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Windows 7: Reliability of 2.5" external drives?

29 Oct 2011   #1
pincushion

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 
Reliability of 2.5" external drives?

I've done a bit of research but I'm not sure if these drives actually are less reliable than equivalent 3.5" ones. I have tended to use these for back-ups and have had a few problems with a Toshiba and a Freecom Toughdrive. Is it perhaps down to the fact that most of these drives do not require a separate power supply but are powered solely by the USB connector and perhaps are more prone to electrical connection issues. I used to have a USB ethernet connector before I upgraded my system and this had problems showing in the event log which was cured by cleaning the connector with electrical contact cleaner. Perhaps it is simply the USB connectors. Any thoughts or experiences?


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29 Oct 2011   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Not my expeience. I have six 2.5" USB powered disks of all different makes. Never had a problem. The one I use the most is a Hitachi - really solid. You must though watch that they do not get excessive shocks when you move them around. I move mine a lot overseas, but I always carry them in my hand luggage.

Next best would be an external SSD - budget allowing.
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29 Oct 2011   #3
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

We have 5 WD 2.5" portables and fortunately haven't had a problem. But they will need full USB port power. Use a powered hub or a Y USB splitter if required.
Keep the USB cable short because IR voltage drop can definitely be a problem.
On one of my PCs there is a thin long wire run from the Mobo to the front USB connector - ok for USB flash drives but NOT for a portable HDD.
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29 Oct 2011   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

mjf, although your point on a seperate USB power cable is well taken, but it can be a pain. I have one of those with a seperate USB power cable. With only 3 USB ports on most laptops that requires some logistics if you have other devices (printer, projector (when I teach a class) etc.).
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29 Oct 2011   #5
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Do you mean the Y splitter?
If so then yes I agree with your point. With the short cables generally provided with portable HDD the one USB connector should be enough. Also with laptops I believe a lot of the time they are operated close to a powerpoint and a powered hub would be a must have for me anyway.
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29 Oct 2011   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Yes, the Y splitter. I try to avoid extra cables to the outlets. I have 1 desktop and 2 laptops that are 3 feet apart. Plus 2 printers, 3x3.5" disks, audio, modem, router, phone, extra lamps, etc. You should see the cable mess under the desks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2011   #7
pincushion

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

It is a time related issue as I do treat them with care and with the last little problem, the Toshiba, scanning the drive for faults produced no evidence of any although I had to copy some files twice because it seems they had become corrupt. They all have been in use for several years and were fine to begin with. Just wondered if others had any of the same problems as I know electrical contact issues can affect all the parts within a computer not just the external connectors.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2011   #8
badger906

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, & Mac OS X 10.9.2
 
 

ive had loads, and only ever had an issue with one. its a 7 year old ide 20gb, and occasionally it jsut powers off.. but thats no biggy.
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 Reliability of 2.5" external drives?




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