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View Full Version : Anything I should look for, or stay away from,in buying an external hard drive?



ChrisB
2005-12-08, 07:25
What are you looking for from your drive? I'd favor a quality enclosure
that you fit your own drive to (an Icybox, for example), and then not
only do you have the luxury of choosing your interface (I went for a
combined USB2/SATA), your capacity and your HD manufacturer, you can
also replace the HD at a later date with no worries, because the
internal interface is standard.

Chris

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of Kyle
Sent: 08 December 2005 14:07
To: discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
Subject: [slim] Anything I should look for, or stay away from,in buying
an external hard drive?


Besides size, USB2 and maybe Firewire, of course. Are there significant
differences between brands?


--
Kyle
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View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=18909

Kyle
2005-12-08, 07:36
I'm just looking for a quick, simple plug-and-play solution for storing music files and maybe backing up some files from my desktop. Two I am looking at are Iomega and IOGear. Do you know anything about those brands?

ChrisB
2005-12-08, 07:55
I'm sure they're both do an adequate job, but I reiterate - if you don't
want anything fancy, get a third-party enclosure, and a reliable, quiet
HDD from a manufacturer offering a 5-year guarantee. Might even be
cheaper.

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of Kyle
Sent: 08 December 2005 14:37
To: discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
Subject: [slim] Re: Anything I should look for, or stay away from,in
buying an external hard drive?


Two I am looking at are Iomega and IOGear. Does anyone know anything
good or bad about either brand?


--
Kyle
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kyle's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=2541
View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=18909

Christian Pernegger
2005-12-08, 10:46
Another vote for Maxtor here.

I've been able to replace the drive without problems if it died or I
wanted a bigger one. This will void the warranty on the enclosure, but
you can always RMA a dead disk by itself.

C.

Steve Baumgarten
2005-12-08, 10:59
> Another vote for Maxtor here.

Me as well. Just got the Maxtor OneTouch 300GB Firewire/USB2 model
yesterday, plugged it into a spare Firewire jack on my PC last night and
was all ready to go in a couple minutes. (This is to augment the 250GB
model that I got last year. Man, those FLAC files take up space after a
while.)

They're so quiet you barely know they're there. I've had zero problems
with my 250GB model so getting another was a no-brainer.

Only thing to note: they come pre-formatted with a FAT32 file system. In
general NTFS is much preferable on an XP system, so you may want to do a
quick format before using it. (Nothing wrong with FAT32, just that NTFS
is more reliable and safer, of course assuming you're using XP rather
than Linux.)

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chiphart
2005-12-08, 12:24
Chris Brooking wrote:
> I'm sure they're both do an adequate job, but I reiterate - if you don't
> want anything fancy, get a third-party enclosure, and a reliable, quiet
> HDD from a manufacturer offering a 5-year guarantee. Might even be
> cheaper.

Let me add a vote to this solution with some more specifics.

1) I don't think there really is a difference among the big HD
makers in terms of quality these days (though not willing to
fight about it), but there is in terms of service. I somehow
blew a new Maxtor 200G earlier this year and they sent me
(2-day) a *250GB* to replace it for free. Even more
importantly, they were incredibly competent and helpful on the
phone. I'll get a Maxtor when possible from now on.

2) Buying a third party enclosure and adding your own drive will
often cut your total costs almost in 1/2. I've been able to
"make" my own 2-300GB external drives for the price of a
pre-built 80G (or less) each time. [BTW, "make" == "use a
screwdriver for a minute." Don't be afraid.]

3) The best method, imo, is to watch the Sunday flyers for
sales at the local Big Box store on hard drives. On Black
Friday, for example, there were 300GB drives at Staples for $40
(I should have bought 5, but was too late). On pricewatch.com,
right now, there are a number of places offering 200GB WD
drives (formerly, the standard) for ~$75-80. That's ok, but
look for a local loss leader.

4) Enclosures can be found everywhere for 1/2 to 1/10th the
cost of what you can get at at a Best Buy, etc. eBay is a
favorite, but I've gotten a 1/2 dozen from dealsonic.com, which
makes browsing for the features you want (size, connection,
etc.) quite easy. You can usually find a decent one for
$25-$35. The previous comments about finding *cool* (temp, not
aesthetic) ones is, indeed, important. Look for drive
enclosures with fans. If *quiet* is also important, then you
have to start spending $$.

5) Special requirements (FW+USB, 2.5" drives, SATA, etc.) are
all just as possible.

6) THAT said, I just spotted this deal on pricewatch.com:

http://www.memorylabs.net/300gb72rpmex.html

If you aren't looking for extra performance (i.e., you just want
to save your files for your slim), that USB/Maxtor/300GB deal
at $121 is pretty good!

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