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External storage

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by the_sanguine, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. the_sanguine

    the_sanguine
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    I need an external hard rive that I can use to store all my data on. I use more than one PC and need something portable or semi portable at least. I have a budget of about £150-£200. I'll only be storing files such as .pdf .xls, .doc .mp3 etc so I don't need real time video streaming or anything.

    What are the best options?
     
  2. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    IMO - Grab a normal 2.5" or 3.5" Hard disk and a USB/Firewire external box. It's basically the same as what companies offer as such.

    You can pick up an external box & HDD from Ebuyer - or if you hate buying on the web, Maplin stores have them.

    160gb Hard disk is about £70-£80, external box around £20-£30 for a USB only roughly. I found a friend in Canada a 2.5" Enclosure for something like $20 US (and no PSU needed for those - the USB port powers it nicely)
     
  3. HMHB

    HMHB
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    You can also get one of the excellent Maxtor external drives if you don't waant to build one yourself. If you want total portability without the need for an external power supply you should look at the Lacie range. They do an external USB2/Firewire drive that is very compact and draws it's power from the port, but they are not so large capacities and you will also pay more for these. The best value for money I've seen are the maxtor ones. If it were me I would go for one that could be used either USB2 or Firewire.
     
  4. the_sanguine

    the_sanguine
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    Thanks, is Ebuyer the best place to get them?
     
  5. HMHB

    HMHB
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    Ebuyer has a lot of different external drives for you to choose from. I've never had a problem with them, although everything I've bought from them has been working OK when received.
     
  6. Mylo

    Mylo
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    Don't forget www.dabs.com, good prices and lightening fast delivery normally even when you choose the standard option. The Lacie range of external HDs are very good.
     
  7. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    Personally wouldn't go for Maxtor's - the larger hard disks appear to have a high failure rate. (I recall buying 10 once and sending 9 back as DOA).

    Obviously the choice of prebuilt vs self built is your own - but as it's only 1 or 2 cables (HDD type depending) and 4-8 screws..............
     
  8. Yandros

    Yandros
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    I'm using the USB Icybox enclosures

    http://www.chillblast.com/customer/product.php?productid=16678

    together with Seagate Barracuda 160Gb IDE drives. We're using them as archive drives at work, so I've got a stack of a dozen now, and only cost about £90 ex vat each.

    The installation is:
    1. undo 4 thumbscrews from lid
    2. change one jumper on drive
    3. connect power and ide cables and drop into box
    4. screw the HDD to the base plate (screws supplied)
    5. put lid back on
    6. power up and connect USB cable to pc - XP automatically detects as removeable drive with no extra drivers needed.
    7. go into computer management - disk management, create a partition, then format the drive.

    total time from start to finish is about 10 minutes.

    Firstly they're a LOT cheaper than off the shelf solution, and secondly you can change the drive if you fancy an upgrade or have a drive failure.
     
  9. the_sanguine

    the_sanguine
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    Thanks, maybe I should mention that one of the PCs I use is a company one and I have limited rights. I know this is straightforward for you guys but it's rocket science to me.....
     
  10. Yandros

    Yandros
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    Point taken Sanguine, but don't worry. You only need to muck about with disk administrator once only for that drive, just to create a partition and format it. You'd use the PC that you do have full rights for (your home one I assume).

    As I said above, the drive installation is a matter of moving a jumper on the back of the drive across by one using a pair of tweezers (I prefer a high tech solution of a bent paperclip), connecting one end of 2 cables, that can only go in one way, and fitting 4 screws.

    In disk administrator, the new drive appears, but shows up as unpartitioned free space. You just right-click on this new drive, create a new partition, and say yes when Windows asks if you want to format it.

    Once the drive is formatted, you can plug it into any XP PC you like, and it'll just pop up as a new drive letter in Windows explorer totally automatically.
     
  11. the_sanguine

    the_sanguine
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    Cheers.

    I'm not really that useless, I've been frigging around with telecomms all my life but not PCs. I'm not scared of a screwdriver, pliers and soldering iron, I just don't wanna screw my work PC up, that's all.

    At the moment, I'm using my i-river for this purspose, it works fine but not a cheap option!
     
  12. Yandros

    Yandros
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    I use these Icyboxes for the office backup of our main office server (Windows Server 2003). Formatted USB HDDs pop up in the same way as USB pen drives, so they aren't at all likely to muck anything up. The only issue we occasionally have is that the "Safely remove hardware" option on the taskbar doesn't always allow us to stop the device straight away to hot-unplug it(sometimes have to wait for half an hour). Of course with a regular workstation PC, you'd simply switch the PC off!
     
  13. Mylo

    Mylo
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  14. the_sanguine

    the_sanguine
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    That's not bad....I could probably stick a nice sticker on it and sell it for more than that on Ebay!
     

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