Old 19th March 2009, 19:58   #1
cooky560
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USB Hard Disks

I am looking for a new one as a portable solution for larger amounts of data and I am wondering what the best ones are at the moment?

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Old 20th March 2009, 06:50   #2
swingdjted
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Personally I enjoy having a "My Book" from Western Digital. High capacity,is small with just one drive inside, and lightweight (aluminum/plastic body).

Part of an old post of mine:

Quote:
I finally just bought a 1 TB Western Digital portable hard drive.
No breakable pins on the power cord.
Energy Star rated with multiple power saving features.
Inexpensive.
Free next business day shipping.
Many other perks.
I don't think the case can be opened on it, but I've decided to just always keep it external.
I paid about $230 (free shipping and no tax), but it is far less expensive now at $150.

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/p...9&sku=A1308512

Out of stock for now, but there's a white one available on the site; check other sites too.

[edit] ahh, newegg has it $150 free ship:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...k=WDH1CS10000N

[/edit]
If it's too much, take away eSATA and/or reduce capacity and pay even less. I've had it about a year or more now and I absolutely love it. Some reviews claim it gets too hot without a fan. Bullshit. I have transferred full capacity amounts of data at a time (in a simple copy/paste or in a ghost image) over eSATA and it only warms up a bit. It's silent too. You'd have to put it on a good resonating board and then put your ear against said board to hear it. I give it my full approval. Sad to say, I even dropped it once from about 3 feet up onto a ceramic tile floor. Happy to say, the damage was cosmetic only, and almost not noticeable unless you know where to look - the drive has been operating like new since the drop.

Portable is the way to go too, especially with ultrafast eSATA now available (while not losing the good ol’ USB1&2 and firewire). You wouldn’t believe how handy it is when something comes up where you want your data to be available, especially when you want to do a quick copy/paste from someone else’s computer, something not so quick with a laptop. Portable HDDs are as handy and universal to me as pen drives – only bigger and requiring an outlet.

Having a full terabyte is handy because you can acquire now and compress/sort/edit/weed-out later when time isn’t such an issue.

Every negative review at newegg is utter crap. Some claim it's eSATA interface doesn't work with Vista 64. It does for me. Some say it dies easily; it hasn't for me despite tons of writes and erasures. Others say it is slow for writing - I average around 45-60 MB/sec. Some claim it has no power button, yet it does; you can even see it on the pictures.

So, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GET A 1TB MY BOOK NOW!

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Old 20th March 2009, 07:13   #3
Namelessv1
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Re: USB Hard Disks

Quote:
Originally posted by cooky560
I am looking for a new one as a portable solution for larger amounts of data and I am wondering what the best ones are at the moment?
Well, define "portable" and "larger amounts of data."

Western Digital also offers the My Passport Essential external HD:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136301

It has a small form factor and is USB-powered, which means only one cable is necessary. But, the largest drive size available is only 500 GB and there's no eSATA or FireWire.

If you need a drive larger than 500 GB or that has eSATA, then the My Book that swingdjted suggested looks good.
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Old 20th March 2009, 07:49   #4
baafie
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Save some money and buy a regular hard drive and a seperate USB enclosure. Also, be mindful that if you're going to use USB, the transfer rate will be bottlenecked by the USB interface. So there's no point in shopping for performance.
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Old 20th March 2009, 07:58   #5
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I have trouble finding an enclosure that beats the My Book for all the features and lack of multi-pin power cords.

I like that little passport though. No power cord could mean great things for portability - fits in a pocket and can work on a laptop battery, although the price per gig is pretty high compared to the USB-only My Books. $10 more gets you the 1TB USB-only model (9% price increase gives 100% capacity increase).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136186

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Old 20th March 2009, 11:45   #6
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I also suggest the My Book.

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.
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Old 20th March 2009, 13:18   #7
baafie
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Quote:
Originally posted by swingdjted
Every negative review at newegg is utter crap. Some claim it's eSATA interface doesn't work with Vista 64.
I'd say overall about half of negative reviews for hardware on newegg is from people who are too incompetent to get the device to work with one OS or another. If you're too lame to install a device driver... don't attempt to install hardware yourself!
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Old 20th March 2009, 16:26   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by k_rock923
I also suggest the My Book.
I don't.

Mine died after exactly two years and three days.

Take a guess how long its warranty period was.

(Yeah, I could have tried to see whether they'd still repair/exchange it for free, but since the drive made no unusual sounds I took it apart* to check whether it would work hooked up directly (it's a regular sata drive) - no luck.)

*The case can be opened, it's just a bit fiddly. There are some catches at the top and bottom that have to be pressed in with a flathead screwdriver, and some versions also have a screw on the side hidden behind a sticker. Then you'll have to use your fingernails or another screwdriver to pry the two case parts apart (first pulling out the silicone that runs around the edges helps).
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Old 20th March 2009, 17:12   #9
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Sorry to hear that, gaek.

I don't own one myself. I suggested it because a few people that I know like them.

I've looked at FreeNAS and friends as well, but you lose the portability with that type of solution.

Do you know of others that have a good reputation?

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Old 20th March 2009, 17:15   #10
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That sucks about the warranty. Same situation once happened to me with a lawn mower - about a week after the warranty ran out, it died - wouldn't get spark on the spark plug, even after trying some home remedies including changing the spark plug and wire, sanding/cleaning/re-gapping, having a friend check out the electrical system, etc.

I haven't had the My Book long enough to say how it acts after 2 years, but I can say that the other Western Digital drives I've had all still work (4 total + this one), even an old 15 GB model that was (believe it or not) an "upgrade" to an old Pentium II box.

I'd like to try opening my enclosure some time - not sure why, but it somehow bugs me when I can't open things to tinker inside.

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