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Last post Author Topic: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?  (Read 25501 times)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2006, 07:40:28 PM »
Don't know about those particular drives but microdrives are hardware compatible with CompactFlash cards.

I think microdrives are becoming obsolete because the capacities and prices of CompactFlash are growing where as the microdrives hit a wall at about 1Gb.

noth(a)nk.you

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2006, 10:03:34 PM »
Since my laptop came with only 30GB ("How would I ever use...."), an external hard drive became very important after on-campus broadband.

Finding the all-in-one types pretty expensive, I settled on sticking an older (but unused) 80GB WD inside one of the cheapest enclosures I could find on eBay.  The drive heated itself pretty well and, despite my immature attempts at cooling, died at ~6 months.

I sought a new enclosure/HDD combination for cool running (longevity!), and ordered an AMS Venus USB/FW enclosure (DS-2316CBK, $56 at Directron) with a 160GB Seagate (now $60 after rebate at the local CompUSA).  I haven't had any problems so far (it's been two years) and recommend it to everyone.

vegas

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2006, 11:44:35 PM »
I too have bought over 25 AMS Venus enclosures from either NewEgg.com or Meritline.com depending who has the better prices at the time.  Between my own use and for computers I build for other people (or hard drives in this case) I have yet to see or hear of a problem with a single one of these enclosures i ordered.  For the record 22 of them have been their usb 2.0 enclosures and 4 have been their usb2.0/firewire400 enclosures.  Great bang for the buck if you just want something that works very dependably and has great compatibility with drives up to 400gb last time I checked.  Also note, feedback on NewEgg hints that some of their other models (SATA) might not be quite as reliable.

longrun

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2006, 07:23:13 PM »
I highly recommend the SATAVault external enclosure, which has both eSATA (SATA II; some enclosures are only SATA I) and USB 2.0 outputs. It's cool, fast, and reliable and has a removable tray for hot-swapping drives. http://www.usbgear.com/SS-302i-Silver.html

superboyac

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2006, 10:27:47 AM »
The Satavault looks pretty good.  One thing I don't get, however, is why does it have a removable bay if it's just a single bay drive?

Carol Haynes

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2006, 11:08:12 AM »
Presumably so you can swap drives without a screwdriver and without unplugging from your system.

Haven't used one of these but they look cool. Presumably you can stack them too ???

Just to clarify - does it just take SATA I/II drives and have an inbuild USB 2 converter or does it take different drive standards ?

I am still using ATA drives how do you connect this sort of thing to a SATA interface - do you feed a cable into the case or is there a breakout socket on the PC case?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2006, 11:11:43 AM by Carol Haynes »

longrun

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2006, 03:13:06 PM »
As Carol suggests, the bay is removable so that you can hot-swap different drives; additional trays are available from the vendor for $29, I think. Assembly is extremely easy.

The SATAVault takes SATA drives only and has a built-in converter to USB. I don't know if there'd be much reason to have an eSATA output, with its high speeds, for PATA drives. USB would be sufficient.

I looked for a similar design with ATA interface. The SATAVault is made by Stardom Storage Solutions and they call it the iTank Series-i302. Stardom's website is useless but I did find elsewhere the SOHOTANK U6, which can take ATA or be upgraded to SATA: http://www.scsi4me.com/product_info.php?products_id=1161&osCsid=32cd4aebda499fcc05501a6213adb797

There are PATA to SATA converters, but because of the limited space inside the SATAVault I don't think they'd work with it. Incidentally, the SATAVault is also available with USB-only or SATA-only outputs.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2006, 06:04:09 PM »
Thanks

superboyac

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2006, 10:01:28 AM »
I guess the SataVault by Coolgear, and the iTank by Stardon:
http://www.stardom.c...m.tw/web/index_e.htm
are really the same thing.

I like this thing, I might go with it.  I'll get one Satavault, two trays, and that should be a pretty good backup solution.  Of course, I'll need to equip my desktop with esata so I can take advantage of that also.  Sounds pretty good.

JavaJones

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #34 on: June 21, 2006, 02:09:30 AM »
Has anyone here actually looked at benchmarks on SATA drivs vs. PATA lately? :D Drive rotation speed has a much, much greater impact on performance still, so quite frankly until they improve the read speed of the drive itself I don't care that much what the interface is.

http://www.tomshardw...ance_lead/page8.html

Notice that the fastest drive that is *not* a Raptor (10,000RPM) is Ultra ATA. :D

- Oshyan

tomos

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2006, 09:42:24 AM »
Hi
as someone desperately trying to get to grips with all these new types of connections, brand names, PATA ATA & SATA, IDE & SCSI, etc.  :(      i throw out a plea for help :)


What I want are 2 things:

a backup drive that i might backup everything to once a week & keep off the premises
 &
another drive simply to have more space to work with and do more regular smaller backups to.

I dont fully understand these racks - are they external, internal or can they be either?
Okay, looking at the link in the DC backupguide for mobile external racks there seems to be both on offer there at directron.com
Do they then work with all HDs?

If they internal do you need extra fans? Likewise with external?

this ones a bit out of my price range but looks good!   
http://www.sabiostorage.com/   

From Review:
Racks come in two pieces, and inner tray and an outer rack. Hard drives are mounted in the trays, while the outer racks get installed in your computer case.

So you gotta first have space in your computer, then you need to buy:
Rack
Trays
Drives

does usb2 do for internal removable drives or do you need something more exotic!
I read (somewhere here I think) that firewire isnt so good.


Has anyone used the Maxtor one touch II (Retrospect) backup software?

sorry for barraging ye with questions :)
thanks for any help
tom

Tom

Carol Haynes

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #36 on: June 22, 2006, 09:55:58 AM »
Jargon Buster:

ATA - Advanced Technology Attachment. A disk drive implementation that integrates the controller on the disk drive itself.
PATA = Parallel ATA
SATA = Serial ATA

SATA and PATA are more recent developments of the old starndard ATA devices.

Most ATA hard disk drives come with various information eg. ATA66, ATA100 etc. basically the higher the number the faster the interface. They also come with a couple of basic specs such as 7200 RPM and 8.5ms. The RPM is the speed the discs rotate (generally faster is quicker) and the ms value is the average seek time for the device to move from track to track (the smaller the number the better).

They are basically all ATA drives but with different forms of controller integrated.

IDE = Integrated/Intelligent Drive Electronics. It is an ATA specification and the most common disk interface for hard drives, CD-ROM drives, etc.

SCSI = Small Computer Systems Interface, a high-speed communications protocol that allows and disk drives (and many other devies) to communicate with each other.

IDE/ATA drives are usually found in most PCs because they are cheap and easy to use. IDE and ATA are often used interchangeably.

SCSI interfaces and drives are found in more demanding environments because they are generally faster and more flexible in the way they can be set up.

For lots more definitions goto google and sent eg. define:SCSI  etc. in the search box.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2006, 09:59:07 AM by Carol Haynes »

mouser

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #37 on: June 22, 2006, 09:58:01 AM »
let me do a quick reply and others can chime in and elaborate.

the maxtor one touch drives and other similar external usb2 drives are the simplest and most straightforward solution, and can be used both for back up and as just an extra drive.  using them could not be simpler, you just plug them in and they are ready and show up as an additional drive.  they come with their own backup software but you can use any backup software.

now, advanced users can try an external usb2 drive with racks.
in this case you buy:
1) an external usb2 5.25" enclosure with an open front (i.e.: one that is suitable for mounting an external cd/dvd).  make sure it can handle very big drives (>160gb).
2) buy some rack kits (tray and rack) which again are suitable for your drives.
3) buy your hard drive (3.5").

the thing to make sure is that the external drive + racks match your had drive type/speed/size, which they will say.

so if you buy an ide rack, you need ide drives, etc.

superboyac

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #38 on: June 22, 2006, 10:36:36 AM »
Quote
the thing to make sure is that the external drive + racks match your had drive type/speed/size, which they will say.

so if you buy an ide rack, you need ide drives, etc

What if I have IDE drives in my desktop, but I buy the SAtavault so I can use esata, and I also buy an esata pci card for my desktop so I will have the connection available?  Won't that work?

I like the Satavault, because I can use whatever hard drive I want and I can use the same enclosure for more than one hard drive by slipping the trays in and out.

longrun

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #39 on: June 22, 2006, 12:40:19 PM »
Yes, that will work fine. I use the SATAVault with a PCMCIA eSATA card in my notebook, which has an internal PATA drive.

"I like the Satavault, because I can use whatever hard drive I want"--Just making sure you understand that you can use whatever SATA drive you want.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2006, 12:51:40 PM by longrun »

brotherS

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #40 on: June 22, 2006, 01:15:12 PM »
I wonder why noone mentioned Samsung HDs?  :huh:

In the last years I only bought their SpinPoint HDs and am very satisfied, especially with the extremely low noise they make. They did win contests because of that, perfect for silent PCs!  :up:

nudone

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #41 on: June 22, 2006, 02:04:37 PM »
samsung hard drives get my vote too - from the reviews/comparisons i've read they seem to be the quietest there is - and they aren't slow either.

i do wonder why the hardware reviewers praise samsung drives and then everyone else keeps going on about maxtor/wd/etc/etc - doesn't anyone have any faith in reviewers tests results or is it just some kind of morbid habit that people have to keep recommending anything but samsung.

they are the quietest drives i've ever owned over the years i'm pleased to say - hard drive noise sends me insane so i know a quiet drive when i hear it (or don't hear it).

my main irritation and root of my rant probably stems from the amount of times i've told people about samsung drives and how they were praised so highly by reviews - these people nod in agreement with me then turn around and click on 'add to shopping cart' and go and buy a maxtor or whatever instead.

superboyac

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #42 on: June 22, 2006, 03:19:17 PM »
I think there are a couple of things that affect people as far as hard drives (at least for me).  Even though everyone may say Samsung is the best, around here, it's really easy to go to costco or fry's and pick up a maxtor or WD drive or Seagate even, and they're always on sale.  Samsung is a little harder to find.  So that's one thing.  Also, if you have a bad experience with one drive, no matter the reason, you'll tend to avoid it for a long time.  That's how I am with Maxtor.  I had a bad experience in 1998, and I've never considered them again even though I know they're great drives now.  Just a mental block.

nudone

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #43 on: June 23, 2006, 02:45:33 AM »
i agree about not wanting to repeat a bad experience.

speaking more on the idiots i mentioned above - i'd put it down to the power of advertising, or should i say the power of the established brand. i know these people i refer to aren't going to buy a samsung - because in their world samsung doesn't equate to 'hard drive' (and obviously they don't value my opinion) so they'll keep buying the brand that has become synonymous with 'hard drive' in their stagnant brain.

there are fanboys for every type of product.

(just thought i better add - i'm speaking personally about the idiots i know - my example refers to the times that these people have bought goods online where samsung, maxtor, wd, etc, etc have been almost identically priced and available from the same store.)
« Last Edit: June 23, 2006, 02:50:01 AM by nudone »

vegas

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #44 on: June 23, 2006, 08:25:12 AM »
i agree about not wanting to repeat a bad experience.

speaking more on the idiots i mentioned above - i'd put it down to the power of advertising, or should i say the power of the established brand. i know these people i refer to aren't going to buy a samsung - because in their world samsung doesn't equate to 'hard drive' (and obviously they don't value my opinion) so they'll keep buying the brand that has become synonymous with 'hard drive' in their stagnant brain.

there are fanboys for every type of product.

(just thought i better add - i'm speaking personally about the idiots i know - my example refers to the times that these people have bought goods online where samsung, maxtor, wd, etc, etc have been almost identically priced and available from the same store.)

I'm not taking your criticism personally as you noted, but I know my stagnant brain tells me not to buy anything but Seagate.  Considering purchases for myself and other peoples computers over the last 3 years, I have bought over 35 seagate drives 120gb-400gb (mostly 120gb/200gb 7200.7 series) Not a damn one has had an issue yet.  I don't see why I would change a thing with a hard to beat track record like that. By the way steer clear of the 7200.8 series from seagate and consider the 7200.9 or 7200.10 stuff if anyone does consider them.

nudone

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #45 on: June 23, 2006, 09:46:16 AM »
i've just realised - i'm a samsung fanboy.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #46 on: June 23, 2006, 10:25:53 AM »
I'm not taking your criticism personally as you noted, but I know my stagnant brain tells me not to buy anything but Seagate.  Considering purchases for myself and other peoples computers over the last 3 years, I have bought over 35 seagate drives 120gb-400gb (mostly 120gb/200gb 7200.7 series) Not a damn one has had an issue yet.  I don't see why I would change a thing with a hard to beat track record like that. By the way steer clear of the 7200.8 series from seagate and consider the 7200.9 or 7200.10 stuff if anyone does consider them.

Ironically Seagate Barracudas are the only hardware I have ever bought that I sent back for a full refund ;) (and got it)

JavaJones

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #47 on: June 24, 2006, 01:16:56 AM »
For my part I'm aware of the Samsung advantage in noise so I definitely recommend them for any low-noise needs. But they *are* less generally available than other brands and they also tend to have less deals than say Maxtor or Seagate, both of whom often have very low prices with rebates on Outpost.com, for example. I've also been a bit unclear on whether *all* Samsung drives are "low noise" or if they have a special low noise type of drive. I've gone through the trouble of trying to find models in the same group as a well-reviewed quiet drive before but I don't often want to go to the trouble. If I can assume they're all equally quiet I'd be a lot more inclined to buy and recommend them. Otherwise, if their noise level truly does vary from product to product, then it may be too much work to research for anything but a low-noise PC purchase.

- Oshyan

nudone

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #48 on: June 24, 2006, 01:53:34 AM »
i'd just like to add that, i once bought a couple or three western digital drives there were meant to be 'silent'. well, the reviewer concluded they were fantastic all round quality drives so who was i to argue...

i sold the drives as soon as i could get rid of them - they weren't silent at all - they had that all too common hard drive whine that is about as easy to ignore and a persistent fly buzzing around in your room.

i mention this as a month or two later the same reviewer decided that samsung drives where the quietest. so, i'm just saying that silent doesn't always appear to mean silent. let's face it, no hard drive is truly silent.

regarding samsungs current crop of drives - i believe the spinpoints are all built using the same fluid bearing so they ought to offer the same low operational noise level.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Recommendations for good external hard drive solutions?
« Reply #49 on: June 24, 2006, 06:16:42 AM »
For my part I'm aware of the Samsung advantage in noise so I definitely recommend them for any low-noise needs. But they *are* less generally available than other brands and they also tend to have less deals than say Maxtor or Seagate, both of whom often have very low prices with rebates on Outpost.com, for example. I've also been a bit unclear on whether *all* Samsung drives are "low noise" or if they have a special low noise type of drive. I've gone through the trouble of trying to find models in the same group as a well-reviewed quiet drive before but I don't often want to go to the trouble. If I can assume they're all equally quiet I'd be a lot more inclined to buy and recommend them. Otherwise, if their noise level truly does vary from product to product, then it may be too much work to research for anything but a low-noise PC purchase.

- Oshyan

Seagate Barracudas are also very quiet (but they get hot as a result because the noise is kept down by insulation)