Recommended External HD??


S

Sam

I am in need of an external HD to use with my current Dell 8200 computer
with windows XP Pro (SP3) (my current external HD failed today!!). This
replacement external HD will also be used with the new computer I plan to
purchase in the very near future. I would like to have an external HD that
has an internal fan and without any backup software installed since I plan
to use the Windows 7 image backup program. Thanks for any help, Sam.
 
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A

Al Smith

Sam said:
I am in need of an external HD to use with my current Dell 8200 computer
with windows XP Pro (SP3) (my current external HD failed today!!). This
replacement external HD will also be used with the new computer I plan to
purchase in the very near future. I would like to have an external HD that
has an internal fan and without any backup software installed since I plan
to use the Windows 7 image backup program. Thanks for any help, Sam.
I would be inclined to get a 2.5 inch USB external hard drive for
back up purposes, because they are powered by the USB connection
and don't need a power block to be plugged in to use them. They
are also more compact and lighter than the 3.5 inch drives. The
downside is that they don't hold as much as 3.5 inch drives.

Another thing to consider is getting a SATA capable drive, if your
computer has an external SATA port (as mine does). Much faster
backups that way.

I recently bought a 2 TB Samsung drive (internal, not external).
In my readings it seemed to me that they were having difficulties
with Western Digital presently. These problems with hard drives go
in cycles, one maker one year and another the next year. I'm avoid
Western Digital drives right now.

I highly recommend the free program Paragon Backup and Recovery
10.1 for mirror-image backups of the entire boot drive. It works
with Windows 7, both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows.

-Al-
 
K

Ken1943

I am in need of an external HD to use with my current Dell 8200 computer
with windows XP Pro (SP3) (my current external HD failed today!!). This
replacement external HD will also be used with the new computer I plan to
purchase in the very near future. I would like to have an external HD that
has an internal fan and without any backup software installed since I plan
to use the Windows 7 image backup program. Thanks for any help, Sam.
I have two Thermaltake Max 4 with Western Digital 640 gig drives (sata).
Software is TrueImage.


KenW
 
J

John Aldred

Sam said:
I am in need of an external HD to use with my current Dell 8200 computer
with windows XP Pro (SP3) (my current external HD failed today!!). This
replacement external HD will also be used with the new computer I plan to
purchase in the very near future. I would like to have an external HD that
has an internal fan and without any backup software installed since I plan
to use the Windows 7 image backup program. Thanks for any help, Sam.
I use an Iomega Prestige 320 GB USB2 portable hard drive.
I have an old Dell Dimension 8250 with XP SP3 installed. It appears to work
OK with that, but I purchased it primarily to back up my wife's Win7
laptop.
I've used it with the Microsoft backup utility to make an image of the Win7
drive on the laptop, and I've also used it with Acronis True Image to make
a disk image of my Win7 installation on a Dell Inspiron 530 desktop.
 
G

GlowingBlueMist

Sam said:
I am in need of an external HD to use with my current Dell 8200
computer with windows XP Pro (SP3) (my current external HD failed
today!!). This replacement external HD will also be used with the
new computer I plan to purchase in the very near future. I would like
to have an external HD that has an internal fan and without any
backup software installed since I plan to use the Windows 7 image
backup program. Thanks for any help, Sam.
Not as pretty as an external chassis and no fan but I now use a Thermotake
BlacX SATA USB docking station, commonly called a Toaster drive due to it's
appearance. No worries about overheating but keep static discharge in mind
when swapping or handling the drives. Mine has a power switch should I want
to leave a drive in it while it's powered down and not needed.

It lets me purchase and use any bare SATA drive up to 2TB be it 3.5 or 2.5
inch through any USB port. This way I can drop in a drive, make a backup
and take it off site or store one in my car trunk in an old foam lined
aluminum camera case. I use TrueCrypt to encrypt all my external drives so
I'm not worried about the data if one is stolen. Nice being able to swap
drives with out having to open up the case or purchase more external cases
just for backups.
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

I am in need of an external HD to use with my current Dell 8200 computer
with windows XP Pro (SP3) (my current external HD failed today!!). This
replacement external HD will also be used with the new computer I plan to
purchase in the very near future. I would like to have an external HD that
has an internal fan and without any backup software installed since I plan
to use the Windows 7 image backup program. Thanks for any help, Sam.
I think the only really valid recommendation is that you don't use the
same brand you had - for psychological reasons :)

Actually, I agree with pretty much everything the other posters said,
but not necessarily the ones who post later :)

Like Al Smith and for the same reasons, I use a portable USB drive for
my more frequent backups. Like GlowingBlueMist, I use a docking station
and bare 3.5" drives for my more occasional backups. The portables tend
to be slower than 3.5" drives, but since the USB bus is slower still,
no problem.

OTOH, on the laptop, I use a 2.5" bare drive for docking, so I could
just drop it in if the built-in one fails.

I would do the same for the desktop, but it's an all-in-one, so it
would entail major disassembly. However, the warranty is over, so maybe
that's OK now :)

My software is Macrium Reflect (paid edition) for images and Casper for
clones (belt and suspenders). Both have advantages and both have
disadvantages, but I can live with them OK.
 
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A

Andrew

Sam said:
I am in need of an external HD to use with my current Dell 8200 computer
with windows XP Pro (SP3) (my current external HD failed today!!). This
replacement external HD will also be used with the new computer I plan to
purchase in the very near future. I would like to have an external HD that
has an internal fan and without any backup software installed since I plan
to use the Windows 7 image backup program. Thanks for any help, Sam.
I like Maxtor, but almost anything will do.
I stay away from Western Digital.
 
L

LouB

Andrew said:
I like Maxtor, but almost anything will do.
I stay away from Western Digital.
Why please.
I have an un-opened 1TB drive right now.
I can return it.
 
A

Andrew

LouB said:
Why please.
I have an un-opened 1TB drive right now.
I can return it.
Well this is my experience, others have had good experiences with them I
assume.
I had 3 fail (all 500gb) in a period of about 2 months.

A couple years ago they had the WD My Book 500GB drives on sale at Costco
for something like $70.00 each.
I bought three. 2 were used as backup drives and 1 of them was used as
media for a media center DVR.
I noticed they all got hot, I mean really hot, but thought nothing of it.
Eventually they all failed.

Since then I have bought Maxtor USB drives with internal fans.
Now granted, the Media Center DVR was probably not the best choice of use
cases for a cheap HD, but I have had the $99.00 Maxtor doing it for more
than a year.
Like I said, it's personal experience, maybe I got a bad lot, or maybe the
WD My Book was a lousy product. I still don't know, but I don't buy WD
anymore.
 
C

Char Jackson

Why please.
I have an un-opened 1TB drive right now.
I can return it.
If you check sites where people leave hard drive reviews, such as
Newegg or perhaps Amazon, you can always find people who love one
brand and hate another. Within all of that noise, certain models will
periodically have higher than normal failure rates so the best you can
do is look for reviews on your specific drive and see what people are
saying. Even then, you're likely to see a broad mix of 'love it / hate
it" reviews. Excessive heat is well known to shorten a drive's life,
so avoiding that will help.
 
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S

SC Tom

Andrew said:
Well this is my experience, others have had good experiences with them I
assume.
I had 3 fail (all 500gb) in a period of about 2 months.

A couple years ago they had the WD My Book 500GB drives on sale at Costco
for something like $70.00 each.
I bought three. 2 were used as backup drives and 1 of them was used as
media for a media center DVR.
I noticed they all got hot, I mean really hot, but thought nothing of it.
Eventually they all failed.

Since then I have bought Maxtor USB drives with internal fans.
Now granted, the Media Center DVR was probably not the best choice of use
cases for a cheap HD, but I have had the $99.00 Maxtor doing it for more
than a year.
Like I said, it's personal experience, maybe I got a bad lot, or maybe the
WD My Book was a lousy product. I still don't know, but I don't buy WD
anymore.
Now you have ME worried. I have a My Book 500MB that I use for backup
images. I don't notice it getting real hot, but it does get quite warm.
Maybe I'll mount a small USB fan to pull air through it to help stave off
the death by overheating. I like the one I have since it supports eSATA and
Firewire. Have you ever tried using another brand drive in the My Book case,
or do you think the case is the cause of the heat?
 
M

Mortimer

I have a WD Passport drive which works very well, though it has an annoying
limitation: it will only work with the 6-inch USB cable that they supply,
and this cannot be extended by adding a male-female USB extension cable - if
you do so, the disk chatters and generates "unknown device" errors in
Windows.

I contacted WD and they claimed that it was a problem with the disk not
receiving enough power when an extension cable was used, but I suspect that
it is a timing issue: the drive may be working right at the limit of the USB
spec and adding extra cable may produce reflections in the signal which mess
up the timing.

This is only really a problem if you PC doesn't have front USB sockets and
you need to keep pulling out the PC to plug the drive into rear USB sockets.
 
A

Al Smith

LouB said:
Why please.
I have an un-opened 1TB drive right now.
I can return it.

If you look at some of the comments at New Egg and other sites
regarding Western Digital, you will find that many people are
having problems with drive failures at the present time. As I
wrote in an earlier post, these things run in cycles. A few years
ago, Maxtor was the drive to stay away from. Right now it seems to
be Western Digital.

-Al-
 
A

Al Smith

Char said:
If you check sites where people leave hard drive reviews, such as
Newegg or perhaps Amazon, you can always find people who love one
brand and hate another. Within all of that noise, certain models will
periodically have higher than normal failure rates so the best you can
do is look for reviews on your specific drive and see what people are
saying. Even then, you're likely to see a broad mix of 'love it / hate
it" reviews. Excessive heat is well known to shorten a drive's life,
so avoiding that will help.

Exactly. Some brands, some models, have a higher failure rate at
any given time. When I see higher failures from a manufacturer, I
try to stay away from that manufacturer, even if I'm buying a
different model of drive. Some years ago I was having failures
with Maxtor drives. I warned everyone to stay away from Maxtor. At
that time, many buyers hadn't realized that there was a problem
with Maxtor, but a year or so later Maxtor almost went out of
business due to their bad reputation. Today, Western Digital seems
to be having the problems.

-Al-
 
L

LouB

Al said:
Exactly. Some brands, some models, have a higher failure rate at any
given time. When I see higher failures from a manufacturer, I try to
stay away from that manufacturer, even if I'm buying a different model
of drive. Some years ago I was having failures with Maxtor drives. I
warned everyone to stay away from Maxtor. At that time, many buyers
hadn't realized that there was a problem with Maxtor, but a year or so
later Maxtor almost went out of business due to their bad reputation.
Today, Western Digital seems to be having the problems.

-Al-
Thanks to all for comments.
 
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D

Dave

snip
Well this is my experience, others have had good experiences with them I
assume.
I had 3 fail (all 500gb) in a period of about 2 months.

A couple years ago they had the WD My Book 500GB drives on sale at Costco
for something like $70.00 each.
I bought three. 2 were used as backup drives and 1 of them was used as
media for a media center DVR.
I noticed they all got hot, I mean really hot, but thought nothing of it.
Eventually they all failed.

Since then I have bought Maxtor USB drives with internal fans.
Now granted, the Media Center DVR was probably not the best choice of use
cases for a cheap HD, but I have had the $99.00 Maxtor doing it for more
than a year.
Like I said, it's personal experience, maybe I got a bad lot, or maybe the
WD My Book was a lousy product. I still don't know, but I don't buy WD
anymore.
I've got one of those also, paid appx $80, used it for a complete backup
when I first got it using Memeo software that came with it. After doing a
couple incremental backups and I got a laptop, I tried to do a backup on
each but the software was a "Demo" version and wouldn't work anymore.
Communications with Memeo got me a pitch to sell me a software for $40 and
WD they gave me canned responses. I looked around and there are several
other choices of drives with fully functional software at a cost of a lot
less than the $120 total I would have invested in the WD.
Dave
 
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S

SC Tom

Dave said:
snip

I've got one of those also, paid appx $80, used it for a complete backup
when I first got it using Memeo software that came with it. After doing a
couple incremental backups and I got a laptop, I tried to do a backup on
each but the software was a "Demo" version and wouldn't work anymore.
Communications with Memeo got me a pitch to sell me a software for $40 and
WD they gave me canned responses. I looked around and there are several
other choices of drives with fully functional software at a cost of a lot
less than the $120 total I would have invested in the WD.
Dave
There's a WD version of Acronis True Image available for free. You can
download it from WD here:
http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp?swid=119&wdc_lang=en

It only works with WD drives, whether internal or external. I use it with my
WD My Book to make images of my XP desktop with a Seagate and a Maxtor
drive, and my Win7 laptop with its Hitachi drive. Works very well, it's fast
(from the boot CD), and it's free. I've used the images to restore both
machines at one time or another, so I can testify that it works well with
XP, Win7, and before that, Vista.
 

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