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Old 15th August 2010
guitarscn guitarscn is offline
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Default What external HDD to buy?

I need around 500GB more or less, doesn't really matter all that much since several hundred GB is plenty for my stuff. I'm most concerned about disk failure and I have bad experiences with Seagates/Maxtors. I also want something small that I can put in my pocket comfortably without it sticking out or interfere with my traveling. I don't buy the external WDs anymore because of the SmartWare so I'm not sure what other brands to buy that match what I need.
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Old 15th August 2010
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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I don't know, most enclosures are USB mass storage complaint, so how about picking up a generic (empty) 2.5" SATA/IDE enclosure and a drive of your choosing.

Not sure if any > 500G 2.5" laptops are cheap or available, a and 3.5" drive + enclosure is unlikely to fit into your "pocket".

How's that?
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Old 15th August 2010
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vermaden vermaden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarscn View Post
I need around 500GB more or less, doesn't really matter all that much since several hundred GB is plenty for my stuff. I'm most concerned about disk failure and I have bad experiences with Seagates/Maxtors. I also want something small that I can put in my pocket comfortably without it sticking out or interfere with my traveling. I don't buy the external WDs anymore because of the SmartWare so I'm not sure what other brands to buy that match what I need.
I have two external drives:
-- Custom Made(TM) external case with casual laptop 2.5 250GB USB 2.0 drive
-- WD Passport 1TB 2.5 USB 2.0 drive

I may only tell You that I would never buy again a 'custom external case', it requires TWO USB 2.0 connectors which makes it pain in the ass for any usage. I have recently get that 1TB WD Passport and I am VERY happy as it needs only single USB 2.0 connection for everything. About the SmartWare its VERY easy to disable this Virtual CD-ROM with software and You never have to use it again and these WD Passport drives are smallest 1TB on the market, also for smaller sizes like 500/640/750GB (thinner then 1TB version).

I can help You with 'removal' of the Virtual CD-ROM (which is also 'displayed' on FreeBSD after You plug in the drive).

You may also get 'branded' USB 2.0 drive from Toshiba and/or Seagate (FreeAgent if I recall correctly, my buddy from work has a 250GB model and it served him well for a long time), or any other manufancturer, just check if it requires TWO or SINGLE USB connection/cable, I havent seen a custom external case 2.5 with only ONE connection needed.

Personally, I would shoose between these (definitely check physical sizes in SPECIFICATION tab):
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=722
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=701
http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/adet.to?poid=475471
http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/adet.to?poid=475476
http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/adet.to?poid=471537
http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/external/freeagent/freeagent_go/
(also check Samsung/Maxtor/Adata models)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BSDfan666 View Post
I don't know, most enclosures are USB mass storage complaint, so how about picking up a generic (empty) 2.5" SATA/IDE enclosure and a drive of your choosing.
One thing for sure, stay away from 'custom' made external cases, unless You like to play with additional wires.
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Old 15th August 2010
Beastie Beastie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermaden View Post
I may only tell You that I would never buy again a 'custom external case', it requires TWO USB 2.0 connectors which makes it pain in the ass for any usage.
That is probably because it needs them to get 1A. If you get an enclosure with an "external" power source, it will only need one USB connector.
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Old 15th August 2010
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Originally Posted by Beastie View Post
That is probably because it needs them to get 1A. If you get an enclosure with an "external" power source, it will only need one USB connector.
This is what I have seen with Bytecc 2.5-inch IDE-USB enclosures. When I have experimented with connecting only the primary connector, the drive usually works okay if it is being accessed lightly. Upon initially spinning up it begins to drag as if starved for power (which it is...).

In looking at the wiring of the secondary USB connector, the only pins used are those for power.
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Old 15th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beastie View Post
That is probably because it needs them to get 1A. If you get an enclosure with an "external" power source, it will only need one USB connector.
What is the difference, TWO USB cables OR TWO cables one being USB and one power?

You did not got the point, why need to use TWO cables while You can work with only ONE?

If You want to waste time everytime You need to plug that drive in, then ok, but if I PAY for that, I want it to be fast and simple, one cable for everything.
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Old 15th August 2010
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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USB is a supposed "smart" protocol, technically USB "gadgets" aren't valid devices, i.e: devices without data lines.

Power usage is negotiated, without this negotiation you're really only permitted to use 100 mA, but some devices pull the maximum of 500 mA ignoring the rules.

Two USB cables allows the device to use more power, although it's sort of cheating if one of the cables is "dumb", as described by ocicat.
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Old 15th August 2010
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermaden View Post
What is the difference, TWO USB cables OR TWO cables one being USB and one power?
If the power required by a USB device requires more power than the USB specification provides, there are three choices:
  • Get the needed power from a wall outlet. This assumes a wall outlet is available.
  • Get the needed power from yet another USB connection given that the USB specification states that x amount of power will be available to each attached device.
  • Don't use the device since it requires more than what the USB specification makes available.
Scenario: if one is in a park with a laptop & stores stuff on an external USB hard drive, having two USB connections back to the laptop allows the hard drive to be used. USB hard drives with a wall plug brick will be of little use in such a situation.

Yes, this may seem to be a contrived case, but apparently enough people see this as a viable solution that a number of products can be bought implementing this solution. As for me, less space is required in a laptop bag for this solution as opposed to also carrying around a wall outlet power brick forcing me to only use the drive when I am in the proximity of an outlet.

Convenience is what drives this being commonly available in the marketplace.
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Old 16th August 2010
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@BSDfan666
@ocicat

I know that already, that is why I mentioned the drives in my post that DO NOT REQUIRE any additional cables, only the drives that 'fits' into the 500mA limit and require only one USB 2.0 cable for everything (power and data) ...
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Old 16th August 2010
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Not all computers deliver the required 500mA on USB, especially older (and cheaper) laptops can have this problem sometimes ...
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