Confused about external hard drives

  Bling Bling 15:02 29 Jan 2006

Hi all,

I'm getting a new 200gb internal hard drive for my desktop pc and after some advice on the forum I'm thinking of making my existing 20gb drive into an external as i'm usually working on various different machines and have to rely on cds to transfer files etc. I've looked about for some info but i'm a bit confused, so can anyone help?

1. Can anyone recommend a good caddy? I've seen ones with fans and some without, does it really matter? I wont be using the drive as a master, just transfering files between machines. I looked at the Ebuyer ones but they're out of stock at the moment. I've also seen them on Ebay for about £20.

2. I dont have usb 2.0 on any of the machines I use. Will I still be able to get a reasonable transfer rate and maybe play some mp3s off the external? I can get a PCI card with some usb2.0 ports for my home desktop but I'm not going to be able to mess about with the ones at work (they're not mine!!)

3. I sometimes use machines that are running on Win98 SE. Can anyone confirm that i'll have to format the external drive as FAT32 to make sure the old computers can see it? I seem to remember that NTFS can read FAT32, but FAT32 can't read NTFS?

4. I dont like the idea that someone can just pick up my external drive, plug it into their computer and get access to my files. Is there any security software I can use?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:13 29 Jan 2006

1. Approx £20 will be fine, If not using for prolonged periods fans are not necessry.

2. Will be slow at USB1.1 12Mb/s, USB2 480Mb/s (if memory serves me correctly.)

3. Will need to format as FAT32 for the Win98 machines.

4. Encryptors / Security:-
AxCrypt click here
Easycrypto deluxe click here
Powercrypt 2000 click here
Hide Folders click here
Folderlock click here
CD/DVD Lock click here
Hide Files & Folders click here

  madPentium 17:25 29 Jan 2006

Just a side note, you say you dont want to change hardware on work computers, but you should find out what their policy is should you infect them with a virus. Most companies I maintain have instant sacking. If you infect their computers and they are down for a day or more, I doubt they would be very forgiving, especially for mp3s.

  Bling Bling 14:46 30 Jan 2006

Thanks for the replies. I've ordered a caddy from a seller on Ebay and looked at the sites for the security software. Folder Lock looks like a great program, so i'll give that a go.

I dont need to worry about using external devices or cds as I'm usually just repairing or updating older machines and software. We dont connect them to the network and they get scanned for viruses, trojans etc before we give them back. I'm a bit paranoid about viruses and spyware anyway so I always make sure my own files are clean, especially before I move them to other machines.

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