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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Looking for external hard drive advice

    After several recommendations I've read here and elsewhere, I've decided to get an external hard drive for backup. (Currently I have two internal hard drives in my computer; one of them is going bad, and I need to replace it soon.) Being a hardware newbie, I'm looking for some advice.

    Is it better to go for a pre-constructed external drive, or to get a "normal" internal drive and install it in a case? Are there any typical gotchas to be aware of? I don't have a lot of experience with hardware, but am willing to learn. Any hints are appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    Re: Looking for external hard drive advice

    I have real good service of the ready made units. We have 3 different brands and they all 5 of them work great.

    Plug and play, is a lot faster than some assembly required.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Looking for external hard drive advice

    There may be some reason that some folks prefer to buy the "case enclosure" thing so they can just use a "regular" drive in it. Personally, with the low(er) prices and BIG sizes, I don't see the reasoning. I have two external USB drives for backup, one is 100 gig and the other 160 gig. They're both Seagate and required NO setup or drivers - just plugged 'em in and presto! The only thing I had to do was, they were both received as FAT32 formatted and I changed that to NTFS using the convert command. I'm happy with the idea of USB external. As I look through sites now, you can buy 250 or 300 gig drives for what I paid for the 160 not too long ago.

    If you search the Lounge you'll also find a few posts on using what's now called eSATA in external enclosures and I know the "throughput" speed is better. It's a question of system architecture and which way you want to go.

  4. #4
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Looking for external hard drive advice

    My first external drive I assembled myself, using a newly bought enclosure kit and a Maxtor HD that came out of an older PC. Still works fine, but was a real hassle to put the HD in the case (tight fit). So when in need for more space, I decided to buy a complete external USB drive (with a Western Digital Caviar inside). Both discs are serving me very well for almost 3 years / 1 year now. So I would go for the ready product now and don't bother to build it myself anymore.

  5. #5
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Looking for external hard drive advice

    I have one of each - one for backup (Seagate 250Gb external drive), and a caddy to take 'an internal HDD' (for recovering data before reformatting etc).

    In use, the main difference between them is that the Seagate is whisper quiet, whereas the caddy plus is much noisier.
    In terms of long term use I would have thought that the drive designed as an external drive would probably have been designed for long life, whereas a caddy is probably not designed with that sort of tolerance,

    It can be useful to have a caddy, particularly when rescuing data from friends' broken machines, but that's another story! If you do look at this, go for a caddy that includes both parallel and Sata connectors.

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