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#267454 - 07/29/09 03:42 AM External hard drive recommendations
CV Offline
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Does anyone have a specific external hard drive to recommend? The WD My Book Home 500 GB that I'm using is getting a little iffy, and I'd rather have all of my data on a new drive. 500 GB is plenty, though I have no problem with more space if performance isn't compromised. Thanks for any help you can offer.

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#267455 - 07/29/09 06:50 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: CV]
EFalardeau Offline
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Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 3400
Loc: Laval, Quebec, Canada
I have used a whole bunch of them (and still am). The ones that have given me the most failure trouble are the comstar. The ones that gave me poor performance are the iomega.
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#267457 - 07/29/09 07:12 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: EFalardeau]
Murph Offline
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Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6955
Loc: PEI, Canada
Agreed on Comstar = bad. I had one I had to return immediately as it was DOA and the replacement lasted less than a year.

I currently have a Western Digital 500GB that is doing well after what must be 2 years and there is a Seagate here at work that gets lugged around by multiple people and generally treated very baddly but yet still survives. I forget the exact model but I have a lot of respect for that one.
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#267458 - 07/29/09 07:43 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: Murph]
SRoode Offline
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Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 1278
Loc: Fishers, Indiana, USA
I use this item:

http://www.aluratek.com/product_info.php?products_id=66&display=All

It was only like $50, and then you can plug in any 3.5" or 2.5" internal hard drive you want.
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#267461 - 07/29/09 07:55 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: SRoode]
CV Offline
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Registered: 07/20/06
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I may have to go with that Aluratek. Nice build quality?

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#267463 - 07/29/09 08:03 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: CV]
Murph Offline
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Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6955
Loc: PEI, Canada
It has a certain Alura to it's tek.

Oh God, I just fell for marketing crap.
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#267467 - 07/29/09 08:16 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: Murph]
SRoode Offline
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Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 1278
Loc: Fishers, Indiana, USA
Yes, the build quality is nice. It works very well and can interface either by USB 2.0 or (even better) ESATA. It also has several USB ports on it, so you can use it as a USB hub too. When I plug in a drive (using ESATA), it is just as fast as an internal hard drive.
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#267472 - 07/29/09 08:54 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: SRoode]
EFalardeau Offline
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Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 3400
Loc: Laval, Quebec, Canada
I am planning to try that in the next batch of hard drive upgrades I perform (hopefully not until a year or two as I am finishing one right now to retire all comstar from my server).
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#267474 - 07/29/09 09:38 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: EFalardeau]
Ya_basta Offline
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Registered: 06/23/07
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I've been using a 300 GB Seagate Freeagent Pro, for at least three years now, and I've found it to be very reliable. It comes loaded with Memeo Auto backup software.
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#267476 - 07/29/09 09:57 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: Ya_basta]
CV Offline
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Registered: 07/20/06
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Thanks for the responses so far, guys. Except for your second response, Murph. Ha ha.

Steve, I do have an eSATA connection, so we'll see how that goes. I couldn't get my current WD to work right with it. It didn't want to wake up after a period of inactivity. Of course, now it's doing the same thing when I'm connected via USB 2.0. It's also taking longer to prime itself when I turn it on--a worrying struggle--which is why I want to replace it as soon as possible.

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#267482 - 07/29/09 10:32 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: CV]
Ya_basta Offline
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Registered: 06/23/07
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My Freeagent Pro is run via an eSATA connection. As far as connection speeds go, as far as I know, eSATA transfer speeds vary, as it is dependent on what your computer does with it.

I have read many, many complaints of a slow eSATA transfer rate, many stating that they find it no faster than USB 2.0.
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#267483 - 07/29/09 10:35 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: CV]
michael_d Offline
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Registered: 07/23/04
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Loc: Up yonder
Just get a HP Smart Media Server. I love mine.

But, if you don't want to go that route, I prefer my Seagate Free Agent Pro over my two WD drives. It works all time without any issue, ever. The WD's have given me troubles from time to time.
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#267485 - 07/29/09 10:42 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: michael_d]
Ya_basta Offline
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Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4299
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
 Originally Posted By: michael_d
I prefer my Seagate Free Agent Pro over my two WD drives.


Yep, my computer and external hard drive are on every day, from first thing in the morning until 11 at night, and the Seagate keeps on rolling on (touch wood).
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#267521 - 07/29/09 05:27 PM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: Ya_basta]
Ken.C Offline
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How's the power usage on the HP Smart Media Server? Does it sleep when it's not being contacted by the client computers? Does it have at least mirrored drives?
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#267522 - 07/29/09 05:38 PM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: CV]
zero002021 Offline
buff

Registered: 07/04/09
Posts: 41
Loc: Boston, MA
I've been using a 320 GB Seagate Freeagent Pro as a backup drive for a few years. It works great and hasn't given me any trouble.

Keep in mind that most consumer-level external hard drives aren't meant to be used 24/7. They usually have basic enclosures and don't have the proper cooling to be used around the clock. Like with all electronics, excessive heat will damage a hard drive.

Make sure you get an external drive with a properly cooled enclosure, especially if you will be leaving it on often.


Edited by zero002021 (07/29/09 05:40 PM)
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#267524 - 07/29/09 06:10 PM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: Ken.C]
EFalardeau Offline
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Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 3400
Loc: Laval, Quebec, Canada
HP MediaSmart is essentially running Windows Server 2003 renamed "Home Server". It can do wakeup-on-LAN, I think.
It uses replication to spread copies on various disks.
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#267525 - 07/29/09 06:13 PM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: zero002021]
EFalardeau Offline
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Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 3400
Loc: Laval, Quebec, Canada
All of my USB external drives are turning only when accessed and they remain cool unless they are part of constant streaming. The Comstar seem to be the hottest.
_________________________
E = MC2 = ((2M80 + VP180 + 4QS8)/(EP800 + EP500))^(ADA1500 x D2v)
AxiomAir/6xM2/4xM22/2xVP150/2xM3

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#267529 - 07/29/09 06:36 PM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: EFalardeau]
michael_d Offline
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Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 4195
Loc: Up yonder
Not real sure about that Ken. It's always humming along because I have Squeezcenter installed on it as an app and it's always ready to go whenever I hit the play button. You can set up the drives however you like. I just installed a 1T drive on it and set it up to back up the other two 500 gig drives.

For more info on the server, I go here http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/index.php
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#267549 - 07/29/09 11:26 PM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: michael_d]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
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Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11677
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
 Originally Posted By: michael_d
Just get a HP Smart Media Server. I love mine.

But, if you don't want to go that route, I prefer my Seagate Free Agent Pro over my two WD drives. It works all time without any issue, ever. The WD's have given me troubles from time to time.


I've looked at the HPs before and am interested, but I think I'll wait until Windows 7 is out before I look at any media servers. I want to build a new computer and that other stuff all at once. Right now I'll just go with a hard drive. I'm glad to hear these positive things about Seagate, since I didn't even have them on my radar.

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#267574 - 07/30/09 11:16 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: CV]
cb919 Offline
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1166
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
CV,
This was mentioned in another thread a while back, but you may want to consider a unit like the DNS-323. It'll let you choose whatever hard drives you want as long as their 3.5 inch SATA/SATA2.

BTW, I also agree with the positive Seagate experiences.
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#267659 - 07/31/09 02:57 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: cb919]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
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Registered: 07/20/06
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Wellll, here's what I ended up ordering:

Thermaltake BlacX eSATA USB Docking Station

Western Digital Caviar Green 1 TB Bulk/OEM Hard Drive 3.5 Inch, 32 MB Cache, 7200 RPM SATA II WD10EADS

I guess I'm not very good at taking advice, but at least now you can all say, "I told you so," if it ends up blowing up in my face. At least the Thermaltake is the same idea as the Aluratek, and I went with the Caviar Green because of the good comments about it being quiet with decent performance.

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#267660 - 07/31/09 05:07 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: CV]
EFalardeau Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 3400
Loc: Laval, Quebec, Canada
I have two of those WD (exact same model). Both fast and quiet.
_________________________
E = MC2 = ((2M80 + VP180 + 4QS8)/(EP800 + EP500))^(ADA1500 x D2v)
AxiomAir/6xM2/4xM22/2xVP150/2xM3

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#267661 - 07/31/09 05:13 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: EFalardeau]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11677
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Good to know. Thanks for the reassurance.

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#267821 - 08/01/09 10:01 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: CV]
SRoode Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 1278
Loc: Fishers, Indiana, USA
I have the Thermaltake on my Notebook PC. It's basically the same as the Aluratek, without the extra USB ports. You'll like it a lot.
_________________________
2 M80s, 1 VP180, 4 QS8s, 2 EP800s, 4 Algonquins, 2 M3 VaSSallos, 1 AxiomAir N3

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#267823 - 08/01/09 10:17 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: cb919]
terzaghi Offline
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Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 4870
Loc: Tulsa, Oklahoma
I have two western digtal "my passports"... They are 500 gb each and don't need a separate power cable ( just uses the power from the USB). They work great and I really like them.
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#267852 - 08/01/09 08:00 PM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: terzaghi]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11677
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
The good news is that the new hard drive is fast, cool, and quiet, just like it's supposed to be, and I was able to copy my documents, photos, and videos. The bad news is that my external drive that was behaving weird isn't wanting to give me any more of my data. My music was by far the bulk of my data, and I got very little off of it. I kept having to turn off and turn on the drive to get a little more, and the last time I tried that, it showed up as RAW, not FAT32, so I guess the computer can't even tell it's formatted. It's going to be very hard to replace all of the music. I have CDs of most of it, but for certain artists, I had plenty of tracks that were download-only that weren't official releases. Ouch. I'm leaving the drive off for a while and trying again later, so wish me luck.

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#267853 - 08/01/09 08:29 PM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: CV]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
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Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11677
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Whew. It's letting me copy more.

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#267859 - 08/01/09 09:00 PM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: CV]
EFalardeau Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 3400
Loc: Laval, Quebec, Canada
Cooling it off often helps. You can even put it in a freezer for a few minutes if the failures are caused by metal expansion.
_________________________
E = MC2 = ((2M80 + VP180 + 4QS8)/(EP800 + EP500))^(ADA1500 x D2v)
AxiomAir/6xM2/4xM22/2xVP150/2xM3

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#267861 - 08/01/09 09:06 PM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: EFalardeau]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11677
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Yeah, the heat seems to be the problem. Thankfully, I'm getting most of the tracks I want now. Nice tip on the freezer.

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#267872 - 08/01/09 11:28 PM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: CV]
fredk Offline
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Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7786
Loc: Canada
Next step. Have a backup of your music. I need to do another backup since I have put more stuff on my HTPC.
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#267876 - 08/01/09 11:32 PM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: fredk]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
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Registered: 07/20/06
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The backup will come when I get a media server, so this new drive better not fail before then. \:\)

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#267915 - 08/02/09 02:48 PM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: CV]
CV Offline
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Registered: 07/20/06
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I was able to get all of the data off by cooling it off again and again, so you can all start breathing again. Now I feel compelled to start cleaning up my music collection. That could take a while.

I think I really will get one of those HP media servers at some point. Seems really slick.

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#268277 - 08/05/09 03:01 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: SRoode]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11677
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
 Originally Posted By: SRoode
I have the Thermaltake on my Notebook PC. It's basically the same as the Aluratek, without the extra USB ports. You'll like it a lot.


Besides the USB ports, is there any reason you'd prefer the Aluratek?

And you're right, I AM liking it a lot. I see no reason to do normal external hard drives anymore.

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#268284 - 08/05/09 07:34 AM Re: External hard drive recommendations [Re: CV]
SRoode Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 1278
Loc: Fishers, Indiana, USA
Nope, other than that they are the same. I just needed some USB 2.0 ports for my desktop PC. It is a lot better (and cheaper) going this route. Plus, you can swap the drive in and out at will, and can even use 2.5" drives. I'm glad you like it!
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