External Hard Drive (USB)

  Biggles no more 16:18 25 Jan 03
Locked

I am looking for an external hard drive, mainly as a backup device, but also to store scanned photographs and documents. There is not much help to found in the PCA review section as the last time hard drives were listed, all but one were internal.

What I am looking for is a reasonably priced USB hard drive in the region of 30/40Gb from a reputable manufacturer of good build quality. It should:-

1.Be compatible with both USB 1.0 (Win98SE) and USB 2.0 (WinXP). I assume the question of buffer underun with the slower version of USB 1.0/1.1 will not occur with "send to" or "drag and drop" transfer?

2. Be "plug and play", that it so say, formatted and ready for use.

Would this sort of peripheral require software, or would the action of plugging in to my USB give me a scond hard drive, ready for use?

I have noted an Iomega HD (a name I trust) in PC World, but there is no useful information on the box. All other drives stocked are Firewire and of no use to me.

Advice couched in simple terms would be most welcome.

  phenyl5 16:27 25 Jan 03

Hi Biggles,
I don't know if this will help, but cpc.co.uk produce a box to connect any IDE device externally through the USB port. You can put most IDE devices in it e.g. HD, CD-ROM, CD-RW
etc. Also supplied by Maplin with built in PSU.

  Biggles no more 16:41 25 Jan 03

Thank you, but what is an IDE device? What is a PSU, please?

  Sir Radfordin™ 16:53 25 Jan 03

IDE is the name given to the connection used in most Hard drives, CD-ROM devices etc. Must stand for something but can't think what. This is most common in home PC's, servers and high-spec PCs make use of faster SCSI connections.

PSU is the power supply unit.

phenl5 is suggesting a device that allows you to build your own external device. By using an internal hard drive in the suggested caddy you can achieve what you are looking for.

  Diemmess 17:14 25 Jan 03

Have recently been using an Amacom 40Gb external (USB and Windows98SE) for extra data storage.
A bit pricey, but absolutely fuss free, switched on only when I need access to it.

  phenyl5 17:27 25 Jan 03

Hi Biggles,
Device very easy to use; no building as such. You just slide in your extra Hard Drive or
CD -ROM/R/RW etc. & off you go - connected via USB, so hot swoppable.

  Pesala 17:36 25 Jan 03

Another alternative is to use a drive caddy.
This is a box that fits into a 5¼" drive bay, and takes standard 3½" IDE hard drives.

You can install your Operating system and software on both drives (legally since only one will be in use at any one time). If one drive gets corrupted or fails completely, you can pull out the drive caddy and plug in the other one, carrying on with your work within the time it takes to reboot.

You need two drive caddies (About £20 each) and one new hard drive. You will also need some way to transfer work from one disk to the other. Either another internal hard drive, tape backup, or a CD writer. Archives or backups on floppy disk are barely adequate these days, but might just be feasible. It depends on what you do.

Fitting the drives and caddies is easy: standard power and IDE cables plug into the back of the caddy holder, and short cables inside the holder plug into the IDE drive. Drive caddies are locked into the bays and released with a simple key.

This method is also very convenient if you want to use two different Operating Systems, or if two (or more) users want to share the same PC.

The caddy that is not in use can be locked in a safe or carried to work.

  Pesala 17:36 25 Jan 03

Another alternative is to use a drive caddy.
This is a box that fits into a 5¼" drive bay, and takes standard 3½" IDE hard drives.

You can install your Operating system and software on both drives (legally since only one will be in use at any one time). If one drive gets corrupted or fails completely, you can pull out the drive caddy and plug in the other one, carrying on with your work within the time it takes to reboot.

You need two drive caddies (About £20 each) and one new hard drive. You will also need some way to transfer work from one disk to the other. Either another internal hard drive, tape backup, or a CD writer. Archives or backups on floppy disk are barely adequate these days, but might just be feasible. It depends on what you do.

Fitting the drives and caddies is easy: standard power and IDE cables plug into the back of the caddy holder, and short cables inside the holder plug into the IDE drive. Drive caddies are locked into the bays and released with a simple key.

This method is also very convenient if you want to use two different Operating Systems, or if two (or more) users want to share the same PC.

The caddy that is not in use can be locked in a safe or carried to work.

  Pesala 17:37 25 Jan 03

Sorry for the double post. The site was a bit slow responding to my first click.

  tran1 18:01 25 Jan 03

Just wondering, can you run an operating system off an external USB hard drive?

  BillEmm 18:13 25 Jan 03

The Maxtor 3000LE, 40GB USB2 is as good a bet as any. Quality backed by a good company. Dabs.com sell 'em for about £113 inc vat.

But....don't run any HDD off a USB 1.1 port. You just don't have the time!! Also you can't stream data from any audio or video device via a 1.1 port - its far too slow. If you have a spare PCI slot spend another £30 on a USB2 PCI Adapter card.

tran1, No you can't run an OS off a USB attached drive - at least, not yet! It wont be far off though!!

Bill
Bill

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