Hi all I am in need of a backup device for my music and pictures. I was thinking about a WD or I can use my old Seagate sata 320 16mb HDD with an External enclosure. Was wondering if there was any benefits of using one or the other, If I use my old HDD will I have to reformat it to use it with my vista OS ? The old HDD has window XP on it. I would like to pull some stuff off it if I can before I reformat it if I have to. Not really sure what to do. Any help welcomed Thanks Niklas
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  1. You do not need to format the disk if you want to put it inside an external enclosure and connect via USB, Firewire or eSATA. Once you connect the drive to your running system, you can browse the directories. The only problem you might face are permission problems, which are resolved by taking ownership of the files. Google on how to do that should you encounter any problems.

    For performance, eSATA is the prefered way to connect any external harddrive. USB is often limited to 20MB/s and has a higher latency and CPU overhead.
  2. If anything the WD might provide slightly faster transfer speeds, since it's designed to be an external HD, but using an older hard disk with an enclosure is of course, cheaper.

    XP and Vista use the same file system, so you'll be able to read your old hard disk with Vista.
  3. it would really come down to how it's connected to your computer. USB is slower than firewire and that one is slower than eSATA.
  4. Thanks for the info all,
    One more question, If i do use my old HDD and after i transfer the files could i fomat it in vista though the usb cable its hooked up to ?
  5. Yes.
    Do a full Format; a quick format just adds directories and wipes data. A full format scans your entire drive for errors and bad sectors (and prevents writing to bad sectors).

    I'd definitely leave your hard drive in the case if you can. Even the best USB devices only allow 32MB/second.

    I highly recommend you use a new drive, the WD 1TB Black version. Partition it (when installing Vista) into 2 partitions. If you game a lot, maybe 300GB for the C-drive and the rest for D. Use a program like Acronis True Image to make a backup of your C-drive (Vista) to a 2nd hard drive (physically separate).

    If you really need an external drive, invest the extra money in getting one with both USB and eSATA, then add an eSATA card (PCI or PCIe) and use the eSATA only.
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