i emailed andrew something similar to this and he was nice enough to respond. but then i thought of a few more questions, and not wanting to tie up his time i figured i will throw it out to the forum. who knows, maybe some other noob can gain some insight! BTW this is my third post this month, and i should disappear now for a long time again. but i certainly appreciate the help from all of you! i am going to get an external usb hard driveto back up my VB appliance. are there any rules on what to get and not to get or will any usb one do? this one is the one i have been looking at http://tinyurl.co/6frtu5 - seems cheap enough. do i just plug it in out of the box and back up or should i format it/set it up on my pc first? and if i ever need to restore my files do i just plug the exhdd into the vortexbox usb or do i drag and drop the files over my network? thanx again.