External HD drive vs 'regular' one with enclosure.

  SOFTWARE SID 22:31 08 Mar 2004

OS: Win 98 SE
USB: 1.1
Motherboard: Matsonic 8127 C
Processor: AMD Duron 800 mhz

Been thinking of getting an external USB Hard Drive with a view to straightening out my backup regime - I'm using Acrnois True Image 7, which claims support for USB Hard Drives, and I have Ghost 2003 on standby.

Even though the hard drive in my current base unit is only 30 GB, I'm considering an additional drive capable of carrying, say, 80 GB, to allow for the likelihood of a new base unit in the next 12-18 months.

I'd been taking a serious look at Maxtor and Iomega External Drives, which have a decent reputation and seemed to fit the bill.

But my friendly independent computer shop say my best bet's a conventional hard drive in an enclosure - again using the USB connection.

Prices seem pretty comparable - I know I can't get great transfer speeds using USB 1.1, but that's not a huge concern, but what issues should I be thinking about?

Any input welcome...

  byfordr 22:41 08 Mar 2004

Just got a Onetouch the 250gb beastie. In the box you get everything you need. Backup software, cables (usb2 and firewire). Nice looking solid silver unit. The drive is available for about £190.

A 250gb internal hard drive is about £150, by the time you factor in the enclosure and backup software (unless you go freeware or you have existing software) its about the same. The speeds tend to be slightly slower using the enclosure. I don't think they look as nice!

At the end of the day much of a muchness. Personal choice.

Assuming your motherboard can take it a pci firewire card is only about £15.

If you are looking its about £100 for a 120gb drive from Simply (using the 10% discount that is available at the moment)

As far as the Onetouch absolutely superb. comes formated as FAT, so I quickly reformatted to NTFS. Very quick. Fits in nicely with the other silverware on my desk.



  Dragon Heart 22:44 08 Mar 2004

You just missed a great deal @ ALDI a 160gb USB 2 or Firewire external hard drive for £120.

I had an old 40gb IDE drive I put into a Q-tec case which connects via USB 2 works OK. The PC I am using it on has only a USB 1.1 motherboard so I installed a USB 2 card for about £20, if you can get one from a reliable source you may be able to get a large second hand HD.
Got my Q-tec case from click here

Good luck :-)

  SOFTWARE SID 22:56 08 Mar 2004

Glad you can give me further positive feedback on Maxtor, byfordr - they were on my list becuase of previous favourable mentions on this board. I'm rather jealous, though, of your smart silverware -my kit's a random mix of silver (monitor, speakers), yucky beige (box and printer) and the green Alacatel squashed frog!

Shame I missed the Aldi thing, Dragon Heart - strange place to find tech stuff, but then again Morrison's are now doing printer carts and cheap CDR bundles!

  temp003 06:28 09 Mar 2004

A usb or firewire enclosure for ide hdd incurs more overheads and works more slowly than a "native" usb or firewire hdd.

Note however that a lot of usb external hdds are in fact a usb enclosures with ide hdds inside, but I think the Maxtor at least is native usb.

It probably doesn't matter much as usb1.1 is slow enough anyway.

An enclosure also gives you the option to remove the ide hdd and stick it into the computer if needed.

As suggestd above, you could add a firewire PCI adapter (or usb2 or combo) which can then make use of the usb2/firewire interface. This would make a lot of difference. You will need to install the driver for the PCI adapter for 98se manually.

  SOFTWARE SID 10:09 09 Mar 2004

Thanks for responses so far - all helpful.

Another question to throw at you. Typical specs for the external HDDs I've seen so far call for a "Pentium II or better" class processor. Would my 800 mhz Duron be ok? I'm not clued up on processors, so I want to be sure mine can do what I'm about to ask of it!

  temp003 10:28 09 Mar 2004

Yes, your processor is fine.

  byfordr 10:56 09 Mar 2004

click here

click here

Also reviews as well...one thing I have noticed is that the smaller capacity drives are usb only. Its only the high capacity drives that are usb and firewire. Both usb2 and firewire cards are cheap (and you can get ones with both)

Software / System Requirements

Software Included
Dantz Retrospect Express Backup

OS Required
Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition / Windows ME, Microsoft Windows 2000 / XP



  dave h 11:11 09 Mar 2004


Reference the computer bargains to be had at Aldi, try their site at click here.

At the Mid left position on their home page you can subscribe to their weekly E-Mail newsletter listing their current 'Special offers'.

Also , LIDL Supermarkets often do Computer & Accessories offers.

  SOFTWARE SID 17:46 09 Mar 2004

Thanks for the above messages!

Went for the conventional hard drive in the end, 80 GB Maxtor w/ enclosure. £89 including VAT which seemed decent value given the research on price I've been doing over the last few days.

Made the decision partly because I was able to get it from a local independent computer shop, 10 minutes walk from home, so I know which door to knock on if it goes belly up!

Have successfully formatted it under Win 98 SE , and dragged and dropped a few bits of data back and forth - so far so good.

The only thing I've noticed so far is it's getting a bit warm - doesn't seem dangerously so though. Is that typical?

Gonna try and do a full system/data backup with Acronis True Image and will report back in a day or two.

  SOFTWARE SID 21:33 11 Mar 2004

It worked. Think that's all really! Thanks ...

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