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External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Printers, Monitors, and Color Management' started by RickW, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. looking for 1 tb external hard drive for storage. Obviously, reliability is first concern. Would prefer one with on/off switch and some sort of decent backup software. Speed and quiet obvious pluses. I use USB 2 only - no Firewire.

    Anyone have any recommendations? I have a Maxtor 750mb One Touch which has software from hell, is always on and has a blue led light that is always shining and that can serve as a reading lamp in an otherwise dark room.

    by the way - reading online recommendations has my head spinning. Looked at WD, Seagate (same as Maxotr?), Iomega etc. For every listed external, about half the reviewers love it and the other half hates it.

    Some claim WD are prone to failure (Maxtor too) while others cite having theirs for years without problem.

    Figured I'd give this forum a yell to try and gauge feedback.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2008
  2. Kind of contrary statements there, eh Rick? :smile:

    Seriously though, when you're talking about moving 1 TB of bits around, you need something faster than USB - eSATA would be a smart move, esp. if you envision using the new drive for awhile.

    As far as brands, go I've had 'em from every manuf. you can think of, and sometimes you just get a bad drive amongst a , so the key is to not put all your eggs in one basket.

  3. Sean- I appreciate the advice. Actually, right after I posted my question, I did a Cafe search for my question (sort of *ss-backward approach, I guess) and was in the process of reading some of your comments to another similar question a while back.

    So here is my dilemma (which you are sort of confirming for me). Seems that there is always a bad copy of a WD, Maxtor, Seagate etc popping up on someone's system and that person will obviously write a deadly review. That must be the only logical reason why you get so many 5 star ratings and 1 star ratings for the same drives.

    As far as USB vs. eSata - I read some of your explanations and, if I understood your earlier replies, since all I plan to do with the external is to park data on it for long term storage....USB will suffice. Keep in mind that my tech skills sort of top out at plugging machine into wall. Anything sexier than that (like installing a SATA card in my desktop) is like asking me to do cold fusion. Photography I can speak confidently about; computer hardware.....well, let's just say that I am 60 yrs old and still remember my first bernoulli box attached to my original PC. Never quite got the hang of that system and I was 25 yrs younger at the time.

    So - bottom line it for me. Preference for on/off switch, idiot proof backup software that actually allows me to easily back up from C drive to externals without duplicating already archived files and manufacturer that at least has some sort of track record for not overheating/crashing/malfunctioning in general use.

    Oh - and one without a lighthouse type beacon that will keep my wife and dog awake through 2 closed doors.

    Anything like that on the market at 1 TB??
  4. wbeem


    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    USB drives are always running. As a result, they have a shorter lifespan. A lot of the stuff you see in Best Buy or Circuit City is consumer grade stuff. All drives will fail.

    What you use depends upon how important it is to you. Some folks are happy with a Drobo, but it's not cheap.
  5. Gotcha, Rick - the only add'l thing I'd add then is that some manuf. now consider the drive's manufacture date as the start of the warranty period, not when you buy it - keep a close tab on the terms of the warranty.

  6. Gaius


    Jul 1, 2008

    I just installed a Seagate FreeAgent Pro 1TB. It does USB 2.0 and eSATA -- I use USB. It has an ON/OFF switch. The gold lights run across the top of the box, along the front, with a lighted gold logo on the side -- I know you will like it :smile:. The extensive lights are not too bright and they don't flash.

    I have not activated the supplied Memeo software yet, so I can't comment on it. I went with Seagate because I have used a USB 500GB Seagate external for some time and it has been flawless. I ordered mine from Amazon.

  7. Thanks for the tips guys. Now I just have set up a spreadsheet showing each guy who recommended what external and then, when it fails, I can come for you....:biggrin:


    Seriously - I was sort of leaning toward Seagate until I discovered that they and Maxtor now come through the same birth canal. You may have talked me back into the Seagate gate.

    Agin - thanks for helping me sort through this. I miss the days where I stored my negatives and chromes in shoeboxes in the attic where the cold weather and the dust and dirt coated everything quite nicely. Hell - with Kodachrome, I just threw the slides into boxes and new that they were good to print after blowing off the dust.
  8. I use the Sharkoon sata Quickport Pro. It is e-sata connected, very cheap, and you can just plug in internal HDDs like tapes in a tape recorder. The only downside is that it has no cooling and the HD runs quite hot if you have it running permanently. I recognized that when I formatted a 500Gb HD. That is why I just switch it on for back-up and archive purposes.

  9. That is why I just switch it on for back-up and archive purposes.

    So I take it that this drive has an on/off switch?
  10. Yes, it has.

  11. Lurker


    Jul 21, 2007
    Rick, I'm considering a drobo. But then again, it's expensive, so now I'm not so sure. Did you consider the Amazon S3 Service?

    As much as the drobo has a high geek factor, I'm very tempted to go down this road because it gives me a lot of reliability for a very limited amount of money. Of course, depending on how much of that 1TB you really need, s3 might or might not be an economical solution.
  12. You do not have to have them on all the time. I only have them on when I am backing up. The only units I would have on all the time would be my Sata HD enclosured with a Addonics enclosure which has a separate fan and runs very cool. I have had Maxtor units for years, but I guess since I do not leave them on all the time they last, or I am just lucky. The Drobo units are meant to be left on all the time and have fans to support that use.

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