Advice for external portable hard drives please

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
Fellow Arrsers,

I cry for help here. I am looking at getting a portable external hard drive that I can take with my laptop as I travel about the land.

I basically want to be able to hold all my desktop PC files and my 50Gb of ITunes music so that I can entertain myself (that also includes the Frankie, if you know what I mean) whilst away from Chateau Mysteron.

About 80 - 120GB of memory should do it I guess but I really seek advice as the best value for money, reliability, speed for data transfer and don't really want to fork out more than 80 squids.

Please help. Thanks in advance.
 
#4
Western Digitaldo a 120Gb one about the size of a passport and thickness of a mobile phone.

Should be about £50 a pop, we have about 8 of themat work.

You can also get 160GB 'ruggedised' for about £90
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
Cheers chaps!!!

I was a bit wary of Western Digitalio and LaCie because they did not get good reviews on Amazon. Have you had any dramas?

Doing a bit of research on that Maxtor kit though, thanks again.
 
#8
mysteron said:
Chaps,

Anyone know anything about these bad boys?

Hotway 25 clickity click

Cheers!! :)
The specs don't seem to mention the rotation speed. Many of these small footprint drives are very slow.

Is the small size essential? Otherwise I'd go for a standard 5 1/4" drive in a higher capacity and decent rotation speed. For example, if you want the drive for any sort of video editing from a camcorder you going to want 7200 rpm.
 
#9
as to drive? but i would say look for one without external power needs as it is a pain, the addapter will take up the area of a two socket plug and add to bulk.
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
Size is not that critical, I was unaware about the affect on rotation speed. Whilst I am not looking at editing, I would keep a few movie files to watch..........ahem!! ;)

That being said, I would like to be able to stuff it into my laptop bag whilst away. Thoughts?
 
#11
mysteron said:
Chaps,

Anyone know anything about these bad boys?

Hotway 25 clickity click

Cheers!! :)
They're probably bog standard Hitachi laptop drives (not a bad manufacturer all in all - they took over IBM's hard drive making operations some years ago) in an enclosure, from the look of them. Ebuyer do various better-known makes for cheaper, if that makes any odds. Given the choices, go for something with a larger cache.

Hope this helps.
 
#12
I travel a lot and I would reccomend getting a 2.5" 'laptop' drive and then fitting it into a USB powered case. Its more compact than the bigger drives, although capacity is a bit less and costs a little bit more.

But crucially, you can power it off the USB ports on your laptop to save lugging another power brick around with you. Some firewire drives also offer this facility but most laptops only come with a miniature firwire (4 pin) that doesnt have bus power so be careful with these. You might also be able to get one that doesnt involve fitting the drive into the case yourself but it is only a case of doin a few screws and clippin the cable in place
 
#14
mysteron said:
Is a spindle speed of 5400 rpm good enough?
For what you've said - and with at least an 8MB cache - it should do the job nicely. Bear in mind that the faster the drive (given that it'll be bus-powered), the greater the power drain on your laptop, and the hotter the drive may get; the larger cache means that less power is expended on actually moving the drive platters round, as more of your data is pre-fetched. Last I looked, there were 7200RPM laptop drives out there; I don't know if anyone's bothered to put them into enclosures yet, though.
 
#15
mysteron said:
Cheers chaps!!!

I was a bit wary of Western Digitalio and LaCie because they did not get good reviews on Amazon. Have you had any dramas?

Doing a bit of research on that Maxtor kit though, thanks again.
With the LaCie one never heard anything negative from the people that use them, was a lastminute.com replacement sent out to Africa after their normally good drive went belly up.

Since then they've been back on several trips with the LaCie drive and although they visit some complete poo holes both drives are doing well.

Will probably get one myself soon as the 80GB Freecom drive I have has broken three times (always due to the fragile USB connection on the drive) and I've had enough!
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
Lovely - thanks all. I think I have to make a choice.

So far it looks like a Freecom ToughDrive Pro 2.5" 120GB Shockproof USB 2.0 Slim Hard Drive or the Maxtor equivalent.

Cheers all again. G'Night!!
 
#17
#18
Or get a EASY IDE USB 2.0 to IDE Adapter
Model No: B507EASYIDE|Manufacturer: N/A|Product no: 61

The EASY IDE is an USB 2.0 to IDE adapter, which allows you directly access to an existing ATA/ATAPI IDE interface device such as hard disk drive, CDR/W and DVD-ROM ec without any ID or jumper setting requirement. It implements a quicker, easier, more flexible...

Model No Stock Price (inc. VAT) Buy
B507EASYIDE £17.95

http://www.usbnow.co.uk/Adapters_&_...6/index.html?gclid=COjOoYWU8Y4CFQeTMAodT2pPKQ


and stick any size/kind of hard drive on the end of it
 
#19
mysteron said:
Fellow Arrsers,

I cry for help here. I am looking at getting a portable external hard drive that I can take with my laptop as I travel about the land.

I basically want to be able to hold all my desktop PC files and my 50Gb of ITunes music so that I can entertain myself (that also includes the Frankie, if you know what I mean) whilst away from Chateau Mysteron.

About 80 - 120GB of memory should do it I guess but I really seek advice as the best value for money, reliability, speed for data transfer and don't really want to fork out more than 80 squids.

Please help. Thanks in advance.
If you have a spare hard disk lying around, you could look into HDD enclosures. Basically, they allow you to access the disk via a USB cable. Best of all, you save on the cost of a hard disk.

I think they are about £10 each.

Edit: I see jaybee has alluded to them above. He seems to go for higher end products though!
 
#20
Older_by_the_day said:
mysteron said:
Cheers chaps!!!

I was a bit wary of Western Digitalio and LaCie because they did not get good reviews on Amazon. Have you had any dramas?

Doing a bit of research on that Maxtor kit though, thanks again.
With the LaCie one never heard anything negative from the people that use them, was a lastminute.com replacement sent out to Africa after their normally good drive went belly up.

Since then they've been back on several trips with the LaCie drive and although they visit some complete poo holes both drives are doing well.

Will probably get one myself soon as the 80GB Freecom drive I have has broken three times (always due to the fragile USB connection on the drive) and I've had enough!
I've an external LaCie hard drive as well. Had it about 3 years with heavy daily use with no dramas.

IRC when they were first launched (the one's in a tinny, Porsche designed, box) there were issues with XP's standard USB2 driver but that was quickly remedied.

I would have thought the 2.5" drives powered through the USB port would rip the arrse out of your laptop battery plus you're getting a slower drive with less capacity for the money. The smaller drives tend to be less reliable as well.

Travelling with the 5.25" LaCie hasn't caused me any problems, the case is streamlined and external power-supply is compact.

But it's really down to what you need the drive for and if you must be battery powered only.
 

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