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(Portable) external hard drives

Luzern
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Registered: 31-07-2007

(Portable) external hard drives

I'm thinking of buying an external hard drive for backing up and maybe downloading pics, if necessary from camera.
I see examples described in two ways on a large on line seller sire.
1) external hard drive,
2) usb external hard drive .
Is there a difference, the second having no functionality without a PC to connect to, perhaps?
I would appreciate your views and any recommendations.
Thanks Smiley
No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
11 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,375
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Registered: 07-03-2008

Re: (Portable) external hard drives

Hi lucerne!
I have not found any Ext HD enclosures that are not USB 2.0. They are an excellent means for backing-up. I have had some problems with Ubuntu 8.04 laptop not seeing an Akasa integral 2 1/2" drive with a working Win98SE system on it which has been put down to an obscure USB problem. The same machine was very happy with a Sunplus 3 1/2" drive, also with the Win98SE system (now cleared off). Both drives are USB 2.0 and IDE and I am unable to see why there has been a difference. You do not specify your machine so I cannot advise further, just be aware that with Ubuntu there can be a problem.

colintivy  :-/
Luzern
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Re: (Portable) external hard drives

So do I assume that none have an independent power supply? That being so, is there a dodge to permit downloading from a camera or card, when no PC is to hand?
No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
SarcasticGuy1
Grafter
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Registered: 27-11-2009

Re: (Portable) external hard drives

Hi,
The other possibility for an external drive is an e-SATA drive. They're external and quite a bit faster than USB drives from what I understand.
Also there's the possibility of a NAS, which is a Hard Drive accessible via a network (or at least network cable).
With regards to backing up to an external Hard Drive without a PC being on I think it varies. My NAS (a Thecus N1200) has a USB port on the front that you can plug in a USB pendrive (or I guess a USB memory card adaptor) and a button that will copy the contents to a directory on the HDD (not sure how a multi-card adaptor would work mind you).
Community Veteran
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Re: (Portable) external hard drives

Hi Lucerne,
I'm pretty sure that none of these devices will connect to a camera rather than to a PC (I think that's what you're asking).
Some, mostly the larger 3.5" drives, have a separate power supply. Most 2.5" USB hard drives are powered fromthe USB, often with a 'Y' connector and 2 USB plugs as a single USB port may not always provide enough power.
If your camera has the ability to save direct to a USB drive then my first statement will be incorrect but most cameras connect to a PC as a USB 'slave' device in much the same way as a USB stick (pen drive) or a USB hard-drive, there needs to be a USB 'Root Port' on the system to drive the USB devices (this is normally part of the PC),
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
Luzern
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Re: (Portable) external hard drives

Thank you for the education: I'll have to do some mulling (mental not alcoholic Wink).
No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
Community Veteran
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Re: (Portable) external hard drives

Oh, go on, it's the right time of year for the alcoholic type! Cheesy
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: (Portable) external hard drives

I have an XS Drive II that is about 4 years old and it does what you want, it has a rechargeable battery, several different card slot, an exchangeable 2.5 hard drive and  swaps the info from card to its disc.  it can then be interrogated when back home via USB to PC.  has worked OK for me since I was on WIN 98, now using it on XP, and a Linux netbook
the newer ones are here http://www.xs-drive.com/
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Re: (Portable) external hard drives

Quote from: lucerne
So do I assume that none have an independent power supply?

Mine does have an external power supply and as far as I'm aware most do.
USB ones are great but they seem a bit prone to packing up after a year or so. Not a major problem as most people take them apart and fit the drive into their computer. It's only the USB boards in the plastic case that seem to be the weak point not the physical drive itself.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: (Portable) external hard drives

I havent found that mine have had a weak point with the usb board on my WD passports.
One thing to note with the new generation of portable usb powered hard drives is that they do not have a SATA connector, the usb controller is integrated directly with the drive.
Community Veteran
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Re: (Portable) external hard drives

Hi lucerne,
It is just a thought but USB Pen Drives are also a possibility, at least they do not have any moving parts. I note that Kingston do a 16GB Datatraveler at around £30 and a 8GB version at £16 which seem to be more economic than a ext. HD. Ubuntu treats them as SCSI, no doubt Windows might do the same.
colintivy
pierre_pierre
Grafter
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: (Portable) external hard drives

you must be joking  http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?ModuleNo=257315&C=web-newsletter&U=10P01-1-A51JK&T=385945
1TB Seagate External Hard Drive
only £69.99 - on sale until 26/01/2010