What External Hard Drives do You All Use?

Hawaii Five-O

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What external hard drives have you all found reliable? Today I purchsed a SimpleTech portable drive to back up my photos, but it was defective right from the store as see in my other thread. A few years ago I had a maxtor external that kicked the bucket after a year. Seagate , Maxtor, and Western Digital are generally good drives but the reviews for their externals I have read isn't very good. I replaced the simpltech with a Western Digital Lifebook Essential today and am going to try that:confused:. Its reviews are also mediocre but so are the majority of the other brands. I'm not sure what the problem with these drives, if they over heat too much or what
 
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Alpha

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Have a Seagate that's never failed me.
 
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Hawaii Five-O

Hawaii Five-O

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What model is your drive? Oh and what size is it, and how long have you had it?
 

Alpha

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It's a slightly older USB 2.0 I bought about a year ago on the cheap. 150gig. I'm looking at it and I have no idea what model it is. It's not one of the portable ones, I can tell you that much.
 

iflynething

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I had the SimpleTech 320GB and it puckered out on me a month ago. I haven't send it in for a replacement. I bought it from Best Buy in February and had about 80GB of photos, music and stuff on it........ It was not recognized by My computer, Best Buys 3 computers, and a friends computer

~Michael~
 

deanimator

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Just read the reviews very carefully at the time you are ready to buy.

What has been happening is, a manufacturer builds up a solid reputation (Western Digital or Seagate for example), then decides to outsource production to a village factory in the far East. Quality suffers but nobody catches on for several years because users tend to rave on about how good the gadget it that they bought, based solely on the name.
 

clarinetJWD

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Avoid Western DIgital, I've had way too many failed HDs by them. FOr me the best option is to buy a cheap sata drive from a good manufacturer (I like Samsung and Seagate the best), then an enclosure (I wanted eSATA), and put it together itself.

For premade ones, I really like WDs enclosures, but question the drives themselves. A lot of no name namufacturers are using quite good drives inside (I have an acomdata brand 250GB drive, uses a Maxtor HD), so do some research, and you can find some really good deals.
 

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There are a lot of companies building little NAS (network attached storage) devices that you can purchase and put any hard drive you want into. Most of these support RAID, so you can ensure your data exists on more than one drive (most of them are just two drives that mirror each other), so you're safe if one ever fails. I have a little Linksys one that I paid a little over $100 for, it attaches to your home network, and I put a pair of Western Digital 500gb SATA drives in it. I've been really happy with it, although it cost a bit more than your average external drive.
 

Paul M

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About a year ago I got a Seagate FreeAgent Pro 500gig USB2 external and at that time it was about $149.00 USD if I remember correctly. So far, it hasnt failed me and in the next few months I am probably going to look into the same model in the 1TB flavor. You can find the model I have HERE. I hope this helps and good luck in whatever you decide.
 

kundalini

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I have one 300GB Seagate and was going to buy a 1TB this Sunday, but Tigerdirect store was out of stock. Will get as soon as poss.

[EDIT] Forgot that I also have a 160GB Maxtor. Still going with Seagate on the next one though.
 
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dl4449

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1 Seagate 500 meg & 1Maxtor 500 meg I think seagate and maxtor are the same.
I backup one to the other
Troy
 

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Inside every external drive unit you'll find generally either a Seagate, Hitatchi, Western digital, Samsung or Fujitsu hard drive. In my experience no single make is any more reliable than the other and believe me I've seen all of them fail catastrophically - i.e. no chance of data recovery except by an expensive and specialist data recovery firm.

The problem with hard drives is that it's practically impossible to tell when it's going to fail. Sometimes you'll be lucky and have intermittent read/write problems and be able to recover data. Most of the time the drive will just suddenly give up. SMART monitoring helps sometimes, but this is only available if the drive is connected directly to a eSATA/SATA/ATA interface on the computer. With a USB or Firewire connected HD SMART info is not available.

If you have an external HD that is suddenly not recognisable by the computer there is a possibility that the Bridge has failed - the bridge is circut board that coverts SATA/ATA to Firewire/USB. In this event your data is probably safe and the drive just needs to be transferred to another drive enclosure.

With hard drives it's not a question of "If it will fail" but of "When it will fail".

Do not use a Hard Disk for archiving - use CDs/DVDs. Although these come with their own problems they are a lot safer.

And always backup

Trust me on this - I've seen enough small businesses go to the wall and students in tears due to an HD failure, no back up, and no chance of affording a professional data recovery firms fees.
 

Fangman

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The answer is TOO MANY! I have a chain of drives connected going back over the years but so far no real problems and I tend to keep with Imoga - back-ups on more than one - just in case.
 

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