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Best (and Cheapest) External Hard Drive Suggestions

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Anonymous
a b G Storage
December 27, 2004 5:00:33 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Well, that about says it all. I have another thread going here, and
maybe I should ask if it's wiser to order peripherals from the company
that made your machine (in my case, IBM ThinkPad).

Is an external hard drive any less proprietary than say an external
floppy drive? There are some cybershops selling external drives at
suspiciously low prices, with free shipping, etc., and I'd like to know
if anyone knows any sites or manufacturers that should be avoided.
December 28, 2004 3:36:22 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

<mutefan@yahoo.com> wrote:
>Well, that about says it all. I have another thread going here, and
>maybe I should ask if it's wiser to order peripherals from the company
>that made your machine (in my case, IBM ThinkPad).
>
>Is an external hard drive any less proprietary than say an external
>floppy drive? There are some cybershops selling external drives at
>suspiciously low prices, with free shipping, etc., and I'd like to know
>if anyone knows any sites or manufacturers that should be avoided.

Well, based on my own very recent experience chronicled in another
thread, I'd say avoid any USB2.0 enclosures that use the ALi chipset.
Especially, if you're going to put a drive larger than 128GB in
it.

If you don't want to assemble it yourself, you can just buy a
packaged one from Maxtor or Western Digital. Or, you can go to
eBay and get a "home-packaged" one. I see quite a few of them in
various sizes (e.g., 80GB, 160GB, 200GB, 250GB) in generic
USB2.0/USB2.0+FireWire enclosures. If you go in that direction,
also make sure the chipset can indeed handle large HDs.

One more thing, I don't know which TP model you've got. I've an
old one (600E 2645-55U) that doesn't have a USB2.0 port, only
USB1.1. If you need to buy a USB2.0 cardbus card, go with one that
uses the NEC chipset. Again, avoid those that use the ALi chipset.
I've got one of those and it bluescreens my system (Win2000+SP2)
every single time. I finally got a D-Link DUB-C2 card, it works
flawlessly.

FWIW. HTH.
--
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Francis Hartojo SDF Public Access UNIX System http://sdf.lonestar.org |
| echo "senapvf@serrfuryy.bet" | tr '[a-z]' '[n-za-m]' |
| __________ ___________ |
| \ .'-------------------------------------------`. / |
+------> | There are two secrets to success in life: | <------+
/_______| 1. Never tell any one everything you know. |________\
`---------------------------------------------'
Anonymous
a b G Storage
December 28, 2004 6:36:31 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Thanks. But will a generic necessarily state on the package if it has
an Ali chipset? For example, a 40 GB external from IBM will set you
back $250. I can get a 80 GB at Office Max for $88, but what's the
sense if it'll blue screen me or mess up my TP?
Related resources
Anonymous
a b G Storage
December 28, 2004 6:37:30 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

BTW, what was the subject title of your other post?
Anonymous
a b G Storage
December 28, 2004 2:01:56 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

1) www.fatwallet.com/forums/ -> hot deals for the cheapest on-sale HD
deals. Buy a big one. Lots of sales with 120GB HDs going for <$50, for
example, have been posted.

2) www.newegg.com or www.pcmicrostore.com for cheap USB 2.0/FW
enclosures. You should be able to buy a nice one for <$50.

http://www.newegg.com/app/manufactory.asp?catalog=92&DE...

This is a good one for 3.5" HDs:
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...

Arrow Micro USB 2.0 + 1394 External Hard Disk 3.5" Enclosure, Model
"HD2-U2FW" -RETAIL
$46.49

Have one here, aluminum shell to keep the HD cool, slim and small, plug
& play for either USB or FW, runs fine for hours w/o overheating
(important), and basically does the job very, very well. The extra
price of this one vs. others is worth not having a toasted (overheated) HD.

(Please ==avoid the ME-720== series cases!!!! They'll toast your HD in
minutes because they're made of plastic, have a poor fan vent (slow &
overheats).
eg. avoid these (often rebranded, but always the same look)
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...

Very bad ME-720 enclosures and this one toasted one of mine!)

Note: The larger 5.25" ME-320 enclosures (loud fan) however are
recommended because they do have enough room and fast fan to cool any
3.5" HD. But noisy vs. the aluminum model I recommend above, so I'd
pick that one.

3) Open enclosure, drop in new HD, close it up, attach to PC, and you'll
be up and running on a dirt-cheap external HD that works nice in
minutes! (just like I do here)
Anonymous
a b G Storage
December 28, 2004 5:17:20 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Previously Francis <x@y.z> wrote:
> <mutefan@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>Well, that about says it all. I have another thread going here, and
>>maybe I should ask if it's wiser to order peripherals from the company
>>that made your machine (in my case, IBM ThinkPad).
>>
>>Is an external hard drive any less proprietary than say an external
>>floppy drive? There are some cybershops selling external drives at
>>suspiciously low prices, with free shipping, etc., and I'd like to know
>>if anyone knows any sites or manufacturers that should be avoided.

> Well, based on my own very recent experience chronicled in another
> thread, I'd say avoid any USB2.0 enclosures that use the ALi chipset.
> Especially, if you're going to put a drive larger than 128GB in
> it.

> If you don't want to assemble it yourself, you can just buy a
> packaged one from Maxtor or Western Digital. Or, you can go to

Maxtor is not a good idea, they have heat-problems. Better go with
one in the 2.5" form factor. More expensive, but no heat issues
since notebook HDDs consume much less power (lower by a factor of
5...10).

Arno
--
For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
Anonymous
a b G Storage
December 28, 2004 5:17:21 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

2.5" HD solutions are not the cheapest (vs. 3.5"), but are an option.
www.dell.com and www.newegg.com for decent HD deals when on sale.
But you can spend more on a 100GB 2.5" HD than a 300GB 3.5" HD +
enclosure alone!

As for the heat issue of 2.5" vs 3.5", both will need proper metal cased
enclosures that dissipate heat well. Otherwise, you can easily kill a
2.5" in a box just as easily as a 3.5".

The aluminum 3.5" I noted earlier is the best case I've bought and used,
and the only one I'll recommend that'll handle 7200rpm HD for days on
end w/o a problem.

---

Now and then, you do get already built solutions from Western Digital,
Buffallo, etc. on sale at Fry's Electronics and other places -- see
www.fatwallet.com/forums/ -> hot deals for details. These work fine as
well, and when you can add coupons (eg. at Staples or office stores),
you can often get a nice external for the same price or lower than one
you make yourself. Worth a look.
December 28, 2004 8:22:27 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

<mutefan@yahoo.com> wrote:
>Thanks. But will a generic necessarily state on the package if it has
>an Ali chipset? For example, a 40 GB external from IBM will set you
>back $250. I can get a 80 GB at Office Max for $88, but what's the
>sense if it'll blue screen me or mess up my TP?

Some do. You can search on eBay for:

cypress enclosure AT2*

to look for enclosures that use the Cypress AT2 or AT2LP USB-to-IDE
chipset. If you'd rather go to Fry's or so, some enclosure boxes
I saw do say what chipset they use. They're quite a bit more
expensive than what you can get them for online, though.

BTW, just to be clear, my TP didn't crash because of the external
drive. It crashed because of the USB2.0/FireWire cardbus card that
uses an ALi chipset. More specifically, I suspect the driver's
just not well-written enough. I personally don't think it's very
likely that an external drive would mess your TP. It's much more
likely that it's going to corrupt the data on itself first. Just
MHO.

My own sordid tale with USB enclosures is documented in this post:

Q: Bytecc ME-320U2, WD2500JB, Full Capacity.

FWIW. HTH.
--
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Francis Hartojo SDF Public Access UNIX System http://sdf.lonestar.org |
| echo "senapvf@serrfuryy.bet" | tr '[a-z]' '[n-za-m]' |
| __________ ___________ |
| \ .'-------------------------------------------`. / |
+------> | There are two secrets to success in life: | <------+
/_______| 1. Never tell any one everything you know. |________\
`---------------------------------------------'
Anonymous
a b G Storage
December 29, 2004 7:01:07 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Hey, David (and Arno),

Thanks LOADS. I just have some questions.

1) You're saying I have to avoid like the plague any external HD that
does not come in an aluminum (or heat-dissipating) enclosure. Are
enclosures usually included in the package, or are they another
"peripheral" you have to add on to the cost of the HD?

2) If a geek such as I has no objections to hauling around a ton of
bricks in a carrying case, IS there anything wrong with buying a heavy
old external HD? There's a 60 GB Maxtor on sale at one of the sites I
visited (I know, I know, you said to avoid Maxtor), but the sales rep
said the major reason it was on sale was the weight.

3) I'm a bit confused as to your (Arno vs. David, that is)
disagreement on the 2.5/3.5 advantages. Are the 3.5 usually cheaper
because they're bigger?

> Note: The larger 5.25" ME-320 enclosures (loud fan) however are
> recommended because they do have enough room and fast fan to cool any

> 3.5" HD. But noisy vs. the aluminum model I recommend above, so I'd
> pick that one.

I'm a little stumped here. I could care less if the HD sounds like a
sandblaster! Does the size of the enclosure matter? (Yeah, I know,
probably a REALLY dumb question, but as I always say, If this group
were moderated, then stupid people like me wouldn't be allowed to
post...) I mean, if I get a big enclosure, can I fit EITHER a 2.5 or a
3.5 in it?
Anonymous
a b G Storage
December 29, 2004 8:06:48 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

David--

I looked up the enclosure. Can I ask what external hard drive you have
in it? Thanks!
Anonymous
a b G Storage
December 29, 2004 4:16:31 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

<mutefan@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1104321667.572509.111580@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>
> 3) I'm a bit confused as to your (Arno vs. David, that is)
> disagreement on the 2.5/3.5 advantages. Are the 3.5 usually cheaper
> because they're bigger?
>
> > Note: The larger 5.25" ME-320 enclosures (loud fan) however are
> > recommended because they do have enough room and fast fan to cool any
>
> > 3.5" HD. But noisy vs. the aluminum model I recommend above, so I'd
> > pick that one.
>
2.5" is cheaper and better because it does not use power cubes, USB 1/2
supplies 2.5W. The drives have better shock protection and are quieter.

3.5" drives are cheaper because the platters hold more data, but the enclosures
are more expensive and noisy (cooling).
Anonymous
a b G Storage
December 29, 2004 6:44:53 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Previously David Chien <chiendh@uci.edu> wrote:
> 2.5" HD solutions are not the cheapest (vs. 3.5"), but are an option.
> www.dell.com and www.newegg.com for decent HD deals when on sale.
> But you can spend more on a 100GB 2.5" HD than a 300GB 3.5" HD +
> enclosure alone!

> As for the heat issue of 2.5" vs 3.5", both will need proper metal cased
> enclosures that dissipate heat well. Otherwise, you can easily kill a
> 2.5" in a box just as easily as a 3.5".

Definitely not. 2.5" has far lower energy consumption (desinged to run
on batteries, remember?) and will do fine with cooling that has 3.5"
dying fast, especially under higher load.

Arno

--
For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
Anonymous
a b G Storage
December 29, 2004 7:08:36 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Previously mutefan@yahoo.com wrote:
> Hey, David (and Arno),

> Thanks LOADS. I just have some questions.

> 1) You're saying I have to avoid like the plague any external HD that
> does not come in an aluminum (or heat-dissipating) enclosure. Are
> enclosures usually included in the package, or are they another
> "peripheral" you have to add on to the cost of the HD?

Enclosures are included. However I found that an aluminium enclosure
without a fan is not enough for a 3.5" HDD when under load. I have
one that gets warm enough that it is uncomfortable to touch after
copying from/to it for half an hour. For 2.5" hdds the ratio of surface
to energy comsumption is far, far better.

> 2) If a geek such as I has no objections to hauling around a ton of
> bricks in a carrying case, IS there anything wrong with buying a heavy
> old external HD? There's a 60 GB Maxtor on sale at one of the sites I
> visited (I know, I know, you said to avoid Maxtor), but the sales rep
> said the major reason it was on sale was the weight.

Yes, it will die fast except if used lightly.

> 3) I'm a bit confused as to your (Arno vs. David, that is)
> disagreement on the 2.5/3.5 advantages. Are the 3.5 usually cheaper
> because they're bigger?

2.5" is optimised for notebook use. That means small, very low
energy consumption, more tolerant to heat and shock and can tolerate
far mor start/stop cycles (500.000 vs. 50.000). 3.5" is optimised for
capacity and speed. Most current 3.5" drives need solid mounting and
airflow to stay cool enough to life long. 2.5" disks usually do
not have airflow and they are optimised for low-power anyways.

To give you some concrete numbers: A 3.5" disk during R/W operation
consumes about 10-15W during R/W and seek operations (i.e. constant
access), while a 2.5" disk is more in the 2-2.5W range. Now if you
take an 3.5" aluminium casing and scale it down to 2.5" (approximated
as a spere), you get a resuction in surface by a factor of 2.7,
while the energy conumpion is lower by a factor of 5 (all rough
approximations and the reduction in heat dissipation of the 2.5"
case is likely significanlty less than 2.7), which gives you
half the temperature increase in the 2.5" drive that you see in
the 3.5" one.

Example: A 3.5" drive that heats up to 70C in 25C air (have seen that
and measured it) will correspond to a 2.5" at 50C. 50C is still in
acceptable limits. 70C is 15C above maximum and will have the drive
dying fast. Add to that thet the 2.5" drives I checked have a maximum
rated temperature of 60C while the 3.5" drives have 55C.

Again, if you plan on only light use (e.g. no longer accesses and
overall 1% disk access), you will be fine with an aluminium enclosure
and a 3.5" drive in it. Also if you have massive airflow, a
3.5" drive is fine for heavy use.

>> Note: The larger 5.25" ME-320 enclosures (loud fan) however are
>> recommended because they do have enough room and fast fan to cool any

>> 3.5" HD. But noisy vs. the aluminum model I recommend above, so I'd
>> pick that one.

> I'm a little stumped here. I could care less if the HD sounds like a
> sandblaster! Does the size of the enclosure matter? (Yeah, I know,
> probably a REALLY dumb question, but as I always say, If this group
> were moderated, then stupid people like me wouldn't be allowed to
> post...) I mean, if I get a big enclosure, can I fit EITHER a 2.5 or a
> 3.5 in it?

Only a good idea with significant airflow. You would have to use an
adapter for the mounting and the IDE connection. Whether the
2.5"+adapter fits, is another question.


Arno
--
For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 4, 2005 5:23:36 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Louise wrote:

> I have an external Seagate that stays very cool and is 160gig
>
> I also have an external Buslink (usually not so expensive), that
> definitely works on my IBM Thinkpad X22. It does get hot, but the
heat
> is dissipated via it's aluminum case and I've had it for two years
> without a bit of trouble although I use it for limited periods of
time -
> but each day.
>
> You can also go to Newegg and buy an enclosure for a lot less money -
I
> just purchased a Rosewill and it has a Genisys (or something like
that),
> chipset. I've not received it yet so I can't comment on how well it
> will work with the Thinkpad.

Well, I ended up buying a WD 80 Gig on sale at Office Max for 99.00.
It has a plastic enclosure. When I asked the clerk whether plastic was
a very bad thing, he said No, metal is what fries the drive, not
plastic.

At that point, I was so confused, I bought the d#!m thing. Like you, I
don't plan to use this for very heavy use, for extended periods. I
guess I'll live and learn, if my movie-writing device ever arrives from
Overstock, and the combo doesn't work.
January 4, 2005 8:31:18 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

In article <33d87gF404cb6U1@individual.net>, me@privacy.net says...
> Previously Francis <x@y.z> wrote:
> > <mutefan@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >>Well, that about says it all. I have another thread going here, and
> >>maybe I should ask if it's wiser to order peripherals from the company
> >>that made your machine (in my case, IBM ThinkPad).
> >>
> >>Is an external hard drive any less proprietary than say an external
> >>floppy drive? There are some cybershops selling external drives at
> >>suspiciously low prices, with free shipping, etc., and I'd like to know
> >>if anyone knows any sites or manufacturers that should be avoided.
>
> > Well, based on my own very recent experience chronicled in another
> > thread, I'd say avoid any USB2.0 enclosures that use the ALi chipset.
> > Especially, if you're going to put a drive larger than 128GB in
> > it.
>
> > If you don't want to assemble it yourself, you can just buy a
> > packaged one from Maxtor or Western Digital. Or, you can go to
>
> Maxtor is not a good idea, they have heat-problems. Better go with
> one in the 2.5" form factor. More expensive, but no heat issues
> since notebook HDDs consume much less power (lower by a factor of
> 5...10).
>
> Arno
>
I have an external Seagate that stays very cool and is 160gig

I also have an external Buslink (usually not so expensive), that
definitely works on my IBM Thinkpad X22. It does get hot, but the heat
is dissipated via it's aluminum case and I've had it for two years
without a bit of trouble although I use it for limited periods of time -
but each day.

You can also go to Newegg and buy an enclosure for a lot less money - I
just purchased a Rosewill and it has a Genisys (or something like that),
chipset. I've not received it yet so I can't comment on how well it
will work with the Thinkpad.

Louise
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 5, 2005 4:02:42 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Previously mutefan@yahoo.com wrote:
> Louise wrote:

>> I have an external Seagate that stays very cool and is 160gig
>>
>> I also have an external Buslink (usually not so expensive), that
>> definitely works on my IBM Thinkpad X22. It does get hot, but the
> heat
>> is dissipated via it's aluminum case and I've had it for two years
>> without a bit of trouble although I use it for limited periods of
> time -
>> but each day.
>>
>> You can also go to Newegg and buy an enclosure for a lot less money -
> I
>> just purchased a Rosewill and it has a Genisys (or something like
> that),
>> chipset. I've not received it yet so I can't comment on how well it
>> will work with the Thinkpad.

> Well, I ended up buying a WD 80 Gig on sale at Office Max for 99.00.
> It has a plastic enclosure. When I asked the clerk whether plastic was
> a very bad thing, he said No, metal is what fries the drive, not
> plastic.

That sounds like bullshit to me. I think this guy just wanted
you to spend your money.

Arno
--
For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 5, 2005 7:38:29 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Arno Wagner wrote:

>That sounds like bullshit to me. I think this guy just wanted
>you to spend your money.

Well, beggars can't be choosers. I still have a few days to try it
out, and I realize I'm bucking the odds, using 1) ANY external hard
drive to capture video, 2) a Pentium M as the processor, and 3) 256
RAM for memory.

I'll let you guys know if it works.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 5, 2005 7:42:32 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

mutefan@yahoo.com wrote:

> Well, beggars can't be choosers. I still have a few days to try it
> out, and I realize I'm bucking the odds, using 1) ANY external hard
> drive to capture video, 2) a Pentium M as the processor, and 3) 256
> RAM for memory.
>
> I'll let you guys know if it works.

It worked great! A $99 sale WD external and a $99 Overstock HP DVD
external writer. Who'd have thought? It was my lucky day.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 7, 2005 2:48:15 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Plastic or Metal enclosures, if properly ventillated (ie. sufficient
airflow), won't matter.

BUT, if you buy an enclosure that doesn't have enough ventillation (eg.
AVOID ME-720 series 3.5" Plastic enclosures!!!!), you will kill the drive.

Now, given that WD made and sold the drive themselves in the external
plastic box, you'd think they'd test it already to make sure there's no
problems -- here, you'll just have to trust the drive maker that they're
big enough of a company already to do that. (In other words, because
it's a brand-name, I wouldn't worry much.)

But Metal enclosures are better overall -- why? the heat dissipates
through metal far faster than any plastic, so even passively, you'll
have a cooler interior (in general) with metal enclosures (assuming
exact same design, but sub'ing metal for plastic).
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 7, 2005 2:49:23 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

> It worked great! A $99 sale WD external and a $99 Overstock HP DVD
> external writer. Who'd have thought? It was my lucky day.

also, www.fatwallet.com/forums/ -> hot deals for the posts on both
where people have been able to get them even cheaper (with coupons, etc).

good place to read everyday since they have lots of computer
equipment posts on deals that go cheap.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 8, 2005 11:48:47 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

David Chien wrote:

> Plastic or Metal enclosures, if properly ventillated (ie. sufficient
> airflow), won't matter.
>
> BUT, if you buy an enclosure that doesn't have enough ventillation (eg.
> AVOID ME-720 series 3.5" Plastic enclosures!!!!), you will kill the drive.
>
> Now, given that WD made and sold the drive themselves in the external
> plastic box, you'd think they'd test it already to make sure there's no
> problems -- here, you'll just have to trust the drive maker that they're
> big enough of a company already to do that. (In other words, because
> it's a brand-name, I wouldn't worry much.)
>
> But Metal enclosures are better overall -- why? the heat dissipates
> through metal far faster than any plastic, so even passively, you'll
> have a cooler interior (in general) with metal enclosures (assuming
> exact same design, but sub'ing metal for plastic).

On the other hand, given a choice between a closed metal enclosure that
mounts the drive on a circuit board so there is no conduction to the
enclosure and a plastic enclosure with some vent holes I'll take the
plastic every time.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
!