I am looking for an external hard drive. Looking to store pictures and data files. It needs to be compatible with all of my computers which run on XP Pro, XP and Vista 64. I was looking at Seagate FreeAgent Go 500 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive-Silver ST905003FGA2E1-RK in amazon but one of the reviews mentioned that it does not work with Vista 64.
I really like my Western Digital 500Gb USB “MyBook” drive for storing video, photos, etc. It looks just like a book sitting on my shelf. When I unplug the USB cable, it automatically shuts itself off, so no power wasting. Also, it works perfectly with XP, Vista, and Ubuntu Linux. It also was quite cheap at Costco. I use this external drive to hold videos, music, and photos that I will likely access frequently. However, I have found a MUCH better solution for LONG TERM storage of files. Let me go back a few years: I bought a Western Digital 80Gb drive a few years back to store my music and my documents. I will NEVER fill an 80Gb drive, right? Wrong! So, a year or so later, I bought a “Simpleshare” 160Gb Network Attached Storage Drive (NAS) so my kids could all store their music and files and homework on the NAS and access it from laptops and computers around the house. Of course, at 160Gb that will NEVER be full, right? So, a year or so later I bought a 320 Gb drive to store just videos, which will never be full, right? So a year or so later I bought the 500Gb Western Digital MyBook , which works great, but is filling up with stuff. So, now I have a rats nest of power cords, power transformer boxes, and USB cables behind my computer, all competing for limited USB slots, and I have to move the computer forward, look around for the USB cable with a piece of tape on it telling me what drive that plugs into, etc. etc.
This is NUTS! I keep needing more external storage, but have run out of USB ports, and places to plug things in. So, what is the solution?
I purchased a Thermaltake USB / eSATA drive dock for about 60 bucks. It sits on my desk, and can be plugged into a USB or an eSATA port (there are versions that only have a USB interface). Then, I purchased a SATA hard drive, and plug it into the drive dock. This takes 2 seconds. It just slides in, and you are done. When the drive is full, I lable it with a piece of tape, write a table of contents in my word processor, and pull the drive, put it away in a box, where it consumes NO power, and does not wear out because it is OFF. I buy a new hard drive, and start again. I only use this for LONG TERM storage of files. Things I access frequently, I put on the NAS or my WD USB drive. Why didn’t I think of this before? I now only have one USB external drive plugged in to my computer, a NAS, and the drive dock. Less power cords, less USB cables, infinite storage. So, if you need a second external drive, don’t buy one. Buy a drive dock, and a naked SATA drive.
I had two FreeAgent 1TB and both disappointed miserably. The files on the drives would suddenly disappear. Sometimes if I dismounted the drive and plugged it back in teh files would come back. I think the problem was in the USB side, maybe related to their password protection scheme. I tore them apart and am now using the drives in an external SATA enclosure.