external hard drive

  DavyLad 10:02 23 Feb 2009

Hi there. I am considering buying an external hard drive. I am a bit confused with the terminology and type of drive I need. Whats the difference between 2.5" and 3.5" and does it make a difference to the type of internal hard drive I have?

  awest3 10:17 23 Feb 2009

I think most external hard drives are much the same these days...some may be a little quieter or a little faster or have special software to make backing up easier. Once installed they all work much the same way, the main choice is about the amount of space you want..usually the bigger the better.. a 1 TB can be bought for about £75ish.. Again depends what you want to do with it..
3.5" disk or 2.5" usually its just about the size of the box it comes in. Traditionally 3.5" disks were put in desktop machins and 2.5" in laptops.
External hard drives just plug into your usb 2 socket (some may use firewire for speed but not many). Once installed (some do it automatically others need to be installed with the supplied cd) they look like any other disk on you system in explorer and you can drag and drop just the same.


  awest3 10:20 23 Feb 2009

sorry forgot to mention...your exiting disk(s) size makes no difference..except to say of course if you are doing a complete image copy using something like Acronis backup (which i use) then the external disk should be bigger than your existing disk or it wont fit.

  gazzaho 11:44 23 Feb 2009

Generally as awest3 has said 2.5" disks are usually associated with laptop computer and reflect this as external drives, they are usually portable, can fit in a pocket and don't require a power supply as the USB connection powers the drive but quite often they are limited to smaller storage capacity.

3.5" disks are again more suited to desktop use as they more often are supplied with an external power supply, will not fit in a pocket (unless it's a big pocket) and more often have larger storage capacity.

It won't make a difference what kind of internal drive you use as they have their own power supply and use USB for data transfer.

  DavyLad 16:23 23 Feb 2009

Thanks folks. A lot clearer.

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