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Author Topic: External hard drive suggestions?
CoyoteSD39
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Icon 5 posted April 07, 2008 06:02      Profile for CoyoteSD39     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am looking to get an external hard drive to use as a backup for my stuff...pictures, music, movies. My old design files I burn onto disk once I am done with that project, so any files I would be backing up are current projects.

I'm not looking to spend a whole lot of money right now (under $200), and I'm thinking I'll probably only need 500GB. Obviously, if I can find a good deal, I'll get the larger size. Any suggestions?

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Posts: 29 | From: In the Heart of the Seven Mountains | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged
Moi
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Icon 1 posted April 14, 2008 16:15      Profile for Moi     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am also interested in external hard drives. Can anyone lend an opinion on this topic? I'm interested in the pros/cons, what uses they are good for, cost, best brands, etc. Thanks!
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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 14, 2008 16:52      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
_________________________ While walking through WallMart one day I happened upon an external hard drive enclosure that connected with a USB cable. The price was right and I already had a 80Gig drive to put into the thing. The unit I bought was made by ADS and was not much over twenty five USD. I proceeded to put in the drive and have been happy with its performance. I think the drive I put in there was a Western Digital.

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Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5836 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
fs

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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2008 00:26      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Like MoMan said, I use an enclosure with my own drive in it.

Newegg.com generally has reasonable prices, and I've been happy with everything I've ordered there. They also have the useful feature of allowing users to rate/review items. The rating and number of comments are shown under the picture of the item on the left.

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Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2008 02:39      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I second fs and MoMan - I've been using a cheap external case from ebuyer.com (can't currently find it on the site) and a 120Gb hdd for almost four years now.
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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2008 03:58      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
______________________ It appears that the brand I have is no longer made. It does appear in the legacy products list.

http://www.adstech.com/products/intro/products.asp

However I must have found fifty other brands and types USB, USB2, Firewire, So I guess go shopping for an External Drive Enclosure, pop in the drive you want and then you're set.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5836 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moi
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2008 22:13      Profile for Moi     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What does that mean exactly-- an enclosure with your own drive in it?
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Mr. Dave
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2008 23:19      Profile for Mr. Dave     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Basically, you buy a case with a power supply (either internal to the case, or an external transformer), a USB or FireWire or eSATA or whatever port on the back, and a (usually) ATA connector inside, but no actual drive. You also buy a standard internal hard drive, which fits inside the case about the same way it would fit inside the system unit.

A couple months ago, I got a bigger HD for my laptop. I also bought an external USB/FireWire case for the old drive, which cost around $60 CDN.

Big hard drives are cheap and getting cheaper; mounting one inside an external case is economical and easy if you know one end of the screwdriver from the other.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2008 23:57      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you buy a pre-packaged external drive, be aware that the backup software that comes with it is probably crap.

For example, the FAQ for the software that comes with my Maxtor One-Touch 4 has a long list of things it doesn't back up, including 'hidden' files and email.

Worse than useless.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Moi
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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2008 07:13      Profile for Moi     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So because I know virtually nothing about this topic, what would you all recommend as the best pick for me to back up music and pictures?
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fs

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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2008 11:10      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Moi:
So because I know virtually nothing about this topic, what would you all recommend as the best pick for me to back up music and pictures?

1. Go to that link I posted above.
2. Pick an enclosure that is reasonably priced and has good reviews.
3. Repeat #2 for a hard drive that fits in the enclosure. (The specs on the enclosure tell you what size.)
4. Wait for them to be delivered.
5. Put the drive in the enclosure. (The enclosure will come with directions.)
6. Plug it into your computer. It'll probably just work, but if you need to install software, it should come with the enclosure.

If that's not succinct enough, I suggest you do some research.

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Posts: 1973 | From: The Cat Ship | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moi
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2008 22:16      Profile for Moi     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fs:
quote:
Originally posted by Moi:
So because I know virtually nothing about this topic, what would you all recommend as the best pick for me to back up music and pictures?

1. Go to that link I posted above.
2. Pick an enclosure that is reasonably priced and has good reviews.
3. Repeat #2 for a hard drive that fits in the enclosure. (The specs on the enclosure tell you what size.)
4. Wait for them to be delivered.
5. Put the drive in the enclosure. (The enclosure will come with directions.)
6. Plug it into your computer. It'll probably just work, but if you need to install software, it should come with the enclosure.

If that's not succinct enough, I suggest you do some research.

No, that's good. Thank you very much, that is very helpful. [Smile]
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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 23, 2008 10:40      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____________________________ Moi & Coyote SD while walking through Wall-Mart today I found in the computer section, a whole shelf of external HDs. From 80Gigs to 500Gigs all less than the two hundred target price.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5836 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Tom- geeking around

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Icon 1 posted April 24, 2008 05:05      Profile for Tom- geeking around   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I recently bought an external HDD too.
It was a Western Digital MyBook Pro with 320 gigs. Since I only have USB 1.1 and FW400 I definitely needed the "pro" version - which means it'll come with FireWire400 and FW800 ports in addition to the mandatory USB2. I guess it cost me around 120 bucks.

I am quite pleased with the performance, and 320 gigs is four times my current desktop's capacity, so I shouldn't run into capacity trouble.
The drive itself is very quiet and easy to use.

Although some people know, I think I better say it.
Even though it's called "external" HDD, it doesn't mean "portable". HDDs don't want to be moved, this also applies to external HDDs.
So just put it someplace, where it won't be pushed off the desk, where you won't accidentally get caught in a wire and pull the HDD from the desk.
And then, don't move it.
I didn't use the included software, as I only want to backup my music, photos and pr0n. I want to do this myself instead of having another application do it, which means less HDD space and more clogged up resources.
Oh, and be aware that external HDDs can fail too, so don't just save all your stuff to the HDD without having your data in at least one more place.

Either way, whatever suits your needs. Compare prices and get what you need.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted April 24, 2008 07:45      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A few months ago, I paid a mere $90 or so, bought 2 cheap aluminum USB2 external harddrive enclosures, and a pair of 500GB disks. Works well enough for me, and it was cheap.
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tweety
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Icon 1 posted April 24, 2008 12:43      Profile for tweety   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'll throw my $0.02 in here. And, hey, now that the Euro is down against the US $, that $0.02 might actually be worth something.

A couple of years back I bought an Acomdata external Firewire 400/USB 2 aluminum enclosure. It has no fan, just passively radiates the drive heat. I put in a Seagate 250 GB drive, and all seems well. Except that the drive itself is fairly noisy and without access to the SMART reporting and data, it's nigh impossible to know the health of the HDD. I'm currently running TechTool Pro's surface scan test as I've got a feeling something's amiss. Either that, or Apple's latest 10.4.11 update has made the system goofy.

Aside from Tom- geeking around's advice I would add what I said above, no easy access to the SMART info, especially, it seems, for us Mac users. But, I use the drive as my boot drive for my mini, and it is a lot faster than the original 4500 RPM internal drive.

drunkennewfiemidget - If I may ask, where did you get the drives and who's the manufacturer?

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted April 24, 2008 18:41      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
1 US$ = 0.637

That's um...very good?

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 24, 2008 18:56      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I had to restrain myself this week, the local dodgy-brothers computer discounter had 1 terabyte external drives on sale for $A350 ($US330).

I have no real need for a drive that big, but I'm a bloke, size is important.

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fs

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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2008 03:06      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tom- geeking around:
Although some people know, I think I better say it.
Even though it's called "external" HDD, it doesn't mean "portable". HDDs don't want to be moved, this also applies to external HDDs.

You can alleviate that some by getting one that uses HDDs designed to be portable (like the ones in laptops). I prefer to leave mine sitting though, and I certainly wouldn't recommend toting around the backup solution. Thumbdrives have enough capacity and are for more portable, if somebody just wants to carry some files around.

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Posts: 1973 | From: The Cat Ship | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2008 11:28      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by tweety:
I'll throw my $0.02 in here. And, hey, now that the Euro is down against the US $, that $0.02 might actually be worth something.

A couple of years back I bought an Acomdata external Firewire 400/USB 2 aluminum enclosure. It has no fan, just passively radiates the drive heat. I put in a Seagate 250 GB drive, and all seems well. Except that the drive itself is fairly noisy and without access to the SMART reporting and data, it's nigh impossible to know the health of the HDD. I'm currently running TechTool Pro's surface scan test as I've got a feeling something's amiss. Either that, or Apple's latest 10.4.11 update has made the system goofy.

Aside from Tom- geeking around's advice I would add what I said above, no easy access to the SMART info, especially, it seems, for us Mac users. But, I use the drive as my boot drive for my mini, and it is a lot faster than the original 4500 RPM internal drive.

drunkennewfiemidget - If I may ask, where did you get the drives and who's the manufacturer?

SMART is mostly smoke and mirrors anyway.

I bought it from a Canadian distributor called Canada Computers. The drives are Western Digitals. It was some crazy sale they were having. The enclosures were ~$8 ea.

(Also, that was $90 per drive, not for both. I reread it and realise that was kind of ambiguous.)

Posts: 4897 | From: Cambridge, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
masterdoko
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2008 17:15      Profile for masterdoko     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
i have a WD mybook one the normal 250GB ones....

i can say for your needs they seem to be sturdy....

they're pretty lightweight...

and i've dropped mine about 4 times currently the

enclosure is broken in on one side and IT WORKS

PERFECTLY!!!!

otherwise from this point i'm thinking of buying

one of those small USB powered external HD for

university.

Posts: 8 | From: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted April 28, 2008 09:09      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by masterdoko:
i have a WD mybook one the normal 250GB ones....

i can say for your needs they seem to be sturdy....

they're pretty lightweight...

and i've dropped mine about 4 times currently the

enclosure is broken in on one side and IT WORKS

PERFECTLY!!!!

otherwise from this point i'm thinking of buying

one of those small USB powered external HD for

university.

What did

your enter key

ever do to

you to deserve

such abuse?!

Posts: 4897 | From: Cambridge, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged


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