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External Hard Drive - Suggestions?

_J__J_ PedantRegistered User, __BANNED USERS regular
edited May 2007 in Games and Technology
I find myself in the market for an external hard drive. I think that I shall be in the market for the 100-150 Gig variety.

Does anyone have any suggestions for which brands are most reliable / functional / useful? I will probably get one that is USB 2.0. Price really doesn't matter.

I would appareciate any suggestions or information. Thanks!

_J_ on

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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    If you have a spare internal HD kicking around, it's very easy to buy an enclosure ($20-$50) and just stick it in there. I'm not sure if going this route will save you money if you have to buy the HD as well, but it's very economical if you already have one.

    KalTorak on
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    mausmalonemausmalone Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822144077 This Maxtor is the cheapest I could find from a brand I recognize. I couldn't find anything from 100GB-150GB, so I linked a 160GB.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822101032 I don't know this brand, so I'd suggest looking up some customer reviews ... but I link it because if you can use Firewire, then get a drive that supports both USB 2.0 and firewire (IEEE1394). Even though technically USB should be fast enough, my experience is almost double the performance under Firewire 400 due to lower latency.

    mausmalone on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I have a 500gb buffalo drivestation, never given me any trouble.

    That's entirely anecdotal though. I only got it because it was miss-priced on amazon, got it under half price :D

    LewieP on
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    mausmalone wrote: »
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822144077 This Maxtor is the cheapest I could find from a brand I recognize. I couldn't find anything from 100GB-150GB, so I linked a 160GB.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822101032 I don't know this brand, so I'd suggest looking up some customer reviews ... but I link it because if you can use Firewire, then get a drive that supports both USB 2.0 and firewire (IEEE1394). Even though technically USB should be fast enough, my experience is almost double the performance under Firewire 400 due to lower latency.

    I personally would recommend an enclosure that supports both USB 2.0 (for wide compatibility with other peoples' computers) and eSATA, which is far faster even than Firewire for external drives.

    Daedalus on
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    FirstComradeStalinFirstComradeStalin Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Honestly, just spend around $90 and get http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822204032

    It's 250GB. I have it and it is reliable, durable, and, honestly, having a drive that big for me means that my multimedia storage is set for the next 3 years, even as media becomes larger with the jump in quality. but that's just me

    FirstComradeStalin on
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    BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Honestly, just spend around $90 and get http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822204032

    It's 250GB. I have it and it is reliable, durable, and, honestly, having a drive that big for me means that my multimedia storage is set for the next 3 years, even as media becomes larger with the jump in quality. but that's just me

    Theres even a $20 rebate with that HD you just linked.

    Burtletoy on
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Honestly, just spend around $90 and get http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822204032

    It's 250GB. I have it and it is reliable, durable, and, honestly, having a drive that big for me means that my multimedia storage is set for the next 3 years, even as media becomes larger with the jump in quality. but that's just me

    I've never even heard of Fantom Drives. I'm going to assume that drive brand is going to be about as important for the reliability of an external drive as it is for an internal drive.

    Daedalus on
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    DesertBoxDesertBox Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Honestly, just spend around $90 and get http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822204032

    It's 250GB. I have it and it is reliable, durable, and, honestly, having a drive that big for me means that my multimedia storage is set for the next 3 years, even as media becomes larger with the jump in quality. but that's just me

    I've never even heard of Fantom Drives. I'm going to assume that drive brand is going to be about as important for the reliability of an external drive as it is for an internal drive.

    My sister has that exact drive and she's never had a problem with it. My dad also has a Fantom which has been running without a hitch

    DesertBox on
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    xtaxta Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    externals are just getting ridiculously cheap for price/gb ratio. on deal sites, i'm looking at $100 for 500gb, and prices are always coming down. if you have a fry's electronics near you, that'd be a decent place to get an external drive

    i dont think you have to worry about usb 2.0, as anything reasonably current should have usb 2.0 support, maybe firewire

    you said you're looking for a 100-150gb drive, then you should have a really easy time finding anything with at least that much storage

    xta on
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    Caelum MilitisCaelum Militis Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Most (all?) of the drives suggested so far are 3.5" drives in enclosures, which are

    A) Huge
    B) Most likely going to require external power.

    If those two factors don't bother you, then some of the above drives are great.... however....

    If you're looking for something small and portable, I highly suggest the Western Digital Passport series. 160gig, 2.5" drive (5400rpm) in enclosure, USB 2.0, no external power necessary. They're currently $105 at Costco. Small enough to fit in a pocket, and crazy durable. We've got 4 at work that we've put through their paces, and haven't had so much as a hiccup yet.

    Caelum Militis on
    ~Unyielding resolve has no conquerer~
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    _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    I ended up buying a Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200

    320GB for $119. Meh.

    _J_ on
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    ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Glad you got something.

    I would have personally recommended the WD portable/external drives as many people from work have them and they are really nice. They even make a 1TB version, which is ridiculous. Or a 500GB with eSATA.

    ArcSyn on
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    _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Now that I am thinking about it and using the thing I kind of want to exchange it for something else. Firewire would speed things up considerably (this is only usb 2.0) and not needing external power would also be nice....

    Hrm...

    _J_ on
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    ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    _J_ wrote: »
    Now that I am thinking about it and using the thing I kind of want to exchange it for something else. Firewire would speed things up considerably (this is only usb 2.0) and not needing external power would also be nice....

    Hrm...

    Firewire vs. USB is always a hot topic, but in general USB2.0 and standard Firewire400 are about the same speed. (480Mbps USB2 vs 400Mbps IEEE1394)

    If you have Firewire800 though, you'll get twice the speed. (800Mbps)

    Or eSATA you can get up to 3Gbps (if I read the datasheets correctly)

    ArcSyn on
    4dm3dwuxq302.png
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    _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    ArcSyn wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Now that I am thinking about it and using the thing I kind of want to exchange it for something else. Firewire would speed things up considerably (this is only usb 2.0) and not needing external power would also be nice....

    Hrm...

    Firewire vs. USB is always a hot topic, but in general USB2.0 and standard Firewire400 are about the same speed. (480Mbps USB2 vs 400Mbps IEEE1394)

    If you have Firewire800 though, you'll get twice the speed. (800Mbps)

    Or eSATA you can get up to 3Gbps (if I read the datasheets correctly)

    I just have Firewire 400. If they are roughly the same speed then I may just stick with this.

    I just don't want to dump over 90+ gigs of files and then change my mind.

    _J_ on
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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    This

    and This.

    Your motherboard has SATA ports, right? Then you just use the eSATA bracket that comes with this enclosure. Not sure if it needs power though...


    You can also buy a 3.5" enclosure and a regular drive (more space for less $$.) And get one with eSATA if you have a mobo with SATA support - super fast. This will require external power though.

    tsmvengy on
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    xtaxta Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    notebook (2.5) drives are nice because they don't require plugging into the wall for power. the downside with 2.5 is the slower drive speeds (such as 5400) and less storage capacity

    a regular 3.5 drive has much better prices, much more space, and faster speeds (7200) on the whole

    xta on
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    mausmalonemausmalone Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    ArcSyn wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Now that I am thinking about it and using the thing I kind of want to exchange it for something else. Firewire would speed things up considerably (this is only usb 2.0) and not needing external power would also be nice....

    Hrm...

    Firewire vs. USB is always a hot topic, but in general USB2.0 and standard Firewire400 are about the same speed. (480Mbps USB2 vs 400Mbps IEEE1394)

    If you have Firewire800 though, you'll get twice the speed. (800Mbps)

    Or eSATA you can get up to 3Gbps (if I read the datasheets correctly)

    I know that Firewire 400 and USB 2.0 are supposed to be in the same speed ballpark, but in my experience my external drive on Firewire 400 runs far better than when I run it on USB 2.0.

    I know that theoretically that shouldn't happen, but that's what I get.

    mausmalone on
    266.jpg
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    _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    The external hard drive is for use with a laptop, so sata is out.

    This is the drive I bought tonight: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822144080

    I haven't found a bad review, so if things work out for now i'll probably keep it.

    Edit: 3 minutes to move 4 gigs of data. Yey?

    _J_ on
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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    mausmalone wrote: »
    ArcSyn wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Now that I am thinking about it and using the thing I kind of want to exchange it for something else. Firewire would speed things up considerably (this is only usb 2.0) and not needing external power would also be nice....

    Hrm...

    Firewire vs. USB is always a hot topic, but in general USB2.0 and standard Firewire400 are about the same speed. (480Mbps USB2 vs 400Mbps IEEE1394)

    If you have Firewire800 though, you'll get twice the speed. (800Mbps)

    Or eSATA you can get up to 3Gbps (if I read the datasheets correctly)

    I know that Firewire 400 and USB 2.0 are supposed to be in the same speed ballpark, but in my experience my external drive on Firewire 400 runs far better than when I run it on USB 2.0.

    I know that theoretically that shouldn't happen, but that's what I get.

    theoretic speeds and actual speeds are never close =) its pretty well documented (go read reviews, yes, every review dealing w/ a usb 2.0/firewire drive) that while their theoretical speeds are similar, firewire400 is pretty much always faster than usb 2.0

    taliosfalcon on
    steam xbox - adeptpenguin
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    Doc HollidayDoc Holliday Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I know you've already made your purchase _J_ but for anyone else who happens upon this thread, I <3 my MyBook:

    WDG1C1600E_CP_CP_260_260.jpg

    They are firewire, usb and eSATA enabled.

    I found a chart somewhere stating that Firewire400 had more consistent throughput than usb2.0 making it overall faster.

    The MyBook I bought has a capacity ring (showing how full the drive is) and it's really quiet. It can lay vertically or horizontally which is kinda nice. It's 500GB and I got it for $159 at Best Buy.
    I'll probably buy a couple more until I can afford the Drobo.

    Doc Holliday on
    PSN & Live: buckwilson
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    _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Yeah, I saw the Mybooks and was very tempted...but I opted for the cheaper Maxtor.

    Do the Mybooks do anything special? Or are they just hard drives in plastic cased with a slightly more elaborate frontplate?

    _J_ on
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    Doc HollidayDoc Holliday Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Nothing too special other than the capacity indicator and the 3 interfaces. It has a button on the front that can fire off an application (meant for backup purposes) if that's your thing.

    edit: also they look really cool stacked on a bookshelf :)

    Doc Holliday on
    PSN & Live: buckwilson
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    _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Neat.

    This one is working fine right now. I can transfer files to it quickly (1 gig per minute, or so it seems).

    The most important part is that it not break...but the only way to test that is to just keep using it.

    _J_ on
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    _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Question:

    Is it better to leave the hard drive connected to power or not connected to power when not in use?

    _J_ on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    _J_ wrote: »
    Question:

    Is it better to leave the hard drive connected to power or not connected to power when not in use?

    mine has an auto off, so if it detects no connection it enters standby mode. I assume because that was an advertised feature, some don't have this feature. In those cases you should almost certainly disconnect it when out of use.

    LewieP on
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    LewieP wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Question:

    Is it better to leave the hard drive connected to power or not connected to power when not in use?

    mine has an auto off, so if it detects no connection it enters standby mode. I assume because that was an advertised feature, some don't have this feature. In those cases you should almost certainly disconnect it when out of use.

    Mine has a fan in it that's always on, unless you turn it off with the hard switch in back. I'm guessing that, with the fan cooling it, nothing bad will happen if I leave it on, but the noise can get annoying.

    Daedalus on
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