I am looking to purchase an external drive as a backup. My system currently accepts only EIDE. What I am thinking about is to purchase an enclosure that allows both USB 2.0 and eSATA then put in an SATA 500 gb harddrive. I will connect the enclosure to the PC via USB 2.0. The reason why I want to do this is because if one day we buy a new PC with SATA and eSATA, then I don't have to waste money and buy a new external drive. I can just switch from USB 2.0 cable to eSATA cable. My questions are:
1. Can my system read data from an external SATA drive via USB 2.0 even though SATA is not support it?
2. Does this make sense? Should I just buy an EIDE external HD?
3. Does buying an enclosure and an internal HD to put into the enclosure make sense? Should I just buy a completed external HD?
buying the hard drive and enclosure seperately is almost always cheaper than buying them pre-packaged, plus then you get to choose which ones you want. Most of the cheaper external ones you see on sale use the cheapest 1 year warranty hard drives with the cheapest enclosure possible.
Choose a hard drive based on warranty period first, brand second. Seagate advertises 5 year warranties on all their drives, but I have heard that does not apply to OEM ones, which are FAR and away cheaper than your typical Best Buy prices. If that's true, pick the longest warranty you can get for a manufacturer that will honor the full warranty on OEM drives. Then consider noise, temperature, speed etc but those will only vary slightly between manufacturers.
To your PC, the USB cable will allow your OS to recognize the hard drive as an external mass storage device, it does not care if it's SATA or EIDE. I think you've got a good plan to buy an enclosure with both connector types. I plan to do the same thing because my laptop I just bought supports ESATA, but my PC at home only has USB, so my enclosure will have both.