Home Theater Forum and Systems banner

Looking for a good outboard hard drive

4419 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Wayne A. Pflughaupt
I’m looking for a stand-alone USB hard drive that I can use as a back-up for my files. I don’t need anything huge, 20-30 gig would be more than enough. I’d also like for it to be quiet. The Western Digital drive I had in my desktop made a constant, annoying, high-pitched whine – don’t want to go back to that!

Any recommendations for something reasonably priced and (more importantly) reliable?

1 - 13 of 13 Posts
I have been using a Lacie external hard drive for a while now. You can't even hear it operating and (i think) that you can get sizes up to about 120 Gb now so 20-30Gb should be reasonably priced.
Buy an external USB2 shell and install your own hard drive. Cost might be marginally higher then an all in one solution but its much more flexible as you can upgrade the drive as required. Seagate drives tend to be pretty quiet and are my first choice when building systems where performance and noise is an issue....Samsung's are also fairly quiet.
If you shop at the right place the external enclosure/hard drive should be cheaper. Newegg and what not has external enclosures for 20 bucks or so all the time and you can get a 320 gig hard drive for like 80 now :) I don't think you can get a 320gig external for 100 bucks anywhere. Could be wrong though.
I have an external case and hard drive (250Gb) and it is the cheapest way to go. The problems i see however is that they are fairly loud and require connection to a power source (not USB powered)
Here's a Seagate 40 G (you said 20-30G was more than enough)...

And I just bought a 2.5" USB enclosure on eBay for $10.

Stick those two together, format, and you're ready to go. I have an older one myself and just gave one to a friend. For all intents and purposes, they are silent. Also, the require no external power supply.

edit: Just make sure the enclosure supports USB 2.0 and that the drive is the same interface as the enclosure (PATA/PATA or SATA/SATA). Mine are both PATA, and I think those links are both for PATA as well.
Wayne, did you get your drive?

one thing I've noticed is there are 2 types of externals - those based on 3.5" hard drives and those based on 2.5" notebook drives.

some of the 2.5" externals do NOT require an external power supply - this is really handy - as you just plug the drive in and go - no power adapter to worry about...

All of the 3.5" externals DO require a power supply.

Hi Jack,

No, I haven’t. My wife got laid off right after I opened this thread, so all non-essentials are in a holding pattern for the time being. :(

Wow, that stinks, but at least the good news is that while you're waiting, the prices will drop and capacity will increase.
I am extremely happy with my Thermaltake external drive case. It will accept SATA and IDE drives and uses either an eSATA cable or USB 2.0...your choice. I had mine writing constantly for 4 hours and it just got warm, no fans.
Wayne you still looking?

USB drives are coming down in price every week it seems. Check out Tiger Direct for some good deals. I got my 320GB Western Digital USB My Book at Sam's Club for around $100.

Well, out of the clear blue my wife got me a Western Digital 1600BEV outboard hard drive for my birthday. After all this time it had pretty much fallen off my "must have" list, especially after I upgraded my laptop's hard drive several months ago. It's a little biddy sucker with a USB plug in, pretty cool, about the size of a calculator (although about as thick as two of them). 150 gig - that'll last me a couple of lifetimes! Don't know how much she paid, but we usually don't drop the big bucks for our birthdays. If wbasset got a 320 gig for $100 over a year ago, I don't see how this could have cost more than fifty bucks...

Anyway, it's pretty cool, and I'm glad to finally have one. :T

1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.