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Thread: External HDDs - hand-holding if you would :)

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    External HDDs - hand-holding if you would :)

    Hi all,

    I'd like to pop down to the shops tomorrow and get myself a 2nd external HDD to use to backup my files.

    I'm running a Vista laptop. I've got available to me USB 2.0, a 1394 firewire port (small one) and a PCMIA port.

    I'd quite like to go with the 1394 firewire port unless anyone's strongly against it - I think it's faster than USB and it's less common - I'm running low on USBs and this'll save one. I've heard good things about PCMIA connections to E-Sata, but this sounds a bit OTT for what I'm going to use the HDD for and I've got plans for that slot.

    I'm quite a fan of Seagate, had good experiences with their stuff before, but I'm open to suggestions. At the 500GB+ and less than 100pounds mark with firewire, can anyone give me some good reccomendations?

    Finally, any good reccomendations for a free (or very cheap), incremental, automatic backup program? Windows backup wizard just doesn't seem to be doing that good a job.

    Cheers all!

    Adam

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    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    Re: External HDDs - hand-holding if you would :)

    Firewire2 > USB2 > Firewire > USB

    Is the order of performance I beleive....but people do report more snappiness from firewire drives (I beleive their controllers do the main brunt of the work instead of your CPU)

    eSATA isn't OTT, if you have an eSATA port I would personally use it, it would probably be best.....otherwise, firewire or USB2 would both be fine.
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    Re: External HDDs - hand-holding if you would :)

    So Firewire 2 it is. eSata sounds great but I don't have an eSATA port - just a PCMIA slot which I've already ear-marked for use.

    Do you know any drives to look out for that support Firewire2? 100pounds or thereabouts, 500gb+. Everything seems to be USB nowdays.

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    Re: External HDDs - hand-holding if you would :)

    Make sure you have a firewire 2 port - common only on Macs afaik..

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    Re: External HDDs - hand-holding if you would :)

    firewire2? you mean firewire 800?

    cheaper option for FW drive might be to buy an enclosure + internal drive and put them together yourself. Is usually a cheaper way of doing things if wanting more than USB interface. Would recommend Samsung for the drive itself. Could even get a USB+FW+Esata for less than you'd think - futureproofing....

    also, if you buy from Scan, could grab a cheap / OEM copy of Acronis Drive Image - very cool app for backup, or for replacing/upgrading drives.
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    Re: External HDDs - hand-holding if you would :)

    Just don't fall into the trap of thinking that a USB2 (480mbps) connection will have a sustained transfer rate of the interface maximum speed, It will more likely be around 35Mbps.

    One of my externals has Firewire 400 (400Mbps) and USB2 (480Mbps) but, has a higher transfer speed with Firewire connection.

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    Re: External HDDs - hand-holding if you would :)

    Ah - so the 1394 on my Inspiron 1420 is probably only 400mbps Firewire? Not fully fledged 800mbps? But even so it'll perform better due to the transfers being handled in hardware rather than competing with Vista for system resources? And it saves me from buying a USB hub - Firewire still sounds the way to go. And don't HDDs with firewire usually have an option for USB connections too?

    Haven't got a clue about putting one together myself, and I'm in Beijing - I trust the vendors as far as I can throw them. Strictly brand name components in sealed boxes for me at the moment. So any reccomendations on specific models, or shall I just go and have a hunt around and see what they've got?

    Cheers all!

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    Re: External HDDs - hand-holding if you would :)

    FW always over USB as Usb is only burst FW is sustained transfer rate

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