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Windows 7: Seagate or Western digital External HDD?

04 Feb 2010   #41
Andrew S

Win 7 Ultimate

I'm late coming into this thread but I do have a little input WD wise.
I purchased a WD Passport to use as an additional backup and it works fine on 4 XP machines, but plug it in to my Win 7 pc and I am immediately told it needs to be formatted. Cant get any other response.

Interesting and probably cant blame WD but other small portable drives dont have any problem with my Win 7

Regarding WD internal HDDs - I have just RMA'd my second Raptor in 2 years. I have good airflow and the case doesnt get hot.
The first RMA came back from Singapore very quickly and the second has only been away for 5 days, but for me it does cast a doubt on WD build quality.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2010   #42
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

With the WD Passport drive did you reformat the factory Fat 32 off of it prior to use or simply leave it as is when going to use it? As far as adding any new usb drive on 7 simply run to the Disk Management tool there and right click to assign it a drive letter to see Windows mount it as a new logical drive. That will stop the prompts for formatting it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2010   #43
Andrew S

Win 7 Ultimate

Thank you Night Hawk.
Yes It was formatted NTFS before I used it, and I have now allocated a drive letter which seems to have fixed the problem.
I had assumed the drive letter would have been allocated automatically. Guess I shouldnt assume anything in the world of computers..
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Feb 2010   #44
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

The same is seen for any other usb drive or device as well as seen when adding in a drive with data already on it to a second machine. The drive or device often has to be manually initialized in order for Windows to mount the volume and see it as a new logical drive.

Once you use a drive a few times however following a few full restarts Windows will typically remember the drive letter assigned. I found that was seen more with flash drives however as far as usb devices. One FDrive was given R for recovery when making up a data recovery stick with a 32gb flash drive.

After reboots, shutdowns, unplugged note the drive letter is still "R" for that same flash drive when plugged in again. Sometimes this will also work with external HDs as well. But don't count on that when electing to save Easy Transfers and/or system images there. External drives and devices connected by usb are still a bit volitile especially when not left plugged in constantly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2010   #45

Vista Ultimate 32 bit, Win 7 Pro 32 bit, Win 7 Pro 64 bit

Seagate or Western digital External HDD?-dscf0146.jpg

I recently bought one of these enclosures, very neat easy to slip in pocket, and usb lead in case, at present its only got a 160gb drive in it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2010   #46
Andrew S

Win 7 Ultimate

What you are saying seems to be spot on, Night Hawk. The message to format came back again even after allocating a drive letter. I have now pulled off all the information on that drive, completely formatted it again and replaced the files.
Time will tell if it behaves itself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2010   #47
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

When buying the first of two external HDs here I was running into that when replugging it in when going back and forth between the two previous versions of Windows in dual boot at the time. Once reformatted to NTFS to be free of the software installer and to be immediately available on the two older OSs there and plugged in you still would see the occasional lack of initializing.

And talking about the prompt to format being seen lately that actually happened with an internal drive! Suddenly one drive seemed to vanish or simply be unavailable for some unknown reason. The drive would be seen but unavailable in the Disk Management tool as well?

Finally I went in and checked all data cables at both ends due to having just cleaned the case out. None were pulled out and in tight at the drive end and seemed be ok at the board end while still applying a little pressure to insure all were down in the ports there.

Surprize! The drive reappeared and has been normal ever since! The cable for that one didn't have to be lifted much as it must have been bumped during the cleaning. Now just imagine how one extra usb device plugged in one day tugs the bus down a bit or one of the usb ports is getting weak and... oops! Your external HD gets bumped out of Windows.

External drives can save your hide at times by stashing things safely away on them in case of an internal HD mishap. But counting on them being a dedicated Logical drive? You saw for yourself there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2010   #48

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64)

I got a mediasonic 4 bays enclosure last week to back up my data , and i populated the 3 top bays with WD Green Caviar 3 x 2TB @ 5400rpm , they consume less energy and run much cooler than faster drives would. The enclosure is well ventilated and built with thick aluminum which act as a big heat sunk . So far it's running at room temperature. The only draw back i can see with those 2TB @ 5400rpm is the time it takes to format them ; 7hrs via eSATA interface or 21hrs via USB interface. I can see all 3 drives when in USB interface but i can only see the first one in eSATA.

Intel says "The red eSATA connectors on the back panel can be used to connect an eSATA drive.
They can also be used for port replication, which allows the aggregation of multiple
hard drives on each of the eSATA ports."

There must be something i 'm missing in knowledge here. i know my motherboard supports that, but all this hardware is still so new to me that i have to learn as i go.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2010   #49
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Trying to build a server? BlueDove

I could use 6tb here but wouldn't have the need for that size enclosure. To transfer as well as backup things from multiple systems I simply went with a fan cooled usb enclosure for things like getting files off of the drives in older builds as well as large transfers.

The enclosure will accommidate ide as well as sata HDs regardless of the make and model drive you toss into it. Drives run cooler in the acomdata enclosure seen at - acomdata SMBXXXU2E-Red Aluminum 3.5" Radiant Red USB 2.0 Samba Enclosure Kit

Eventually I will get into the 2tb sized drives while presently have two GP 1tb drives as well as a pair of 1tb Sata III Black edition for the main storage internally. Vista is on one of the Sata II GP drives presently until that drive is eventually replaced with a another Sata II Black edition prior to testing the next version's beta when that time comes.

The model series of drives used in external enclosures are typically the energy conservative to start with whether usb or eSata. Since enclosures provided are typically not so well ventilated to start with you certainly wouldn't be running any Raptor drives in them!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2010   #50

Windows 7 Professional

@ D3ftOn3Z

Since you're getting a 2.5" portable hard drive, I'd say go with Seagate. I have a Seagate 7200.12 as my main desktop hard drive so my opinion maybe a bit bias but then again I also have a Western Digital Green desktop hard drive as storage so look both ways. If you find my opinion too confusing just go with whichever fits your wallet and personal preference the best.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Seagate or Western digital External HDD?

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