External Hard Drive

  wrg 10:51 16 May 2008

Can anyone recommend a good external hard drive. Can I use one to put DVD's onto and then play them via my laptop?



  Diemmess 11:17 16 May 2008

To name just one dependable supplier click here
You have a huge choice -
Either buy a ready to go external HD
If you have a spare HD doing nothing, buy an enclosure and fit your own HD inside.

Do enquire if it has its own power supply, you can buy them without, but the power will then have to be supplied via the computer's own usb source.

  wrg 11:44 16 May 2008


Thanks for your response. Does it make any difference as to whether it has its own power supply or whether the power is via usb source?

  Diemmess 17:38 16 May 2008

Sorry, that is what I meant about enquiring first.

If it relies on the USB for power as well as the normal data, this is neater and more portable, However, it will impose extra load on the USBus of the computer and in the worst case use a laptop battery much faster or even wreck the USB part of the computer if it exceeds the maximum current available. Unlikely but possible.

The power supplies for most external drives are physically small, but one more thing to hump around and make connections to ext HD and the mains.

If overall size is important there are drives to choose which take a smaller HD (Laptop size)rather than the normal 3.5" job.
They both do the same thing though the small one is usually more expensive.

  FatboySlim71 08:08 17 May 2008

I have bought ready made external hard drives in the past but my advice is why not make your own, IMO these are better than the ready made ones and in a lot of cases are cheaper. Basically when you make your own you have total control over what brand of hard disk drive that will be used.

To make your own you will need a hard drive enclosure/caddie, the link below is the one I chose when I recently built my own, also with this one it has a SATA/ESATA) connection which basically means (if your motherboard has a spare SATA port) that your external hard drive will use the same connection has your computer's built in hard drive, prior to me making my own I had used USB 2 external hard drives, to do a 100 GB back up would take 38 minutes with this, to do the same 100 GB back up using the ESATA external hard drive takes 13-14 minutes, so as you can see there is a big speed improvement. Also with the enclosure in the link below you are able to use USB 2 if you wish.

click here

Also, this is the hard drive I chose to go into my caddie but there are many other different sizes/brands to choose from.

click here

  FatboySlim71 08:15 17 May 2008

I forgot to add that the enclosure in my above post comes with its own power supply.

I also have a (ready made) Western Digital Passport hard drive, this is used by me for portability, this drive has the 2.5 inch drive which spins at a slower speed 5400 RPM, this is slower, but for portability and for what I use it for it is not that important, this hard drive is USB powered. If you are going to be using your external hard drive primarily from home then I would recommend making your own by doing what I have described in the above post.

  Snec 09:20 17 May 2008

I use these, you can get them in both SATA & IDE.

I've also got some ready made ones.

They also have a fan, something that a lot of caddys don't have.

  Snec 09:20 17 May 2008
  Snec 09:23 17 May 2008

It is the middle one on the top row.

Sorry for so many posts, I think I must still be asleep.

  FatboySlim71 09:38 17 May 2008

With modern hard drives they produce very little heat, so there isn't any need to have a caddie with a fan, all the ready made drives I have do not have fans and also the one I made myself doesn't have one either, all of them get barely warm due to the fact that they have ventilation slots around the enclosure casing.

  €dstowe 10:17 17 May 2008

I've had two commercial external drives fail on me. I've gone back to making my own from a caddy and drive of my own selection.

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