Self-contained external HDD or external enclosure?

I'm going to need an external HDD, 500GB+ in the near future and I've heard good things about Western Digital products. But then I started thinking, what if I just got a 500GB HDD and put it in an external enclosure? I could easily swap it out later with a larger drive if needed and put the former HDD in my case. (Although part of me thinks I should just go the 1TB route instead of a 500GB)

Any experiences w/pros and cons to doing an external enclosure vs. a self-contained external?

Thanks!


*PS tangent: Any suggestions on a solid Win7 OS drive; 200GB or more? No SSD, too much $$$.
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More about self contained external external enclosure
  1. Personally I went the DIY route - bought an HDD and enclosure, assembled it (NO problem) and away we go! That way I got exactly hwat I wanted, and it is cheaper than buying a complete unit already made. However, that way I got NO free software for automated backups, etc.
  2. I agree with Paperdoc with DIY, I have 3, this way if the drive dies it's aesy to replace.
    Another thing to think about, a lot of the external's you buy only have a 12 months warranty, whereas drives purchased seperatly have 3 to 5 years warranty and you get to pick the drive.
  3. I personally use several external drives for alternating backups and also for archiving. What I've found to work well is a bare drive dock such as this one:



    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817392037

    This lets me buy additional bare drives with zero cost for additional enclosures, and is very easy to use since I just have to put the drive into the slot without having to worry about cables (the cables are already hooked up to the dock).
  4. I found that i could save a little money, had a WD external that failed that was a replacement already from a warranty in effect on a even older drive. Bought a new WD Caviar black internal, took apart the external that failed and put the new drive in it. Works great
  5. sminlal said:
    I personally use several external drives for alternating backups and also for archiving. What I've found to work well is a bare drive dock such as this one:

    http://images17.newegg.com/is/image/newegg/17-392-037-TS?$S300W$

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817392037

    This lets me buy additional bare drives with zero cost for additional enclosures, and is very easy to use since I just have to put the drive into the slot without having to worry about cables (the cables are already hooked up to the dock).

    I actually have a fitting like that on my new Coolmaster Case CM 690 II Advanced case, just slip the drive in the slot.
    My mobo died last week, so had to replace mb/cpu/ram, so I thought may as well upgrade the case and power supply while I'm at it.
    The case I ordered hadn't arrived in time so they gave me the Advance model that they had on the floor for the same price.
  6. How about something in between?

    I use a mobile rack like this:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817123304&cm_re=mobile_rack_sata-_-17-123-304-_-Product

    It fits in a 5 1/2" external drive bay. Internally, it is a sata connection which gives you native speeds vs. usb or whatever.
    You put a conventional sata hard drive in the caddy which you can insert or remove easily.

    I use it for backups, and power it off when not needed.
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