Need Hardrive advice.

Hi all.

I'm looking to buy a second hard drive for my computer and need some advice.

I current have a very new computer running vista 64 bit with that was made from parts people here at Tom's Hardware selected for me, and I was not disappointed (it works great). I built the whole thing myself and it was actually pretty darn simple, no problems or anything. I have never bought a second hard drive for any of my computers, and I don't really know much about what to get, so here are my questions.

a) Is there anything I know when I should get a second hard drive? Or is plugging it in and turning it on pretty much all that needs to be done? I am a very handy, but don't have to much experience in this area.

b) What is the best quality Hard Drive out there? I am looking for something at least 500gig or more, but I don't want to spend more then $150 if possible, but noise is a big no-no.

c) I have plenty of space for a internal hardrive, which is what I would like to get, are externals worth it at all?

Thanks for any help.
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More about need hardrive advice
  1. a - Plug it in, turn it on, go to storage management (or whatever Vista uses, and format and assign drive letters. Search for help about "initialize new drive".

    b - You will need to choose the brand. WD 1 TB drives, for example, are currently about $110 at newegg. I have two 1 TB WD Greens as secondary storage in one of my computers. Pretty quiet.

    c - Internal or external? You will need to choose. I also have some external drives. Both are very useful.
  2. be aware that unless your drive and pc are connected via esata it will be significantly slower than than an internal drive.

    speed of external interfaces (fastest to slowest)
    esata - operates at sata 2 speeds a single drive will not max out the bus.
    firewire - depending on the port 1394a or 1394b will cap out at either 40MB or 80 MB per second
    usb - 1.1 or 2.0 will make a difference but even 2.0 will cap out around 20MB per second.

    ease of portability between machines
    usb most machines have usb
    firewire firewire is fairly common these days
    esata still fairly rare
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