Quantcast External hard drive advice - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
02-08-2012, 10:23 PM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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Hi all,

I am planning to buy an external hard drive (1 TB or 2 TB) for storing my archived precious home videos.

Which one do you suggest?

a. Brand
b. USB or Firewire or eSATA????
c. Externally powered or powered through USB?

I already have a Seagate GoFlex 2 TB USB Hard Drive (externally powered) and exhausted the space in it with videos. So is it better to go for a different brand this time?

Is it better to buy two 1 TB drives, or one 2 TB drive? What is the good practi here?

Please help me decide with your expertise.

Thanks.
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  #2  
02-09-2012, 08:27 AM
robjv1 robjv1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naripeddi View Post
Hi all,

I am planning to buy an external hard drive (1 TB or 2 TB) for storing my archived precious home videos.

Which one do you suggest?

a. Brand
b. USB or Firewire or eSATA????
c. Externally powered or powered through USB?

I already have a Seagate GoFlex 2 TB USB Hard Drive (externally powered) and exhausted the space in it with videos. So is it better to go for a different brand this time?

Is it better to buy two 1 TB drives, or one 2 TB drive? What is the good practi here?

Please help me decide with your expertise.

Thanks.
People have different opinions about hard drive brands, generally speaking I buy on NewEgg and the drive with a high number of positive reviews and a low proportion of negative ones. It's always good to see what the negative comments are too -- for some drives it is just noise which bothers some folks and not others, but some drives do seem to have reliability issues. Longer drive warranties are a sign of faith that the company and its consumers have in the product, but I can't say I've ever had the opportunity to cash in on a warranty on a drive, so I'm not sure how successful RMA'ing a 3 year old drive is under a 5 year warranty, but perhaps someone else can chime in.

If you're just using the drive for storage (and not capture) you can get a lower powered drive that spins at a slower rate. Then you can schedule copies to be made while you're away from your computer to your capture drive at regular intervals, or power the drive down when not in use.

I think it's smart to use externally powered drives, plugged into a surge suppressor / battery backup. That will allow them to shut down gracefully in the event of a power failure when not in your presence and protect them from damage by regulating the voltage should it drop below or rise above a certain value. Corrupted videos are never fun to deal with. As far as speed, I think it depends on your preference. USB2 is getting long in the tooth, but USB3 is out there now and apparently moves at pretty good rates. I used to have some FireWire drives which were great, but at this point it is all eSATA which is the fastest of the two I've used (USB2/Firewire). Speed may not be of great concern if the copying occurs in the background or only when you're not at your computer.

If you imagine you're going to keep getting more drives, it might be cheaper in the long run to not buy 'external' drives and instead buy an enclosure case with a eSATA or USB3 plug on it and filling it with the cheap drive dujour. Check prices though.
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  #3  
02-11-2012, 08:00 AM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Where to buy:
  • Only buy drives online from Amazon, Newegg, TigerDirect, Buy.com or Geeks.com.
  • Only buy drives in-store from Fry's or Microcenter.
  • These stores have the best deals/prices, best return policies, and tend to always have drives in stock.

What to buy internally:
  • Stick to Seagate or Hitachi as primary choices, with Western Digital as the third choice.
  • Seagate is silent and lasts long, Hitachi is noisy, and Western Digital gets noisy over time before crashing.

What to buy externally:
  • Fantom is an excellent external drive assembler, and they generally use Seagate drives inside.
  • Sans Digital is an excellent enclosure for mounting your own drives. Feel free to buy one enclosure, and swap out as needed. That's what I do. Store your drives in plastic cases sold from Meritline.
  • Skip USB2. Use eSATA. If you computer doesn't have eSATA ports, find a way to add some. (Tip: Don't buy cheap PCI cards. Look for PCI Express cards for desktops, ExpressBus cards for laptops. PCI cannot sustain SATA-II speeds.)
  • I would use Firewire 400 over USB2, because it is faster, being a non-burstable (sustained rate) transfer method.
  • USB3 just doesn't have the mass adoption, and I'm not sure it ever will.

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  #4  
02-14-2012, 10:03 PM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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Thank you both for the advice.
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