DIY external storage

#1
About a year ago, I spent a lot of $$ with a service to recover data from a dead-ish external USB drive. I generally buy Seagate or WD and want to retire them after 2 years or so. Too short? Too long?

I’m considering rolling my own, so this is to solicit recommendations for bare drives, enclosures, & what-not, to build my own drives. This is first.

Second, how about an offline gizmo to clone one drive to another? Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but it takes a long time to copy a 1+TB drive to another.
 
#3
I echo that about OWC. I don't think you would go wrong with OWC, (although they tend to be higher priced) And, in my experience, OWC has good customer support. You can purchase external drive enclosures loaded, or ready to load with whatever storage you want to put in.

I am considering one of those dual drive docks. Some are available as one-button copiers. Stick two drives in, press the button, and it copies one drive to another. It's bit-to-bit, so it doesn't matter how the drive is formatted, or what operating system made the original. It just makes a full copy.

Comment: It's your money, but a hard drive should be "trustworthy" for more than 2 years. The last "loaded" external that I bought was a 1TB Iomega, bought about 10 years ago, which started getting a little noisy, and I replaced the original Samsung 1TB with a WD blue 2TB. It has a bunch of installers, and about 16 partitions, most of which are bootable. I have about 6 other enclosures, some with permanent drives inside, others that I swap out for customer backups, or to get software installed from old backups. Some of the drives are more than 15 years old, but most are rarely in regular use.
I think you should expect that an external drive should last 5 to 8 years, with maybe 5 years as a more reasonable "retire" life - even if the drive is in daily use. Just my opinion...
 
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