Sub-Terabyte External Hard Drives

Buffalo, Maxtor, Seagate and SimpleTech sent us their latest external premium hard drives. They all offer 750 to 1000 GB of storage along with USB 2.0 and other interfaces, but their software, design and performance differ.
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  1. A FLEXIBLE external enclosure, rather than one of these sealed external enclosures, would better suit many people.
    For backups, one wants to store backups off-site.
    Five years ago, for my home backups,
    I took these external enclosures to my office for safe keeping.
    However, these external enclosures are far bigger than just their internal SATA disk drives, and each additional external enclosure adds cost.
    I could hardly fit most external enclosures in my brief case,
    and then I could only carry them awkwardly.

    Now I just carry the bare SATA disk drive in my brief case,
    slipping the drive into a bubble lined 6" x 8" post office mailer,
    and sometimes inserting an anti-static pouch.
    Hours searching for a commercial product protecting bare disk drives turned up no such products -- do so few people carry their backups between office and home?

    At home, I slip the SATA disk drive into the external enclosure
    Rosewill RX-358 SATA to USB with 80mm fan.
    These Rosewill's have no flexible SATA connector
    -- you lay the drive into the Rosewill, then slide it into the SATA/power connector (very well designed).
    I merely lay the cover over the Rosewill connection,
    since I weekly extra the raw SATA drive for offsite storage at my office.
    I have only seen these Rosewill enclosures at

    With these backups, I use the 2 platter Seagate 500GB 7200.11
    disk drive, model ST3500320AS, for about $120.
    I use 3 such disk drives on each Rosewill enclosure,
    keeping 2 drives at my office, and one drive actively backing-up at home.

    Additionally, I don't believe one should use backup software that comes with the mentioned external enclosures.
    This violates parsimony.
    Virtually everyone already has backup software on their computers,
    so why patch in Frankenstein backup software for each different external drive.
    I might be somewhat naive here,
    since I use one of Linux many backup software,
    running it daily within my own bash shell program.
    Like Microsoft's backup, I use a Linux backup that creates one huge file (eg, 21GB) for each backup, although I consider incremental backups.
    I can get about 20 full backups on each 500GB disk drive.
  2. I must be missing something. Why are there terabyte external drives in the "Sub-Terabyte External Hard Drives" review?
  3. We tried two of the seagate offering, but found them very unsatisfactory. They got real hot, on eSATA they would turn themselves off for no reason midway through a copy, had to use usb to configure.. they were just problematic.

    We eventually got put on to 'lacie D2 Quadra' drives - I highly recommend these even though not mentioned in your article. Never get hot, solid performer on eSATA and haven't missed a beat (we copy around 200 - 400GB of data a day to them). Even when you first take them out of the box the build just feels better and solid. Give them a go if your looking for a good performer.
  4. Bitten by a Buffalo

    I have a number of Iomega external 350-500GB USB2 drives which seem to be bulletproof. In the past 18 months I have read and written countless thousands of large and small files from them and freely subject them to gigabyte encoding / decoding tasks. Never a glitch.

    In contrast, a comparable Buffalo drive trashed all its directories the second day. I lost a large amount of valuable data because I had gotten too comfortable with the reliability of the Iomegas, and you can't keep two copies of everything.

    No more wildlife for me.
  5. "The transfer rates of 30-40 MB/s off an unformatted medium translate to several megabytes per second on FAT32 or NTFS. If you do the math you'll find out quickly that these drives cannot transfer more than 15-20 GB per hour"
    erm. absolutely not correct.
    40MB (B=byte)*60 (1 minute)*60 (1 hour)=144000 MB
    144000 MB/1024 (gigabyte)=140,625 GB. NOT 15-20!!!
    please learn to calculate before you write articles.
  6. Just like bryces says, stay well away from the FreeAgent Pro line of drives if you want reliability and decent speeds.

    Like the article noted, the eSATA interface on these drives is horribly broken and barely any faster than the USB inteface. For more details, see my blog entry here:
  7. The Buffalo DriveStation TurboUSB I got on hand ran a read speed of 41.7MB/s
    I don't understand why it's so far from THG's 32MB/s...? :sweat:

    Is it possibly because of the different software used?
    I reached 41.7MB/s through testing with HD Tach
    but still....the gap difference is kinda big IMO... :??:
  8. Do these drives have such key notebook features as high-G ratings and motion sensors to retract heads in case of falls?
  9. Mr.Neogruts,
    you got me there!I should have read your article before buying a(Seagate) FreeAgent Pro 750Gb external HDD with firewire and eSATA.I have a Lenovo desktop with 250 Gb Hitachi Hdd (partitioned)and i need to take a backup. i have created a rescue disk(Mr.Elvandil helped me there)using Macrium Reflect.IAM NEW TO THE IMPORTANCE OF BACKUP AND RESTORE!Since iam already shackled to Seagate(let bygones be bygones) kindly advise me how to basically go about taking a backup and restore to the Hdd.My question is,should i partition the ext.Hdd before tacking a backup or not?Kindly advise!this query is addressed to all the tech guys and i will be grateful for your mature advise!
    with warm regards,
    your's sincerely,
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