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Buying external hard drive...help?
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January 9, 2011
3:44 PM
Jyo
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Hello all,

I am looking to buy an external hard drive, from 500GB-1TB, with a reasonable price. I'm no expert in this area, so is there any specific thing I should look for when buying one? I've also heard that usb powered hard drives are slower than those with an external power source? Recommendations would be appreciated.

 

One thing I do know is that Western Digital makes good external hard drives.

January 9, 2011
4:00 PM
Locutus
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Jyo said:

Hello all,

I am looking to buy an external hard drive, from 500GB-1TB, with a reasonable price. I'm no expert in this area, so is there any specific thing I should look for when buying one? I've also heard that usb powered hard drives are slower than those with an external power source? Recommendations would be appreciated.

 

One thing I do know is that Western Digital makes good external hard drives.


I don't have any specific suggestions, but do any of your computers have eSATA or firewire ports?  If they do, then you can get 3Gbps or 800Mbps speeds respectively (lower in real use).  Alternatively, do have any computers with USB 3.0 ports?  With USB 3.0 you can get 5.0Gbps speeds (closer to 3.2Gbps in real use). 

If you don't have USB 3.0, eSATA, or Firewire, then you don't have to think about those things. :P

Oh, the site that was :(
January 9, 2011
5:07 PM
Casey
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I would recommend Western Digital's 1TB drive. I bought it two years ago, and no problems at all.

 

When looking for a drive, the best thing to do is to figure out how much space you need. The amount of space varies for the type of content you save on it. My drive is basically for ripped DVD's, games , and other multimedia, so I went with the larger drive. If you are saving work on it (such as word documents or presentations), I would go with the smaller drive, usually because you won't need much space. Also, you should take into account how much portability is needed. If you plan on taking your drive to numerous locations, you should look into the smaller sized drives (such as the WD passport). I use my drive only at home, so its portability was no object. This could be different for you though. 

January 9, 2011
5:38 PM
karen
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I have a WD desktop model (with external power supply). I would recommend with going with the largest size that fits in your budget. I picked up the 2TB model just before Christmas for $99. If you look around, you can find deals on the 1TB models for around $59.

I’ve had a bad experience with Seagate external drives so I’d stay away from those.

January 9, 2011
6:18 PM
Jyo
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@Locutus: I do have those on my desktop, but I prefer to use a usb connection because of my laptops.

 

@Casey: Yea, portability isn't really that big of an issue. But I'll stick to WD since everyone seems to have had a good experience.

 

@karen: From my research, Maxtor seems to have a bad reputation with their external HD's, and now it is part of Seagate (correlation?). Also, another interesting thing I read is that after 1TB, the chance of a HD failing increases significantly (up to 30%). Just thought that was interesting, though may be untrue.

January 10, 2011
5:19 AM
karen
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I can’t vouch for this drive personally, but I saw this this morning. Fantom 2TB usb and esata drive for $99. Drive has a 3 year warranty.

http://www.buy.com/prod/fantom-drives-g-force-black-2tb-esata-usb-2-0-hard-drive-with-3-year/q/loc/101/217593422.html

January 10, 2011
10:13 AM
Jyo
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Thanks, there's also one on Amazon, WD 2TB for $99. This one is only usb2.0 compliant, but it reports transfer rates of up to 480Mb/s, while the Fantom drive reports 150MB/s max on its eSATA. This confuses me, because I thought eSATA would be way faster. Or am I reading something wrong?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Elements-External-WDBAAU0020HBK-NESN/dp/B002QEBMCI/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1294682493&sr=1-1

January 10, 2011
3:32 PM
Locutus
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Jyo said:

Thanks, there's also one on Amazon, WD 2TB for $99. This one is only usb2.0 compliant, but it reports transfer rates of up to 480Mb/s, while the Fantom drive reports 150MB/s max on its eSATA. This confuses me, because I thought eSATA would be way faster. Or am I reading something wrong?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Western-…..038;sr=1-1


MBps ≠ Mbps.  8Mbps = 1MBps.  So, the Fantom one would have 1200Mbps, or the WD one has 48MBps.  However, USB2.0 (not sure about 3.0, I think they solved this) does not transfer anywhere near its full speed; it instead transfers in bursts.  One user on Amazon reported 20MBps for the WD one.

That said, where are you getting these statistics?  I couldn't find info for either of them Surprised

Oh, the site that was :(
January 10, 2011
4:40 PM
eq5150
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I believe Maxtor and Seagate are the same company now.  One bought the other.

For basic storage I recommend the  Western Digital My Book Essential which i password protected so nobidy can access it except you.  Read the reviews on Amazon though.  People wanting it for advance use prefer the regular WD My Book.

January 11, 2011
3:23 PM
Jyo
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Locutus said:

That said, where are you getting these statistics?  I couldn't find info for either of them Surprised


http://wdc.product-tours.com/amazon/tour?ASIN=B002QEBMCI

->Under “Specs” tab.

Karen's link you just scroll down to “Tech Specs”

 

I knew there was something suspicious about the lowercase “b” in Mbps as opposed to MBps. Thanks for the clarification. Looks like I'll be getting a WD 1TB. Thanks for all your suggestions.

January 11, 2011
4:57 PM
Locutus
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Those b's vs B's are why internet is advertised as “20Mbps!” and you only get ~2-3 MBps.  It's annoying, but you'll get used to it.

 

Also, the hard drive you're buying is measured in TB, not TiB, which means it will tell you that it's 937GB when you plug it in (computers measure in *iB and call it *B). 

Confusing? 1TB=1000000000 bytes.  1TiB=1073741824 bytes.  How is this? Here's how:

1000B=1MB, 1000MB=1GB, 1000GB=1TB while 1024B=1MiB, 1024MiB=1GiB, 1024GiB=1TiB.  It's confusing.

Oh, the site that was :(
January 12, 2011
4:13 AM
MikeR
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Just a quickie. . .

I'm not paranoid (even though I *know* they're watching me. . .) but where any HDD is concerned, I tend to worry about eggs and baskets, i.e., all of the former in just one of the latter.

Drive failure is not particularly rare and though according to Internet comments, those from some manufacturers have a worse track record than others, it's still pretty much the case that either you're lucky. . . or you're not.

As drive capacity has increased, so has the potential for data loss on a huge scale. For that reason, I continue to stay well clear of large capacity drives, preferring instead a liittle collection of smaller drives (in my case, 3 x 250GB and 1 x 320GB). This allows for redundancy in that a back-up of video, images or music can be written to one, two or even three drives in the case of highly valued data.

A friend of mine  bought himself a 1TB external drive aropund 18 months ago — against my advice. I wondered how long it would be before it failed. Well, so much for my advice: the drive is still working fine. And yet, and yet: I'm still nagged by the thought that depending upon just *one* larger external drive, and without any redundancy, is an unnecessary risk.

Go on then, folks. Tell me I am paranoid. . . Wink

January 12, 2011
12:56 PM
Casey
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MikeR said:

Go on then, folks. Tell me I am paranoid. . . Wink


 

You're paranoid. Wink

January 12, 2011
3:25 PM
Locutus
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MikeR said:

As drive capacity has increased, so has the potential for data loss on a huge scale. For that reason, I continue to stay well clear of large capacity drives, preferring instead a liittle collection of smaller drives (in my case, 3 x 250GB and 1 x 320GB). 


Sounds like you could use a RAID setup!
Oh, the site that was :(
January 15, 2011
3:29 PM
Pandora
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I've had a WD MyBook World Edition 1Tb for about a year now. Used mainly for backups + media (which is either from CD/DVD or like photos backed up to CD/DVD), so I would have to lose internal and NAS drive at the same time for real data loss. 

Easy set up and use. Sits on my network and does what it says on the tin. Potential for remote access (not tried -yet- as no current requirement).

If (when ) I upgrade though it will be to something with RAID capability – healthy paranoia …if it can break it will – (maybe WD MyBook II ???)  …. just couldnt afford it at the time

1 1 1 cheers for binary
January 16, 2011
6:13 AM
barryzee
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Haved used both WD and Seagate between home & work.  While the Seagate has ESATA, it has also failed once and been replaced.  The WD just keeps chugging along.

 

A friend had a Fantom that stopped working.  Turned out it was the connecting electronics and I was able to open it and take the hard drive out and get his data back.

 

Good luck.  Just like regular hard drives these days, I suspect sometimes it's the luck of the draw. Laugh

 

barryzee

January 16, 2011
11:28 AM
Pwnana
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The Fantom has been mentioned.  I have the Fantom Greendrive 1tb, and its great so far.  It runs pretty quietly and has good speeds with my eSata cable.  It also comes with the 3-year warranty which is a must for an external drive. Also like Barry said, if it breaks its got an easy opening and its just a plain drive that you can plug into your computer.

 

Western Digital Elements is also good, if you want the most basic.  Its juts a big black box with some ports in the back.  No software, no flashy graphics, nothing.  But all the reviews say its quiet, fast, and sturdy; all the things that make a good drive.

You got Pwnd
January 25, 2011
10:59 AM
trickyvicki
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Pwnana said:

The Fantom has been mentioned.  I have the Fantom Greendrive 1tb, and its great so far.  It runs pretty quietly and has good speeds with my eSata cable.  It also comes with the 3-year warranty which is a must for an external drive. Also like Barry said, if it breaks its got an easy opening and its just a plain drive that you can plug into your computer.

 

Western Digital Elements is also good, if you want the most basic.  Its juts a big black box with some ports in the back.  No software, no flashy graphics, nothing.  But all the reviews say its quiet, fast, and sturdy; all the things that make a good drive.


Do you know if I could do the same thing with a SimpleTech 1TB, or do you know of any other way to make it work again?Cry
January 27, 2011
6:31 AM
Vespers
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I bought a seagate 1.5tb usb 3.0 drive a few months back and I have to say I love it. It comes with usb 3.0 drivers and its very quick.

 

I noticed on the seagate site that they have an

outlet area kinda like dell.  They have 1.5tb usb2 drives there for $89 among other things,might be  worth a look for you.

 

http://shop.seagate.com/store/sgateus/Content/pbPage.OnSalePage

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