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Windows 7: portable external HDD Vs. Desktop external HDD?


29 Nov 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
portable external HDD Vs. Desktop external HDD?

What's the difference between portable external HDD and Desktop external HDD? I notice desktop external HDD cost more.

What's the point of different size of external HDD 2.5" and 3.5 "?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

30 Nov 2010   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by imeem View Post
What's the difference between portable external HDD and Desktop external HDD? I notice desktop external HDD cost more.

What's the point of different size of external HDD 2.5" and 3.5 "?
Size, speed, cabling, cache, etc.


Do you want to use it in a laptop or desktop?


Ken J
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2010   #3

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

External hard drives come in two sizes, 2.5" and 3.5".

The 2.5" are the portable ones that can be easily carried around (they have relatively small capacity and a small enclosure) and are usually USB powered. The downside is they are not unbreakable (you need to take decent care of them), also usb power becomes an issue if you have many other usb powered devices connected to the same computer. If the drive is underpowered, it'll behave wierdly.

Desktop external hard drives are normally 3.5" hard drives mounted in a relatively larger enclosure, sometimes with integrated fans (that helps keep them cool).These drives are designed with storage capacity in mind and can go upto 2 tb or even 3 tb nowadays. They often come with a separate, independent power supply.

2.5" is also the size of internal hard drives of notebooks, while 3.5" ones fit internally in desktops.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


30 Nov 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by imeem View Post
What's the difference between portable external HDD and Desktop external HDD? I notice desktop external HDD cost more.

What's the point of different size of external HDD 2.5" and 3.5 "?
Size, speed, cabling, cache, etc.


Do you want to use it in a laptop or desktop?


Ken J
I'll be using it on a desktop and a laptop to store stuff. Most likely I won't be moving it outside my house.

How good/bad are the external HDD with the software included?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2010   #5

Windows 7 64-bit Home
 
 

if it were up to me i would get a BARE drive and format it the way I want it.. i have a WD mybook and it has all this crap software built into it via a virtual disc... try as i may i cant get rid of it.. its stored in the firmware of the drive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2010   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The quality of external hard drives seems to be very good. I have 7 drives of different manufacturers (both 2.5. and 3.5"). None have failed in appr. 3 years - knock on wood. For very critical data (e.g. images) it is always an advantage to alternate between drives. That gives you extra security.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2010   #7
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I have 4 ext HDDs
Portable:
(1) WD Elements 500GB,portable 2.5",5400rpm, USB powered, extremley small
(2) WD Elements 7500GB,portable 2.5",5200rpm, USB powered, extremley small
Desktop:
(4) Seagate Expansion 500GB,desktop, 3.5",7200, mains powered
(5) WD Elements 1TB, desktop, 3.5", 7200, mains powered.

All have sata drives inside with usb converter.
(4)&(5) are faster as you would expect but heat can be a problem. Both can hit 50C+ and I have a small fan for cooling on hot days. These are normal sata drives in a confined space. Any built in power management doesn't seem that great to me. I turn them on and off when needed.
I question their long term reliability if left running for long periods in warm ambient temps. I'd go for an extra internal with good cooling if powered on all the time and accessed frequently.

I like the little portables. Yes a bit slower but I find them great for backups - like an overgrown USB flash drive. If you also have a notebook - perfect. They seem to run quite a bit cooler and seem to have better power management (???).

Pricewise - not much of a difference where I'm from. WD 1TB recently on sale for $87.

I strongly support the previous poster - Buy the bare bones units - NO SOFTWARE BACKUP rubbish.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2010   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

So i should go for one that doesn't need any software. Should I go for a usb powered one or an one that requires an power outlet?

The only time I will be plugging the external HDD in is when I need to use it, after i'm done with it, i'll just unplug it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 10, 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

I have two seagate portable hard drives and two Rosewill external enclosures with 3.5" 1TB Samsung Spinpoints in them. I love both. The enclosures to me are more like desktops. The seagate portables are just that, portable. They run off USB power and are not much larger than your wallet. They are great for taking whatever you want with you. The rosewills are great too. Another advantage is If my computer HD goes out, I can take the Spinpoints out of the enclosure and install it in the computer in 5 minutes.

EDIT: most of the hard drive come with backup software on them. I have never seen any of that software I want to use. Withe the Seagates, I reformatted them and got rid of it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2010   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by essenbe View Post
I have two seagate portable hard drives and two Rosewill external enclosures with 3.5" 1TB Samsung Spinpoints in them. I love both. The enclosures to me are more like desktops. The seagate portables are just that, portable. They run off USB power and are not much larger than your wallet. They are great for taking whatever you want with you. The rosewills are great too. Another advantage is If my computer HD goes out, I can take the Spinpoints out of the enclosure and install it in the computer in 5 minutes.

EDIT: most of the hard drive come with backup software on them. I have never seen any of that software I want to use. Withe the Seagates, I reformatted them and got rid of it.
So if I have to get the HDDs with software preloaded in them (because the ones i'm looking at is at my price range and 7200 rpm), i can reformat the drive to get rid of it?

Do i even have to use the software to back up my computer? Can't I just use the windows 7 one?
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