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Mains powered external HDD


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#1 Lazza

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 04:52 AM

Hi folks completely new to this and never grew up with computers. Have just bought a Microsoft Surface and wish to add an external HDD. I was told to buy an external HDD with its own power supply not just through the USB. I understand the principal but can not find one to buy. Any advice please. Need about 1 TB or maybe 2. As I live in country Australia I can't pop down the local store - there isn't any, and I will need to buy from Ebay or similar. Thanks in anticipation. As I am 64 and never grew up with computers please don't bombard me with tech speak. Just the basics will do this struggling computer user! Thanks heaps. 



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#2 Platypus

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 06:00 AM

Hi Lazza, welcome to BC!

 

Were you given a specific reason for not using a portable drive? The 3.5" desktop units may or may not cost a little less for a given capacity, and can deliver higher storage capacity. But for use with a mobile device like a Surface, you're limited to using the external drive where mains power is available. I guess that doesn't matter if it's only for backup and long term storage.

 

How far out of town are you? If you're ever somewhere where there is an Officeworks, they can be useful - I've got my last two pocket drives there.

 

Of course there are many options on ebay, perhaps uncertain... Another I've dealt with before is PCCG:

 

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=210_1758

 

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=210_173


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#3 Lazza

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 09:20 AM

Thank you for that. What I was told is that up to 500GB a USB powered HDD is ok.  More than that you need an 'external - mains powered' HDD. The USB works on 500milliamps and the mains powered work on 1.5 amps? That is what the sales guy at JB Hi Fi advised. All I want to do is be able to have a good amount of extra storage for photo's and files etc. I suppose that 500 GB is huge anyway? As I said before I am 'old' and computer 'speak' is beyond me at times. That is why any common sense info is appreciated. Thanks for your help. I have read a lot of 'posts' since becoming registered and everyone seems to be helpful. Nic eto know help is out there. I will go to Officeworks next time I am in Perth. Thanks again Lazza



#4 DataMedic

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 12:25 PM

The capacity of the hard drive and it's power draw are unrelated.  That has more to do with the number of platters (disks) inside the drive.  Many older small capacity drives actually draw more power than the newer/bigger ones.

 

I wouldn't try to run any USB powered drives off of a tablet ever, unless it's an SSD which will draw very little power however is very expensive.  Here's one that could work if you don't want the external power supply: Samsung External SSD

 

Otherwise you might consider something like a WD My Book which has it's own power supply, but isn't the most portable either.


Edited by DataMedic, 19 May 2015 - 12:28 PM.


#5 Lazza

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 10:21 PM

Thanks for the help. I will go with the SSD option now I know what it all means. Many thanks Lazza



#6 Platypus

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 10:47 PM

If the cost doesn't deter you, an SSD can be a good option for smaller capacities - being completely solid state, it can survive a drop which would damage a regular HDD. I store large image files, so the current 2.5" external drive I'm saving to is 2TB, and being USB3 it's fine to be powered from the USB. But even my little Asus Eee netbook with USB2 is quite happy using it while running from battery.


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#7 DataMedic

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 07:16 AM

Yes, but he's running a tablet, not a laptop or even a netbook.  The USB ports on most tablets are very limited on how much power they provide.  Many USB powered drives won't even work, and even if they do it'll kill the battery fast, really fast.



#8 Platypus

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 07:57 AM

I was addressing Lazza's concern that he could need up to a 2TB drive, and that the 500mA USB could only accommodate up to 500GB. I was pointing out that my 2TB USB3 bus powered drive was quite fine on the USB2 (500mA) port on my netbook, even under battery power, which would be the most likely to show up if the drive wanted more than the port could provide. It's a moot point if the choice is for an SSD.


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