External hard drive recommendations

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Rotgirl
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External hard drive recommendations

#1

Post by Rotgirl » Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:37 pm

Decided to go ahead and buy an external hard drive for back up and portablility. Recommendations?

Ciao ya'll......rg

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Mithras61
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Re: External hard drive recommendations

#2

Post by Mithras61 » Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:49 pm

Depends. How much space do you need? I have a Maxtor 320GB and am Accudata 750GB that have both been rock solid. Some folks prefer other (e.g. - Seagate, Western Digital) hard drives.

You might think about a drive enclosure that can hold whatever drive you decide to add. It's sort of an external USB- or eSATA connected box that you plug a hard drive into, and many can hold more than one hard drive (useful for adding more later when you discover you guessed too small...).

It may also be worthwhile to set up a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) drive if you have more than one system that needs to share access. NAS enclosures are reasonably cheap, and you can outfit it with standard hard drives to meet your needs.

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Rotgirl
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Re: External hard drive recommendations

#3

Post by Rotgirl » Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:39 pm

I'm leaning toward a Maxtor but wanted to see what others recommended.

I'm going to be sharing between my desktop and my laptop.......do I need anything special to be able to do this? I know NOTHING about these things.....

Ciao ya'll.....rg


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Re: External hard drive recommendations

#4

Post by dicion » Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:48 pm

Rotgirl wrote:I'm leaning toward a Maxtor but wanted to see what others recommended.

I'm going to be sharing between my desktop and my laptop.......do I need anything special to be able to do this? I know NOTHING about these things.....

Ciao ya'll.....rg
If you're going to just be doing that, and both your laptop and desktop have E-sata connectors, use that instead of USB. Mucho Faster.

Other than that, if thats all you're doing with it, any reliable decent brand in a decent enclosure should do.


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Re: External hard drive recommendations

#5

Post by neilp » Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:50 pm

I've used just about every brand of USB connected drive there is. In my opinion there is little to choose regarding the brand. The important factor is the connections. Some require an external power supply, some do not. Some use one USB connection, others use two.

If you do not need portability I would choose a drive that uses an external power supply. USB connected drives are performance limited not just by the USB connection's bandwidth but also by the amount of power it can supply to the drive. If you want the drive to be independent from a power supply I suggest getting one that uses two USB connections. The second USB connector is only used to supply power. You can usually use the dual USB type with one USB connector but at reduced transfer rates.

The drives connected by one USB port are significantly slower in my experience. Something a little better than half the speed of the dual USB type. You will want to make sure that your PC has USB 2.0 type ports. The previous USB 1.1 standard was considerably slower and would be painful if used often with an external drive. USB 2.0 is 40x faster than USB 1.1
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Re: External hard drive recommendations

#6

Post by C-dub » Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:48 pm

I have Western Digital 1 Terabyte drive and love it. I store videos from my camera and do back-ups to it. I'm thinking about getting two more. One just for videos and another for my wife to back-up her computer. I'll move all the videos from the current one to one of the new ones.

There are also networkable drives from WD that work with a wireless router.
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Re: External hard drive recommendations

#7

Post by Russell » Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:28 pm

I purchased a Western Digital MyBook and have no issues with it. When I upgraded my laptop to a brand new desktop, I actually ended up taking the enclosure apart and pulling the drive out of it to put it inside the desktop instead.

WD makes good stuff. I would stay far away from Maxtor imo. I haven't had good luck with their drives at all.
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Re: External hard drive recommendations

#8

Post by Mithras61 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:38 am

Russell wrote:I purchased a Western Digital MyBook and have no issues with it. When I upgraded my laptop to a brand new desktop, I actually ended up taking the enclosure apart and pulling the drive out of it to put it inside the desktop instead.

WD makes good stuff. I would stay far away from Maxtor imo. I haven't had good luck with their drives at all.
Bad luck with Maxtor drives? Interesting. I've been using them with no problems for over 20 years, but you can definitely get bad clusters (I know someone who got 5 bad WDs in a row, swapped to Seagates and no problems, and another friend who won't use Seagates because he had a similar issue in reverse).

I think the biggest thing is to go with what you are comfortable with in a regular first-rank name brand (WD, Seagate, Maxtor). It simply isn't worth the extra hassle of off brands if you aren't in the industry. Make sure that whatever you get will connect to both systems you want to attach it to. Typical connections are eSATA (external SATA), USB 2.0 and USB1.1, in order of performance. If you can use one, try to find an eSATA drive (they generally performs as as well as an internal hard drive, and most also have a USB connection, which is slower but generally has wider compatibility).

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Re: External hard drive recommendations

#9

Post by Rotgirl » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:38 am

Ok. I'm pretty computer illiterate.....what does a eSATA look like?

My desktop is about 4-5 years old....would it have that type connector?

Ciao ya'll.....rg

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Re: External hard drive recommendations

#10

Post by Mithras61 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:48 am

Rotgirl wrote:Ok. I'm pretty computer illiterate.....what does a eSATA look like?

My desktop is about 4-5 years old....would it have that type connector?

Ciao ya'll.....rg
An eSATA conenctor looks a lot like a USB connector on the connector itself, but it is usually marked eSATA or eSATA/USB. I've attached a graphic that shows a network, eSATA/USB, Standard USB and an IEEE 1394/Firewire connector.
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Re: External hard drive recommendations

#11

Post by Russell » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:38 am

At 5 years old, it very well may not have one.

As far as speed goes, if you aren't constantly moving files back and forth from the HD to your computer, USB 2.0 will give you the speed that you'll need. At least I never felt speed deprived with my USB 2.0 HD.
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Re: External hard drive recommendations

#12

Post by TheArmedFarmer » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:58 am

I have a USB enclosure that I use and I love it! The nice thing about these things is that you can always just buy a new disk and put it into the enclosure and you're good to go. It's perfect for moving files around and making backups.
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Re: External hard drive recommendations

#13

Post by particle » Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:13 pm

I've used the Western Digital Passport for several years, and love it. They're small, and easy to transport, and I take mine with me anytime I leave the house (in case my house burns down). It's always in my Maxpedition Versipack until I need to use it. When I'm done, it goes right back in. My pack goes everywhere with me, thus I never have to remember to carry the drive with me for true backup protection.

The E-SATA connection is great, but I find the USB connection much more versatile. For example, my work computer doesn't have the E-SATA connection, but I can still use the USB to access my files from almost any computer in the world that has a USB jack.

Another thing I like about that Passport - it's powered by the USB cable, so no need to carry around an extra power cord.
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Re: External hard drive recommendations

#14

Post by WarHawk-AVG » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:30 pm

Stuff like this

http://www.microcenter.com/single_produ ... id=0316521" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.microcenter.com/search/searc ... p=byopc_hd&" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.frys.com/category/Outpost/Ha ... rives/USB/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: External hard drive recommendations

#15

Post by Mithras61 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:36 pm

WarHawk-AVG wrote:Stuff like this

http://www.microcenter.com/single_produ ... id=0316521" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.microcenter.com/search/searc ... p=byopc_hd&" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.frys.com/category/Outpost/Ha ... rives/USB/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Actually, I was thinking more like these. :biggrinjester:

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