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Question about purchasing an external hard drive.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by JR1976, Oct 12, 2008.

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  1. JR1976

    JR1976 Thread Starter

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    Thanks in advance for any help anyone could give me.

    I am on an older Dell Desktop that does not have high speed USB 2.0
    A lot of the External Hard Drives I see have 2.0 in the name. For example a random google says

    "Toshiba's 400GB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive".

    Does this mean my computer has to have USB 2.0 to work?

    I am almost exclusively going to be storing music on this hard drive as a means of moving around my growing music collection. So that gives you an idea of what I am looking for.

    If anyone could make recommendation for a good external hard drive that will work for my needs and computer it would be much appreciated.

    I am running Windows XP and Service pack 2, not a terribly old computer by some standards, it just does not have a 2.0 highspeed USB slot.

    I know the entire thing about how USB 2.0 is faster, To sum all this up I was just curious if USB 2.0 would work on my computer just at a slower speed. All of the External Hard Drives seem to have 2.0 in the title.

    Thank you again for any help!
     
  2. BG-0

    BG-0

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    If it has USB 1.1, then any 2.0 device will work, but slower than it would in a 2.0 port.
    As you know, it's very much slower, so it might be quite a pain to move a lot of data around.
     
  3. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Buy yourself a USB 2 PCI card and slide it into an empty slot. USB 1.1 is so very slow, especially for drives, that you may find it little use to you. A PCI card is less than $20 and will give you 2 or more USB 2 slots for other hardware, too. There are even combo cards that would add USB2 and Firewire ports. USB 2.0 is fast enough that you can create a Program Files folder on an external drive, install programs there, and have them run at almost the same speed as if they were installed to C:.

    Example:

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1567047&CatId=510
     
  4. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Riiight. Of course, get a PCI card.. I misread, thought it was a laptop :D
    The one at tigerdirect is a great card, for a great price.
     
  5. JR1976

    JR1976 Thread Starter

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    I was afraid of something like this :p

    I do not see any open ports or places on the back of my computer, just the current USB ports and a few other things I never use/already have something plugged into.

    So I am already going to assume it is something you have to open your PC up for, my other question is how can I tell if I even have a spare place to put one of these USB 2.0 Cards?

    I am sure this is a very simple process but fiddling around inside my computer has always made me nervous im going to screw something up.

    Thanks again for the continued help.
     
  6. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Something like PCWizard[​IMG] will tell you. The empty slots usually have a small plate over them on the back of the case. But a plate does not mean that there is a slot, necessarily. Better to take a look if you really want to be sure.

    It only needs to be inserted and one screw put in, so very simple. The hardest step is often getting the case open.

    It will be well worth your time if you have cameras, printers, drives, or anything else, present or future, that need USB. We are taliking 12Mbits/second for 1.1 and 480Mbits/second for 2.0, or 40 times faster.
     
  7. BG-0

    BG-0

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  8. JR1976

    JR1976 Thread Starter

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    Well I looked at the back again and I do not see anywhere any of the backing would come off unless it is from the inside. I downloaded PC Wizard but honestly have no idea where to look in this to see if I have any spare slots :p

    Have any advice on where to go in the program to find what I need to know before I go exploring around in the case?

    Many thanks!
     
  9. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Click "Mainboard" on the left, then choose PCI Bus, and copy the info here... If you don't understand what it tries to say to you.. (I don't.) :rolleyes:
     
  10. JR1976

    JR1976 Thread Starter

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    General Information :
    Number of PCI Bus : 3
    Number of PCI Connectors : 4

    Peripheral Type :
    Device 1, Bus 0 : AGP
    Device 1, Bus 1 : AGP

    General Features :
    Support PCI Mechanism 1 : Yes

    Bus Information #0 :
    Device : 82875P,E7210 Memory Controller Hub
    Device : 82875P PCI to AGP Bridge
    Device : 82875P,E7210 PCU to I/O Memory Controller (Overflow Configuration)
    Device : 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) USB UHCI Controller #1
    Device : 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) USB UHCI Controller #2
    Device : 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) USB UHCI Controller #3
    Device : 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) USB UHCI Controller #4
    Device : 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) USB 2.0 EHCI Controller
    Device : 82801 Family (ICH2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9,63xxESB) Hub Interface to PCI Bridge
    Device : 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) LPC Interface Bridge
    Device : 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) EIDE Controller
    Device : 82801EB (ICH5) SATA Controller
    Device : 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) SMBus Controller
    Device : 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) AC'97 Audio Controller

    Bus Information #1 :
    Device : GeForce4 MX 440 with AGP 8x [NV18.2]

    Bus Information #2 :
    Device : BCM V.9x 56k Modem
    Device : PRO/100 VE Network Connection
     
  11. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    You have 4 slots. The small plates usually have screws at top that are accessible from inside the case.

    If your network card and modem are not built in, then they are now in PCI slots. Look where they are connected in back. Are there more slots like that empty?

    You'll need to open the case to put a card in anyway, so you may as well do it now.
     
  12. JR1976

    JR1976 Thread Starter

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    Well I unplugged everything popped open the case, once the dust cleared (and my god was there a lot of dust) I found the ports. Two of them are currently occupied and two are free. I can even see where the little metal shield would come off to expose the port when you put a card in but I cannot for the life of me find a screw. I see a place at the very bottom where it looks like a screw might be but it seems impossible to get a screw driver into, there is a green chip or some other part near it and its impossible to move around in there.
    Maybe there is another one I am missing tho and I will try to find the way to pop it out next time I open it to put the card in. Worse comes to worse I could just force the little piece of metal off I suppose.

    As for the card its self (And I suppose I will just order the one that was linked above as it is a great price) are there any compatibility test or something I should run to make sure it will work on my computer? My ignorance of this topic is already showing full force I am sure and I have no idea how to tell if my computer will accept it.

    You all have been amazingly helpful!
     
  13. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Pics plz. You might have one of the "easier than screw" systems in that.
    And then there are thos covers that you take off by twisting them broken and never put back.
     
  14. JR1976

    JR1976 Thread Starter

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    My brother has my digital camera at the moment but after some quick searching I think I found something almost as good

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqckDLhRoMw

    About 1:14-18ish into the video that looks exactly like what is in my computer (Mine is an 8300 but that green protector thing in front of the PCI slot is in mine as well).
     
  15. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Well, that gives very little idea about the actual mechanism of that... I honestly can't even see if there's a hole through, and if not, what's in its way...
     
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