Internal versus external hard drives

  Awestruck 19:44 20 Mar 2008

My instinct says that an internal hard drive would be more reliable than an external USB hard drive for backing up photos, videos and documents. Any views in this? Does an internal drive need formatting?


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:00 20 Mar 2008

There is no difference other than the connection.

Both will need formatting if they do not come already preformatted.

  woodchip 20:07 20 Mar 2008

If you only have one computer fit a Internal drive, it is a lot faster to write read from. If a drive stops working USB or Internel. then that's it in most cases, that's why you should have a fall back like another drive or backup to optical disc's

  DieSse 22:32 20 Mar 2008

"My instinct says that an internal hard drive would be more reliable than an external USB hard drive for backing up..."

Potential problem is - if something destroys the system, or it's stolen, catches fire etc. Then an external drive kept in a safe place, is more secure.

  FatboySlim71 22:47 20 Mar 2008

To be honest you can now have the speed of an internal SATA hard drive in an external hard drive now, as you can now purchase a SATA hard drive and enclosure. If you go for an external hard drive then I would recommend purchasing a SATA hard drive enclosure and a SATA hard drive to go into it. Just make sure your motherboard has a spare SATA connection on it. With the caddy/hard drive enclosure that I got it came with a SATA bracket, this basically is an adaptor that plugs into a SATA port on your motherboard and from there the metal plate on the other end screws onto the back of your PC, basically like a graphics card would for example.

I had already got an external USB/Firewire hard drive but I wanted another external hard drive for to use as a backup drive for my PC. I can confirm that my new SATA drive and enclosure are way way faster than my other USB/Firewire drives that I used to use for this purpose.

For example, to backup my PC which had approximately 80GB of data stored, used to take approximately 38 minutes, I can now do the same thing with my SATA drive/enclosure in 13-14 minutes.

I will provide some links below to what I used to build my hard drive enclosure. I can very highly recommend the below combination.

click here=

click here

  john bunyan 22:59 20 Mar 2008

Awestruck. I decided to have the folowing :(My original set up was XP with a 320Gig SATA HD) Now have a second matching SATA 320 Gig HD mounted in a removable caddy bought fron Maplin. Also a USB HD (500Gig)I have Acronis True Image 11 so each week run a virus etc check etc then clone the primary drive to the secondary one in the caddy. I keep a second copy of data on the external HD. Advantage: The caddy mounted SATA is as fast to transfer as an internal one, and can be removed for safe keeping.

  FatboySlim71 08:04 21 Mar 2008

I totally agree with john bunyan point,

"The caddy mounted SATA is as fast to transfer as an internal one, and can be removed for safe keeping"

  Diemmess 10:06 21 Mar 2008

Two related problems here.

1) Safe storage (which is least likely to fail)
2) Speed of data transfer.

1) Any separate drive which is running only when needed, should last much longer than a drive which is in use whenever the computer is on.
This applies to the external HD and the caddy method, though the latter should not be disturbed without a shutdown and restart.

2) USB external HD is no doubt the slower data transfer method, but it is relative and may take a little longer. It is not so sluggish as some who haven't used it might fear.

  langer 18:16 10 Aug 2008

I've recently bought a dongle to enable me to access the internet at work in spare time. However, I dont want to use the company's pc to access internet in case of spyware, viruses etc. Is it possible to run the internet via my dongle which would be connected to the external hard drive. Not sure if external hard drives even have usb ports attached. Appreciate any correspondence.

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