External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Naicidrac, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. Naicidrac

    Naicidrac TPF Noob!

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    Hello,
    I have been filling up my large hard drive and am shopping for an external hard drive just for photos. I look in the Sunday newspaper ads and see all the external hard drives, but I wanted to ask you guys which ones you prefer. As far a size goes, I will have to think about how much I want to spend, but I just wanted to ask you guys if there was a brand that you thought was better than another. I have heard that some are noisy and some are quiet, etc... I really don't think I will need a smaller portable one, but just one to sit next to my PC. Thanks for any help that you guys can offer me.
     
  2. ReKooH

    ReKooH TPF Noob!

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    I have a 90gig Seadisk Isnt really that load or i haven't noticed it yet .. Can't remeber how much i bought it for but i picked it up for cheap i sorta wish i got a 200gig
     
  3. droyz2000

    droyz2000 TPF Noob!

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    I have a Western Digital MyBook and I really love it. I have had it for 8 months and have not had a single problem with it. Western Digital, Maxtor, and Seagate are some very reputable names in the hard-drive industry.
     
  4. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    maxtor does not exist anymore i thought.

    i mostly go for seagate... also for the really large ones beyond 500 GB :) never been dissappointed in the last 10 years.
     
  5. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    oh, and best buy some external harddrive case and then buy the drive and mount it yourself ... much more fun, cheaper, and you know what drive you bought and installed :)
     
  6. droyz2000

    droyz2000 TPF Noob!

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    Alex you are right, Seagate bought out Maxtor. My bad.
     
  7. sfaribault

    sfaribault TPF Noob!

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  8. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    but do you need ethernet for that purpose?

    do we know which brand harddisk they use in there?
     
  9. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Mine won't appeal to you because it goes on a network. However, I will say that it is quite slow - even when compared to hard drives in other computers on the network. It is a 2 drive unit (HP Media Vault) with a pair of 300GB SATA Seagates mirrored on a 100bps ethernet. The mirroring probably contributes to the slow speed. But be prepared for significantly slower performance than you have with your internal drive. Not a big deal for archiving but it is if you plan to use the drive a lot.

    The alternative is to replace your internal drive with a larger one or add a second one. Much cheaper and faster.
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My rule of thumb.... Always plan on purchasing TWO drives for archival use. As fmw does... mirror.. Drives go bad all the time and usually unexpectedly.

    If you choose not to mirror, plan on a backup strategy and routine to another media... tape, archival quality CD-Rs / DVD-Rs.

    Large externals like 500GB or 1TB usually have two drives installed inside. Many have software and hardware to support mirroring. Look for those features to simplify the whole process.

    If you run Mac OS X, the operating system itself has the ability to mirror and stripe drives. Works pretty easily.

    If you use network attached storage, don't plan on it being your main working area. 100bt ethernet is pretty slow and even worse if you are running over wireless.

    Firewire is faster (but a little more expensive) than USB. Firewire 800 (usually on large externals) work fine as workspace. To run firewire on PC's you'll most likely have to buy a firewire adapter and install it. Most MACs have USB and firewire preinstalled. SATA is faster than both USB and Firewire.

    If you have an older machine that only has USB 1.0. Forget about running external storage on that port.... You'll be old by the time the files transfer. For USB, USB 2.0 is the minimum.

    Don't forget about UPS..... if you have it... make sure you install the software to safely shutdown machines when a powerfailure is detected.

    I like seagate and western digital brands although it is not unusual to get a bad batch of drives from either. I've had problems with Maxtors which are still sold under their own name still. A Samsung drive failed intermittently on me within a few months. Acomdata externals are very cheap and usually undercut other brand's price points. I was hesitant but I have two 250GB external firewire drives from them that have been working fine for about 1 year now. I have them mirrored simply because I don't trust any hard drive... from any brand. BTW... customer support from Acomdata is horrible.

    If you don't mind additional work on your part, buying a case and installing the drive is a very good option. Remember... any brand of external drive that is not Maxtor, Seagate, Hitachi, Western Digital, (am I missing any others) are just manufacturing the external case. What is inside is actually one of those brands.
     
  11. Nekoism

    Nekoism TPF Noob!

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    Alex_B has the right idea. I received a computer from my sis when she bought a new one. I took out the hard drive and bought an enclosure for it. I then formatted it using mac OS X. Works flawlessly and if I ever decide that the capacity I have is not enough I can always buy a new hard drive and drop it in place of the existing one.
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you have an old or dead external drive, you can rip out the drive inside and replace it with something bigger as well.
     

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