PDA

View Full Version : I want to buy an External Hard Drive ~ Appreciate your Advice...



Princess
02-05-2006, 10:54 PM
:confused: Hiya, wondering if anyone can give me some advice on buying an External Hard Drive. In looking at past postings, it seems Seagate is a recommended brand...not sure what I'm looking at, with all the technical jargon. A friend of mine has a 300GB HDD that is within an enclosure and has a USB connection.

I have seen these on trade me, but not sure what the differences are:

Seagate 300GB 7200rpm S-ATA II HDD - 16MB Cache
Seagate 300GB 7200rpm HDD- 16MB Cache

Your recommendations and other tips are much appreciated...thanks :p

roddy_boy
02-05-2006, 11:02 PM
SATA is not much use if you're getting an external case for it, as it will be limited by the USB interface anyway. So I'd recommend getting the 2nd option. (I'm assuming it's cheaper?)

I recently bought a 250GB + enclosure from SuperCheapPC, and am very pleased with it.

PaulD
02-05-2006, 11:31 PM
I'd also buy a foam lined case to carry it in, especially if you don't want to go through the experience of trying to return it to Supercheap :D

roddy_boy
02-05-2006, 11:46 PM
Lol yeah that's a good plan. I've never personally had any problems with them, but then again, I've never had to return anything. I've already dropped it on the ground twice, it rattles when I shake it now, but still goes fine :D

TiJay
03-05-2006, 04:37 AM
Lol yeah that's a good plan. I've never personally had any problems with them, but then again, I've never had to return anything. I've already dropped it on the ground twice, it rattles when I shake it now, but still goes fine :D

LOL

Too funny...As for Externals - I would suggest getting the HD and the Case Seperately - it is very simple to put the harddrive into the little box - make sure you get one with a fan - harddrives get VERY hot...Aluminum case is also good - dissipates heat quickly.

pctek
03-05-2006, 09:04 AM
I have an IDE to USB adapter for mine. Skipped the case altogether - its very useful for me because other than my HDD I can connect other peoples to it for data retrieval, virus scans or whatever....without having to put the things in my PC.

FoxyMX
03-05-2006, 10:02 AM
I have an IDE to USB adapter for mine. Skipped the case altogether - its very useful for me because other than my HDD I can connect other peoples to it for data retrieval, virus scans or whatever....without having to put the things in my PC.
I like the sound of that, can you elaborate a bit more please? I can understand how you would use it for data retrieval (if you do it how I think you do it, that is :p) but how do you do virus scans on other people's hard drives with your external?

The_End_Of_Reality
03-05-2006, 10:15 AM
Foxy, what pctek means is using a normal internal IDE HDD with an IDE to USB adapter, and is able to work with any HDD and run virus scans like that...

EDIT, here (http://www.dansdata.com/usbadapt.htm) is an example of what pctek is talking about (I think) :D

Anyway, Princess what do you intend to use the HDD for? ie full backups etc...

bascily, the SATAII will not make any difference because it will be limited by the USB anyway, go with the cheapest of the two and get an IDE to USB or SATA to USB (which ever you get) and a case, I suggest an alluminum 5.25 inch with a fan as said before HDDs get HOT.

Princess
03-05-2006, 10:50 AM
Foxy, what pctek means is using a normal internal IDE HDD with an IDE to USB adapter, and is able to work with any HDD and run virus scans like that...

EDIT, here (http://www.dansdata.com/usbadapt.htm) is an example of what pctek is talking about (I think) :D

Anyway, Princess what do you intend to use the HDD for? ie full backups etc...

bascily, the SATAII will not make any difference because it will be limited by the USB anyway, go with the cheapest of the two and get an IDE to USB or SATA to USB (which ever you get) and a case, I suggest an alluminum 5.25 inch with a fan as said before HDDs get HOT.

Thanks for the response. I want a HDD to store information other than on a laptop and also to back up files etc. For example, I need to send my laptop into be serviced (work related). I want to take off all my music and other personal files I have stored on the lappy. There is too much on there to fit on a pen drive or other, and discs are a pain to transfer everything to. Friends have also advised that if I intend on purchasing an external HDD, go for the option that can plug directly into a tv. What is IDE? SATAII? Sorry, not up to the play with pc jargon. Is it cheaper to purchase the HDD seperately to the casing or something? Just seems a hassle to purchase two seperate items when you can get them as one already? :confused: Can external HDD's hook directly to other external HDD's to transfer files, pictures etc?

Thanks :D

Sweep
03-05-2006, 11:08 AM
http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/images/smilies/confused.gif Hiya, wondering if anyone can give me some advice on buying an External Hard Drive. In looking at past postings, it seems Seagate is a recommended brand...not sure what I'm looking at, with all the technical jargon. A friend of mine has a 300GB HDD that is within an enclosure and has a USB connection.

I have seen these on trade me, but not sure what the differences are:

Seagate 300GB 7200rpm S-ATA II HDD - 16MB Cache
Seagate 300GB 7200rpm HDD- 16MB Cache

Your recommendations and other tips are much appreciated...thanks http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/images/smilies/tongue.gif

You might consider one like this.
http://www.maxtoronetouchiii.com/ot3_400.html

Whilst I definitely recommend Seagate over Maxtor normally because there is a five year warranty which I have never needed to claim on yet the Maxtor I bought a few days ago works well.

Stand alone unit. Plug in power and USB cables and you have a new drive.

No need to buy enclosure as it's already enclosed. Pick it up and take it anywhere. My model is is discontinued and is slower than the two SATA 2 Seagate 200 Gig drives I have and also slower than the 160 Gig Seagate ATA drive I use.

The_End_Of_Reality
03-05-2006, 11:23 AM
What sort of money are you wanting to spend?

I have seen this (http://www.ascent.co.nz/ProductSpecification.aspx?ItemID=337719) at Ascent and it is Seagate and comes with case.

I have never heard of an external HDD that can plug into a TV...

As for the IDE and SATAII don't worry about it, they are only difference in performance (SATAII is faster but only a little).

The HDDs you posted, they are internal and will need you to buy a separate case.

PaulD
03-05-2006, 11:37 AM
Whilst I definitely recommend Seagate over Maxtor normally because there is a five year warranty which I have never needed to claim on yet the Maxtor I bought a few days ago works well.



Seagate's 5 year warranty is on their internal drives, on their retail external drives it's only 1 or 2 years. I have no idea whether Seagate would try and wriggle out of covering an internal drive used in a housing but as I've said ealier, it's a good idea to be careful with the drives. 2.5" Notebook drives typically have 3 times the non-operating shock resistance of a 3.5" drive. 300G non-operating for a normal drive looks impressive but it is only about a 1m drop to a hard floor.

roddy_boy
03-05-2006, 11:38 AM
I have seen this (http://www.ascent.co.nz/ProductSpecification.aspx?ItemID=337719) at Ascent and it is Seagate and comes with case.
This is expensive!! It is alot cheaper just to buy a normal hard drive, and an enclosure seperately.


The HDDs you posted, they are internal and will need you to buy a separate case.
Yes, like this. It works out far cheaper this way.

1st option: $389.97
2nd option: $180 for HDD + $40 for case
OR $210 for 300 GB HDD

The_End_Of_Reality
03-05-2006, 11:45 AM
I know it is expensive, I was just giving an example of a complete one, yes it will be cheaper to buy the separate.

Vallis
03-05-2006, 08:13 PM
I have one of these enclosures:
http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?item=CASICZ740U2F
It'll take any standard 3.5" HDD, it's not much bigger than the drive & comes with USB & Firewire connection cables.
It's excellent value at $89 inc.
Also have a Dick Smith 40GB pocket drive which is great, but it's called a pocket drive because you need deep pockets to buy it.

Misty
03-05-2006, 08:49 PM
Vallis - another person from Wanganui - Wanganui must be NZ's answer to Bangalore !
Misty :rolleyes:

Misty
03-05-2006, 09:09 PM
Hi Princess
Sorry, could not resist the previous post to have a dig at Wanganui ! However on a more serious note I have spent quite a bit of time investigating external hard drives and although my knowledge is limited I have a few comments to offer.

First my needs are different than yours as I have a PC only at the moment and no laptop. Also I want to make an image of my hard drive rather than just a back up of data. Therefore whilst I could launch into a number of things that I encountered I will try to keep just relevent to what you are querying.

This therefore comes down to two basic things. That it appears that financially and otherwise you are better buying separately the HD and the case. Cost is fairly obvious but the other thing that, I understand, comes with buying them as one unit is that the sofware comes bundled and is not often the best. By buying separately you not only save money but you chose your software to backup and you can then make sure it is up to the job.

You do not mention having a PC to backup so presume that you do not have one also - otherwise there are certainly more things I could add.

Best of luck ---- and please let us know what you decide !
cheers
Misty :)

Princess
04-05-2006, 09:16 PM
I have been looking around online for different options, and have also placed some consideration on purchasing an external HDD from Trade Me. There are several 300GB Ext HDD (Seagate) with 12 mth wty options, priced from around $215 - $285. Whilst there is talk of the Seagate HDD's having 5 yr warranty's - I think it applies only to internal HDD's???

Purchasing two seperate pieces to make up a HDD (e.g. with PB Tech options) an IDE 300GB HDD ($212) with a case ($89) will cost around $300.00.

VIEWS? Anyone?

Thanks :thumbs:

The_End_Of_Reality
04-05-2006, 09:38 PM
Well, yes, the Seagate internal HDDs have the 5 yr warranty which is why I would suggest buying an internal IDE HDD and a separate case (Then you get the 5 yr warranty and a case you want :thumbs:.)

Just my :2cents: :D

Princess
04-05-2006, 10:17 PM
Well, yes, the Seagate internal HDDs have the 5 yr warranty which is why I would suggest buying an internal IDE HDD and a separate case (Then you get the 5 yr warranty and a case you want :thumbs:.)

Just my :2cents: :D

Thanks for your :2cents: ...I had made the assumption that the 5 yr wty only applied to the internal IDE HDD if this was enclosed in a PC...

The_End_Of_Reality
04-05-2006, 10:48 PM
Thanks for your :2cents: ...I had made the assumption that the 5 yr wty only applied to the internal IDE HDD if this was enclosed in a PC... :D no problem :thumbs: I believe that it is a 5 yr warranty no matter what it is put in...
Caution. Product warranty is void if any seal or label is removed, or if the drive experiences shock in excessof 350Gs That is what it says on the top of my Seagate IDE so... I guess using it as a removable HDD is fine :)

Princess
16-05-2006, 09:46 PM
:rolleyes:

Have since been doing further research into HDD's. I'm still stuck between the choice of buying a HDD and an Enclosure seperately. An already existing External HDD. I realise the 5 yr wty with Seagate internal drives is very good, but what would it take to actually put your own HDD together? Do you need to purchase software seperately and such?

Also, when it comes to buying a HDD...further explanation with all the terminology is appreciated.... SATA? IDE? RPM? Driverless (despite the obvious of course)...DMA? PIO? Mmmmm.....need I get into what is referred to backing up the 'image'......!!!!

Thanks in advance all :thumbs:

SolMiester
16-05-2006, 10:27 PM
The only BUT for me with the external USB drives is they are formated in FAT32 which has a 4Gb file limited, therefore storage of DVD's is only thru backup software which means double storage when the file is required.

If it wasnt for that, they are the ultimate backup / storage medium.

Princess
16-05-2006, 11:10 PM
The only BUT for me with the external USB drives is they are formated in FAT32 which has a 4Gb file limited, therefore storage of DVD's is only thru backup software which means double storage when the file is required.

If it wasnt for that, they are the ultimate backup / storage medium.


Do you recommend other alternatives? What is the 4Gb file limit in a little bit more detail - sorry :confused:

heni72847
17-05-2006, 12:04 AM
in fat32 filesystem
if you try to copy a single file that is over 4Gb by itself
window will tell you that the drive is full and can't copy stuff onto it
the error message is miss leading and in actual fact it is the 4Gb file size limit that's screwing things up
DVD is over 4Gb so backing that up will cause problems
but if that 4Gb image is split then it works

my ext hdd..i can format and use ntfs too
don't see why you can't format it to ntfs which doesn't have the 4Gb limit

Kelem
17-05-2006, 12:13 AM
I formatted mine ntfs, move dvd ISO's over to it all the time,
I got the enclosure and added 80 gig seagate to it.

Cheap backup and storage, If i get the right media extender (USB2) i may even be able to plug it into the TV. :)

Kelem

Vallis
17-05-2006, 09:04 AM
I have an 80GB IDE 7200 rpm HDD in an enclosure off USB 2.0. It's the way to go. Less than $150 all up if you're starting from scratch.

It's NTFS and I was considering changing it to FAT32 (for Linux access), thanks for the info about the 4GB limit - I'll scrap that idea.

XP wouldn't give me a formatting choice other than NTFS and Partition Magic loses USB drives on reboot. I'd have had to remove the drive from the enlosure and install it in my desktop.

Now I find that Ubuntu Linux reads the disc anyway without even having to mount it. Go Ubuntu.

A 40GB portable USB drive will set you back the best part of $400 and if you reformat it you'll end up with about 32GB.

pctek
17-05-2006, 09:11 AM
It's NTFS and I was considering changing it to FAT32 (for Linux access), thanks for the info about the 4GB limit - I'll scrap that idea.
.
Why? How many bigger than 4Gb files do you have?

Vallis
17-05-2006, 09:21 AM
None at the moment.
But in the last few days I've downloaded a couple of Linux iso files over 3GB and bloat is alive and kicking.

heni72847
17-05-2006, 10:35 AM
for my ext hdd
i split it into 2 partitions
one fat32 one ntfs

so..when i use my kubuntu i can write to fat32 part if i want
but it reads ntfs fine anywayz

also it kinda leaves an area where i can use on unfortunate computers that still got win98 or something..or when i lend it to my mac using friends

Princess
17-05-2006, 08:04 PM
:badpc: Ok....now I'll be back some time later, when I've got a CLUE of what y'all talkin' bout!!!!!!

Misty
17-05-2006, 09:08 PM
:badpc: Ok....now I'll be back some time later, when I've got a CLUE of what y'all talkin' bout!!!!!!
C'mon you guys - put some of this in plain understandable English that Princess will follow !! I get the feeling that you are all feeding off each other and trying to show how knowledgeable you are. You can do better than that and help Princess with her conundrum.
Misty :groan:

Deimos
17-05-2006, 09:29 PM
I have a prettyy good amount of experience with HDDs

I have had:
Quantum Fireball KA Plus 9GB
IBM "Deathstar" 75GXP 45GB
IBM "Deathstar" 75GXP 30GB
Maxtor slim 20GB (not sure what model, died, still waiting after about 1 year for the replacement).

Current drives:

7 X Seagate 7200.7 200GB 1 X 7200.9 200GB
3 X Seagate 7200.7 80GB
2 X Seagate Barracuda IV 80GB
2 X Saegate Barracude V 120GB
2 X Seagate Barracuda V 120GB SATA
1 X Seagate 7200.9 300GB

You could say I am a Seagate fan, anyway to cut a long story short, I have had both IBM drives die (no surprise there)

Out of all my Seagate drives I have had 1 200GB die completely, and another that makes strange squeeky noises when running in RAID 5 but is otherwise OK, warranty is no problem.

Out of the maxtor drives I have dealt with it has been impossible to get replacements for a drive that is a year old.

Also, when I was working in a PC shop, I dropped a seagate drive down a flight of stairs and it still worked happily, we tested for over a week before selling it.

Just some tips for your mobile drive:

Don't worry about dropping it too much (see above) however, do not move the drive while it is going!

The warranty of the drive will cover any drop not exceeding the rated non operational shock resistance (should be 300-350 Gs)

If your PC has Firewire (or Firewire 2), I suggest you get an enclosure that supports both Firewire (or Firewire 2) and USB2.0, Firewire is superior in so many ways to USB, however sometimes you need USB for other peoples PCs.

I have a Vantec NexStar 3 with a 300GB Seagate, very nice enclosure with the option of both firewire and USB, you can get them from www.OEMComputers.co.nz

Also, you can't go past a good laptop drive for true portability, I have a 40GB Hitachi notebook HDD in a 2.5" enclosure, its good having something that can fit in your pocket and packs 40GB.

If you want to go small only get Hitachi or Seagate as they are the only drives that are decent and have a low enough power draw to be used with a single USB connection (no external power) Seagate also now does a 160GB laptop drive.

Kelem
17-05-2006, 09:32 PM
Best (read Cheapest) method is 3.5" USB2 case and IDE HD put them together and bingo cheap as external HD.

Reason for ntfs is support for large files like ISO's of DVD's or the like,
i can move 3 movies to removable in 10 minutes The comp i have now is based on a 650 AMD (slow as).

If you have an old PC like mine get a PCI USB2 card and away you go,
also extenal case with its own PSU is a good idea.

K

Deimos
17-05-2006, 09:37 PM
OK you wanted to know about SATA IDE ATA and PIO?

forget about PIO and ATA, too much info

if you are going to build your own external unit (i.e. get the HDD and enclosure separate) get IDE (this is the interface used for the HDD to communicate with the PC) the external enclosures are mostly IDE and the drives are cheaper, performance is no different.

You do not need additional software as long as you have windows XP.

Make sure your PC has USB 2.0 otherwise you will need to get an add on card (someone mentioned this earlier)

The only thing you need to assemble it is a screw driver.

I would suggest that you take your PC to someone like www.oemcomputers.co.nz
They can give your PC a quick check over and tell you if you need anything extra to accomodate the external drive.

Also if you buy the enclosure and hard drive from them they will put it all together for you for no extra charge.

Kelem
17-05-2006, 09:45 PM
Deimos your a harddrive junky :thumbs:

Misty
17-05-2006, 09:51 PM
If your PC has Firewire (or Firewire 2), I suggest you get an enclosure that supports both Firewire (or Firewire 2) and USB2.0, Firewire is superior in so many ways to USB, however sometimes you need USB for other peoples PCs.

From the little I know USB2 covers most peoples requirements especially for someone like Princess and myself who have reasonably limited knowledge (hope that is not insulting Princess !). The speed of firewire is not much greater than USB 2. Here is what one experienced user said

Backed up a 1.7GB folder full of 2-3MB photos
just over 2minutes over USB2
Under a minute with FW800.
Seagate 5400rpm 160GB 2.5" drive.
Now Princess has got to ask herself how often would she would want to back up a 1.7Gb folder and if it takes a minute longer does it matter !! (Hell, making a cup of tea in the meantime would take longer).

I think to help Princess you need to give her responses that do not get carried away by speed and semantics. However you are more on track - so keep with it.
Misty :thumbs:

Deimos
17-05-2006, 10:20 PM
From the little I know USB2 covers most peoples requirements especially for someone like Princess and myself who have reasonably limited knowledge (hope that is not insulting Princess !). The speed of firewire is not much greater than USB 2.

It really depends on the way you use it, I did say that Firewire is superior in EVERY way, not just speed, and also the drive that guy was using wasn't exactly a fast one.

For a novice user I would suggest USB2 just to simplify things, however a power user such as myself benifits a great deal from firewire.


Now Princess has got to ask herself how often would she would want to back up a 1.7Gb folder and if it takes a minute longer does it matter !! (Hell, making a cup of tea in the meantime would take longer).

That statement tells it all, how much space do you really need? if you have to ask your self "when am I ever going to need to back up 1-2GB of data" then 200GB is probably overkill.

Erayd
18-05-2006, 12:41 PM
A 40GB portable USB drive will set you back the best part of $400...When was this? When I got mine (end of last year) it only cost about $220, for both a 40GB 2.5" seagate (4200rpm) & the USB2 enclosure.

Deimos
18-05-2006, 12:43 PM
When was this? When I got mine (end of last year) it only cost about $220, for both a 40GB 2.5" seagate (4200rpm) & the USB2 enclosure.

Seconded. I got mine for about $200 with a hitachi 40GB and what was supposed to be the best enclosure.

Misty
18-05-2006, 08:50 PM
It really depends on the way you use it, I did say that Firewire is superior in EVERY way, not just speed, and also the drive that guy was using wasn't exactly a fast one.

For a novice user I would suggest USB2 just to simplify things, however a power user such as myself benifits a great deal from firewire.



That statement tells it all, how much space do you really need? if you have to ask your self "when am I ever going to need to back up 1-2GB of data" then 200GB is probably overkill.
Hi Deimos
You have made me think ! I did think of 1.7GB as quite a big folder, but then I thought - how big are "My Pictures" and "My Music". "My Pictures" is only 748MG so not very big. However "My Music" is 17.4GB, quite a bit bigger. So working on say, 2 Mins 10 secs per BG to do the backup then it would take approx 37.7 mins. This is enough time to watch the best parts of the news and make a cup of tea. Alternatively with Firewire, say 16 mins. It is a consideration ! (hmmm)

However the important thing, to return to the original query - how much data does Princess need to backup ?
Misty :D

mejobloggs
18-05-2006, 10:45 PM
What are the opinions on something like this? http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?item=HDDMAX3220

Princess
18-05-2006, 11:05 PM
Thanks every1. With regard to 'what space or GB will I be backing up'....Well originally, I thought about buying a dvd writer to store camcorder footage on dvd's etc. Then thought an Ext HDD would be better than loads of dvd's etc to store and retrieve etc...I have a lot of music & photos I want to move off to an ext hdd when I need extra space on my lappy.

Thought a bigger GB Ext Hdd outright would be better in the long run.....160GB or 200GB would be more then I need I think...

pctek
18-05-2006, 11:16 PM
What are the opinions on something like this? http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?item=HDDMAX3220
Noooooo! Its a Maxtor! :yuck:

Deimos
19-05-2006, 12:57 AM
Hi Deimos
You have made me think ! I did think of 1.7GB as quite a big folder, but then I thought - how big are "My Pictures" and "My Music". "My Pictures" is only 748MG so not very big. However "My Music" is 17.4GB, quite a bit bigger. So working on say, 2 Mins 10 secs per BG to do the backup then it would take approx 37.7 mins. This is enough time to watch the best parts of the news and make a cup of tea. Alternatively with Firewire, say 16 mins. It is a consideration ! (hmmm)

When you are dealing with data in the order of hundreds of GBs thats when it REALLY counts.

Here is something for you to chew on

USB 2.0 = 480 Mbit

Firewire = 400 Mbit

in practice firewire is 30% faster than USB 2.0 because of the way it operates.

Then there is Firewire 2 which is 800 Mbit, this is effectively the same as a standard HDD interface, which is 100 Mbyte (multiply it by 8 to get Mbit)

a modern hard drive can do sustained transfers of 60-70 megabytes per second, which means a 60 70% utilisation of a firewire 2 bus, however USB2 and firewire can't keep up.

Back on subject:

I'm going to stick with my recommendation from before, get your HDD and enclosure from OEM Computers, they will sort you out.

www.oemcomputers.co.nz

Sweep
19-05-2006, 01:59 AM
What are the opinions on something like this? http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?item=HDDMAX3220

I will tell you when or if mine breaks. I'm not in the habit of throwing mine down stairs. :-)

mejobloggs
19-05-2006, 10:04 AM
I will tell you when or if mine breaks. I'm not in the habit of throwing mine down stairs. :-)So you have one? Do you like it?

And what is wrong with Maxtor??

Didn't Seagate buy Maxtor a while ago anyway?

Misty
14-07-2006, 09:48 AM
I suggest an alluminum 5.25 inch with a fan as said before HDDs get HOT.
I have printed out all 17 pages of this thread (in A4). It has lots of good info which I have scrutinised. Want to know, The_End_Of_Reality, why you specially recommend a 5.25 inch drive ? Being alumininium and with a fan makes complete sense but why 5.25 inch ?
Misty :confused:

The_End_Of_Reality
14-07-2006, 10:14 AM
Just extra surface area, I must have been a little blind and off on my measurements (looking at it) when I posted :blush:

But the advantage of 5.25 is you can put a CD/DVD drive in there if you want, Now by looking at what Ascent have, the 3.5 enclosures, like this (http://www.ascent.co.nz/ProductSpecification.aspx?ItemID=337997) would be better for a 3.5 inch drive if that is all it will be used for. I don't know where my head was that day, I got the sizes mixed up :blush:

I hope that answers you question :)