Need help deciding external hard drive

By tpw ยท 7 replies
Jun 29, 2012
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  1. I like to know is 500gb seagate external hard drive is good choice. It plenty of space for me but like to know what to look out for I found used one for $35 since money is tight right now it seem like good deal. And need to back stuff asap computer getting full.

    Is one brand better than the other far as seagate vs western digital.
  2. Coodu

    Coodu TS Booster Posts: 173

    It's personal preference really. I won't touch SeaGates personally since as a tech, I've had a bad run with them over the last 5-10 years. I use WD drives and have for the same time period, haven't had a failure yet. I have 3 in my current machine. But having said that you'll get people who don't like WD either so, again personal preference.

    $35 for a used one isn't bad, not too much to lose. As with anything, backup means just that, having it in more than one place.
  3. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    Hi, I use a 320GB Iomega 'Prestige', which is lightweight and small, 130mm x 85mm x 15mm. I keep an image of my Windows7 on it, and that takes up about 60GB. Peace of mind if the 'C' drive fails, not to mention 2 years worth of MS updates!
    The Buffalo Drivestations are well rated by the PC magazines, but not used one myself.
  4. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Posts: 322   +65

    I use a 750gb WD Passport Essential (USB 3.0). I like it. It's much faster than my old 500gb external HDD from the same manufacturer; and is a joy to use, actually. Like mike 1959, I keep an image of my OS on it, some music, photos, and a good number of work-related documents. It's pretty sturdy, as well: I've dropped it a couple of times and it's still doing what it's supposed to do.

    I'd agree with Norbur: $35 for a used 500gb external HDD doesn't sound like a bad deal. I've not had any experience with SeaGate drives, though.
  5. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I'm a Hitachi and Samsung fan, but I do have one WD disk in my PC, which is the oldest disk I currently have and 320GB in capacity. It's been flawless for years. When it comes to hard disks, they're all pretty good these days, but you'll find enthusiasts' opinions differ as to who is best as much as the sports teams they follow. lol.

    If it was me, I would wait a little longer if possible, and purchase a new disk. It might be cheaper to purchase a new disk and then a separate enclosure for it. You're taking a risk with a second-hand disk; you don't know its history, whether its been damaged, dropped, how much its been used, if it has any errors and more crucially, it won't have a warranty.

    Now it might last ten years, or it might be unreliable in a matter of days or weeks.

    How big is your hard disk now, and could you realistically reduce its size by removing stuff you're not using right now, or infrequently use? Pictures for example can be backed up to removable media like DVD-R's which could be especially handy for pictures you're storing but not accessing regularly.

    Edit: If it makes any difference... I use Hitachi in servers or other disk intensive file-serving roles because in my mind they're just more rugged for that sort of usage. For my media on my main desktop, I entrust it to Samsung's SpinPoint 1TB F3's and 2TB F4's. My first disk is an SSD, but if it were mechanical it would only be Hitachi. Network backups or disk storage I go for Hitachi. I only have the WD in my main PC because I wanted a separate disk for VMs and had it laying around. I'll likely be throwing in a 500GB+ Hitachi shortly as its getting rather full now. lol.
  6. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    Hmm I've actually had an opposite experience, my WD external drive started disconnecting randomly after a year or so, haven't had any problems with Seagate drives. But it's a small sample size to take that from what you will.
  7. Coodu

    Coodu TS Booster Posts: 173

    Yeah the 2TB drive I have in my machine atm I actually removed from an external HDD enclosure that was WD. It was nasty as, cheaply built with a shoddy PCB/connections. Put the drive straight in as SATA and haven't had an issue since Haha.
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    I don't have any hard data / statistics but here's my opinion based on my own heuristic evaluation.

    1. After reading through the forums for many years, it seems the WD internal drives are far more reliable then WD external drives. The WD passport, itself, has a high problem rate.

    Can speak from experience on that one. I've been buying Buffalo network and external USB drives for myself and family over the last 5 years (probably bought a total over 6 over last 5+ years). Non have failed yet. I give Buffalo products 5 stars! (y)

    IMHO If you are backing up important data, get an external hard disk drive that comes with its own AC power cord adapter. 1) Having its own AC means it doesn't need to depend on power over the USB bus (sometimes another source of problems) and 2) an external disk tends to be more stationary. If it's a backup you want to depend on use a "portable" drive (I.e. one which will be moved around/perhaps even bumped around many times)

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