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External Hard Drive for Media? - Page 2

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rui-no-onna View Post

When you format the hard drive, in the format dialog, choose 64 kilobytes for the allocation unit size (default it 4096 bytes). This has nothing to do with USB2/USB3/eSATA. I do the same for my internal HDDs, particularly ones that will be used for recording storage.
eSATA is external SATA. I don't suggest it since not all motherboards have an eSATA port while practically every computer since around 2000 has a USB port. eSATA might also need some fiddling in the BIOS to enable hotswap, etc, too. For simplicity, just go with USB.
As for form factor, some things to consider:
  • 3.5" usually requires an external power adapter but it's a lot less expensive per GB. You can get 2TB for around $100 or thereabouts.
  • Most 2.5" drives are USB bus-powered so no need for a separate power adapter/brick (has to be connected directly to PC or powered USB hub, though). Caveat, it's also more expensive. Expect to pay around $80-100 for 1TB storage.
Whichever form factor you choose, I suggest considering going the do-it-yourself route (buy an external enclosure + internal HDD). A lot of the pre-built externals have poor ventilation/cooling (had a My Book that regularly reaches 70+C - needless to say, it's dead now). Being able to choose a case with decent cooling would help with drive longevity. This usually gives you longer warranty on the drives, too, since a lot of the external drives I see only have 1-year warranty while their internal counterparts are warrantied for 3 years. Even if you're not technically inclined, it's very easy to build your own external HDD.

Okay so every new EHD prompts you to choose allocation unit size? Or is this something I manually have to input? And sorry...what do you mean "when you format the hard drive" ? Lets say I buy a random external hard drive...I plug it in the first time is this when I "format" it? And where I choose allocation size? I have zero exp. with this obviously. So no matter what you suggest choosing 64 kilobytes.
Hm so 3.5 and 2.5 are the same in many regards except for price and convenience correct?
Well is it cheaper to build my own external hard drive? If I do this...is it as simple as buying compatable enclosure/internal HDD and just sliding the internals into the case? Is there anyway you could link me to some do-it-yourself builds on newegg etc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crimsontears809739 View Post

I have personally had problems playing 1080p from a USB 2.0 external, but in my situation I didn't bother to investigate if the bottleneck was in the USB 2.0 connection, the hard drive, or the computer. Hmmm....I always assumed it was the USB port bottle-necking. I learned something new.
thumb.gif
By "bandwidth" i was referring to the speed of the connection between your external and your PC.
There are 3 ways to connect a external hard drive.
1.) USB 2.0 (slowest connection)
2.) USB 3.0 (faster connection)
3.) E-Sata (fastest connection)
Here is a picture of E-sata connector on a laptop --> http://www.connectreviews.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/gateway_p171xl_2.jpg E-Sata is like USB,...except it's only for external hard drives and nothing else. E-Sata will provide you with the fastest connection, but older computers don't support E-Sata. Many externals come with both E-SATA and USB. E-Sata is a little more hassle to set up than USB.
As for a 2.5" or 3.5", it doesn't matter. 3.5" HDD are a little bit cheaper, so i'd go with that.
You can defragment a external just like a internal hard drive.
You can set up a HDMI TV/Monitor to mirror whatever you monitor shows. It's easy to do.
EDIT: As rui-no-onna said above me, go with the "do-it-yourself" route with the external. In addition to the points rui-no-onna made, many prebuilt external come with cheap hard drives with poor performance and high failure rates. If you do it yourself you know what's inside the external, and that it's of high quality.
Okay well Im going to keep it simple and avoid the E-Sata...is it cheaper overall to just build my own external with an enclosure/internal HDD as the above poster mentioned/ Any way you could point or link me to some builds? I want at least 1TB. Is it simple? Like literally just slide it in and what?

I appreciate it guys. Thanks so much so far. We were all noobs at one time right?
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cctaylor88 View Post

Okay so every new EHD prompts you to choose allocation unit size? Or is this something I manually have to input? And sorry...what do you mean "when you format the hard drive" ? Lets say I buy a random external hard drive...I plug it in the first time is this when I "format" it? And where I choose allocation size? I have zero exp. with this obviously. So no matter what you suggest choosing 64 kilobytes.
Hm so 3.5 and 2.5 are the same in many regards except for price and convenience correct?
Well is it cheaper to build my own external hard drive? If I do this...is it as simple as buying compatable enclosure/internal HDD and just sliding the internals into the case? Is there anyway you could link me to some do-it-yourself builds on newegg etc?
Okay well Im going to keep it simple and avoid the E-Sata...is it cheaper overall to just build my own external with an enclosure/internal HDD as the above poster mentioned/ Any way you could point or link me to some builds? I want at least 1TB. Is it simple? Like literally just slide it in and what?
I appreciate it guys. Thanks so much so far. We were all noobs at one time right?

2.5" EHD are made from laptop hard drives. 3.5" EHD are made from desktop hard drives. Since it's a external, it doesn't matter whether the hard drive is from a desktop or laptop....they both function the exact same way in a external. It's just cheaper to make something bigger. Therefore, 3.5" drivers are cheaper.

Allocation size is a advanced thing. If your new to this,...just leave it at default.

Formatting is the file system that you want to put on your external. You will need to format your external before you can use it. Your options for a Windows computer are:
1.) FAT32 - This is only if you need the external to be recognized by Windows NT / Windows 98 / Linuix / Mac before OSX 10.3. Don't use this!
2.) NTFS - This is what Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 uses. You should use NTFS.
3.) ExFAT - A hybrid between the advantages of FAT32 and NTFS. This isn't the best solution for you. This is used on a lot of USB thumb drives.

Their are many ways to you can format a external. The easiest way is to use Window's Disk Management:
1.) You need to open disk management first. If your in Windows 7, just type in "Create and format disk partitions" into the start bar. In Windows XP, i think the Disk Management can be found under "administrative tools".
2.) Select your hard drive. Right click, and select "format". (Your internal hard drives, external hard drive, USB thumb drives, or any other drive will be visible in this menu! MAKE SURE TO SELECT THE RIGHT DRIVE! If you select the wrong drive, re-formatting it will erase it. The external should show up as "unpartitioned space".)
3.) Give your external a name in the "volume label" field. Set the file system to "NTFS". Leave the allocation size to "default". Select "enable file and folder compression" and "perform quick format".
4.) Click "OK" and wait. It could take a while to format a big external hard drive. When it's done being formatted, Windows will recognize it as a external hard drive.

Reasons to format your external:
1.) Your plugging it in for the first time and want to use it.
2.) You want to erase all data off your external. (This is called re-formatting it. biggrin.gif )

Building a external yourself is very easy. If you have the "technical skills" to change the AA batteries in your TV remote, then you can assemble a external. It's usually like 6 screws, and then your done.

Here is a recommended build for a 1TB USB external:
1.) This hard drive (SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 ) --> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185 $84.99
2.) This enclosure (Rosewill RX-358 V2) --> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817173042 $24.99 (newegg even has a video on how to install the hard drive. Plug the USB cable in if you want it to be a USB drive, plug the e-sata cable in if you want it to be a E-sata drive. It's pretty straight forward.)

Total cost to do it yourself (using my build): $109.98

Cost of a (decent quality) pre-made 1 TB external: $90 - $150.

The extra $$ your paying to do it yourself is getting you a much faster and more reliable hard drive, in a more robust and cooler enclosure.
Edited by crimsontears809739 - 10/30/12 at 6:39pm
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post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by crimsontears809739 View Post

Building a external yourself is very easy. If you have the "technical skills" to change the AA batteries in your TV remote, then you can assemble a external. It's usually like 6 screws, and then your done.

Here is a recommended build for a 1TB USB external:
1.) This hard drive (SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 ) --> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185 $84.99
2.) This enclosure (Rosewill RX-358 V2) --> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817173042 $24.99 (newegg even has a video on how to install the hard drive. Plug the USB cable in if you want it to be a USB drive, plug the e-sata cable in if you want it to be a E-sata drive. It's pretty straight forward.)

Total cost to do it yourself (using my build): $109.98

Cost of a (decent quality) pre-made 1 TB external: $90 - $150.

The extra $$ your paying to do it yourself is getting you a much faster and more reliable hard drive, in a more robust and cooler enclosure.
This would be a much better drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236339

Even has a longer warranty.

And why not a USB 3/esata enclosure?
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

This would be a much better drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236339
Even has a longer warranty.
And why not a USB 3/esata enclosure?

Does he have USB 3.0? My bad, if he does that would be better.
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post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys..I went ahead and purchased this

Hope its decent... and thanks once again for the help
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cctaylor88 View Post

Thanks guys..I went ahead and purchased this
Hope its decent... and thanks once again for the help

I would say that is a good drive, rated good, looks nice, and has usb 3.0.

Maybe give us an update when you get it and start using it?

Wonder if the internal drive is 5400 or 7200.
 
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post #17 of 20
Because of the small size, it looks like a laptop hard drive. Because of the price and that it's a laptop hard drive,...I'm willing to bet it is 5,400 rmp.

Seagates have the lowest reliability. The drive you picked is by no means bad, but not exactly what i would pick.
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post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by crimsontears809739 View Post

Because of the small size, it looks like a laptop hard drive. Because of the price and that it's a laptop hard drive,...I'm willing to be it is 5,400 rmp.
Seagates have the lowest reliability. The drive you picked is by no means bad, but not exactly what i would pick.

frown.gif I just bought a seagate barracuda 2tb hdd. It was rated perfectly on ncix though.

http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=66010&vpn=ST2000DM001&manufacture=Seagate&promoid=1296
 
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post #19 of 20
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/hdd-reliability-storelab,2681-2.html <-- It is hard to find independent studies of hard drive reliability by manufacturer. Seagate use to be the least reliable......

http://www.behardware.com/articles/843-6/components-returns-rates-5.html After reading this article,...it seems that i am wrong! In recent years Seagates are actually more reliable than Western Digital and Hitachi. This kind of shocked me, because a few years ago Seagates had the lowest reliability. Samsung still has the best reliability of any manufacturer currently. (I personally, have only been using Samsung HDD's lately in my builds)

EDIT This information contradicts that last study. More food for thought on reliability. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-reliability-failure-rate,2923-3.html
Edited by crimsontears809739 - 11/4/12 at 8:45pm
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post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
I love the drive so far, extremely small, compact, easily visible LED that fits flush with case. Does exactly what I need it to do...couldve sworn it was a 7200 but even google hardly brings up results...even if it is 5400 plenty of speed for what I need! Perfect for what I need and thats what matters
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