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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 10:50 pm 
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I saw this 250 Gb, 3.5", 7200 RPM Western Digital HDD at Sam's Club for $130, (link below), and not being highly familar with disk drive technology, i suspect this is a good deal, but I'm not certain? ... And, more importantly, what are the considerations for putting a 5.5" vs. a 3.5" hard drive inside one of the external enclosures?


250 Gb, 7200 RPM WD HDD from Sam's Club


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 11:44 pm 
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Not sure I understand what you mean by 'considerations.' It's a fairly simple task to put either a desktop hd or notebook hd into an external enclosure. You can get the enclosures on the cheap at www.newegg.com.

If you're going to be backing up important data, I wouldn't recommend Western Digital - too many failures in my book and that's why they're so cheap. I would use other brands like Hitachi, Toshiba, etc.

If you keep watching www.techbargains.net, you'll often see cheap enclosures.

Good luck!

:)


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:02 am 
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Drive itself is important. However enclosure might be the real issue here.

Enclosures have features that can make it day or night, e.g.
1. activity light for data access just like a desktop HDD light
2. fan or good metal contact with the hard drive to keep the drive cool
3. Strongly built, e.g. aluminium cases might feel more stiff than those flimsy plastic cases
4. metal case, which helps in physical strength and might help reduce temperature of the hard drive
5. noise insulation
6. vibration damping: good cases have rubber feets sitting between the drive and the enclosure
7. Is a universal power supply included???

8. Is the enclosure bootable? (...I really don't have much knowledge on this. However not all USB memory keys are bootable, so I guess it could be the same for USB enclosures)

9. This is more related to the drive itself: will the drive being able to run on only USB power, or external power supply has to be plugged in? Some people said 2.5" drives are small enough to be run by only USB power.

However I don't know any recent models of enclosure. The only suggestion I have is to look around on sites like http://www.newegg.com and see if any USB enclosure fits the points I listed above.

Oh another suggestion: do NOT rush when you're shopping, unless you need it like right now. I jumped the gun on Powersleeve14 laptop case, and now I kept wondering if Waterfield sleeve case would be a better choice or not.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2004 7:14 am 
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Thanks namezero, good info.

I'm still unclear on a few issues:

- The descriptions of the enclosures don't always mention 3.5" or 5.5", does that mean they support both HD sizes?

- HDs are typically described as ATA, Serial ATA, Mode 2 Ultra ATA, 40-pin EIDE, ... (I could go on). But the enclosures will say things like "Supports 3.5" IDE ATA 33/66/100/133". I don't see the same words used in the enclosure descriptions as on the HD descriptions. So, because I'm not real familar with these terms, I'm never 100% certain both the HD and the enclosure will work together (will take advantage of the fastest transfer rate USB2 can do, etc.).

- cj3209, (good info on WD reliability), I was asking for general insights into 5.5" vs. 3.5" HDs. Are 5.5's more reliable, (because the components aren't packed into as tight a space as 3.5", or because they have been around longer, or because they are manufactured in higher volumes for the desktop market, etc., etc.).

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2004 4:13 pm 
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Laptop hard drives are 2.5".

Desktop hard drives are 3.5", like the 250GB one you mentioned.

The enclosure should say if it fits 3.5" or 2.5".

Generally speaking, with USB 2.0 you will get speed slower than desktop installation even if you get the best enclosure in the world. It's just how USB 2.0 is.

As for the ATA 33 etc descriptions, when you're in doubt, post the link or the description here and we can take a look.


As for reliability, I used two Western Digital hard drives:
1. 200GB one is 1 year old, 20GB one is 4 years old.
2. Both went through travel by hand carry on airplanes.
3. Both are somewhat warm when running, but not at an alarming level.
4. Both were purchased in retail packaging; 1 was shipped through UPS while another one was picked up in store.

5. Most importantly, both are still fully functional with no bad sector or clicking noises what-so-ever.


People kept saying XXXX brand of hard drive is piece of crap as it fails to work after 3 months. My guess:

1. They purchased OEM packages, which got damaged during shipping due to the poor package by the shipper. Retail package has good shock absorbing wrapping.

At least for Western Digital ones, I can stuff an egg with extra padding to fill the space, and then frop it from second floor, without breaking the egg (nah haven't tried that yet; do you want to sponsor me an egg?)

2. Move the computer like throwing a brick to ground, and even worse, move the computer when the drive is still running.

Yeah today's hard drive can take more hasrh treatment, but there is still a limit of how far you can go. Even when you've to move the computer when it's running, don't just slap the case to the ground.


3. Less likely to happen, but.. they are "lucky" enough to get sub-quality hard drives.

Not all products meet the internal QA requirement, so some will get discarded. And there's always some "genius" being able to find those discarded products and sold them as "OEM".

If you order 2 drives from the same place and still get broken fast, re-check your source of purchase.

4. Yeah of course it can be bad QA from the manufacture. However I've not experience such thing with my 2 Western Digital drives. And no hard drive vendors want the high IBM 40GB/60GB failure rate happen to themselve, or... they might better sell their hard drive business just like IBM did.


If you ask me which drive to buy now, I cannot tell you a specific model. However look for drives that comes with fiuld suspension. It makes the drive run with much less noise, and some reports cooler temperature as well.

Seagate should be the pioneer in fiuld suspension. I think most of Seagate drives have that. Maxtor follows the suit later on, and have it on certain models. Western Digital only starts using it recently on very limited models.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2004 11:35 am 
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namezero wrote:
Laptop hard drives are 2.5"

Width yes, but be careful about height (thickness.) All 2.5" enclosures are designed for 9mm drives, but many early 2.5" drives, including those shipped in ThinkPads, are thicker by about 3mm. That's not an issue if you intend to buy a new drive to put in the enclosure, but watch out if you plan to upgrade the drive in your TP and move the old drive to an enclosure. It may not fit.

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SL500 (2746-CTO) • X61s (7666-34U) • T60p (2007-93U) • A21p (2629-HWU) • eXThinkpad (5160-087)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:18 pm 
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is there any usb2.0 enclosure for 2.5 " hard drive without ac power to work normally?
Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:49 pm 
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hausman wrote:
Width yes, but be careful about height (thickness.) All 2.5" enclosures are designed for 9mm drives, but many early 2.5" drives, including those shipped in ThinkPads, are thicker by about 3mm.

Sorry Dorian, but not true. I've got four 2.5" external HD enclosures here and only the most recently purchased (and cheapest) one is limited to 9mm thick HDs. The others will all take 12.5mm thick drives.

E.g.: http://shop.store.yahoo.com/shoptronics/exusb20po2id.html

Regards,

James

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 5:21 pm 
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JHEM wrote:
I've got four 2.5" external HD enclosures here and only the most recently purchased (and cheapest) one is limited to 9mm thick HDs. The others will all take 12.5mm thick drives.

Interesting. I searched all over Toronto and the Internet without success for a 2.5" enclosure that would accomodate the thicker drive from a friend's A21p. He ended up having to do some surgery on the aluminum extrusion on the enclosure in order to get the drive to fit. It now looks somewhat ugly but it does work ;)

It's good to know that larger enclosures exist. Thanks James for the correction and the link.

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SL500 (2746-CTO) • X61s (7666-34U) • T60p (2007-93U) • A21p (2629-HWU) • eXThinkpad (5160-087)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:39 am 
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mailww wrote:
is there any usb2.0 enclosure for 2.5 " hard drive without ac power to work normally?
Thanks



Perfectly for small datas <200Mo with a single USB port
For reloading a full OS from Drive Image (5Gb) I need the second USB port :)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 7:14 pm 
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Location: Romania
mailww wrote:
is there any usb2.0 enclosure for 2.5 " hard drive without ac power to work normally?
Thanks


I have a Freecom 60 GB external 2.5 hard drive and I had few problems when was connected without power supply to a desktop and a laptop (running only on batteries). The access light was switching off randomly after few seconds or after few minutes, and i was unable to access data from it.

I consider better to have also the power suply included in case of need.

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