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External Storage: Terabyte Drives Compared

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  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 20, 2008 8:18 AM
    Neil Poulton is really something. He designed a black brick.
  • 0 Hide
    cangelini , October 20, 2008 9:51 AM
    thewondererusNeil Poulton is really something. He designed a black brick .

    Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing as I read over the story.
  • 0 Hide
    malveaux , October 20, 2008 11:52 AM

    A decent article to read. I've been looking at externals for a while as I have the USB powered wallet sized ones, in the 250gig size range, and I really enjoy them (even if their speeds are low). 1tb level stuff certainly is different though when you're likely dealing with gigs of data at a time. At least I would be. And I also like that they covered power consumption. A lot of the `green' things being offered don't live up to that when you actually measure them on the wall. I'm surprised that WD doesn't ever hit 0 when you even switch it off. That's terrible. Must have an LED or something that stays on all the time. Dunno about others, but I think it would be stupid to spend the $ over night every night for the 0.4watts it's doing nothing with. May seem like nothing but that adds up over a few years to the cost of that drive, making it more expensive than the others by far. Bull crap.

    Ways to improve this article: Tear open those cases. Let's see which ones are durable. Which ones give you ease of access in case something goes wrong or if you want to switch things up in there. Also, what actual DRIVES are being used. A lot of companies boast different names but still use the SAME drive often. It'd be nice to know exactly what's in there, instead of just presuming they're using a green drive for example. Why assume? Open that box!

    And honestly, looks matter when it comes to externals. Having a HUGE vibrating box that is NOISY is not something I want to drop $130~170 on. And so far, all the above drives fail at that. There are far more attractive options out there. Look at the phantom drives for example.

    Very best,
  • 2 Hide
    KyleSTL , October 20, 2008 2:18 PM
    Dunno about others, but I think it would be stupid to spend the $ over night every night for the 0.4watts it's doing nothing with. May seem like nothing but that adds up over a few years to the cost of that drive, making it more expensive than the others by far. Bull crap.

    0.4[W] * 24[hr] * 365[days] * 3[years] * 0.10[USD/kWH] / 1000[W/kW] =
    $1.05 (for 3 years, in standby constantly) hardly your claim of making it more expensive than the others. Even if the difference in power consumption was 5W constantly the difference would only be $13.14 over 3 years.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 20, 2008 3:51 PM
    what? no ICY DOCKs?
  • 0 Hide
    Aieden , October 20, 2008 5:12 PM
    STAY AWAY from the 1TB MY Book Home edition. I bought that piece of equipement about 6 months ago and had nothing but trouble. First of the ESATA port is not working at all. Seems like WD hates the Jmicron controller that is on most of ASUS mobo for Esata. The Firewire port isn't very stable also and to top it all, you have to disconnect the drive to let your PC boot up. The drive will stop your computer from booting durint post. Not worth the hassle...

    I returned that dammed thing after weeks of research on the net, fiddling with the BIOS and one clean reformat
  • 0 Hide
    ThePatriot , October 20, 2008 6:11 PM
    I have had the same experience as Aieden: my eSata never worked. The USB and 1394a work OK. My MSI P45 mobo works with Jmicron controller. Apparantly MyBook doesn't like it.
  • 0 Hide
    coldmast , October 20, 2008 7:25 PM
    what does everyone think of the AZiO ENC311SU31 (eSATA usb external hard drive enclosure), I was thinking of picking one up.
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , October 20, 2008 7:53 PM
    thewondererusNeil Poulton is really something. He designed a black brick.

    Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing as I read over the story.

    So true. That is exactly what my girlfriend said about it :) 
  • 0 Hide
    kamel5547 , October 21, 2008 3:35 AM
    Wonder if the Seagate tools are finally x64 compatible... doubt it as the FreeAgent still isn't. It'd be nice to review the compatibility of the enclosed software (or at least mention it).

    I have a similar issue with my Seagate (not the one tht was reviewed) and eSATA on my ASUS board, although the firewire works fine.
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , October 21, 2008 10:07 AM
    I love the 'black brick' design! so much better than those normal ones.

    On a side note - is any of those mentioned solutions capable of having its harddrive replaced?

    I know the my book isn't - I'm using the electronics from a 500gb model to power a seagate 250gb drive now, but it's not possible to take the thing apart without breaking the plastic casing.
  • 0 Hide
    kamkal , October 21, 2008 5:52 PM

    hhahaha designed by Neil Poulton

    give me a break, its a rectangular prism

    "design" ROFL
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , October 22, 2008 6:53 AM
    Hey it is a design!
    Someone did design a lada samara or golf I as well even though they were just boxes on wheels. Design can be simple. Sometimes simple is even the best option. The old box like audi 100 looks a lot better than the equvivalent ford scorpio.
  • 0 Hide
    montyuk , October 22, 2008 3:53 PM
    recently picked up two of the buffalo drivestations 1tb, comes with a fully licensed copy of the memeo autosync backup software aswell as a 30 day trial of their internet disk online storage.

    ive read quite a few reviews saying how the external drives arent quite as reliable as their internal colleagues so im using one as storage and the other as a backup of the first using the memeo software which happily chugged away checking that everything was as it should be.

    also comes with control software for putting drives into power saving mode which works fine although without the tools to test i cant say what the power consumption is or by how much it changes between the modes.

    so far no problems with them, was very pleased to see that they have wd drives inside and also support 'turbousb', although im not 100% sure how effective this is.

    only down point is the single connection for usb2 but thats fine for me.
  • 0 Hide
    antiacid , October 22, 2008 8:06 PM
    What are the average noise levels during operation? Those small fans can really become loud...
  • 0 Hide
    Henri Brands , October 23, 2008 10:33 AM
    Same experience as Aieden:

    My PC has a GA-P35-DQ6 MoBo and the 1TB MY Book Home edition never did work with e-SATA. And indeed when I connect the My Book with the PC it prevents the PC from starting up.
    MY Book Home edition seems to be rubbish.......
  • 0 Hide
    Henri Brands , October 28, 2008 10:11 AM
    Same experience as Aieden

    I found new firmware ( the website of WD and installed it.
    Now the problem seems to be solved!
  • 0 Hide
    cjshaker , November 10, 2008 4:48 AM
    I've got the WD 1TB My Book Home Edition. The case is designed to fall over, ie - it is top heavy, and is very easy to tip over. Not good for hard drives to be dropped. Head crash anyone? I wondered if it had been designed by marketing, or possibly by artists, instead of by a mechanical engineer?

    It also prevented my newer PCs from booting. You can fix that by changing the USB configuration in your BIOS to disallow booting from USB disk drives, if my rusty memory is correct.

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 14, 2008 2:55 AM
    "when I connect the My Book with the PC it prevents the PC from starting up."

    When I leave my car in neutral and walk away, it rolls into things. Stupid car!! ;-)

    Like cjshaker said, that's a BIOS boot device setting on your PC, not the drive. If your PC is configured to boot from USB, can't blame that particular "problem" on WD MyBook, or any other drive. Booting from USB is sometimes a good thing, like booting your PC off a thumb drive loaded with diagnostics software, anti-virus scanners, etc. But if the drive is not actually set up to boot from, it often just hangs your PC. A "smarter" BIOS will recognize the drive isn't bootable and either skip that device or at least nastygram you.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 8, 2009 10:17 PM
    LaCie!? Woah! Don't even think about it!

    I just had to send mine off for repair after 11 months losing 817 Gb in one fell swoop. No warnings, no inidication it was going to die on me.

    They can't seem to offer to rescue any data insisting all repaired drives are returned formatted - shorthand for just grabbing a new one off the shelf - and employing a 3rd party to try to save any precious files yourself invalidates your warranty.

    I sent them an email 6 days ago and have heard nothing from them yet.

    The "Brick" is none too clever at video file playback either as the drive pauses for a second every 35 - 40 minutes making movies a grating experience. This is just my opinion, however, and losing all that data may have sullied my experience, but from now on I'll stick to Seagate or another reputable company that actually manufactures the drives themsleves.

    Lacie just hobble together adoptive drives in their own casing and pass it off as their own. Job lot drives bridged together by 2nd and 3rd party technology just leaves too many variables to go wrong.
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