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Windows 7: Just a plain external hard drive

04 Mar 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1 Build 7601
Just a plain external hard drive

OK, so I am looking for just a plain external hard drive. By plain, I mean that i don't want any backup manager, no special virtual drives, and no special software. I need it to be cheap money wise but also reliable. I want it to recognize when to turn itself on and off (optional) when the device it's connected to is turned on or off. Also it needs to be able to stay on hours at a time. The size I am looking for is anywhere from is anywhere from 160 gb and up. I know this is very specific but I have not been able to locate one like this. Anyone have any ideas?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2011   #2

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Well for starters, any external hard drive out there (should) work out of the box via USB/eSATA/Fireware (assuming all your drivers are properly installed) without installing any software. Windows (or any recent OS) should install the drive and you'll see it and be able to use it like any other hard drive.

For what you're asking, I'd recommend buying any Western Digital or Seagate 5400rpm 2.5" (or 3.5" if size and portability isn't an issue) and a compatible enclosure (Vantec is a many avaibable for very low prices). You'll get the drive and an enclosure with cables and no software; plain and simple. But this option isn't usually the cheapest.

I'm going to make the quick assumption you're in the U.S. so I checked Newegg.

Here is a 500GB USB 2.0 external drive from Seagate: - Seagate 500GB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive ST905004EXA101-RK

It's $59.99.

I also checked for the cheapest combination of OEM hdd (WD/Seagate) and retail enclosure and came up with $52.98 (before taxes and shipping) total. - VANTEC NST-200S2-BK Aluminum 2.5" Black USB 2.0 External Enclosure Vantec CX 2.5" SATA USB 2.0 enclosure - Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD1600BEVT 160GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive Western Digital 160GB 2.5" 5400rpm SATA2 HDD.

This combination isn't the absolute cheapest but the cheapest reliable combination I would recommend (based on the 2 years I've worked at a computer shop selling just about every kind of component out there available). Going with a 500GB OEM drive would be more expensive than the 500BG external from Seagate.

The other benefit of going with a pre-built external like the Seagate one is that it comes pre-partitioned and formatted, it's just plug and play and away you ago.

I recommend Seagate or Western Digital because they've offered the best warranties and support (telephone and online) in my experience. You can go with any brand and they should work out of box without installing any software. Also, avoid buying any external hard drive from a big box store like Best Buy, you will pay more. You're best bet is online store like Newegg, a Fry's store if one is near you or a local small store (if they offer good pricing, not all do).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2011   #3
Orbital Shark



I recently purchased the following for less than 50...

SimpleDrive Rev3 | Hitachi Global Storage Technologies

A 1TB self powering External Desktop HDD USB 2.0. It only powers on when your machine is on...Simply put, turn your machine on and the HDD turns on. I've not had any issues with it and I use it for at least a few hours every day.

It's formatted in FAT32 by default so it's instantly usable in all mediums, including the PS3

My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Mar 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1 Build 7601

Sweet. Thanks guys for the imput. You've really helped me out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Just a plain external hard drive

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