Building a external Hard drive - would appreciate help

By korrupt ยท 10 replies
Jun 13, 2006
  1. Hi everyone,

    I am concidering building a portable harddrive to store all my music on, but am not sure what to use etc. Should I use a IDE or SATA Hard drive? It is for home use so speed is not a real issue. I would prefer it to work like a flashdrive - if possible - so that I can just plug and unplug it in without restarting pc, I would prefer it to have USB power also so I don't have to plug it into powerpoint. I have 2 different brands of hard drives available, these are WESTERN DIGITAL and SEAGATE - which is more reliable? (both 7200RPM). I currently have an internal seagate hard drive and it has treated me well. I only need about 50gb of space but would prefer it to be around 80GB-160GB. What will I need to purchase as well as the hard drive itself? And is it possible to put a 3.5' HD as a portable with usb power? Because 2.5' are so much more expensive... I suppose I'll need a cable of some sort, a case... Anything else? If possible could whoever is so kind to reply also state the price of these items (either in Australian $ or USD - please specify). I am looking to spend around $100 AUD which should be approx $70USD. Is this possible or is this a bit unrealistic? I will state some of my computer specs in case this makes a difference:

    USB 2.0
    2.6Ghz Intel celeron
    80GB Seagate baracuda 7200 RPM hdd
    512MB RAM
    128MB graphics (fx 5200)

    That should be all,

    I would greatly appreciate any help you can give me and look forward to your reply,



    EDIT: How do I know if my PC is compatible with SATA hard drives?
  2. Shawn2k5

    Shawn2k5 TS Rookie Posts: 41

    If you haven't already bought the hard drive you can save yourself the trouble of building your own, and buy a already assembled external hard drive(if your uncomfortable with building your own). If not, then you can simply buy an external case, and a hard drive and put them together..., make sure to check wheater the case will work with your hardrive. IE. same size, ide/sata, usb/firewire...

    (Sort by price so you get the single HDD external cases.)

    If your motherboard has support for SATA then you can use SATA drives. You did not list what your motherboard is, but based on your parts im guessing it doesn't have support for SATA. :( (I could be wrong make sure by looking at your manual if you want a sata drive.)

    You can also look up harddrives on newegg they sell some fairly cheap 80-160 gig drives. Best of luck!

    EDIT: Ugh... i forgot newegg doesnt ship to AUS... I think... :(... Im really tired right now can someone else recommend a site that ships to Aus... :haha:
  3. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 716

    Thank you for your reply,

    I am still not sure whether I wish to purchase a seagate, western digital or samsung hard drive, samsung is the cheapest... Does anyone have any idea of the quality difference if any?


  4. Shawn2k5

    Shawn2k5 TS Rookie Posts: 41

    Western Digital & Seagate are decent companies. I've never had a Samsung HDD so I'm unsure about that. Personally, I only use Western Digital hard drives and have never had one fail on me yet. However, maybe I'm just lucky or something... :haha:. Either one of the two will be good.
  5. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 716

    Thanks for your reply,

    I have done some research and I think I will go with a 3.5'' 200gb Western Digital IDE hdd at 7200rpm and a 8mb cache - is this a descent hard drive?? I will probably buy a case from
    Is that case compatible with that HDD? Is usb power possible with 3.5'' hdd's?
    For the hard drive I will pay AUD$102 ($75USD) and the case I will pay around AUD$40 ($30USD) - are these good prices for them? Would this combination make for a descent external hard drive? And is there anything else I will have to buy? Does anyone think I should go for a SATA hdd instead of an IDE or is there not a real difference, my home pc is ompatible with SATA but I am not sure if my laptop is, how would I check that? What about USB/Firewire? What is the difference? is usb 2.0 good enough? I am pretty computer illiterate with those things.

    I would appreciate any help and look foreward to your reply,


  6. Shawn2k5

    Shawn2k5 TS Rookie Posts: 41

    USB 2.0/IDE are good enough for most things, unless you need blazing speed you probably wont need firewire/sata. If you want to use an SATA hardrive externally you will need a eSATA port on your computer.

    However, its not really worth the trouble and I'm unsure if there are laptop versions of eSATA adapter brackets. I'd say it'd be better to just get a IDE drive and usb2.0 case. Since they are compatible with nearly all computers.

    Yes 100USD is a decent price for a 200 gig external...
  7. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 716

    Thanks for your reply,

    I read that there is quite a big speed difference between SATA and IDE, is this really so in reality or are they just numbers? Also IDE hard drives will not be unsupported in newer motherboards etc? Because I don't want to spend $100usd on a IDE hard drive that will not work if I get a new computer.


  8. Shawn2k5

    Shawn2k5 TS Rookie Posts: 41

    Yes sata is faster. However I believe in order to use external sata drives you must have a ESATA port in your computer. Check if you have one before buying a external sata drive.
  9. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    on paper yes in practice no. besides if this is a storage\backup drive what do you need greater speed for? also since your going to be using USB 2.0 external case for the drive it will work on any computer. both today and next year.
  10. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 716

    Thanks for your reply,

    I think I will buy a 200gb IDE then.

    I appreciate everyone's help.

    This thread may now be closed.


  11. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    SATA is faster, but seldom will it reach the theoretical maximum speeds that will make it more noticable than IDE.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...