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starbase1
09-12-2008, 09:03 AM
I know we had a thread on internal hard drives, in which Samsung and Western Digital came out well on top.

I was wondering about peoples opinions on external drives.

I use big external drives for handy backup amongst other things, and while it seems reasonable to expect the same two HD manufacturers to make good ones, I'm curious what peoples experiences are, as you only know your drive is unreliable when its too late!

How important is it that they stay cool? I have a couple of Packard Bells that run VERY hot, and it makes me nervous, so I back up to them, then turn them off.

I am much more impressed with the pair of Buffalo 500 Gb's, which seem to stay very cool, (I think they go to standby when not in use for a while).

Also it dries me nuts when I get one home and find there's no power switch! (Again mark down the PB's and points for Buffalo).

Nick

starbase1
09-12-2008, 10:00 AM
I use WD MyBook drives in 500 Gb and 1 Tb varieties. They are as solid as external drives come, in terms of reliability, speed etc. They also have intelligent power management, standby and everything else you expect from a quality drive.

The MyBook drives are well ventilated and I wouldn't rate them as running hot.

Ah, would you say it's bad for a drive to run hot?

(And apologies for continuing to use you are remote tech support / hardware advisor!)

IMI
09-15-2008, 09:41 AM
I have a WD MyBook which has been going strong for about a year and a half now, and showing no signs of slowing down. It doesn't get hot at all, and the files I have on it are constantly being shuffled around, overwritten, defragged, and all that. I had a Seagate external HDD that lasted maybe six months, got very hot, and didn't put up with half the abuse I put my MyBook through.

starbase1
11-21-2008, 03:26 AM
Well, the thread is old buit I thought I'd add to it...

Got a WD elements drive, 1 Terabyte. It needed formatting to NTFS to take the big files, but is compact and stays VERY cool. Black mark though for no power switch!

Impressions are very good otherwise though.
Nick

biliousfrog
11-21-2008, 04:25 AM
I've got two LaCie drives - both 500gb, one is a NAS and the other is USB/Firewire/e-SATA.

I've heard a few stories about them dying and people being upset about that but from what I can gather they're more upset about losing data than anything as the warranty seems quite good. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that any drive will last and you always read horror stories after you've made a purchase.

Personally, I'm happy with them. They look good, stay quite cool, have several connection options and can be linked/stored together easily. I use the D2 Quadro for backup and library storage and the NAS for backing up the D2. TBH I don't really need a NAS at the moment as my setup has changed a bit but it's a useful little drive and will be implemented better in the new year.

The drives come with rubber feet to sit horizontally and a stand for them to stand upright, also made from blasted aluminium. They include all cables, software and accessories and there are dedicated 'cages' to rack several together.

I bought a rackmount kit which allows either a single drive to be mounted in a 1U space or, as I have done, fix two drives together in the same space. This was the main reason for choosing the LaCie drives as I wanted to house all of my 'IT' stuff in a rack out of the way.

There are three possibe downsides:

1) The power adapter is external. This is quite common and obviously helps to keep the unit cooler as the transformer can get quite warm, unfortunately they cause clutter and I hate them.

2) The units have a small fan to draw air through the enclosure which appears to run constantly. TBH I don't notice it over the sound of a PC (especially rack servers when they're running) but I wouldn't want one running constantly in a quiet room.

3) The D2 drive has a switch to turn it on/off and auto. Auto mode allows the unit to turn on and off with the connected PC...unfortunately, this only seems to work with my workstation when I turn off the PSU or at the wall. Being an energy efficient soul, I always turn off appliances at the wall so it isn't a problem but it could prove annoying. I expect that it's something to do with the PC more than the drive but it's still a valid point.

akademus
11-21-2008, 04:41 AM
Lacies are quite good. I never had problems with any of them. We had NAS rack with total 12TBs so no need for external drives now, except a couple 1TB WDs for moving large amounts of files out of studio.

This is what I'd get for personal use:

http://www.drobo.com/Products/drobodemo.html

cresshead
11-21-2008, 04:48 AM
my first external was a 250gb iomega with a internal fan...

i've since added 2 freecom external drives [400gb and 500gb] which are 'fanless' and they are excellent..i'm currently musing over a a freecom 1TB nas & usb drive which is also fanless design..with freecom fanless drives you can opt for the cheaper plastic case or the more expensive [add 10] metal case...i opted for the metal case as it cools better and is or a more robust material.

all 3 drives are working well after several years..the iomega is a little noisey due to it's fan but other than that it fine..
oh the iomega drive is usb and firewire connection btw

starbase1
11-21-2008, 05:15 AM
I had 2 lacies, the first was stupidly heavy, the second fried itself. (Ran hot all the time).

I'm definitely avoiding them now.

Nick

akademus
11-21-2008, 09:37 AM
I had 2 lacies, the first was stupidly heavy, the second fried itself. (Ran hot all the time).

I'm definitely avoiding them now.

Nick

Haha! One stupid, the other suicidal!

Exception
11-21-2008, 10:06 AM
LaCIE: I have two massive BigDisks...
One positive thing, LaCIE support is pretty good.
The rest: meh. All connection types have issues (USB, FireWire, Firewire 800)... the power supplies are flimsy and die regularly... all kinds of weird compatibility issues. Like, the disks not coming back online when the computer comes out of standby... frequent downspins, conflicts with other USB hardware (I can't copy anything to a LaCie from a USB stick. It has to go through the computer's harddisk itself first.)

That said, both of them still work the way they did on the first day I bought them.

RollerJesus
11-21-2008, 10:14 AM
I've been using this guy for about a year now and haven't had any problems with it. It comes up as share on both Windows and Mac machines and made screamernet setup pretty simple as well since I could assign a drive letter to it in Windows.

http://www.wikio.com/product/westerndigital-37052.html

Tobian
11-21-2008, 10:20 AM
Yeah i wouldn't recommend the Lacie drives, as I had 2 external DVDR's and a HD enclosure all die on me... the Drives were fine though, it's just their cases and PSU's! :)

kopperdrake
11-21-2008, 05:39 PM
I've had one lacie 500Gb external die on me after a year, have 2 400Gb Freecom basic USB2 externals in the aluminium case that have run for 3 years fine, also a 500Gb Freecom NAS drive with 2 USB ports (to attach a printer/external for LAN access) and that's been fine for a year, also does other things like FTP, restricted access for various users, but I just use it as a basic NAS drive. Just bought a couple of 1Tb Freecom NAS drives and they've been fine so far. I've heard duff things about Freecom's support but I've never needed it so far. We've three users accessing the main 500Gb NAS drive and so far no access issues - it's used as the main project drive as no files are stored on the machines themselves. Oh - also have a Maxtor replacement after the first died - this one's been fine for 3 years too.

cresshead
11-21-2008, 05:45 PM
hi
i've JUST ordered a 1TB freecom nas drive from amazon.co.uk so i can access a drive from any computer with either wifi or usb...this way i can have a central location for my projects and video training discs

have to say freecom drives have so far been really good.

BigHache
11-25-2008, 09:53 AM
At the studio where I was working, we had 6 LaCie D2 500GB externals. Three died within a year, and one P/S failed. Granted we were using them pretty hard, but I don't think they have quality drives in the cases to begin with.

The last thing we moved to were G-Tech's G-Safe drives. I did not get to use them for a year's period, but so far they've been rock solid, and store data in a RAID 1 config.

Liber777
11-25-2008, 10:02 AM
I've had to replace the power supply on every LaCie external hard drive I own. I have two 1.2 TB drives, and three 500 GB drives, all with FW-800. The drives eventually started dropping off, getting delayed write failure error messages and such, and then became completely unreadable. Replacing the power supplies fixed the problems.

Quiet1onTheSet
11-25-2008, 10:25 AM
hi
i've JUST ordered a 1TB freecom nas drive from amazon.co.uk so i can access a drive from any computer with either wifi or usb...this way i can have a central location for my projects and video training discs

have to say freecom drives have so far been really good.If you've got any stats/specs on that drive, cresshead, relating to its speed, we'd sure appreciate your posting here.

Which codec(s) are those which you use most, with this drive, when saving out a file, and more importantly -- when playing back from the drive (if you do this at all)?

Have you experimented with laying off, then playing back any uncompressed codecs with it?

Thanks for whatever info you can supply,

Quiet1onTheSet
11-25-2008, 10:36 AM
The MyBook drives are well ventilated and I wouldn't rate them as running hot.Well, *sure* you wouldn't, Neverko -- because you don't have the opportunity to "touch" 'em: they're tucked inside that flimsy plastic cabinet they come shipped in.:eek:

(Actually, you *could* reach your hand behind the drive, to check the relative temp of the air being thrust out its rear.) :D

How stunned I was that they didn't use a heavier-guage, less brittle type of housing than the one employed for my 1GB WD STUDIO Edition drive.

BTW, mine was dead on arrival when I brought it home, a few months back -- (I didn't open it until just over a month ago) and tech support (might well be in India) has been screwing up the RMA (return materials authorization) process, by misspelling my name when they prepared a Pre-Shipping label, and now, it's taken them over a month to finally straighten *that* out.

I'm sure my experience is only an abnormality, as I've never had trouble with Western Digital, ever -- before this time.

Matt
11-25-2008, 01:11 PM
Well, the thread is old buit I thought I'd add to it...

Got a WD elements drive, 1 Terabyte. It needed formatting to NTFS to take the big files, but is compact and stays VERY cool. Black mark though for no power switch!

Impressions are very good otherwise though.
Nick

I got one of those, wish I didn't though. Takes AGES to startup when plugged in, and the cable connection isn't very solid, so occasionally it will dis-connect and connect again.

Annoying.

accom
11-25-2008, 01:57 PM
It's been about two weeks since we've installed this box:

http://store.3ware.com/?category=9&subcategory=9&productid=9650SE-SIDECAR-KIT

Price is very nice. Shipping from US to Slovenia (EU) took less then a week. We've filled it with 4 1TB HDDs, pluged the card into my old G5 2.0DC (PCI-Express is a must!) and it's "lightning fast". O.k., there's just the two of us using it. Setup was reasonably simple, just RTFM and you're ready2go if you're not really antiHWperson. So far, so good. We'll see... For now I'm impressed with it's speed. Would really recomend it.

cresshead
11-28-2008, 08:58 AM
picked up my new 1TB nas drive from the post office today...it's a freecom drive 1TB storage with usb and a network sockets

after reading thru the pdf i now have it hooked up to my wireless router

1.working via it's network cable on my mac mini G4
2.wifi shared drive on my acer 1.6ghz laptop
3.wifi shared drive on my advent intel atom netbook
4.wifi shared drive on my acer dualcore laptop
5.wifi via my h.p. tablet pc

and soon...on my quadcore workstation via network cable

this way i can have 1 central location for projects no matter what pc i'm working on.

ideal for backups and moving stuff around.

amiga2091
11-30-2008, 12:31 AM
They are pricey right now, but the way of the future looks like Solid State drives. Do a search for solid state drives on Youtube to see how fast these things are!


John

Dexter2999
11-30-2008, 01:01 AM
We have two Lacie Biggest Drives Raid at work 2TB each. Four 500Gb drives hot swappable. I saw someone doubted the quality of the drives used. In ours they are Samsung drives. Not too shabby.

We paid right at $1000 each. They are USB or Firewire. For another $200 or so they have an eSATA version available now.