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Tech: External hard drive needed

Fred McCormick 16 Dec 10 - 10:59 AM
Will Fly 16 Dec 10 - 11:04 AM
Fred McCormick 16 Dec 10 - 11:11 AM
EBarnacle 16 Dec 10 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,erbert 16 Dec 10 - 12:36 PM
Geoff the Duck 16 Dec 10 - 01:02 PM
Joe Offer 16 Dec 10 - 02:50 PM
MikeL2 16 Dec 10 - 03:13 PM
IvanB 16 Dec 10 - 04:40 PM
Bonzo3legs 16 Dec 10 - 04:43 PM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Dec 10 - 06:11 PM
Janie 16 Dec 10 - 06:12 PM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Dec 10 - 06:20 PM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Dec 10 - 06:21 PM
zozimus 16 Dec 10 - 06:29 PM
Leadfingers 16 Dec 10 - 06:56 PM
Bill D 16 Dec 10 - 06:59 PM
Joe Offer 16 Dec 10 - 07:05 PM
IvanB 16 Dec 10 - 07:46 PM
Gurney 16 Dec 10 - 07:50 PM
JohnInKansas 16 Dec 10 - 09:19 PM
Amos 16 Dec 10 - 09:21 PM
Bernard 16 Dec 10 - 09:22 PM
Joe Offer 16 Dec 10 - 09:30 PM
JohnInKansas 16 Dec 10 - 10:11 PM
GUEST,mattkeen 17 Dec 10 - 04:24 AM
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Subject: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 10:59 AM

One of my external hard drives has finally filled up and I need to buy a bigger one. Given that I've had two Maxtors, both of which proved highly unreliable and temperamental, I want to make sure that it will last.

Also, there will be no point in me replacing it with anything less than a 2Tb drive.

Can anyone recommend a reliable make, and give me an idea how much I should be paying?

Many thanks in anticipation.


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 11:04 AM

Hi Fred. I recently bought a 1Tb Iomega Minimax drive for £102 incl. p&p and VAT.

I checked the comparison sites for quality and finally chose the Iomega with this capacity. However, the 2Tb from Iomega didn't quite get the same good revue.

So - worth checking the computing comparison sites - just a thought.


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 11:11 AM

Hi Will. Thanks. I've also got an Iomega, which I've had for about five years, and it's never wavered in its dedication to high quality data storage. So Iomega might be a good place to start.


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: EBarnacle
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 12:15 PM

I have had IoMega, going back to the early 90's. They have always been satisfactory. Be careful of the Chinese ones, I have had a compatibility problem with a couple of them.


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 12:36 PM

I'm quite satisfied with the Iomega Prestige Desktop USB2 Harddrives.
1TB usually around £65.
I'm reluctant to risk anything higher capacity than 1TB,
but perhaps my anxieties are unfounded these days?

I like the Prestige USB2 range because they are simple to operate, no fancy power mode options,
and have on/off switches which I feel secure using.

They tend to use a random selection or Samsung or Hitachi discs, or unknown OEM drives.

Out of about 15 that I own [4 or 5 smaller 500 and 640 GBs from a few year ago]
only one has given me occasional cause for concern emitting lounder than usual clicking sounds
when starting up from idle.


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 01:02 PM

If you are UK.
Medion do some high spec computer gear sold every now and then via Aldi stores. I believe they have a 1TB external drive in stored at the moment.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 02:50 PM

I've had very good luck with my two Seagate "Freeagent" drives, but I'd like something that can transfer data more quickly. I'm guessing the slowness is caused by the USB 2.0 connection. There must be a better way to connect, but how do you do it? Is there a card I can add to my computer that will allow for faster transfer to an external drive?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: MikeL2
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 03:13 PM

hi

I have had problems with Medion drives....and the after sales service was not very good.

Also having problems with a Buffalo drive but that is more due to the software than the drive.

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: IvanB
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 04:40 PM

Joe, you could add a USB 3.0 card, but your drives would have to be 3.0 compatible as well. If you've had them for any time at all I'd doubt they are. Other than that, unless you have a high-speed firewire connection on your computer (and I'd not recommend adding one if you don't already have it, this technology is going by the wayside) and there's a firewire connection on the drive you could connect to that. Of course eSata is another fast connection, but it appears that USB 3.0 will probably supplant that as well. I do have an eSata port on my current computer and 2 2TB Toshiba drives with which I'm quite happy, but I wouldn't advise anyone install eSata just to get the drives. Probably your best bet is to get a USB 3.0 card and gradually (or not) replace your drives with 3.0 compatible models. Western Digital has some out now and I've always had good luck with WD drives.


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 04:43 PM

One thing to remember, as your external hard drive becomes full - say 300gb, it will slow down your PC, and start up can take very much longer.


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 06:11 PM

"as your external hard drive becomes full - say 300gb, it will slow down your PC"

What?


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: Janie
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 06:12 PM

I am looking to purchase my first external hard drive (for a Mac.) I find the information on connections confusing. As best I can tell when I go to "About This Mac", my Mac can connect via firewire (8oomb), SATA or USB (tho' I don't know how to tell if it is USB3 or USB2.) I think I've figured out that I want to connect using either firewire or SATA, but don't understand the language or concepts well enough to understand the differences, advantages and disadvantages of either.

Also, I am uncertain regarding how big an external hard drive to buy, or whether I should perhaps have 2, one dedicated to simply backing up the entire hard-drive, and the other for my kid's extensive iTunes library.

I've got 1GB of RAM. Was told when I bought it by the kid in Best Buy that I ought to go ahead and add another GB, but also that they could do that at any time in the future. If I get an external hard drive do I also need to have more internal memory?


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 06:20 PM

"I don't know how to tell if it is USB3 or USB2"

Unless you bought a drive in teh last few months and paid 2-3 times the average price for one of that capacity, it will be USB2 - USB3 is still very new technology.


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 06:21 PM

"should perhaps have 2, one dedicated to simply backing up the entire hard-drive, and the other for my kid's extensive iTunes library. "

Yep - best idea.


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: zozimus
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 06:29 PM

Is it possible to transfer from one extenal harddrive to another if your pc has less gigs than either?


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 06:56 PM

I have three 1Tb Externals ! Seems easy to keep stuff OFF the PC to keep speed at optimum and just plug in the appropriate Ext Drive !


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 06:59 PM

You don't need more internal memory (RAM) just to run an external drive....but these days, that extra gig (making 2) gives you lots more 'headroom' when doing several things.

I have 2 Iomegas and have been quite happy. Just got a tiny 500gig HP that runs just on the USB2 plug... it's 1/4 the physical size of the Iomegas. (the point is, it is very portable...comes with a zippered case.) We shall see.

(I think it is supposed to be portable between PC & Mac)


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 07:05 PM

I thought USB 3.0 was supposed to be backwards-compatible, so my USB 2.0 drives would work in a 3.0 port. No?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: IvanB
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 07:46 PM

Yes, they would, but at USB 2.0 speeds.


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: Gurney
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 07:50 PM

I have a Maxtor. It was a replacement for one that lasted a week. For the last year it has been reliable, but possibly because I don't switch it on unless I want to do something on it.

I see that Seagate drives are cheap in the local shop. We used to rate them in days gone by because they handled heat better than most.


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 09:19 PM

Although we're not well supported with local computer shops, there are a couple of places where one can walk in and pick up a choice of at least three or four brands of external hard drives in either desktop ("backup") or portable types.

The desktop style up to 2TB are pretty easily available, but portables top out at 1TB. Larger drives in either type are "occasionally available" on the shelves but the price jump is substantial above those sizes.

Even using them for backup, but disconnecting when not actually doing a transfer, making sure they had time to stop before any movement, and moving and storing them in sturdy well padded and static protected boxes in a secure location I had rather poor survival with desktop style drives.

I've since gone exclusively to portable external USBs with the exception of one "permanently plugged in" older 350 GB one that's effectively "bolted down" and never jiggled. The portable drives are a bit slower than the better desktop ones, but survival is a whole lot better since I don't have space in the rack to leave them in one place all the time.

Most of the ones I've got in use now are Western Digital 500GB, although I have one Seagate 1TB that I'm getting ready to set up. (The Seagate 1TB is USB3.)

At my last trip to buy something else, when I picked up the 1TB Seagate ($129.99 + $9.49 local tax), nearly all the USB external HDs appeared to be available in USB3 versions, for around $20(US) more than for the older stock of USB2 ones. I would expect that they will stock only the USB3 versions as soon as they sell off their existing stock of USB2 ones, and the price will be the same for all.

All the USB3s that I saw in that store advertised "full compatibility" with USB2 components and computers, with the warning of course that you'd get only USB2 speed if you connect to a USB2 system. (That was only in the labelling notes, but of course they'd never lie.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: Amos
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 09:21 PM

I have a new 2TB external for which we bought an external enclosure from OWC. It seems to be working just swell. I put as second ATA in the same enclosure, just because I could, so I have 250G on that and 2TB on the Seagate Constellation ES.

A


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: Bernard
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 09:22 PM

I have a couple of Toshiba 1Tb drives - they run almost cold in use even though they've been running virtually non-stop for over 3 years, and are blisteringly fast on USB2. The model is STOR E ALU 3.5, and I believe 1.5 and 2TB versions are now available from people like play.com - though I've no experience of dealing with that supplier.

The only slightly odd problem I have with them is they won't let my PCs reboot whilst they are powered up - I have to wait for the PCs to finish booting, then power them on, or the PCs just hang until I switch off the drives... then away they go!


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 09:30 PM

Bonzo3legs says: One thing to remember, as your external hard drive becomes full - say 300gb, it will slow down your PC, and start up can take very much longer.

Is that true? To what extent does an external drive slow down my computer? Does my computer have to draw index information from the external drive all the time, at startup, or just when I access the drive? How else does an external drive put a drain on my computer's resources?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 10:11 PM

To Joe O's question about USB versions:

When USB2 devices first appeared, I noted warnings that mixing them with USB (the older version) devices would make all the devices run at the speed of the slowest connected component, regardless of the speed (USB or USB2) of the controller.

Within a very short time, USB cards and bridges ("port expanders") began to appear with various nomenclatures like "switchable compatibility" or "multiplexing" and a few other obfuscations that indicated they could run in, or on a USB2 port in, the computer, with any connected USB devices at USB speed and any USB2 devices simultaneously at USB2 speed.

If the descriptions were accurate, what I've seen of the USB2 specification indicates that any USB2 device should be able to run at USB speed from a USB port, or at USB2 speed from a USB2 or USB3 port.

If the computer has one of the earliest USB2 port controllers, or if there's one of the early "bridges" downstream of it, it's possible that a USB2 device would run only at USB speed if there's another USB device connected to the same controller, even if the controller claims to be USB2. It might be expected that a USB3 device also would be limited to the single speed (USB) that the controller can supply while a USB device is connected, rather than the USB2 speed "on the label" of the controller.

Packaging I've seen recently doesn't make a distinction, so it probably can be assumed that with a current or recent USB2 controller in the computer, connected USB2 devices will run at USB2 speed and USB devices connected at the same time will run at USB speed. A USB3 device woud be expected to run at USB2 speed on this system.

The packaging on the few USB3 devices I've looked at say that they will run (at USB2 speed) when connected to a USB2 port. It should be reasonable to assume that having another device that's to the older USB spec won't slow any of the devices down to the original USB, unless the controller in the computer or a bridge between the computer and device is of the very earliest USB2 kind.

What I've seen described about the USB3 specification indicates that the specified full backward compatibility would allow a USB3 device to run on the oldest USB controllers, but of course only at the creeping USB speed. The descriptions of the specification imply that it's a requirement that any USB3 device be able to run on any USB, USB2, or USB3 port, but the existence of "USB3" devices for about a year before they finished writing the spec suggests that not all devices can be expected to comply with all the details.

Since the only information available thus far is from the manufacturers/sellers; and their only concern is that you buy it (and whether it works doesn't interest them all that much); this is purely speculation. But it's the best guess I can make now.

For most systems, the ancient warning about mixing speeds of USB/USB2/USB3 devices on the same computer shouldn't be an issue, although none of the devices will run faster than the installed controller can talk to them.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: External hard drive needed
From: GUEST,mattkeen
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 04:24 AM

1TB Seagate drives are £59 in Maplins (UK) at the moment


We have had several and all been good so far


I have also had very god experience with GTech drives (I use them for audio recording) and indifferent experiences with Lacie. Passport Iomega drives good to


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