External HDD's

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by tradetime, Aug 9, 2007.

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  1. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Have never before had anything to do with these, but think it's time I made my backup procedure a little more extensive than just FD-ISR and an internal drive. There seems to be a lot of horror stories out there about external drives failing, so much so that it gives me the impression that they are notoriously unreliable. Would appreciate the experiences of anyone using what they consider to be a reliable external hdd. Am looking at Maxtor One Touch, or Novatech Ndisk, but open to any experienced opinion.
    Thanx
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2007
  2. argus tuft

    argus tuft Registered Member

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    Personally, I just use a "normal" (internal) hard drive, mounted in an external casing which connects to the pc thru a usb port.
    The external casing cost about AUS$45

    Something to consider, maybe.
     
  3. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    I'm also in the market for one if the price is right and I understand that Western Digital is a good brand.
     
  4. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    I too bought a separate hard drive and external enclosure.

    If you decide to go this route, buy a good enclosure such as teh AMS' Venus or Vantec's Nexstar series. And for teh hard disk itself, Im a bit biased to Western Digital but they do make excellent drives.
     
  5. eniqmah

    eniqmah Registered Member

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    I bought 2 Vantec enclosures for my old WD HDDs. The enclosures failed 6 months into it already. Don't buy vantec. WD rocks./
     
  6. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

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    I use a WD MyBook 320GB for a larger capacity external, and have two WD Passport series for smaller, more portable externals. I have had no problems whatsoever with any of them. The Passport series is very convenient, as the power source is the USB.
     
  7. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Thanx for the replies guys, I think for the ease of a computer wingnut, I'm probably looking at the ready made external drives, though to those who suggested casing internal drives, thanx, worth considering as I do have people who could assist.

    CatFan I have been looking at the WD MyBook series as well, how long have you had the 320. It really seems like a lottery with these things when you read around, for every happy camper there seems to be at least one story of misery, although I also realise that a % of this like most things computer is prolly down to user mis-use.
     
  8. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

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    I've had the MyBook since May 2006. It gets taken from its storage spot and hooked up 3 or 4 times a week, then put back away. I think it's possible that careless handling may be at the root of some external HD problems, but I'm just speculating.
     
  9. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Yes prolly is a factor imho, ok thanx for the info, this one is currently at the top of my contenders list based on all the reviews I've read for external HDD's
     
  10. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Hi

    I have two:

    Seagate 160gb

    Maxtor taken from a TIVO & placed in an enclosure.

    You'll find ext hdd's from the store will be formatted as FAT32, I suggest re-formatting to NTFS.

    Take Care
    Rico
     
  11. eniqmah

    eniqmah Registered Member

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    If you do not plan on swapping drives around, the WD series is more than a good choice.. If you want to swap that 320 out for a 1TB drive some times later on, you will have to "break" the WD series's covers. They're snapped in together by a dinky plastic piece that would not be able to withstand the force necessary to open up the enclosure. After you break that piece of plastic, the drive will be held together very loosely and you will not enjoy carrying it around.
     
  12. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    I prefer to use laptop hard drives for my external drives. My theory is that by their design they should be able to withstand a more abuse and therefore last longer. Plus being small they're very easy to carry around. The downside is they do cost more than a regular drive. I have two hitachi external laptop hard drives, one is a tiny 1.8" 20Gb drive and the other is a bigger 2.5" 160Gb drive. I've had both for around 6 months and they've worked flawlessly so far.
     
  13. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Thanx Rico, yes I had heard that, was not sure if it was the case with all, seems odd, I understand this is to cater for older machines?
    Is it awkward to re-format them, or a straight forward process?
     
  14. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Thanx eniqmah, the 320 will be adequate for my needs, I have had my current Desktop for 3 yrs, 120gig HDD and it's still less than 50% full, just to give some idea of my usage, the external will be primarily for backups.
     
  15. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Really interesting idea farmerlee, would never have thought of that, not for me this time, but it is one I will file away for future considerations, especially if I need to get a drive to move around for my laptop.
     
  16. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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    Tradetime, I just went to Staples and got one from there, then if there's a problem they are good about replacing (although I haven't had to)

    It's not hard to format them, instructions are usually given in the manual, but don't worry you'll be able to do it I promise:)

    I ended up with a Phillips one and have had no problems at all, although I'm sure the other makes mentioned here are just as good. I don't leave mine plugged in the usb port all the time, just when I need it, a personal preference.

    It opened up a lot of things for me getting an external. Then I was able to make copies of all docs and settings, photo's, music, setup's etc (via Karens replicator) and also keep FD-ISR snapshots on it.

    I suggest you go for it, you won't regret it.
     
  17. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Thanx stapp, yes I need an additional drive for my backups, at the moment I am storing backups from one computer on another computer on my network, but it's less than ideal. When I upgrade my desktop next year I will have two internal drives, but the external will still be handy.
     
  18. Bob D

    Bob D Registered Member

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    I back up to second internal HD, as well as 2nd machine's HD.
    I also have a WD Passport. Make regular backups and throw Passport in the truck's glove box.
    I'm a BIG believer in offsite storage.
    In the event of theft, fire, flood, over a decade of documents, CAD drawings, photos, etc, etc, gone forever. The thought scares me.
     
  19. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Ok have gone for a WD My Book 320, will see how it performs.

    Slight problem getting XP to recognise it, but only minor, sorted in 5 mins. Formating was straightforward. Seems to perform well enough, quiet and unobtrusive. The question now will be how long can it stay alive. Reviws on all these drives suggest that they are a bit of a lottery, but we see.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2007
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