External Desktop Hard Drive advice


RobE17

Link Posted 28/07/2009 - 19:29
Some advice please re external hard drives...

I am currently using a Maxtor Basics 750GB external hard drive which I have owned for a couple of years now. A few days ago I noticed something "rattling" inside as if I had dropped the drive (which I have never done) and as a result accessing some of the images can be a bit hit and miss. I don't want to rely on this anymore and I'm probably going to buy another external hard drive and as I shoot RAW now I will look for a larger capacity.

Having looked on the 'net today I have seen some Western Digital book hard drives but apparently you have to format them to the NTFS system to obtain the best performance?

Any recommendations as to which brands I should look for and which ones to avoid?

Regards

Rob

sanderscapes

Link Posted 28/07/2009 - 19:56
Western digital HD's are very good I have a 1tb western digital elements drive and also a 1tb Lacie Neil poulton drive.

Most drives need formatted to NTFS from new but you can just do a quick format.

titchgamer

Link Posted 28/07/2009 - 21:35
Ok firstly if its getting noisy ime afraid to say its prob about to fail (rather badly and suddenly normally) so I would back up everything now!

secondly most known makes are good weston digital, samsung etc.

If you can afford one get one with a high read/write speed (not sure if velociraptor do externals??)

Also as a slightly cheaper option (depending on what you want from it?)
Have you considered just buying a normal HDD and putting it in an external enclosure?
They are normally a little bigger and heavier but offer far bigger possibilities as well, I.E. disk space and speed.
They just plug into a USB like a normal external HDD you can also get sata ones if ure PC permits that.

Just a thought....
Lil Andy

K20D, PENTAX DA 18-55, TAMRON DI 70-300, PENTAX SMC-K 135 f2.5

www.ajohnson-photography.co.uk

titchgamer

Link Posted 28/07/2009 - 21:38
Oh yer also forgot to mention NTFS is now the standard for HDD's as opposed to FAT.
NTFS came in with windows XP. Its not really a big thing to format the drive, Like martin said just do a quick format through windows and it wont take long.
Lil Andy

K20D, PENTAX DA 18-55, TAMRON DI 70-300, PENTAX SMC-K 135 f2.5

www.ajohnson-photography.co.uk

RobE17

Link Posted 28/07/2009 - 21:58
Thanks for all your advice, yes it is getting noisy now when it is switched on! Could someone go through how to format these things then please either on here or via a PM?

titchgamer

Link Posted 28/07/2009 - 22:04
Sure, One way to do it is to plug it into the system, When ure computer recognises it go into my computer, right click on it and the left click on format.

Make sure its set to NTFS press start and jobs a good'un!

Or If you have a copy of partition magic you can use that.

Hope that helps.


Defo consider a normal HDD and enclosure tho
Lil Andy

K20D, PENTAX DA 18-55, TAMRON DI 70-300, PENTAX SMC-K 135 f2.5

www.ajohnson-photography.co.uk

RobE17

Link Posted 28/07/2009 - 22:13
titchgamer wrote:
Sure, One way to do it is to plug it into the system, When ure computer recognises it go into my computer, right click on it and the left click on format.

Make sure its set to NTFS press start and jobs a good'un!

Or If you have a copy of partition magic you can use that.

Hope that helps.


Defo consider a normal HDD and enclosure tho

Thanks!

titchgamer

Link Posted 28/07/2009 - 22:15
no prob.
Lil Andy

K20D, PENTAX DA 18-55, TAMRON DI 70-300, PENTAX SMC-K 135 f2.5

www.ajohnson-photography.co.uk

mpjx

Link Posted 28/07/2009 - 22:24
Quote:
Ok firstly if its getting noisy ime afraid to say its prob about to fail (rather badly and suddenly normally) so I would back up everything now!

This is great advice - backup your drive now because it will fail soon.

Most external HDs come formatted in FAT32 because it's guaranteed to work with virtually any PC but since Windows XP NTFS is the best option (if you don't have a Mac ). If you need any extra formatting help I can post aWin XP guide tomorrow.

I always use Seagate drives if possible. Western Digital and Samsung are also good. Maxtor are considered a step down in quality and reliability. Rather than an external HD have you considered a network attached storage system? Netgear's ReadyNAS range are great. You'll need a larger budget and also a router if you haven't one already. Advantages are that you can set it up in a RAID configuration to protect all data if one drive fails and you can choose a unit which takes 2 to 6 drives. Netgear has a proprietary RAID setup which is very easy to manage. I think you'd be looking at around 300 for a 2 drive unit and 500 for a 4 drive unit.
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MacBook Pro | Dell U2410 Monitor | Wacom Tablet
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BODYHEAT

Link Posted 28/07/2009 - 22:25
I had a western digital My Book 500 GB external drive which failed. I was gutted as I couldn't get it to even fire up and thought I had lost all the data. I was even thinking about sending it to a specialist recovery place until someone told me that the power supplies for these external housed hard drives are notoriously weak and subject to failure.

I thought I have nothing to lose and opened the case and broke out the actual sata drive and inserted it into my pc with the sata cable as an additional drive and BINGO it works perfectly. The drive is fine, the external power supply was the weak link in this case
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX

titchgamer

Link Posted 28/07/2009 - 22:49
I personally have gone off seagate now, Ive had 2 blow up on me in less than a year :-s

They were both seagate baracudas so i recomend avoiding them!!
Lil Andy

K20D, PENTAX DA 18-55, TAMRON DI 70-300, PENTAX SMC-K 135 f2.5

www.ajohnson-photography.co.uk

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 28/07/2009 - 22:55
No recommedation re brands, but my Western Digital 'MyPassport' is a vast improvement over the 'MyBook' I had before - smaller, quieter, and more convenient as it's USB powered and pocket sized.
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

Mannesty

Link Posted 28/07/2009 - 23:04
NTFS is recommended for all HDD's used in the Windows environment nowadays because the FAT32 file system has a max file size of 4Gb which can be a bit limiting if you store videos on it.

Seagate Barracuda drives are very good but they had an issue with a firmware release which caused some drives to appear to lose their format and hence their data. The situation is recoverable however. refer to Seagate web site for info.

I have a 1Tb Western Digital MyBook but I use it as a backup to my Netgear ReadyNAS RAID system. I had one of the two RAID array drives fail (Seagate with the faulty firmware) and lost absolutely . . . nothing.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

mpjx

Link Posted 28/07/2009 - 23:16
Seagate manufacture about 5 different ranges of Barracuda. I use the top of the range Barracida ES.2 and have always found them reliable. The others may of course be duff

You'll get on fine with WD or Samsung if Seagate is not for you.
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K20D | DA*16-50 | DA*50-135
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MacBook Pro | Dell U2410 Monitor | Wacom Tablet
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mpjx

Link Posted 28/07/2009 - 23:24
Quote:
I have a 1Tb Western Digital MyBook but I use it as a backup to my Netgear ReadyNAS RAID system. I had one of the two RAID array

I can't copy all your paragraph on my iPhone. I must have been lucky with the Seagates I purchased last year . Glad you didn't loose any data. RAID is not exciting but it's the best insurance for your images!
--
K20D | DA*16-50 | DA*50-135
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MacBook Pro | Dell U2410 Monitor | Wacom Tablet
--
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