Are there any 2.5" drives that really can be reliably powered by a single USB port? Basically, that will never draw more than 500mA? I want a drive that I really can use everywhere a USB port is available, but I don't want an external power supply, or to have to use 2 ports to power it. Any suggestions or do I need to go with a 1.8-incher?
Yeah, they look like they would meet my needs, but I've heard of them not spinning up in certain circumstances (like on laptops). During spin up do they fudge on the specification a bit? I know some laptops can't even provide the 500mA the spec requires sometimes, so if that's the reason it's not a big deal (I figure that's the laptop's problem, not the HD's). I checked over at WD's site, but I can't find any information about the Passport's maximum current draw there. Any insights?
It tends to be older Laptops and machines that dont give enough power to spin up.
If thats a big concern, you can get a special Y Cable from WD (Its Extra $$) that uses 2 USB ports on the machine. 1 for Data + Power and the other for just Power.
I own a WD 250GB Passport and so far everything I have stuck it in has spun up just fine and recognized the drive. My only issue came once from a funky USB cable I used where the connector wouldnt go all the way into the drive due to physical blockage. In that case I used the included cable with no problems.
Another option is an iPod. They use 1.8" hard drives instead of 2.5" ones and with the latest models being introduced, you can get 160GB of storage (albeit very expensive storage).
I just really want to avoid using anything but a single USB port for power. A flash drive would be ideal, but I need at least 40GB and that's still not very practical with flash media. If I can't guarantee that the drive will work on ports that can only supply 500mA, I'd rather go for a 1.8" one that will, but those are fairly spendy too, compared to 2.5" drives. All the 2.5" drives that I've been able to find specifications for require 1 amp to spin up. Do you think it's even possible that a 2.5" drive can spin up on 2.5W, or is it just not feasible?