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Customer Discussions > External Hard Drive forum

RELIABLE 2 TB external drive w/ a 3-year or + warranty -- what's the recomendation?

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Showing 1-25 of 40 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 28, 2010 7:55:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 29, 2010 2:11:55 PM PST
arspoetica says:
I've had four external hard drive failures in the last 2 months, and I can't ever go through this again without having a fail-proof back-up -- no over-heating, no corrupt files, no shorting. And I can't afford $200. HELP!

Posted on Dec 29, 2010 3:44:49 PM PST
Plankwing says:
I use Hitachi, currently have ten (eight in four RAID1 installations plus two in external BlacX dock). The only problem I've had with any of them was when I (in too much hurry) failed to do bad sector scans on two of them when installing. Two are 500mb, six are 1tb, two are 2tb.

Posted on Dec 29, 2010 10:04:26 PM PST
ClassicalFan says:
Try Western Digital. I have used 6 of them during last 2 years (from passport 120 GB to elements 2 TB) and never had a problem.

Posted on Dec 30, 2010 6:29:40 PM PST
pappy says:
Warranty is 5 years on all western digital (blacks). All other types and brands are 3 yrs or less.

Posted on Dec 30, 2010 6:41:20 PM PST
pappy says:
All my externals have built in fans on them since the first one I had FRIED AND THE SIDES WERE HOT HOT.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 3, 2011 5:34:43 PM PST
mattack says:
Thanks for the warranty info. However, aren't Seagates often 5 yr warranty? (I know I have one that is still warrantied into 2014.. and I know this because it's flaky and I have to return it.. and am looking at drives to copy to in the meantime.)

Posted on Jan 15, 2011 3:50:17 AM PST
purchased West. Digital Passport Elite: 500GB - dropped onto a PILLOW from LESS THAN 2 FEET.. DRIVE FAIL.. Took 2 months to run recovery software.. found the 1's and 0's but NO IMAGES. ALL GONE.

2nd. purchased 4 Western Digital I believe 275GB externals, used 2. One, was about 30gb shy of being full. Plugged it in - DEAD

2nd of the 4 - was doing back up to MOZY from this hard drive and it made weird sounds and then DIED.

3rd. Just wont even be recognized on ANY computer.

4th. Ran over with the car...

(and FYI - NONE of these were purchased at the same store, and were purcahsed MONTHS apart.)

The only one still alive 1TB, is my Western Digital My Book. I now have EVERYTHING on MOZY - but my files are confusing so havent a clue how im going to recover them. It was my first time backing up with an online entity. Even though only 5$ a month for unlimited storage, they charge you per TB to get things put on CD and sent back to you OR you can download directly from their servers back to your computer, and this takes DAYS depending on how much information you have with them.

I also heard theat the IOSAFE is awesome. Fire proof/shock proof/water proof WITH emergency data recovery INCLUDED in the purchase price. However, depending on whichh IOSAFE you buy - you need to find out if you have 1 year datat recovery, 2 or 3 years. AND THEN, you should find out exactly how it works. OR if they charge you for actually pulling it off and giving it to you. But for now, they dont charge you for actually doing the work and locating your data. (and they guarantee it)...

good Luck -

Posted on Jan 15, 2011 5:28:28 PM PST
arspoetica says:
Great information, and I do appreciate the time you all have taken here -- but I still have a couple of questions:

1) Does anyone know which external drives have fans? Have not been able to find this information readily.

2) What are the benefits of a RAID drive? Any weaknesses or contraindications? And does anyone know RAID 0 vs. RAID 1?

3) Are the recommendations or spec requirements different if one anticipates more intensive read/write activity than the usual back-up situation?

Again, my thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2011 10:57:54 AM PST
Jay says:
Fans are normally only put into ext drives if the manufacturer deems it necessary. Remember that you will then have to worry about the fan failing, and then most likely the drive. Most externals should not need a fan.
Raid 0 can increase performance dramatically, but then again you may not see much of an increase depending on what you are doing, and the type of hardware. If you spend a lot of money and the raid controller card or CPU setup etc are very high end, this will help.
Raid 1 is a pair of drives that receive your data on EACH drive and can support the loss of one drive at a time. The negative is you only yield the storage capacity of 1 drive (the smallest drive). Raid 0 combines the 2 drives, using the SUM of both drives and splits the data across 2 physical drives (odd bits to one, even bits to the other, is the way i explain it).
It has been shown that even with the slower raid 1, you can stream music, and HD movies even over a 100mbps network without issue.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2011 10:39:28 PM PST
arspoetica says:

Thanks so much for the concise yet explicit and SO CLEAR explanation of raid -- if you don't do this for a living, you certainly could.

Posted on Jan 17, 2011 11:11:54 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2011 12:10:54 AM PST
arspoetica says:
Considering everyone's help, as well as that of a few other discussions in this forum, I just purchased the:

High-speed interface - eSATA, FireWire 800 (FireWire 400 via cable) and USB 2.0 ports
Hardware RAID 0 (Oxford 936) - Utilizes (2) 7200 RPM SATA II drives each with up to 32 MB cache
200+ MB/second data transfer rates via eSATA port
Soft-touch On/Off switch and integrated thermo-regulated smart fan for long life and reliable operation; all aluminum enclosure
Ships complete with all cables (eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 800 to 400, and USB 2.0)
Mac® OS X and Windows® compatible
3-year factory warranty (No Questions)

I got a great price ($40 less than any other), even then more expensive than other 2 Tb drives: $190. But it appears to have as close to a flawless reputation as these things can have -- it's used for digital video editing in the film and television industries.

I don't know if this will meet the needs of anyone else, considering the higher price tag, but to be assured of fail-proof back-up -- no over-heating, no corrupt files, no shorting -- even with the "more intensive read/write activity than the usual back-up situation" that I have (frankly well suited to this drive, as I'm backing up each of my edits of huge video files).

Again, my thanks to you all, and to this great forum!

Posted on Jan 18, 2011 4:59:16 PM PST
Jay says:
Nice thanks. I gave all the inner details but not the easy ones. Yes actually, i do this for a living with high-end servers/san/Data Center management etc, for East coast law enforcement and Homeland Security. The easy explanation would have been RAID 1 = Half the size of 2 drives (size of smallest drive(x2)/1, but one drive CAN fail without loss of data. RAID 0 has a performance boost, twice the size of raid 1, but you lose a drive and all is gone. I had posted all this on another amazon forum and looking back i didn't put it on yours :( You did get a beast of a drive and performance should be great. For video editing you really want the performance of Raid 0. But you still need to backup, typically to DVD :)

Posted on Jan 19, 2011 12:52:25 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 19, 2011 12:53:02 PM PST
C. TEZCAN says:
buy 2 separate seagate low power drives, use 1 usb to sata adapter, and power brick, put them different locations in your home, room. thats all, there is no other option. it doesnt matter if you use raid or jbod.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2011 6:28:17 PM PST
Phil says:
I have only used Seagate and Western Digital. Both of these brands are great. One important thing to know about hard ware in general: you have to do a test called "burn-in test". you can use a Burn in software to do this. All it does is that it will test the hard drive to the maximum level in a short time. Generally, if it passes this test, then the hard drive will last a long time.

Posted on Jan 22, 2011 6:29:58 PM PST
Phil says:
Also, with external hard drives, you should aim to get one with a built in fan. Hard drives are good to go if they have a constant temperature. Getting hot and cold and all over the place will stress electronics (especially true if you keep turning it on and off.)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2011 9:41:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 24, 2011 9:43:16 PM PST
You might want to check out the Verbatim SuperSpeed 2 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive 97415 (Black) Verbatim has a reputation for making very good hardware - and it's USB 3.0 drives (backward compatible with USB 2.0) come with a 7 year warranty. Of course, warranties are largely irrelevant if you lose your data. Although hard drives are designed to handle a non-operating 250-300 Gs of shock, it's not something I would bet my sensitive data on with FedEx and UPS shipping. As a result I usually purchase my internal & external hard drives locally.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2011 8:31:57 PM PST
Sunny One says:
Jay, thanks for the details, now may a novice ask for your advice? I have thousands of photos (6 grandchildren!) on my Toshiba laptop (AMD Turion 64X2 Mobile Technology TL-58) with 2GB Memory. I know virtually zip about my computer, just know how to take digital photos and scan old photos to put them on my laptop. I know it is only a matter of time until my computer overloads with all of these photos, so I was reading the reviews to figure out whether to buy an external hard drive or just transfer the photos to flash drives and access them through my USB drive as needed. I had it narrowed down to the WD 2 TB until I read about the Raid 1 and the reason for buying it. Maybe I should just buy a desktop with larger storage. (?)

If you were buying something for your Mom or Grandmother, what would you recommend? Thanks, in advance, for your assistance. After reading Katherine's info above I am more confused than ever as to what to purchase.

Posted on Jan 27, 2011 9:46:58 PM PST
Plankwing says:
I suggest you consider a Thermaltake BlacX dock. We have used a two-slot USB2 since April 2009 with two 1tb Hitachi HDs. It goes with us on extended trips for (a) access on the road to necessary files copied from desktop, (b) serves as backup for laptops on the road, and (c) upon return home, copy new stuff to desktops. They are now available in USB3 with one or two slots and take any eSata drive so you're not limited to any Raid setup or any specific HD. I.e., use your favorite brand of HD and swap out if needed. In short, an extended form of a thumb drive.

Posted on Jan 28, 2011 7:28:22 AM PST
I recomend a usb 3.0 external enclosure with atleast 1 fan like what rosewill currently makes

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2011 7:33:40 AM PST
is what im about to get, i have the usb 2.0 and esata version at the moment, they are very sturdy and you can put in any 3.5 inch standard size desktop hard drive into it up to 3 tb in capacity

Posted on Jan 28, 2011 7:35:44 AM PST
ah looks like im late sorry, my idea probably would have been cheaper

Posted on Jan 28, 2011 9:48:03 PM PST
an adendum to my ealier post!!!!

i mis- spoke.. Mozy does NOT charge to pull your files off their back up, you only get charged if they send them to you on C/D's so there are 2 other options on "HOW" to pull them offline from their end! :)

also is excellent they have 1tb versions too.

AND what I am getting next is from other world computing. Scott Kelby and many photographers use these. (ignore the link, its MAC AND PC compatible!!)

here are the multiple drive type stuff that I DONT UNDERSTAND..

these are super quiet
super fast great additonal bloat ware to try out if you'd like.

I'd call them to see what to do - VERY HELPFUL!!!!

Hope that helps..

note: do not ever move an external drive if it is spinning - if it is manking any clicking noises or weird noises, then quite possibly its getting ready to take a dump.

good lucky .

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2011 10:23:04 PM PST
rlaffoday says:
Beware of Mozy. I paid for a 1 year subscription up that i have a TB of data, they are revamping their pricing and they say my renewal will be $487 for what I currently have stored up there. Gonna get it all off and nix the service.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2011 11:48:48 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 3, 2011 12:02:37 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2011 11:52:31 PM PST
the western digital my books have fans, and have an external power source, so you cant just plug in with usb and go use anywhere unless you can plug the power source in somewhere. The 2tb Seagates go flex that I got from Costco today for 129$ plus a 30$ reebate brigning ro $99, but im not sure if it has a fan, ive not heard of these over hearing though. DO NOT GET THE WD My Book ELITE, I think thats what its called>> PERIOD . BAD REVEIWS that I have seen everywhere...
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Discussion in:  External Hard Drive forum
Participants:  21
Total posts:  40
Initial post:  Dec 28, 2010
Latest post:  Aug 24, 2012

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