External Hard Drive Advice

  chrisbenwalker 21:24 12 Oct 2006

I am in the market for an external hard drive, minimum 250gig and don't want to spend more than £100. I have been looking around, and there are so many out there and I'm not sure what is the difference between them.
My main question is, what are the pro's and cons and differences between a 2.5" or 3.5" hard drive? Is it essential that they have built in cooling fan, and how likely are they to fail (More so than an internal?)
I'm not too concerned about portability.
I have searched the forum already for my answer, although could not find and comments on the different size hard drives so sorry if this has already been covered.

  Ade_1 21:30 12 Oct 2006

When I asked for advice on buying an external hard drive I was wondering what the difference between 2.5" and 3.5" and the answer I obtained was that a 2.5" was mainly easier to carry around with you if you needed to take it with you anywhere... As a 2.5" in much smaller and a 3.5".

Couldnt really answer your other question... Sorry about that.

Its a bit difficult to suggest an external hard drive for you however as like you say, there are so many however if I were you I would check places like ebuyer, novatech, savastore, dabs, perhaps scan computers (scan.co.uk) and Amazon as they often have good deals on.


  De Marcus™ 21:31 12 Oct 2006

click here

click here

3.5" is more likely to contain a faster drive as opposed to 2.5" i.e. 7200 as opposed to 5400

No, it's not essential they have a cooling fan.

  zincy 21:33 12 Oct 2006

TO be honest there is no difference (except size) between 2.5 and 3.5 hard drive. I dont think you can get a 250gig 2.5 hard drive anyways.

heres a link to some external hard drives:
click here

the maxtor and seagate are usually quite good.

Hope that helps

  Totally-braindead 21:36 12 Oct 2006

Further to which one to buy I would personally go for a well known brand, I'm assumming they are better quality, something like a Western Digital, Maxtor or Seagate.
PC World are doing a web exclusive 250 gig Seagate one for £73.99 as an example click here

  De Marcus™ 21:37 12 Oct 2006

The main differences between 2.5 and 3.5 are speed and the ability of some drives to operate without an extra power cable. 3.5" wins most of the time in speed terms and 2.5" wins most of the time in power terms. And on one last note, 3.5" also wins on capacity, I don't think 2.5" Hdd's have reached the 250gb stage (at least where consumers are concerned).

  skidzy 21:45 12 Oct 2006

click here+"hard+drive"&PageMode=3&SearchKey=All&SearchMode=All&NavigationKey=0
Some will argue about the transfer rate using usb2 and Firewire,i do not use an external harddrive but have read a lot regarding the speeds,if you plan on transferring big files and want the speed,maybe you would consider the Firewire option.

  chrisbenwalker 21:46 12 Oct 2006

Thanks to all who have responded. I agree about going for an established brand, and heard Seagate are one of the best. Thanks for the links also, some very interesting posibilities.
Think I'll be going for a 3.5" and possibly the Seagate 250 Gig.

  Input Overload 21:48 12 Oct 2006

I bought a Maxtor 300 Gig a few weeks ago from Novatech, lovely unit I think it was around £85.

  interzone55 22:12 12 Oct 2006

The biggest capacity 2.5" drives at the moment are 160gb, but they are a tad expensive.

One thing to be careful about external drives is not to keep anything ireplacable on them

I've had two external drives, a Seagate and a Maxtor. They both died within a few weeks. The problem is the controller chip on the case motherboard. It seems to forget what it's supposed to do, and therefore renders the case, but not the drive, inoperable.

The first one I swapped, but the second, a seagate, had some sensitive information on that I didn't want to entrust to PC World, so I had to wipe the drive. This I couldn't do as my PC couldn't see it, so I had to open the case to put it in my PC. This couldn't be done easily as the case was fastened with security screws.
In the end I had to cut the case open and ever so slightly void the warranty in order to save the data. The drive now resides in my PC.

I know I must be unlucky losing two external drives, but it's a bit odd that two different makes died with exactly the same fault.

  chrisbenwalker 22:04 17 Oct 2006

I have gone for the Maxtor 320 300gig for £95 inc postage from Novatech.
Get the unit tomorrow, so looking forward to trying it out.
Anyone else had any experience with this one good, bad or indifferent?

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