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What size and make external hard drive is best?

GBrown 10 3
4 Jul 2007 10:51PM
What size and make external hard drive is best?

I could use 500GB but have been told that this may be too big to work efficiently. Is that true?

Any should any makes be avoided? And where is best to buy?

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cameracat 13 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
4 Jul 2007 11:02PM
If the unit was designed as an external, Then the size will not matter, So if you need 500 Gb, go for it.

As for Brands, Best of the bunch is Seagate, Close second is Western Digital.

Ones to avoid are Lacie, Your paying for silly design label, & overheating probs.

Places to Buy.

Microdirect. co .uk




All have good stock/great delivery/super prices.
ellis rowell 13 2.0k United Kingdom
4 Jul 2007 11:03PM
I have used many makes of HDD and have found no difference between them. 500GB may be a bit on the large size and it may need to be partitioned into 2 or 3 partitions. These would show as 2 or 3 different drives. I would suggest you look around locally for a bargain. Distance buying may not be a good idea as things tend to get thrown around in transit, HDD's do not like being thrown around. I recently got the best price locally from PC World (for a 250GB HDD).
cameracat 13 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
4 Jul 2007 11:15PM

Quote:tend to get thrown around in transit,

Whilst this is true, They have already been on a trip from the point of manafacture, This can be almost anywhere on the planet, I always have my HDD's delivered from any one of the suppliers listed, A total of some 50 plus drives i the last few years, Never had a problem.

Also as a further point re warranty, Seagate offer a 5 year warranty on all thier drives, With a 10 day max turnaround direct via them.

There is no reason to partition a 500Gb external drive, But you can if you wish, If you buy Seagate retail versions you get a drive install software called Diskwizard thrown in, That makes light work of installs & setting up partitions.

Or you can download a free copy of Diskwazard from the Seagate site.
Eightball 10 14 United Kingdom
4 Jul 2007 11:20PM
I am no expert on this subject but I have just purchased a Freecom 400gb external hard drive for 80 from PC world. Had no probs with it so far.
ellis rowell 13 2.0k United Kingdom
4 Jul 2007 11:20PM
Sorry Cameracat, when I said "thrown around" I was referring to postal and courier deliveries. Bulk deliveries in packing cases tend to be handled better.
cameracat 13 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
4 Jul 2007 11:23PM
One External drive to look out for would be this model, It comes highly recommended.

Seagate FreeAgent Desktop 500GB USB2.0 External Hard Drive.

cameracat 13 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
4 Jul 2007 11:33PM

Quote:postal and courier deliveries

Yeah! tell me about it, I had a Camera I bought ( a Nikon 35mm SLR ) turned up via special delivery, Looked as though it had been run over..Sad Not a happy bunny, For sure the Post & Couriers can get a tad careless, Unfortunately I'm at their mercy due to living in the Wilderness, But must confess if I had a supplier within a reasonable distance, I would probably collect my drives in person.

Other bits & bobs don't fare to badly, If the boys in the despatch departments pack them well, And I have sent stuff back when it has arrived in less than adequate packing... Wot a pain Sad

Take Dabs for example sent me a new oem CDRW in a jiffy bag, Guess what it was broken, Then the you can't believe it, They sent the replacement in a Jiffy Bag....AAaaarggg....Sad

And you have guessed it, I don't use them anymore.......LOL......Smile
Big Bri 16 16.3k United Kingdom
5 Jul 2007 1:09AM
Why would you need to partition a 500Gb drive ?
MikeRC Plus
12 3.6k United Kingdom
5 Jul 2007 7:51AM

Quote:Seagate FreeAgent Desktop 500GB USB2.0 External Hard Drive.

Hi....Could I expect this to be as fast at retrieving data as the hard drive in my computer ?

riprap007 13 1.6k 37 England
5 Jul 2007 7:59AM
no, USB2 is a slow interface, go for a firewire drive if you wnat good, near desktop speed.
joolsb 13 27.1k 38 Switzerland
5 Jul 2007 8:03AM
Make that Firewire-800. USB2 has caught up with the original Firewire specs....

I had issues with a USB2 external drive which I recently bought - it wouldn't mount on my Mac's desktop. So I ditched it and got a Firewire one. Absolutely no more problems now!
digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2007 8:44AM
USB2 may not be as fast as Firewire 800 but is no slouch. Let's face it, most uses of an external drive will be for backup and you don't need to sit around waiting for those to finish, you can run them while you are out taking photos.

I recently got a Western Digital Elements 500gb from eBuyer for less than 100. No problems with it and it has a nice pretty blue light on it when working. Smile

javam Plus
13 1.1k 19 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2007 10:19AM

Quote:Ones to avoid are Lacie, Your paying for silly design label, & overheating probs.

Never had an over heating problem with Lacie Drives myself and the most recent one I bought, a 500GB USB2 model was under 75 including VAT and postage so I would have to disagree with this statement.

I have 3 of the FA Porsche ones at home stacked up, 160, 250 and 500GB. The 160 and 250 are firewire and I use for photo/data storage the 500 is the USB 2, but that is my back up drive so speed is less of an issue.

At work I use a mix of D2 firewire and Ethernet drives for all our office backups.

Never had a problem with them and the D2 firewire drives have been in use on alternate days for over 3 years now.
jaspernina 10 1.0k Wales
5 Jul 2007 11:00AM

Quote:Never had an over heating problem with Lacie Drives


Very often, PC Pro's External Drive Gold Award winner.

Recently i bought a casing off ebay and a 320gb drive, totally useless, very slow....

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