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External Hd


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19 replies to this topic

#1 splackavellie

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 10:33 AM

ok i need to get an external HD. i decided to go with an internal HD and an external kit because i heard it would be the cheaper route. aside from size (i want 250+GB HD) what else should i look for? speed? cache? also what about external kits? ive looked on newegg and they range from $15 to $50+. why are there such a big diff in price? what else do they offer besides housing the HD? any brand to look at and to stay away from?

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#2 Mr_Freeware

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 02:54 PM

i also think i want to get an External Hard drive.

but i have many Q's

1) can someone reccomend one? link from newegg or something?

2) so can i use it to save EVERYTHING on this computer so i can reformat?

is it easy?

does windows have to be installed on the external hard drive?

#3 Mr_Freeware

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 03:31 PM

bump.


i probably should of made this a new post.

#4 usasma

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 05:38 PM

No need to post anew! These kinds of forums take a while to generate responses - especially since most of the members have day jobs (not me - I'm retired :thumbsup:

You can probably save a few bucks by doing it yourself, but I'd recommend an already built unit if you're going to trust your backups to it.

Short story: I was reformatted and reinstalled the OS on my primary drive - unbeknownst to me my backup drive crashed at the same time (I think it was a stray electrical charge) and I lost 3 years worth of data.

Do you want to risk your data that way? I bought a Western Digital 120 gB external USB drive for $120 from NewEgg and couldn't be happier with it. There are smaller one's available - but with this one I backup up 3 computers - and I have several backups of mine on it also.

You'll need some software to make the backups - and for this you'll have to make a choice of which methods to use when.

Method 1) Backup - will copy your files to another location, but will not preserve their location on the disk (this'll break links and mess with files that boot the system up). There are lot's of freeware options available (SyncBack and Cobian are the best - IMO). If your system crashes you'll have to reinstall all your programs.

Method 2) Image - will create an exact image of your hard drive, with the programs intact. It can restore your system in 20 minutes or less. The drawback is that it copies everything - including the stuff that you don't need - and takes up more space than the backup (since you normally don't backup OS files). You can recover the files inside the image by using a special tool to extract them - not nearly as easy as a backup. I only know of one or two freeware apps for this (but haven't used them). Personally, I use Acronis True Image ($50 US) for this purpose.

Now, I use a combination of the 2 methods to protect my data. I backup the essential files on a daily basis - and I image my entire hard disk once a week. It's a lot of storage but I don't ever want to lose that much data again.

Is it easy? Depends on how technically proficient you are. The Acronis program is one of the easiest that I've used, and I can have my system back up and running within 20 minutes easily (and the new Acronis - v9 - is supposed to have an even faster option). And, once you've set these programs up, they'll automatically do it all for you - all you've gotta do is make sure that they've got a place to store the data.

Hope that this helps!

Edited by usasma, 17 October 2005 - 05:41 PM.

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#5 Rimmer

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 07:23 PM

splackavellie

what about external kits? ive looked on newegg and they range from $15 to $50+. why are there such a big diff in price? what else do they offer besides housing the HD?


There are two sizes of external drive kit - some take 2.5" drives like the ones you get in notebooks (smaller, neater, but more expensive) and some take the 3.5" full size drives the same as go in your desktop PC.
Another factor is power supply - some rely on USB power only (not possible for 3.5" drives), some have a plug pack power supply (no, please! not another plug pack! :thumbsup: ) and some have a built in power supply.
Yet another factor is style - colour, shine, lights do they stand up or lie down - all the usual stuff.

If you decide to make your own external with a kit be sure all the interfaces match - USB or Firewire to the PC - IDE or SATA to the hard drive and the power connector matches if you chose a SATA drive.

Let us know how you go :flowers:

Edited by Rimmer, 17 October 2005 - 07:25 PM.


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#6 stidyup

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 06:16 AM

Raid Sonic

These are pretty cool, I've bought one of these for a 250gb hdd. Tech support at raid sonic say they will take at least a 400gb. Build quality very good and easy access.

#7 splackavellie

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 09:23 AM

well i dont really intend to use it for back-ups. its mostly just for storage. its gonna be shared with the whole family and we will just put random stuff there like movies and songs. im mostly wondering what brands of HD to stay away from and which one are known to be reilable. so far only WD and seagate come to mind and nothing else.

yeah its gonna be the 3.5" just because its so much cheaper. so as far as the connector goes, its not like a one size fits all kind of thing? once i get the HD, then look for a kit for that? also are some kits limited by the HD storage space? ive seen some people say this can handle up to xxGB.

besides color and style, what else is important when looking for a kit? is the buid material important? im mostly wondering how to cool these things. should i get one with a bunch of holes or something?(you know what i mean)

Edited by splackavellie, 18 October 2005 - 09:24 AM.


#8 stidyup

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 02:59 AM

Amacon

This case is strong and very durable, I'm pretty certain I could stand on it without it breaking (although I've not tried this). The only downside with the above is that I suspect it doesn't support drives over 250gb as the 300gb seagate I had wouldn't work, but the 120gb seagate I installed worked fine.

The ICY Box will support drives upto 400gb and the reply I had from the raid sonic tech support hinted that it would support even larger. Currently this unit has the 300gb seagate installed which wouldn't work in the Amacon.

Some USB cases have internal fans, others cool just by have air vents and holes in the case.

Other things to look for is the power connector, if they are similar to the PS/2 keyboard mouse connector you need to be careful when connector/disconnecting as they can easily get bent. The Amacon has the most durable connector which I would think is almost impossible to break, whereas the ICY box is more suspectable to getting bent.

Ease of putting together, the ICY box is very to put together. The IDE cable detaches from the controller card very important if you need to remove the hdd. The Amacon IDE is secured to the controller card which makes removal very difficult as I found to my cost when the IDE cable completely disintegrated. Fortunately I get a replacement controller card from Amacon.

Also you need to be check what the largest hdd the USB device supports many will only support upto 250gb, if in doubt contact the vendor before buying.

Edited by stidyup, 19 October 2005 - 03:00 AM.


#9 acklan

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 03:16 PM

If you have a router look into a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. Go to http://www.pricewatch.com and look under HD> ethernet . What nice is it is stand alone, which means you don't need to hook it to another computer. Just plug it into any port on a DHCP router or attached switch (ethernet not usb).

http://www.cintreusa.com/
http://www.maxtor.com/

Edited by acklan, 19 October 2005 - 03:19 PM.

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#10 splackavellie

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 12:19 AM

hhmmm tell me a little more about NAS and how it works. is it just a case or something and i still need to get a regular HD or kinda like a mini server?

also how exactly can we connect to it? are there other ways to hook up to it like usb or firewire or ethernet just in case?

it sounds interesting, but if set-up and installation and other stuff gets kinda confusing, might just have to drop the idea. we need to keep things as simple as possible

#11 acklan

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 06:53 AM

It is stand alone, which means it does not need to be hooked directly to a computer just a DHCP router (the kind you would use with cable/DSL. There are exception. Some of the commeical equipment isdesigned to be connected to a computer via SCSI. The ones I am talking about generally are linux based and run Samba. All you need to really know is you plug into you home LAN and you have extra storage.
Here is another link.
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#12 splackavellie

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 08:58 AM

those NAS are nice, but seems kinda expensive. id prolly just go with a $20-25 kit as they are alot cheaper. plus i guess the kit is more "portable" than those NAS just because i dont need to have a router to connect to it.

#13 acklan

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 10:35 PM

That cool. I thought you wanted to share it over you LAN. USB is you only real choice then. Good luck.
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#14 splackavellie

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Posted 22 October 2005 - 08:22 AM

oh but now that you have shown me that, im gonna keep looking till i find a cheap one. i'll prolly still get a regular kit for now, but i really like the idea of sharing over the lan. just no money right now. (hmmmaybe i can convince my dad to buy the HD and i buy the case hhmm)

as for cases, are there some that offer more than one type of connection? maybe usb and firewire or usb and ethernet? or maybe all three?

#15 acklan

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Posted 22 October 2005 - 01:20 PM

http://www.geeks.com have some good prices.
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