External Hard Drive

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cutiecatuk

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I desperately need new memory for my laptop and have been recommened to buy an External hard drive. I have a belkin wireless network set up to from my modem to my lap top and wander if I can incorportate the new hard drive and if so what do I need to look out for when bying an external hard drive?

Any help most welcome.

Thanks.
 
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Do you have a spare USB connection on the laptop?

(Make and model of Laptop would help a lot)
 

cutiecatuk

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My laptop is a Compaq Presario 1600 with only one USB port but I have a hub.

Any ideas?

Thanks.
 

Noyb

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I prefer using USB enclosures - then shopping for sales on HDs ... can get more gig for the buck this way.
Good USB enclosures cost about $40 ... and a 160 gig HD can be found for $40.
Some minor assembly required .. If you're handy at that.

Then you can add a Program "Acronis True Image" at $30 - and backup your laptop so you never have to recover it from scratch again.
 

JohnWill

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I hasten to point out, you have a USB 1.1 connection, so the hard disk will be MUCH slower than with a USB 2.0 connection. If you want to use a USB drive with that machine, you may want to invest in a USB 2.0 PCMCIA card to give yourself some USB 2.0 ports.
 

cutiecatuk

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Noyb - Ihave no idea what an USB enclosures are I am afriad. COuld you please explain.

John Will - Did not realise about my USB being only 1.1. Is this something that I will be able to do myself or will Ihave to take it to the dreaded PC world.
 
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No offense intended at all, but I fear that what Noyb is suggesting might run a little bit over your head. Building your own external hard drive isn't the least bit difficult for gearheads like us, but if you have not physically extracted or installed hard drives before, this would not be a good way to learn.

Let me quickly explain: Basically, an external hard drive is an ordinary desktop or laptop hard drive that's mounted inside an external enclosure. Inside this enclosure is a small circuit board that, in a nutshell, changes the hard drive's interface type from IDE to USB, so you can plug it into the back of your computer.

It is usually much cheaper (and provides better warranty coverage) if you purchase the hard drive and USB enclosure separately and construct it yourself. But again, if you don't know what you're doing and mess up, things can get ugly fast. If you're willing to take a swing at it, though, there are plenty of tutorials with pictures out on the web that can tell you how to do it.

To answer your question, now, I would pay a visit to newegg.com and look at Western Digital for external hard drives. They're a pretty reputable manufacturer and have decent warranty coverage.
 

Noyb

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I think all you have to do is plug the USB 2.0 PCMCIA into the side of the Laptop.
Till John Will checks back in … here one example …
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16815104803
Not having USB 2.0 will make the external HD many times slower.

An External Enclosure is an External without the HD included …. You have to add the HD of your choice.
You don’t really need the enclosure concept – any USB external will work.

But - Here’s an enclosure example …

There are many Enclosures – here’s my favorite …
Sanmax (HD 338 U2) USB HD Enclosure with front panel power switch … $30
Review w pictures … http://www.overclockercafe.com/Reviews/other_misc/SanMax/
Available here … http://shop2.outpost.com/product/4137633?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

Then add a HD - something like this … 160 Gig Seagate Hard drive … $40
http://shop2.outpost.com/product/4008242?site=sa:Homepage:Spot1

Then, this backup software is a great addition to the project …
Acronis TI Backup software .. home page with information …
http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/
Download ATI from here … $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681279691SF

May I say …
Not having a USB enclosure, and backup software - is like driving a car without a spare tire and insurance.

Some assembly required for the Enclosure ..…
All you have to do is plug in the Hard Drive, snap the lid shut, plug it into the Laptop and power - and go.
Here’s the Sanmax HD 338 U2 “Exposed”
 

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Noyb

Jay
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RedHelix said:
No offense intended at all...
None taken - I Agree with you.
Cutie ... If this looks over your head - Just get any external HD.
There're many sales showing up now.
 

cutiecatuk

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I think this is over my head and no offence taken. My brother is very good with these things but if I wait for him to come to do it I will be waiting a very long time. I had looked at the Western DIgital external hard drives and they seemed very good and reasonably priced but as they were on special offer at PC world they have sold out there! Any websites you could suggest (I am based in the UK).

Thanks so much for all your help.

Cutie.
 
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What is the performance impact when using a regular hard drive in an external enclosure? Is it much slower?
 

Noyb

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crimsondr said:
... Is it much slower?....
For data storage and backup purposes - it isn't bad on a USB2.0 port.
Unless you have huge files - you probably won't notice it.
USB 1.0 will be much slower ... very noticable.
 

JohnWill

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The raw transfer speed will be about 1/2 what the drive would do connected to an IDE channel. For 99% of the uses you'd put it to, it'll be just fine.
 
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I have a Western Digital external drive and so far it has been working great, like many of the internal WD drives I have. Highly reccomended from me if you are unwilling to build your own.
 
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