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Old 01-29-2005, 04:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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After doing a tf search, and receiving some much needed advice, I have decided to purchase an internal hard drive and buy an external case for it as a secondary drive for my laptop (Dell Inspiron 5160). This is my first time doing something like this - anyways, I have a few questions:

1. Anyone know of a site that explains the process of changing from internal to external (would I even need it?)

2. What brand would YOU suggest or that you find most reliable?

3. What is the difference between the interface types?

4. Is it recommended to install software on the external drive (i.e. MS Office, etc.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-29-2005, 05:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1. When you get the external case, it will have a full instruction guide, but usaully it is straight forward and very simple. Basically what you will do is plug in a cable connector that looks like a regular IDE connector into the HDD and the other end will be attached to the inside of the case, which is where you will plug in any out side connections, ie. USB, 1394 and power. If this isn't good enough for now, do a search on google and I am sure you will find more info that you want.

2. As far as HDDs, I like Maxtor and Western Digital, as far as the external cases, I have found that they all work about the same, so there is no one brand I could recommend.

3. Usaully the only difference in the interfaces (if your talking about USB vs 1394) is the speed. I would recommend USB 2.0.

4. I have installed all sorts of software on my external drive, mostly games, but they all run fine with no problems.
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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it's better to install all your software on your internal hd, and put all your files on the external.
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Old 01-31-2005, 06:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Is USB still better than SATA, ATA, Firewire?????
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Old 01-31-2005, 11:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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SATA and ATA are the drive interfaces of internal drives, SATA being the faster one. USB and Firewire are external, USB being a little fater. although between USB 2.0 and Firewire, they give speeds high enough, so that a hard drive will not take full advantage of the bandwith. I would recommend USB for an external drive though, because most people don't have firewire ports

if you get an external case and hard drive, you will have to find the interface of the hard drive/case (as in ATA or SATA) and get the other to match

I would recommend Seagate or Western Digital. I believe Maxtor used to be Quantum, and they didn't make very good drives (I and many others have had them die) but now Quantum/Mator have improved a lot. Although I would still recommend Seagate, because they have a 5 year warranty and are very good quality drives
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Old 02-01-2005, 10:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Using an internal drive in an external enclosure is very easy. I hooked up a NEC 3500 DVD burner with an external Thermaltake Enclosure from newegg for like $43. It only burns up to about 6x though. There IS a speed constraint. This is the second enclosure I tried, too. I first purchased soem Venus black thing and it only went at 4x. Anyway gtg class's over!
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Old 02-01-2005, 12:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Here are the speeds if I am not misstaken, someone correct me if I'm wrong:

1493a - 400Mbps
USB 2.0 - 480Mbps
1493b - 800Mbps

Like said before, any of these provides more bandwidth than the drive can deliver.
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Old 02-01-2005, 12:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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1. Set the drive to cable select or Master. Plug the ide ribbon of the external enclosure to the drive, Plug the power into the drive. Screw it all into place. Close the enclosure, hook it to usb or firewire, plug it into the wall flip the switch. XP/2k both auto recognized what mine was. Very simple, and self explanitory

2. Dunno if there is really a prefered brand for enclosures, I just got the cheapest that would work for my needs. As for HD I've had good luck with seagate. WD's qc seemed to take a back seat a while back, so stoped buying from them. I once had 6 straight drives from maxtor fail to get through scandisk, finally bought a wd that died 7 months later.

3. USB 1.0 had a low speed of 1.5 Mbps and a full speed of 12 Mbps
USB 2.0 added a high speed of 480 Mbps
Firewire(IE1394) has speeds of 100-200-400 Mbps
IE1394b has speeds upto 800 Mbps
USB is alot more common, and you probably don't have a firewire port on your computer.

4. uhh not really, I've heard if they are always left on the enclosure interface dies. You are going to be restricted as far as speed, so it would be best if you stick the programs you use alot on the internal drive.

Edit: Just because it says firewire doesn't mean it supports all 3 specs, it can be just 100-200, in which case usb 2.0 would tromp firewire.

Edit2: HD interface speed is measured in MBps, the speeds I gave to you were Mbps, just divide by 8 to get MBps. 400-480Mbps won't be too bad though.
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Old 02-01-2005, 04:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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These are the ports I have on my laptop:

I/O Ports
Bullet IEEE 1394 integrated port (1394 cable and software sold separately)
Bullet 2-USB 2.0 (Universal Serial Bus) compliant 4-pin connectors

I was considering the following hard drives:

Choice 1

Choice 2

Choice 3

I stuck the one choice that comes retail packaged with the software, I am not sure if I would have trouble with the setup of OEM. Software hikes up the price definitely though.
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Old 02-01-2005, 09:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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uhhh are there any Sata enclosures out yet? I know the Pata(IDE) are all over the place. Make sure you find a Sata enclosure before you consider any Sata drives(like those three). Either of those ports will do fine, the enclosure I bought supported both firewire and usb.
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