External HDD

  Ancient Learner 17:06 29 Jul 05

We have just received a timely warning about back ups, and it has started me thinking, yet again, about am external HDD.

I know about the likes of the Maxtor and the Lacie drives, all nicely packaged, however, I keep wondering about the cases that will hold any HDD, that I have seen mentioned very occasionally. (Might be cheaper, and have the advantage that you can swop the HDDs)

Does any here use one, and what is the experience like of that.

  Diemmess 17:40 29 Jul 05

I have two, one (40GB) was purchased a couple of years ago when my must-have approach, cost just below £200 with a complete, ready made, smart looking Amacom. Later I found it has a Western Digital HD inside

Last month in a hurry again, I bought a nice case and put a spare W. digital (20Gb)inside that. The case including power supply and USB leads cost £35 at a local shop.

Both outfits have their own power supply, both have behaved reliably and without fuss or appreciable noise when running.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:49 29 Jul 05

Bought a case last year, has worked well with an old 40G HDD in it

Although if I forget to switch it off when Iv'e finished on the computer it gets very hot.

I believe youget get an aluminium onewith its own fans to kep the drive cool.

  Diemmess 17:51 29 Jul 05

For archiving or rapid transfer (USB2) of the contents of whole drives, and portability - they are safe, reliable and sometimes a Godsend.

If you only want to transfer a few hundred Mb then the pen drive beats this hands down. Its "horses for courses"

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:49 29 Jul 05

Small old HDD with back up of system is great when things fail.

Provided that your pc has USB for Dos enabled, most modern PC or laptops can now oot from USB device direct making things much easier.

  Ancient Learner 14:12 30 Jul 05

Thank you both for your comments. it gives me confidence to give it a try.

I see that EBuyer have one for about £20, and I might have a go at that.

I do have a 40Gb old HD which may or may not be still in working order. If it is I can use that, if not I'll be able to easily but another HD when I see one on cheap offer somewhere.

  Ancient Learner 14:36 30 Jul 05

I have ordered the £20 beastie now.

Just how robust are these. I assume that they could withstand a long car journey.

How about having the HD taken in and out, to be replaced with another one, so as to have a series of HDs in use as back ups.

  Diemmess 14:36 30 Jul 05

If you are using 98SE you will need a PCI-USB card (quite cheap including drivers CD) to set up a USB 2 controller.

The external USB drive will work anyway, but at much below its maximum speed, there is usually a drivers CD even if you only buy a case.

On the other hand if you have Win2000 or XP - no worries, the new drive should be recognised and fully funtional from the first time you plug it in.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:52 30 Jul 05

I assume that they could withstand a long car journey.

Mine is just a plastic case with a printed circuit board in rear quarter,external power supply simular to laptop power supply and USB lead looks quite flimsy. However I work away from home alo and the drive case gets thrown into my laptop bag on a regular basis sees to have survied OK.

I must admit I'm very careful when detaching ribbon cable from drive when swapping drives in the case.

  Ancient Learner 16:15 05 Aug 05

Now received the drive case.

I put my old questionable 40GB drive in it, and connected up. Worked first time with no effort on my part. Putting images onto it using Acronis is a dream to do.

Wonderful. What a change for technology to work without giving me a headache and dreams of hurling things out of windows (lower case 'w').

Many thanks for the comments and help.

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