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Old 15. Aug 2010, 03:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default External HDD ROTs

I am looking at setting up an external hard drives on 2 PCs for different purposes and I was wondering if there were any Rules of Thumb (ROTs) that I should take a look at first.

I have purchased USB hard drives in the past without any regard for the purpose in which they were intended. As an example, I thought all ext HDD's were bootable once a backup app or Image creator app did its magic. I discovered after the fact that my LaCie 500GB unit is a storage device only (by design) and can never be made bootable. I also thought bigger had to be better (but maybe not for the purpose I had in mind).

The two scenarios...

1. One yr old Laptop, internal 320GB HDD, W7/32 installed
Would like to purchase a new external HDD (I have 2 USB 2.0 ports). On this unit I would like to install W7/64 (to boot from) and also use it to for my W7/32 backups.

2. 8 yr old laptop, 40GB HDD, XP/Pro SP3 installed (USB 1.1 only)
Want to try out Linux here. I do not know how best to address this scenario as the internal HDD is also 8yr old. An external HDD seems like a reasonable investment as it can be used on another PC at a later date. The BIOS supports removable drives.

What ROTs should I consider?
For OS recovery purposes: smaller GB size & keep only one OS on the unit?
Terabyte units: good investment (place to keep multiple OS images) or dumb idea for backup/recovery purposes?
Implementation: Not sure if booting directly from an ext HDD is a good thing or not. I understand the BIOS has to be set to allow this, but should it only be considered a temporary use, i.e. to recover only. The internal HDD should be set as the primary asap?
OS considerations: not sure that I am allowed to have W/32 and W7/64 licensed to the same laptop (I do have 2 separate legit licenses). I am sure there are other OS dependencies (no, not sure actually!).
Best setup: Know nothing about the setting up of primary and slaves (not sure if this applicable in either of my scenarios!).

The above are questions that I have asked myself (research has not helped all that much) and I am sure there are some very important ones that I am not considering. I don't even know the difference between a portable external HDD and an external desktop HDD (they list separately on electronic sites, but look the same to me).
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