How "portable" is my new WD extrenal hard drive ?

By erajsri ยท 13 replies
Jun 30, 2005
  1. Hi everyone,
    I have bought a new WD external hard drive ( what they call the "essential series" ). It's 160 gigs in capacity. The thing is powered by an extrenal power source.
    Now I've used external hard drives ( from my friends ) before. But that one was a truly portable hard drive, unlike my new one ( meaning it didnt need an extrenal power source and was very much lightweight / easy-to-carry-around ).
    There are two types of extrenal hard drives that Ive identified , in the market. One that is powered by the power source ( which is refrrd to as an "Extrenal Hard Disk" and the others that are not ( "called as "Portable Hard Drives". So my new 160 gig xternal hard falls under the former.

    Can these types of hard drives ("Exteral Hard Drives" ) be used as a portable hard drive ( I mean carrying it around ) ?

    Are the Portable Hard drives meant to be more rigid than the Exteranl ones ?
  2. tom_pearson

    tom_pearson TS Rookie Posts: 47

    technically your hard drive should be just as durable as any other portable hard drive (within reason). Obviously its best to take care of these things no matter how durable they are intended to be. The only main draw back is obviously its slightly larger than most common portables. I shouldn't think you would have any trouble moving it around though!
  3. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    IMHO, portable hard drives are smaller in size physically than external ones. Yes, you can carry the external ones like the portable hard drives. Since both are essentially hard drives, therefore you need to be careful with both of them during transportation.
  4. tom_pearson

    tom_pearson TS Rookie Posts: 47

    so basically what I just stated?
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Those smaller "portable" hard drives make use of laptop HDs which are built to survive more g forces than your normal desktop HDs used in the "external" hard drives.
  6. erajsri

    erajsri TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you all for these replies.
    I dint know that External Hards could be carried arnd like all Portable ones. Well I'll be careful with it if u suggest. Then my question is whats the differnec between an Exteranl hard an an Internal one ? Is it just the enclosure ? Dont they provide any shock resistant mechanisms ? If it's only the enclosure, why not take the Interanl one arnd rather than paying for a Extrenal ? Is the External the "portable" versioon of an Interanl Hard , or is it more reliable than Internals ?

    Certain hard disk manufacturer's sites says that Portable hard drives are usually more robust cos they are from Laptops. I have used my frnds portable HD, but that was really hopeless ! It failed in certain PCs, yet worked on others. So how could this be true ?

    Thanx again !
  7. erajsri

    erajsri TS Rookie Topic Starter

    One more thing...! I dint buy the usual enclosure and fixed an Internal Hard into it. InsteadI bought the Western Digital's (WD ) Essential Series 160 GB External Hard drive ( which is simply an enclosure + Internal Hard drive solution, but done by a Hard drive manufacturer ).
  8. tom_pearson

    tom_pearson TS Rookie Posts: 47

    damn did you do english in school?
  9. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 856

    Maybe not Tom. Believe it or not Techspot is international.
  10. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    An external hard drive has an enclosure that protects it from Stupid People and also the enclosure houses interface circuits that let you connect the drive to the external ports of your computer.
    This depends on the specific model you buy.
    Good luck trying to plug an IDE drive into a Macintosh laptop.. Yes, you can buy a cheap 40GB external hard drive and replace its contents with a 200GB one. And there are empty enclosures too that you can fill with whatever you want.
    Yes, any "external" or "portable" hard drive is just your normal laptop or desktop hard drive in a pretty box. If you dropped a hard drive in an enclosure and a bare hard drive down the stairs then yes, most likely the external one will sufer less damage.
    "More robust" does not mean "unbreakable" and nothing is ever safe from Stupid People and the Crappy Labour daemons.
  11. erajsri

    erajsri TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok now thats a lot of info........
    hey sorry for the lang, i juss needed to get the point across to you.

    Ive got jus one more question.. If you were given an option to choose from an "External" hard drive or a "Portable" hard drive what would you go for ( ignoring the capacities ) ?

  12. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    I would pick the portable thing since they are smaller and there is no hassle with power supply. This is mainly because I am a laptop owner :)
  13. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    I agree with Nodsu. I have both - but use my portable much more often. The only problem is you have to use 6 pin firewire if you are using firewire instead of USB2.0. Most laptops don't have 6 pin firewire ports. If you have a portable that does both firewire and USB2.0 that would be ideal.
  14. erajsri

    erajsri TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanx for the replies...
    Since you have used the "Portable" type of hard drives, aren't they kind of slow and unreliable compared to the "External" ones ? Cos my frnds "portable" hard dint work on my pc at times, but worked on some other PCs. Whereas the "External" one I use works on all PCs. Is this is a common problem with "Portable" hard drives ?
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