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External hard drive reliability?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by jfk1232, Aug 9, 2006.

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  1. jfk1232

    jfk1232 Thread Starter

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    I'm thinking of getting an external hard drive. How reliable are external hard drives? Do they last years or do a lot of them break within a year? I've heard some people say things like they've had three go out in one year.

    I won't be moving mine around. It will pretty much stay in place.

    I'm thinking of getting a 300 GB Seagate. Will a good brand like this last?
     
  2. ineedhelp890

    ineedhelp890

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    You shouldn't have anything to worry about if you are leaving it in one place. The hard disk's that are in your computer and the ones in an external enclosure are identical. The only reason they may not last as long is if they are not handled gently and thrown around a lot. If you are leaving it in one spot you should have nothing to worry about. Seagate, Maxtor, WD, etc. are all good hard disks.
     
  3. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    The problem is the drive inside the box is the same as internal hard drive but the problem is the crappy chipset that converts the ide drive to usb, and those are waht go.
    Personally I have a much better experience with 1394 (firewire) drives which would require a pci card, but I have never lost a 1394 drive, usb is another story.
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I use a number of USB drives. I'll admit that I've had several bad external cases, but the convenience can't be beat. FWIW, I've had problems with IEE-1394 hard disks that I haven't had with USB. Another thing about USB, it's on almost every machine on the planet now, so it's pretty universally portable data. :)
     
  5. bigbear

    bigbear

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    If you are not going to move it and you require more storage.
    Why not install another drive inside the pc case, it will be cheaper than an external one and not differcult to do:)
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    The reason I suggest against that is that your "backup" storage is always on-line, subject to all the perils that your main drive is exposed to. Malware, power glitches, O/S crashes, etc. The USB drive can be turned on only when you need to access it.
     
  7. Moby

    Moby

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    Which makes them last even longer on paper. I use internal drives in an external usb case. That way if the chipset is crappy and breaks the drive is accessable and still usable. Don't know that you can get at the drives in pre-made external models.
     
  8. coastergeekr

    coastergeekr

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    Yea I have an internal SATAII drive in an external case. It connects to the computer through eSATA and USB 2.0. I havn't tried it out yet, but having eSATA is going to be fast. Only problem I can see with external drives is not enough ventilation. Mine has none, so I will add a large fan on the side.
     
  9. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    I've got 2 old Maxtors (3-4 years old) that get moved around quite a bit in field service work and a Western Digital (about 2 years old) that never gets moved. Never had a problem with any of them.

    I believe if you look at the number of USB externals in use, the failure rate is fairly low.
     
  10. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    I had a WD that croaked in a year, and it was on a laptop I seldom used. I alos had a Maxtor Usb die in about 6 months, now that one was on whenever the pc was on because I used
    it in my system...I have never lost a 1394 drive.
     
  11. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Rich, that's probably just the luck of the draw. Since the drives in those IEE-1394 cases are just stanndard drives, there's no reason to believe the drive itself would have a different failure rate than one in a machine. Of course, maybe there is something to power-on hours. :D
     
  12. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Yeah you are probably right JW
     
  13. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    I’d get a USB External Enclosure for about $30 ... Then add a 300GB Seagate.
    My last 300gig Seagate cost $89 .. Free shipping.
    You can usually get more gig for the buck this way ... and if the enclosure dies ... just get another.
    It’s been my experience that the USB external circuitry is more susceptible to failure than the HD

    Seagate HDs have a 5 year warranty … they must think they’ll last ... but I’d keep the receipts.
    Here’s my favorite USB External Enclosure … http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817123022
     
  14. MysticEyes

    MysticEyes Banned

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    If you are looking for transfer rate speeds the IEE-1394 externals (about 35MB/sec) blow the USB's (about 25MB/sec) away.
     
  15. hewee

    hewee

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    One thing is different buying a External drive with the drive already in it like the Seagate that has 5 year warranty on there drives is all or all I have seen only have a 1 year warranty External drive.
    So like Noyb who is buying the drive and then making his own External drive will have a 5 year warranty and I who got the Seagate External drive will haveonly a 1 year warranty and I bet the drive inside is the very same.
     
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