View Full Version : Best giant external hard drive (for PC)?
12-14-2008, 02:38 PM
I've done a Google search for info and reviews on the current selection of large external drives and haven't really found a consensus as to which might be best.
In addition to the gigabytes of image files we already have, we will soon be tackling a music project involving converting all of our vinyl albums to digital format and those music files will be huge. :eek: Where to park them?
12-14-2008, 04:14 PM
Franca - have you searched some of the terabyte drives. It seems these would be large enough to fit your needs. One of the gals over on cooks does a tremendous amount of photography, and this is what she invested in. I can't even imagine that much HD space, although I'm sure I would have little trouble filling it.
12-14-2008, 04:19 PM
Terabytes? OMG. O M G! I'm barely used to gigabytes, LOL! Must have a peek at those. The idea of filling up a drive that size is scary. Even scarier - backing up that much data! Better buy two. :eek:
12-14-2008, 04:35 PM
Terabytes? OMG. O M G! I'm barely used to gigabytes, LOL! Must have a peek at those. The idea of filling up a drive that size is scary. Even scarier - backing up that much data! Better buy two. :eek:At this point a terrabyte drive is quite reasonable. You might also consider two or three 750 GB drives that overlap somehow, just for security.
Do you have a Costco? Go see what’s going on. Drive sizes are rising faster than human egos! <g>
12-14-2008, 05:01 PM
Oh, yes ... there is a Costco, but I have avoided signing up or setting foot in it for years. Every now and then I hear of a pretty good reason (wine, cheese) to reconsider my views on going there but nothing has quite tipped me over the edge. There are two of them, actually, and we are just in between them, making neither one a particularly convenient destination. On top of that I really hate shopping in "superstores" and the notion of paying an annual fee for the privilege of shopping somewhere I practically have to be dragged to lacks appeal. Something must be wrong with me. :p
12-14-2008, 05:37 PM
Something must be wrong with me. :pWell, not necessarily!
I like Costco because, unlike many big-box stores, its management makes choices that please me. They have lovely olive oil (the new crop just hit the stores, in fact) and duck and seafood and, as supermarket bread goes — and where you live you have other, probably better choices — theirs is excellent. They have the best roasted chickens (larger, less overdone, unseasoned). Etc.
If they have a book you want (and especially cook books), the price will be really low.
And they have the best prices on computer stuff so long as it is something you want: DVDs or CDs, hard drives, etc.
But you can look elsewhere, of course. It is just that I kind of trust the Costco judgment.
12-14-2008, 08:16 PM
I have heard the same - that they make good choices regarding the items they sell. We may reconsider ... again. :)
12-15-2008, 05:55 AM
Terabytes? OMG. O M G! I'm barely used to gigabytes, LOL! Must have a peek at those. The idea of filling up a drive that size is scary. Even scarier - backing up that much data! Better buy two. :eek:Terabyte drives were on my shopping list for the recent computer fair - though I ended up buying two at a store in Haarlem (a EUR3.20 short train ride way) who simply had the best price for Samsung Spinpoint SATA drives (32Mb cache and all). I bought a cradle that takes both 2.5" and 3.5" drives (one at a time) at the fair though (plus more stuff, almost all storage-related, my priority this year).
I'm planning to use the two drives with the cradle for backups of my other external drives, swapping them out once every week. That way I can dedicate my other external drives for one (main) purpose each, without bothering with duplicating them in pairs.
Another system worth looking at for large-capacity storage is the Drobo (http://www.drobo.com/Products/Index.html) - beyond my budget for now, but I'm drooling: you can easily combine different sizes of drives in one system (hot-swappable, too, nothing to install).
Hugh Wyn Griffith
12-15-2008, 01:34 PM
Hard to beat NewEgg (http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=414&page=1)for stuff like that!
If you are up to DIY consider buying a Seagate internal hard drive OEM from them and putting it into a case you can buy from them because most/all of the Seagate come with a 5 year warranty! Retail including the externals come with 1 year warranties.
As someone mentions there is a case to be made for having two mid sized drives instead of one very large one -- for safety.
12-18-2008, 07:41 PM
For those of us technically challenged folk for whom DIY is not an option, there are some externals with good warranties.
My Seagate FreeAgent Pro (750 GB, the model with FW, USB and eSATA) has a 5-year warranty, which is one of the reasons I bought it.
And a quick google tells me that at least some of the Maxtor externals also have a 5-year warranty. (Makes sense, since Seagate and Maxtor got married.)
I'm shopping for another external myself. I'm leaning toward another FreeAgent, since my current one has performed flawlessly (so far).
12-18-2008, 11:50 PM
Franca - I'd second anything with a Seagate drive in it; Toshiba drives are also good. Maxtor and Lacie have poor reputations for reliability, and anything unbranded is probably not worth risking your data for. (Based on many years experience of hubby building a fair number of PCS and having to replace failed drives, or not in the case of Seagate.) Of course, all this is statistical, so you may get the occasional dud in any make.
My daughter had one such and it failed after a few weeks, but both kids are now set up with 500Mb Seagate drives that have worked for a year (I shouldn't tempt providence with that, should I?)
Hugh Wyn Griffith
12-19-2008, 01:22 PM
One needs to be careful to be uptodate on this (as on everything) since the market is changing and some manufacturers are reducing warranty periods.
12-20-2008, 04:39 AM
Franca - I'd second anything with a Seagate drive in it; Toshiba drives are also good. Maxtor and Lacie have poor reputations for reliability, and anything unbranded is probably not worth risking your data for. (Based on many years experience of hubby building a fair number of PCS and having to replace failed drives, or not in the case of Seagate.) Of course, all this is statistical, so you may get the occasional dud in any make.My Maxtors have always been extremely reliable and durable; except for one which failed within a week and was immediately replaced. Can't say that for WD, one of which failed way too soon for my taste.
Still need to set up my Cradle with two (to be swapped) Sony Spinpoints. Bought those on reputation: silent and reliable (and very affordable). We'll see...
12-21-2008, 09:58 PM
Yep, I'm careful to read the fine print. I remember buying a hard drive (internal) years ago and being astonished to discover it had only a 1-year warranty.
I was at Costco on Friday and they had Seagate and Maxtor external drives with 5-year warranties. I would have bought a Seagate right then, but they didn't have the big-ass FreeAgent Pro I want. (I like the Pros because of the three connection options.)
They did have a 750 GB Maxtor (with the 5-year warranty), but it's USB only, and anyway I prefer Seagate.
12-22-2008, 05:07 PM
The advice elsewhere in this thread is good. But I would caution against using the external drive as your primary storage. If you must, get two and arrange to copy one to the other regularly.
12-22-2008, 10:55 PM
I'm skeptical of all drives, including my RAID, which is supposed to be able to heal itself as long as only one drive fails at a time. I back up everything and don't delete one backup until a subsequent one is complete.
And I never work off an external drive or use it for irreplaceable files. They are only for storage of non-essential files and backups.
I've had several drive failures, so I don't really trust any of 'em much farther than I can throw them.
12-24-2008, 03:29 AM
Hmm, I would't advise that either.
(Throw them, that is.) :D
12-24-2008, 12:58 PM
If you only need a terabyte, <g> Staples has Seagate 1 TB externals on sale this week for $129.99. I think these are discontinued models. They have only a USB connector. They were sold out on the Staples web site, so I sent Mr. E out hunting and he bought the last one at our local Staples this afternoon.
However, if you need 1.5 terabytes, Seagate has them on sale on their web site for $169.99 (with free shipping).
These are both the FreeAgent "Desk" models. Apparently the more souped-up drives (that have USB, FW and eSATA connectors) are now called the Extreme models.
The FreeAgents all seem to have 5-year warranties.
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