' laptop (via esata), B. Gates demons totally trashed it. lost everything!. Had to start over with XP.

    fwiw, I dont like the idea of more than 1T data on one drive, 4-6 T hdds, a whole lotta data lost in one fell swoop, , , , ,
    cornemuse, Apr 18, 2018
  3. XPjonesboy


    Jan 13, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Tampa, Florida, USA
    Most important rule of backups- always have your data on 2 drives minimum and store one in a different physical location.

    On XP, 2TB is the max supported (Paragon did have a driver available that claimed to allow larger GPT formatted drives on XP, its no longer sold though). You'll need a newer OS for >2TB.

    XP isn't typically listed in compatibility charts these days but drives 2TB or less work just fine. Do format it on XP.

    I've not formatted a drive on Windows 10, but it wouldn't surprise me if it had issues working on XP. I have plugged a 2TB drive into Win10 and later plugged it into XP without issue (it was formatted on XP).

    I've noticed the 3.5" drives tend to be more reliable long term than the 2.5" drives (possibly due to the typically lower data density on 3.5" drives). I do like the 2.5" form factor though (it's tiny).

    I've bought about 50 of the Seagate 2TB 2.5" STEA2000400 USB 2.0/3.0 drives over the past 3 years (about ~$65 on Amazon) for use on XP, 2000, Win7, and Win10. They're really tiny and don't use much power. Most of them, I've taken apart for the 2.5" SATA drive inside (half the cost of buying a bare drive), to use in a RAID1 set on the 3Ware 9650SE (highly reliable RAID card, up to 16 ports, and available on eBay at a fraction of its original cost- LSI and Adaptec are seriously crap at handling errors or drive failures). I wipe/test all drives with HD Sentinel before use.

    Despite the high data density of the STEA2000400, I've had only one unrecoverable read error on one used externally (I had at least 4 copies of the data, so no loss). One totally failed after 2 years. It happens. Compared to 15 years ago, when ~50% of non-Seagate or IBM drives failed in less than 3 years, modern drives (any brand) are very reliable. I'm now seeing about 5% bad after 6 years of 24/7 operation, which is pretty decent but still not 0%, thus the 2 backups minimum rule.
    Sixthofmay, Jul 11, 2018
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