A hard drive is good to find
March 12, 2011 3:41 PM   Subscribe

Recommend an external hard drive? I'm looking for something in the 500GB range, Windows (XP) format, UBS 2.0 or earlier. Thanks!
posted by The Ardship of Cambry to Technology (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I would suggest buying a standalone hard drive (Seagate or Western Digital) and a powered enclosure (they're all the same as far as I can tell). It will be less expensive and you get to choose the components yourself.
posted by sacrifix at 3:42 PM on March 12, 2011


The cheapest way to do this is sacrifix's suggestion. But you kinda have to be able to tell the difference between a good enclosure and a cheaply producted one. Also...you gotta know a little something about hard drive quality.

OR...you can look in the sunday papers for officemax, staples, etc, inserts. They always have excellent hard drive deals.

Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:55 PM on March 12, 2011


Here's a 500 GB Western Digital drive for $55 or the 1 TB version for only $15 more.

These are 3.5" drives, slightly less portable than the smaller 2.5" versions. The 2.5" version is $100 for 1 TB.
posted by sharkfu at 4:02 PM on March 12, 2011


By "Windows XP format", I think you mean NTFS. This doesn't really matter when shopping; any hard drive can be formatted as NTFS after you buy it.

I'd recommend going to newegg and getting whatever USB 2.0 drive is on sale, and obviously avoid anything with awful reviews.

It's true that you can usually save a few bucks by buying the enclosure and disk separately, but then you have to make sure you're getting an enclosure that's compatible with the disk. Not difficult, but from your post it doesn't sound like you want to screw around with that kind of detail.

You may also want to look at 2.5" drive -- slightly more expensive, but they don't require an external power brick plugged into the wall.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 4:04 PM on March 12, 2011


I have a Western Digital MyBook. It's several years old now and I've dropped it at least twice onto a hardwood floor from a height of about 3 feet. And it still works fine.
posted by phunniemee at 4:27 PM on March 12, 2011


We've got a couple of Lacie drives that seem adequate. 1TB is $80 and it comes assembled. It could be quieter.
posted by Nelson at 4:44 PM on March 12, 2011


It's true that you can usually save a few bucks by buying the enclosure and disk separately, but then you have to make sure you're getting an enclosure that's compatible with the disk. Not difficult, but from your post it doesn't sound like you want to screw around with that kind of detail.
I lack the skills and/or ambition to build my own, so yes, I'd prefer something already assembled, thanks.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 4:45 PM on March 12, 2011


The one that sharkfu mentioned is the one I decided on after much research. It's been silently running in a cubby hole on my desk for months now as a backup for my PC's hard drive with no problems whatsoever.
posted by davcoo at 5:21 PM on March 12, 2011


FWIW, my experiences with Western Digital are almost always negative (lots of fails) and I'm not surprised to see them always on sale. Go with Seagate.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:58 PM on March 12, 2011


Seconding damn dirty ape's warning away from Western Digital. Some models have bad USB connections. I went Iomega after that. (I told WD I'd tell others about this. That's twice so far this week!)
posted by skypieces at 8:13 PM on March 12, 2011


on balance i think this market is pretty commoditized by now - people on the net will argue about reliability until the end of time but you should really just make a decision on the basis of physical size, capacity and cost. no hidden complexity.
posted by ascullion at 7:03 AM on March 13, 2011


I have about 8 Western Digital external drives in my home and have never had a problem.
posted by getawaysticks at 2:24 PM on March 14, 2011


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