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Old 2008-02-08, 17:47   Link #1
teachopvutru
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Buying External Hard Drive

I'm thinking of buying an External Hard Drive that has good price per GB ratio, and at the moment I think I'm sticking with 500GB. Anyway, I went and picked this drive.

The User Reviews seem to be positive except for the part concerning the drive getting too hot after a few hours of operation. I'm more concern that the temperature gets too hot to the point of making hard drive fail even easier, but since I usually leave my external hard drive on for as long as my computer is on (which is usually 24/7 anyway), I don't want something sitting around that could potentially burn me once I touch it, either. But that may largely be an exaggeration so I'm looking for if anyone here have this drive as well and tell me how hot it can get.

Otherwise, I would appreciate it if anyone can give me some more suggestions on an external hard drive. So far I have only been looking at newegg but preferably, something cheap, around $100-$150.
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Old 2008-02-08, 17:55   Link #2
monir
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If it is any help, I've the same external hard drive which I'm running for the last 5 and a half months. I've turned it off only handful of times (less than 20 times I believe) and I've yet to have any problem with it, especially due to excessive heating. To my understanding the aluminum casing should help dissipate any heating issue if the room temperature is reasonable. I try to keep my room temperature at no higher than 70 degree Fahrenheit. The price is simply incredible considering the data capacity for this HD.
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Old 2008-02-08, 18:33   Link #3
Ledgem
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We had a few threads floating around discussing external HDs, and in theory yours fits this one (but you always get a better response when you start your own thread, I know).

That HD after the mail in rebate matches what I consider to be the current sweet spot: a 500 GB external for ~$100. The drive won't burn you, but they can certainly get pretty warm if they're constantly spinning (most externals will spin down after 5-10 minutes of inactivity on their own; this keeps the drive cool but induces more wear-and-tear in terms of spin up and spin down).

If you live in a warm area or you plan to use the drive very heavily, I'd highly recommend getting an internal HD and your own enclosure separately. If you're interested, check out this enclosure as a quick example. It's aluminum and has a fan. (I quickly pulled that one out as I've been eying it - note that it has USB and Firewire. You could go with the version that just has USB and save a few dollars off the cost, unless you also appreciate Firewire.) It'll be a bit more expensive to buy an enclosure + a drive unless you catch an amazing deal on a drive, but it might be worth it if you plan to use the HD very heavily.

For reference, I use an Icy Dock external enclosure with a 7200 RPM Seagate, and a Western Digital MyBook. The Icy Dock drive is purely for archival purposes, has no vents, and gets pretty warm. The MyBook is completely vented and I can feel the warm air rising from it. I guess I like the idea of it being vented a bit better.

And of course, keep it out of the sun.
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Old 2008-02-08, 21:11   Link #4
hobbes_fan
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Mate you've built your own pc, so why not go and build an external case/hdd combo. I still prefer samsung drives for quiet operation and the drive is still covered by the manfactrers warranty.

My problem with that drive you've chosen is there's no details as to what drive is in there. For all yo know it cold be NOS of the infamous IBM deskstar aka Deathstar series (unlikely). At that price they're cutting corners somewhere. The enclosres themselves are fairly cheap. At arond $30-$50 retail, so that leaves the HDD as the issue.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136178
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817371014
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Old 2008-02-08, 22:32   Link #5
teachopvutru
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It isn't as cheap but I'll probably go for the combo route. The advantage seems to be that I have control over what the actual hard drive inside will be. (are there more than that, btw?)

Just need clarity on something about external enclosure, though. Since aluminum is good for absorbing heat, and because the external hdd I posted in the first post had no fan either, that's why it got hot. But I have just read about some random person's opinion on how external hdd with fan tend to have problem. So what should I look out for when choosing external enclosure? This info could become handy in the future as well. (or does it not matter?)

@hobbes_fan: thanks for the suggestion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
(most externals will spin down after 5-10 minutes of inactivity on their own; this keeps the drive cool but induces more wear-and-tear in terms of spin up and spin down).
To be off-topic a bit...since I tend to restart my computer (several times a day although it's not like I want to), wouldn't my internal drive keep mounting again and again and therefore spin up & spin down everytime I reboot? (even if that's true, I just hope it lives long <_<)
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Old 2008-02-09, 00:27   Link #6
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiachopvutru View Post
It isn't as cheap but I'll probably go for the combo route. The advantage seems to be that I have control over what the actual hard drive inside will be. (are there more than that, btw?)
The other advantage is that even if the HD dies, the enclosure is still very usable! I'd imagine you might be able to crack open external HDs to insert your own, but they're clearly not made for that.

Quote:
But I have just read about some random person's opinion on how external hdd with fan tend to have problem. So what should I look out for when choosing external enclosure? This info could become handy in the future as well. (or does it not matter?)
What did you hear were the problems with fan-bearing enclosures? Since I'm considering getting one in the future I'd like to hear it.

Otherwise, you should consider build quality when getting enclosures. Read reviews and always keep the saying "you get what you pay for" in mind - don't go spend a hundred dollars on an enclosure, but don't go for the absolute cheapest model you can find, either.

Quote:
To be off-topic a bit...since I tend to restart my computer (several times a day although it's not like I want to), wouldn't my internal drive keep mounting again and again and therefore spin up & spin down everytime I reboot? (even if that's true, I just hope it lives long <_<)
That's what mine does, but whether the drive spins down or not will really depend on the enclosure itself. It's too bad that there are no enclosures that let you customize drive spindown times. Why are you rebooting so often?
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Old 2008-02-09, 00:31   Link #7
Tripfag
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Don't. Buy an internal drive and an external enclosure. They're less likely to break.
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Old 2008-02-09, 01:56   Link #8
hobbes_fan
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The problem with the fan ones are twofold

1. Noise. (Big concern for me)
2. The other great killer of Hardware - Dust Fan's suck in a lot of dust as well.
3. I also wonder whether they're really worth the effort? I look at the cases I use and with the way they are designed with a thermal pad and a mesh grill is the fan really going to be anymore effective? For reference: http://www.coolermaster.com/products...bcate=32&id=69
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Old 2008-02-09, 02:59   Link #9
boggart
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I'm beginning to regret getting my 1TB WD MyBook. The spin-up/spin-down is really a nuisance and I realise that it's inevitably going to kill the drive, especially if it's a dual-platter as I am assuming it is.
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Old 2008-02-09, 06:36   Link #10
EXEs
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If it helps, I got this hard drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822165066
Mine was for less than $100 US (Got it in Hong Kong, tech is cheap here ), and it's available in 500GB and I TB as well. It's very silent, and transfer speeds are very fast, and it doesn't heat up very much. Only downsides are that it needs it own power supply, and it weights quite a bit, although that's because you probably won't be lugging it around all over the place .
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Old 2008-02-09, 07:36   Link #11
teachopvutru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
The other advantage is that even if the HD dies, the enclosure is still very usable! I'd imagine you might be able to crack open external HDs to insert your own, but they're clearly not made for that.
Yea, the external hard drive that failed one me, I don't really see any place where I can open it nicely...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
What did you hear were the problems with fan-bearing enclosures? Since I'm considering getting one in the future I'd like to hear it.
I don't know if there are any in particular, it was from someone who tend to have external hard drives with fan fail, I think, and ones without fan don't fail (probably just not as much), so I thought I'd hear the opinion here.

But hobbes_fan has the answer to your question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Otherwise, you should consider build quality when getting enclosures. Read reviews and always keep the saying "you get what you pay for" in mind - don't go spend a hundred dollars on an enclosure, but don't go for the absolute cheapest model you can find, either.
I tend to buy stuff that has large number of user reviews and high rating. But as hobbes_fan pointed out when I bought the PSU a few months ago, high rating from a large amount of users =/= good. So here I'm wondering whether or not external enclosure is the same as PSU, that there are reputable brands to be trusted with. (coincidentally, both the enclosure he/she uses and the enclosure he/she suggests in the #4 post are from reputable PSU maker, although that probably doesn't say anything )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
That's what mine does, but whether the drive spins down or not will really depend on the enclosure itself. It's too bad that there are no enclosures that let you customize drive spindown times. Why are you rebooting so often?
If you ever visit the Ubuntu Linux thread during the several weeks ago timeframe, you could see that I had problem with wireless internet connection keeps disconnecting. Sometime the connection lasts several hours, sometime less than an hour, and when downloading, it tends to not last very long either. The only way I know how to reconnect again was a reboot, sadly. ;_;

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes_fan View Post
I have added it to cart and am waiting for my dad to get home, but I'd like to hear your opinion on that external enclosure if it's not too much trouble.


@EXEs: Thank you for the suggestion but I'm going for the internal hdd/enclosure route.
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Last edited by teachopvutru; 2008-02-09 at 08:01.
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Old 2008-02-09, 22:58   Link #12
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiachopvutru View Post
I tend to buy stuff that has large number of user reviews and high rating. But as hobbes_fan pointed out when I bought the PSU a few months ago, high rating from a large amount of users =/= good. So here I'm wondering whether or not external enclosure is the same as PSU, that there are reputable brands to be trusted with. (coincidentally, both the enclosure he/she uses and the enclosure he/she suggests in the #4 post are from reputable PSU maker, although that probably doesn't say anything )
An external enclosure isn't quite as critical as a power supply, because if it fails you'll most likely just not be able to use it anymore. Although it's probably happened, I've never heard of an enclosure taking out a drive, unless it was due to heat.

What's important in looking over reviews of the enclosures are build quality and where they talk about the materials. A lot of the enclosures are marketed as using aluminum, but some reviews will reveal that the aluminum is actually a small portion of the enclosure, and the majority is plastic. That'd indicate to you that you might want to avoid such an enclosure. Looking at the overall product ranking is a good way to start, but it's what's in the comments that counts.

If you're not sure what you should be looking for, then pay attention to the "X out of Y users found this comment helpful" remarks - in general, really ridiculous reviews or reviews that are all opinion and no substance will have very few people finding them helpful. People aren't as good about marking comments that are helpful, so you shouldn't necessarily just go with reviews that most people mark as helpful. However, those sorts of reviews will probably contain comments that are important.

Quote:
If you ever visit the Ubuntu Linux thread during the several weeks ago timeframe, you could see that I had problem with wireless internet connection keeps disconnecting. Sometime the connection lasts several hours, sometime less than an hour, and when downloading, it tends to not last very long either. The only way I know how to reconnect again was a reboot, sadly. ;_;
I remember that issue. I'm sure there must be a way to get around it without rebooting the entire system. Our forums don't have too many Linux users, and fewer Ubuntu gurus - you should probably try taking the issue to the Ubuntu forums, if you haven't already. I've heard that they're quite helpful.
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Old 2008-02-12, 06:55   Link #13
hobbes_fan
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Late response but that enclosure I use does time with a 400gig Samsung spinpoint HDD. I use it to "ghost" my HDD in my quarantined PC monthly. I mainly use it with an e-sata connection for a little bit better transfer speeds over USB 2.0. It doen't do daily duty as storage but it does get an intense workout monthly. Note that I think this only support up to 500gb hdd's

The reviews I used
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/C.../XCraft/1.html
http://www.3dgameman.com/content/view/2947/45/

I don't mind that the case gets warm, that tells me that the heat is being transferred to the aluminium shell allowing to act like a big heatsink.
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Old 2008-02-12, 10:03   Link #14
teachopvutru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes_fan View Post
Late response but that enclosure I use does time with a 400gig Samsung spinpoint HDD. I use it to "ghost" my HDD in my quarantined PC monthly. I mainly use it with an e-sata connection for a little bit better transfer speeds over USB 2.0. It doen't do daily duty as storage but it does get an intense workout monthly. Note that I think this only support up to 500gb hdd's

The reviews I used
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/C.../XCraft/1.html
http://www.3dgameman.com/content/view/2947/45/

I don't mind that the case gets warm, that tells me that the heat is being transferred to the aluminium shell allowing to act like a big heatsink.
Ah... but I actually was looking for feedback on the one you linked me to, which is Antec MX-100. I don't understand how that CoolerMaster one has to do with it, unless they are somehow related?
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Old 2008-02-12, 18:22   Link #15
hobbes_fan
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It's oneof the three links in this thread by me. see post 8 of this thread
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Old 2008-02-12, 18:55   Link #16
blitz1/2
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Do you recommend this one? I am also trying to get one?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822204068
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Old 2008-02-13, 01:53   Link #17
teachopvutru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes_fan View Post
It's oneof the three links in this thread by me. see post 8 of this thread
Ah... too bad it isn't being sold in newegg though so I can't get it, but I already ordered the other enclosure anyway...

On the other hand, I've read that putting together a internal hdd/external enclosure is really easy, but it really is, right? Are there any gotchas I gotta watch out for?
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Old 2008-02-13, 10:56   Link #18
hobbes_fan
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Nope, just make sure you pt it somewhere it won't fall down. Shock = instant death for HDD's
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Old 2008-02-13, 15:58   Link #19
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiachopvutru View Post
On the other hand, I've read that putting together a internal hdd/external enclosure is really easy, but it really is, right? Are there any gotchas I gotta watch out for?
It is very easy. Just remember to use the same handling precautions that you did when you built your computer (handle things with care and watch out for static).
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Old 2008-02-14, 18:00   Link #20
teachopvutru
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Ah... that ugly thing called 'static electricity' comes back again <_<. Well, since I remember some stuffs from last thread, although I want to check if I remember anything incorrectly, so correct me if I'm wrong:

1) The Conductivity thing - since electricity can't travel well on insulator, should I wrap rubber bands around my fingers?
2) Static shock is caused by a large difference in static electric buildup between the two objects in contact(?) - so I drain static electric buildup on my body my touching something metal?
3) Avoid excessive movement as to not have too much static electric buildup - i.e. not to do a CaramellDansen to avoid damage to the product?
4) Avoid dry day (ugh... winter)
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