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Thread: USB hard drive

  1. #1
    ileacy
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    USB hard drive

    I am looking into purchasing a portable USB external hard drive of between 20 and 40GB capacity. The drive will be used with PC's running Win98, WinME, Win2K, or WinXP.

    Does anyone have specific experience with these devices?

  2. #2
    ileacy
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    Re: USB hard drive

    FYI, I finally decided to build my own external USB based on the <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.startech.com/parts/harddrive.htm>Startech</A> USB External IDE enclosure.

    This lets me use available IDE hard drive or other IDE devices (eg. CdRom, CDRW, DVD).

    Street prices can be much lower than suggested retail.

  3. #3
    Bronze Lounger
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    Re: USB hard drive

    ..a much better (and considerably faster) solution. We dealt with hard-drive caddies some time ago on the Board. They are a really good idea.

  4. #4
    ileacy
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    Re: USB hard drive

    Agreed, the hard drive caddies provide a native IDE solution. However, I needed a solution that was portable, high capacity, and usable on notebooks and desktop systems that I could not/did not want to open up.

    This solution also lets me test other IDE devices as external USB.

  5. #5
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    Re: USB hard drive

    High capacity? Do you not find USB excruciatingly slow for large quantities of data? But I get your point.

  6. #6
    ileacy
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    Re: USB hard drive

    USB is definitely slow compared to native devices, however, it is the fastest interface that I am likely to find on all the systems I will be working with.

    My total capacity requirements are fairly high, but, my transfer requirements to/from individual systems are in the 250MB - 1GB range per session.

  7. #7
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    Re: USB hard drive

    You must hang around for quite a time during larger transfers :

    USB = 12Mb/s = 1.5MB/s in practical terms.
    1Gb would take around 2hours.

    Dedication, or do you charge by the hour? <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Rgds

  8. #8
    ileacy
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    Re: USB hard drive

    Actually, much faster than that.

    Just finished 1.95GB reliability tests. Transfer to USB drive completed in approx 42 minutes, or, approx 47.5MBytes/Minute.

  9. #9
    ileacy
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    Re: USB hard drive

    Hi Merc:

    Just finished my hardware testing on the add-in box. Bottomline is that the interface is too slow for high speed streaming devices, but, perfectly adequate for intermittent or slower speed access devices.

    High speed streaming devices include my Onstream IDE Tape drive and 4x wite CD burner. I don't have a Plextor to test with, but, I suspect that it would work because of it's "Burn Proof" technology.

    Other problems (not critical), include:

    -The external box has it's own internal power supply, but, still seems to put an additional drain on system power. Any notebook should be running on AC power before connecting and using the device.

    -The device is fairly heavy and adds an appreciable shoulder weight.

    Benefits of this device include:

    -I can mount a Startech removable drive bay inside the external box and transfer large volumes via drive caddy to systems that are equiped with their own removable drive bays.

    -Low cost, $290 Canadian, including the cost of the external device and a new 40GB 5400 rpm Maxtor drive. Not worth putting a faster 7200 rpm drive in. Removable drive bay optional and additional cost.

    -All system functions (FDISK, FORMAT, SCANDISK, DEFRAG, and network share) work without error. Slower yes, but, without error.

    PS:
    1.5MBytes/sec = 60*1.5=90MB/min=60*90=5400MB/hour or approx 5.3GB/hour.

    I am only getting about 50%-60% of that in real life tests, but, this is entirely adequate for my needs, and, much less expensive than other pre-packaged solutions.

  10. #10
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    Re: USB hard drive

    Interesting.... Is that the latest USB you're using? My figures may have been for the usual USB 1. For my calculations, however, there are no excuses. Slip of the calculator - it was rather close to my bedtime... <img src=/S/blush.gif border=0 alt=blush width=15 height=15>
    Even more interesting is the power drain on the machine you're connected to, even when your device is self-powered. I can't think why that might be.

  11. #11
    ileacy
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    Re: USB hard drive

    <hr>
    Is that the latest USB you're using
    <hr>

    No, just the standard 12mbs. I will probably upgrade to USB2 when support is more generally available.

    <hr>
    the power drain on the machine
    <hr>

    I suspect the drain was caused by continuous USB and hard drive activity.

  12. #12
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    Re: USB hard drive

    I realise some time has passed, but this article should be of interest to anyone who follows this thread. I hope.
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/26/technology/circuits/26STAT.html?rd=hcmcp?p=03One03OzK47rD7012000mibT_i bUr>The New Iomega Hard Drive</A>
    Granville

  13. #13
    ileacy
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    Re: USB hard drive

    Very interesting article. You pay for what you get, and in the case of the Peerless you are paying for a truly portable solution and easy conversion to newer technologies.

    Definitely of interest to road warriors with deep pockets.

  14. #14
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    Re: USB hard drive

    After struggling with the Peerless all day yesterday, I've decided it sucks.
    A wonderful idea abysmally implemented.
    In a nutshell the thing itself was dead and the software uninstallable!
    It's going back as soon as the Return Authorisation arrives...
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Eileen_sig.gif>

  15. #15
    ileacy
    Guest

    Re: USB hard drive

    That surprises me. Is it the firewire implementation that causes the problems?

    I know that it works in a W98/W2K USB environment. I have not tested it with either WinME or FireWire.

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