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Windows 7: USB External Drive worth the money ?

30 Jan 2010   #1

windows 7
 
 
USB External Drive worth the money ?

I just purchased a Seagate USB external drive clunking out a chunk in my opinion. I have to wonder if these external drives are worth the money. I have purchased several flash drives in the past to be used as storage, and also to carry my documents with me. I paid $100 for the Seagate 1 TB drive. In all honesty I have probably wasted more money on the flash drives than this drive compared to the enormous storage capacity.

The reason for purchase was mainly storage, and system backup. I'm pretty good about saving my work etc, however I have had corrupt disc, ect, also I have had compatibility issues when upgrading computers.

This is my first post here, I used to be a little computer savvy, maybe even a little computer geeky however when my first child was born..well time was less, then my second child was born, time even less, then I became a single parent.. well I don't know what time is now.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Wlecome to the Windows 7 Forums and the world of external drives! clint

The drives that come in the external usb even eSata enclosures are good for just that. "storage"! When first going to test 7 one WD 500gb model was extracted and installed internally and proved it wasn't good for OSing!

A second larger 1tb model was simply extracted right out of the box for internal use as well. Storage again!

Flash drives while much smaller capacity wise can also see other applications however. The preferred and "costly"! no doubt larger 32gb and 64gb models can be repartitioned and made into.... what was that again?

Data recovery sticks! When a Windows installation can't start up you can.. boot from a live Linux distro installed to the second partition(root) while the first is left as Fat 32(factory), exFat, or NTFS if the system supports booting from a flash drive. Just make sure to unplug your main drives if using the installer on a live cd when booted from to avoid seeing Grub installed into the mbr! But you install Grub to flash drive and use the first partition to recover data there.

One small tip for flash drives! As for external enclosures constant use leaves a bit too be desired since the casings sadly lack cooling and drives can run warm over extended periods. Once you back things up to one simply unplug it and set it aside until needed again. It does make for portability however for large transfers between more then one system(desktop or laptop).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Having external hard drives is invaluable in my opinion. Personally, I would keep 2 of them strictly for backups. I usually back up to one drive about once per week and keep that in my house. I backup to the second one as well every week or two and I keep that offsite just in the case my house is robbed or burns to the ground. And with being as cheap as what they are...it's hard to believe that your data, pictures, and music wouldn't be worth it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Jan 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

They have their purposes no doubt. But they will tend to run much warmer if left plugged in constantly since they are not well ventilated to start with in most cases. In fact the first one bought here will be going back into the original casing or a better cooled external enclosure at some point.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I don't worry about heat with my external drives as I only power them up long enough to make my backups usually.

I do use a 2.5" Western Digital Passport Essential drive that runs all day long at work and that drive stays cool even though it's on all day.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2010   #6

windows 7
 
 

Thanks for all the comments. I guess after reading some other peoples opinions my post was not so good. I should have stated are the USB external drives worth it to me (one always assumes the world revolves around only them LOL). I guess the external drives have dropped in price like all computer things do once the new wears off some. I do like to have my data filed away in a safe place just in case somethings happens, which that something does not happen nearly as often as it used to.

The first flash drive I purchased was for ready boost on vista. I'm one that will not load my computer up with pictures, music etc... I store them on cd's dvd's whatever, I'm obsessive over the fact of keeping any file off my hard drive that can be stored on removable media unless of course I access that file often. The ready boost was not even noticeable on my computer, and after reading some information on the net covering this.... my situation with over 90% of my hard drive free, and 3 gigs of memory may be one of the worse case scenarios to take advantage of ready boost. I plan to take full advantage of this external drive, and it's large storage by storing all my pictures, music, programs on.

I'm in no way wanting to hijack my own thread, however I researched the idea of using the hard drive from my old computer for a storage drive, however I didn't find any good information at all for doing so. I have a lot of questions I searching the forum, and the net as well on. I appreciate a good forum, and sharing opinions, and knowledge with people.... this forum seems to combine both of best worlds, outstanding forum, and outstanding people.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Initially this was one of the main concerns about external drives. When running the WD 3.5" model the casing felt only slightly above room temperature having been on all day.

The smaller 2.5" models are less likely to run into any problems to start with having less mass to start with in order to generate any damaging heat. Here I would need a better cooled external enclosure suitable for both ide and sata drives alike due to restoration of older systems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2010   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I think external drives are a must. I would not have a system without at least 2 external drives - usually one 3.5" permanently attached and a 2.5" only attached when in use. I never had a heat problem with my drives and I own 5 different makes.
My main applications are Imaging (with Macrium and Norton Ghost) and off load of bulk data like videos and music - they run just as well from the external as from an internal.
USB drives are useful too. I use them to carry data and programs around as well as for special files. I also have a couple with Linux distros that I can boot from the stick when I feel like playing around with Linux. For Netbooks they are a must because of the lack of an optical reader.
My wife uses SD cards for storage. She uses 2 different Laptops and the SD cards have the advantage of not sticking out of the side like USB sticks and are thus less vulnerable.
Note: External disks should be formatted in NTFS and USB sticks should be formatted in Fat32.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

That brings to mind one older thread on how to make up a usb rescue device using a flash drive. Using the "Other OS" For a USB Rescue Device?

The preference of course is preventative steps such as regular backups to at least a second drive or external one since that will certainly offer the larger capacities to start with over a flash drive. The thread there however was intended more for those who were slightly "caught off guard" so to say not having been prepared for any disaster recovery in advance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2010   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Yeah, it's amazing how many people live a happy computer life being prepared for nothing. And then you get these urgent calls. "My system crashed and I lost all the pictures of the grand children". Answer: "take new pictures". Response to that: "They are 10 years older than those pictures". Final word:" Too bad, you have to plan for disaster".
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 USB External Drive worth the money ?




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