External Hard Drives

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by alastair.geek.nz, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. I have recently been reviewing my backup processes, and I have come to
    the conclusion that a portable external hard drive would make my life
    much easier, provided that I can get one which suits my needs for under
    $180.

    The first thing that caught my eye was a Creative Yion 20Gb for $130 at
    Ascent, but Creative's web site suggests that it's not compatible with
    Mac OS X, so this won't be any good.

    The next best thing I found was an 80Gb drive at Computer Lounge for
    $169 (http://tinyurl.com/cyvat). Okay, I don't need 80Gb, but there
    doesn't seem to be anything smaller available at a lesser price, and
    this thing is within my budget. The product description implies that
    it's a Seagate product but, on closer inspection, it looks like it's a
    Seagate drive installed into a third party drive enclosure. At the end
    of the day, though, it'll still do the job, right?

    Would I perhaps be better off purchasing a hard drive and a drive
    enclosure seperately and putting them together myself? Ascent offer a
    drive enclosure similar to the one mentioned above for $68
    (http://tinyurl.com/czbvb) and an 80Gb Seagate hard drive for $103
    (http://tinyurl.com/cb27j). This particular hard drive enclosure states
    that it's designed for 3.5" drives and it seems that the specifications
    of hard drives rarely state what size they are, but am I right in
    guessing that desktop hard drives are generally 3.5" while notebook
    hard drives are 2.5"?

    It appears that buying the pre-built product from Computer Lounge is
    the best option considering that my costings suggest that this would be
    the same price as buying the two components seperately. Does anyone
    have any thoughts or advice? Whatever I end up buying, it's only going
    to be used for backups, so I really just want whatever will incur the
    least cost and hassle.
    alastair.geek.nz, Jan 13, 2006
    #1
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  2. alastair.geek.nz

    ~misfit~ Guest

    alastair.geek.nz wrote:
    > I have recently been reviewing my backup processes, and I have come to
    > the conclusion that a portable external hard drive would make my life
    > much easier, provided that I can get one which suits my needs for
    > under $180.
    >
    > The first thing that caught my eye was a Creative Yion 20Gb for $130
    > at Ascent, but Creative's web site suggests that it's not compatible
    > with Mac OS X, so this won't be any good.
    >
    > The next best thing I found was an 80Gb drive at Computer Lounge for
    > $169 (http://tinyurl.com/cyvat). Okay, I don't need 80Gb, but there
    > doesn't seem to be anything smaller available at a lesser price, and
    > this thing is within my budget. The product description implies that
    > it's a Seagate product but, on closer inspection, it looks like it's a
    > Seagate drive installed into a third party drive enclosure. At the end
    > of the day, though, it'll still do the job, right?
    >
    > Would I perhaps be better off purchasing a hard drive and a drive
    > enclosure seperately and putting them together myself? Ascent offer a
    > drive enclosure similar to the one mentioned above for $68
    > (http://tinyurl.com/czbvb) and an 80Gb Seagate hard drive for $103
    > (http://tinyurl.com/cb27j). This particular hard drive enclosure
    > states that it's designed for 3.5" drives and it seems that the
    > specifications of hard drives rarely state what size they are, but am
    > I right in guessing that desktop hard drives are generally 3.5" while
    > notebook hard drives are 2.5"?


    You are correct.

    > It appears that buying the pre-built product from Computer Lounge is
    > the best option considering that my costings suggest that this would
    > be the same price as buying the two components seperately. Does anyone
    > have any thoughts or advice? Whatever I end up buying, it's only going
    > to be used for backups, so I really just want whatever will incur the
    > least cost and hassle.


    If the pre-built product uses a comparable HDD then, yes it's indeed
    cheaper. It seems it uses the exact same drive and enclosure and I doubt
    that they use refurbished drives so it is the easiest option. One thing,
    those HDDs get hot if constantly accessed. That's part of the reason why a
    lot of portable drive enclosures use laptop drives. (They're slower revving
    and run a lot cooler) However, if you're just writing a few GB to the drive
    then disconnecting it it should be fine. I'm not sure how the drive mounts
    in that housing bit if it made really good contact with the housing then the
    housing itself, being aluminium, could act as a heatsink and help cool the
    drive.
    --
    ~misfit~
    ~misfit~, Jan 13, 2006
    #2
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  3. alastair.geek.nz

    smf Guest

    ~misfit~ wrote:
    > alastair.geek.nz wrote:
    >> I have recently been reviewing my backup processes, and I have come to
    >> the conclusion that a portable external hard drive would make my life
    >> much easier, provided that I can get one which suits my needs for
    >> under $180.
    >>
    >> The first thing that caught my eye was a Creative Yion 20Gb for $130
    >> at Ascent, but Creative's web site suggests that it's not compatible
    >> with Mac OS X, so this won't be any good.
    >>
    >> The next best thing I found was an 80Gb drive at Computer Lounge for
    >> $169 (http://tinyurl.com/cyvat). Okay, I don't need 80Gb, but there
    >> doesn't seem to be anything smaller available at a lesser price, and
    >> this thing is within my budget. The product description implies that
    >> it's a Seagate product but, on closer inspection, it looks like it's a
    >> Seagate drive installed into a third party drive enclosure. At the end
    >> of the day, though, it'll still do the job, right?
    >>
    >> Would I perhaps be better off purchasing a hard drive and a drive
    >> enclosure seperately and putting them together myself? Ascent offer a
    >> drive enclosure similar to the one mentioned above for $68
    >> (http://tinyurl.com/czbvb) and an 80Gb Seagate hard drive for $103
    >> (http://tinyurl.com/cb27j). This particular hard drive enclosure
    >> states that it's designed for 3.5" drives and it seems that the
    >> specifications of hard drives rarely state what size they are, but am
    >> I right in guessing that desktop hard drives are generally 3.5" while
    >> notebook hard drives are 2.5"?

    >
    > You are correct.
    >
    >> It appears that buying the pre-built product from Computer Lounge is
    >> the best option considering that my costings suggest that this would
    >> be the same price as buying the two components seperately. Does anyone
    >> have any thoughts or advice? Whatever I end up buying, it's only going
    >> to be used for backups, so I really just want whatever will incur the
    >> least cost and hassle.

    >
    > If the pre-built product uses a comparable HDD then, yes it's indeed
    > cheaper. It seems it uses the exact same drive and enclosure and I doubt
    > that they use refurbished drives so it is the easiest option. One thing,
    > those HDDs get hot if constantly accessed. That's part of the reason why a
    > lot of portable drive enclosures use laptop drives. (They're slower revving
    > and run a lot cooler) However, if you're just writing a few GB to the drive
    > then disconnecting it it should be fine. I'm not sure how the drive mounts
    > in that housing bit if it made really good contact with the housing then the
    > housing itself, being aluminium, could act as a heatsink and help cool the
    > drive.



    I have both set ups - one maxtor external drive and another 250gig (3.5)
    that I put in an enclosure - oh and a laptop drive (2.5) in an aluminium
    enclosure for more files than the usb key can carry. Heat wise, the
    laptop drive is enclosed in aluminium that keeps it very cool. No fans,
    and no power supply - has its limitations sometimes in an environment
    with limited usb ports.
    The maxtor is a one touch and runs very quietly - it has usb2 and
    firewire, so does the full range of machines. The seagate external is
    not as quiet, but works fine - but you pay a premium for firewire as
    well as usb on enclsures. The laptop drive is super portable, my advice
    for a 2.5 drive though is to spend a bit more and get the 7200rpm ones -
    it does make a difference for file access times.
    Buying an enclosure means you can always upgrade the disk later for a
    bigger drive- a bonus if your needs change...

    Sue.
    smf, Jan 13, 2006
    #3
  4. In <> alastair.geek.
    nz wrote:

    > I have recently been reviewing my backup processes, and I have come to
    > the conclusion that a portable external hard drive would make my life
    > much easier, provided that I can get one which suits my needs for
    > under $180.
    >
    > The first thing that caught my eye was a Creative Yion 20Gb for $130
    > at Ascent, but Creative's web site suggests that it's not compatible
    > with Mac OS X, so this won't be any good.


    All USB drives for years have used the USB mass storage class. That
    means they should work fine with any recent operating system without
    extra software. The Creative drive comes with a driver for Windows 98SE
    since 98SE and earlier had no storage class driver.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_mass_storage_device_class

    Unfortunately the people who wrote the specifications were either
    ignorant of what they are selling, or afraid of having to provide
    support for the billions of Mac users out there (this expectation of
    high support costs for a standard USB device can occur after prolonged
    exposure to Windows). It'll work fine with Mac OS 8.6 and later.

    --
    Roger Johnstone, Invercargill, New Zealand
    http://roger.geek.nz/
    ________________________________________________________________________
    No Silicon Heaven? Preposterous! Where would all the calculators go?

    Kryten, from the Red Dwarf episode "The Last Day"
    Roger Johnstone, Jan 13, 2006
    #4
  5. alastair.geek.nz

    Craig Shore Guest

    On 12 Jan 2006 22:24:21 -0800, "alastair.geek.nz" <> wrote:

    >It appears that buying the pre-built product from Computer Lounge is
    >the best option considering that my costings suggest that this would be
    >the same price as buying the two components seperately. Does anyone
    >have any thoughts or advice? Whatever I end up buying, it's only going
    >to be used for backups, so I really just want whatever will incur the
    >least cost and hassle.


    This guy sells enclosures cheap. $36 + $7 postage = $43
    They only support ATA up to 250gb, not SATA though.
    http://www.trademe.co.nz/structure/0002-0362-2928-2929-/auction-44758169.htm


    That option would be cheapest if you had an old drive you wanted to use, but
    aside from that you're probably better off getting it as all one unit.
    Craig Shore, Jan 13, 2006
    #5
  6. alastair.geek.nz

    MarkH Guest

    "alastair.geek.nz" <> wrote in
    news::

    > I have recently been reviewing my backup processes, and I have come to
    > the conclusion that a portable external hard drive would make my life
    > much easier, provided that I can get one which suits my needs for
    > under $180.
    >
    > The first thing that caught my eye was a Creative Yion 20Gb for $130
    > at Ascent, but Creative's web site suggests that it's not compatible
    > with Mac OS X, so this won't be any good.
    >
    > The next best thing I found was an 80Gb drive at Computer Lounge for
    > $169 (http://tinyurl.com/cyvat). Okay, I don't need 80Gb, but there
    > doesn't seem to be anything smaller available at a lesser price, and
    > this thing is within my budget. The product description implies that
    > it's a Seagate product but, on closer inspection, it looks like it's a
    > Seagate drive installed into a third party drive enclosure. At the end
    > of the day, though, it'll still do the job, right?
    >
    > Would I perhaps be better off purchasing a hard drive and a drive
    > enclosure seperately and putting them together myself? Ascent offer a
    > drive enclosure similar to the one mentioned above for $68
    > (http://tinyurl.com/czbvb)


    I have one of these and it works very well. It is currently on special
    at PBTech http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?item=CASICZ740U2 $53.65
    incl.

    Honestly I find this a very good enclosure, the aluminium acts as a heat
    sink and stops the HDD from overheating - without the need for a fan.


    > and an 80Gb Seagate hard drive for $103
    > (http://tinyurl.com/cb27j). This particular hard drive enclosure
    > states that it's designed for 3.5" drives and it seems that the
    > specifications of hard drives rarely state what size they are, but am
    > I right in guessing that desktop hard drives are generally 3.5" while
    > notebook hard drives are 2.5"?


    Exactly

    > It appears that buying the pre-built product from Computer Lounge is
    > the best option considering that my costings suggest that this would
    > be the same price as buying the two components seperately. Does anyone
    > have any thoughts or advice? Whatever I end up buying, it's only going
    > to be used for backups, so I really just want whatever will incur the
    > least cost and hassle.


    The pre-built product will save you approximately 5 minutes of assembly.





    --
    Mark Heyes (New Zealand)
    See my pics at www.gigatech.co.nz (last updated 5-September-05)
    "The person on the other side was a young woman. Very obviously a
    young woman. There was no possible way she could have been mistaken
    for a young man in any language, especially Braille."
    Maskerade
    MarkH, Jan 13, 2006
    #6
  7. Roger Johnstone wrote:

    > In <> alastair.geek.
    > nz wrote:


    > > I have recently been reviewing my backup processes, and I have come to
    > > the conclusion that a portable external hard drive would make my life
    > > much easier, provided that I can get one which suits my needs for
    > > under $180.
    > >
    > > The first thing that caught my eye was a Creative Yion 20Gb for $130
    > > at Ascent, but Creative's web site suggests that it's not compatible
    > > with Mac OS X, so this won't be any good.


    > All USB drives for years have used the USB mass storage class. That
    > means they should work fine with any recent operating system without
    > extra software. The Creative drive comes with a driver for Windows 98SE
    > since 98SE and earlier had no storage class driver.


    Thanks for all the advice, folks.

    It seems that the enclosure + HDD solution is the best value but,
    because I'm price conscious and I don't need more than 20Gb of storage,
    I still feel that the Creative drive is the best option for my
    requirements.

    Based on Roger's comments above, it seems that it's a safe bet that the
    Creative drive will work fine on my system. Creative's specifications
    don't specifically state that it supports the USB Mass Storage protocol
    but, if it works without driver software on later versions of Windows,
    then it theoretically must support this standard.

    Now, where did I leave my credit card...
    alastair.geek.nz, Jan 13, 2006
    #7
  8. alastair.geek.nz

    Mutley Guest

    "alastair.geek.nz" <> wrote:

    >Roger Johnstone wrote:
    >
    >> In <> alastair.geek.
    >> nz wrote:

    >
    >> > I have recently been reviewing my backup processes, and I have come to
    >> > the conclusion that a portable external hard drive would make my life
    >> > much easier, provided that I can get one which suits my needs for
    >> > under $180.
    >> >
    >> > The first thing that caught my eye was a Creative Yion 20Gb for $130
    >> > at Ascent, but Creative's web site suggests that it's not compatible
    >> > with Mac OS X, so this won't be any good.

    >
    >> All USB drives for years have used the USB mass storage class. That
    >> means they should work fine with any recent operating system without
    >> extra software. The Creative drive comes with a driver for Windows 98SE
    >> since 98SE and earlier had no storage class driver.

    >
    >Thanks for all the advice, folks.
    >
    >It seems that the enclosure + HDD solution is the best value but,
    >because I'm price conscious and I don't need more than 20Gb of storage,
    >I still feel that the Creative drive is the best option for my
    >requirements.
    >
    >Based on Roger's comments above, it seems that it's a safe bet that the
    >Creative drive will work fine on my system. Creative's specifications
    >don't specifically state that it supports the USB Mass Storage protocol
    >but, if it works without driver software on later versions of Windows,
    >then it theoretically must support this standard.
    >
    >Now, where did I leave my credit card...


    For about $230 you can get a USB2 external with the 160Gig drive.
    Anything smaller than that I feel is a waist of money..
    Mutley, Jan 14, 2006
    #8
  9. Mutley wrote:

    > "alastair.geek.nz" <> wrote:


    > >It seems that the enclosure + HDD solution is the best value but,
    > >because I'm price conscious and I don't need more than 20Gb of storage,
    > >I still feel that the Creative drive is the best option for my
    > >requirements.


    > For about $230 you can get a USB2 external with the 160Gig drive.
    > Anything smaller than that I feel is a waist of money..


    It depends entirely on what it's going to be used for. Personally, I
    currently have about 8Gb of data which needs to remain backed up, and
    my conservative estimates indicate that this will not expand beyond
    20Gb over the next two years.

    I'm sure that a 160Gb drive is much better value on a cost-per-megabyte
    basis but, for me, it really would be overkill!
    alastair.geek.nz, Jan 14, 2006
    #9
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