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Niva Say Never 29 Jan 2009 21:20

External Hard Drive
Hi guys,
Sorry, i know i've seen a thread on this in the past, but i've been looking for quite a while and just can't find it again.
I'm just about to get a eee pc and am starting to think about an external HD,
if anyone can point me to the previous thread, or has any more current advice on a drive that can take the inevitable abuse on the road, i'd really appreciate it.
Happy travels

Flyingdoctor 29 Jan 2009 22:08

Have a look in this thread...


Niva Say Never 29 Jan 2009 23:12

Hi Flyingdoctor, thanks for the reply.
I ploughed all the way through that monster the other night......that took some time!!
Its possible i missed it, but i didn't see anything about external hard drives though. Lots of great stuff on the eee, it played a big part in my decision to get one.
I'm now trying to decide on the most vibration/dust proof external HD that i'll take with it.
Any ideas anyone? I remember Weston Digital being mentioned....BUT......i can't remember if it was because they were really good, or really bad!!!


MotoEdde 29 Jan 2009 23:32

How much storage do you envision needing? You may be able to get by with a USB stick...they've gotten quite powerful.

Consider making your own external hard drive...and it will be better than anything you buy as a complete product.

1. Buy a notebook sized hard drive with the Gb you need. $ depends on the size, speed, etc....make sure its SATA.
2. Buy am external enclosure. Anywhere from $10-$50...make sure its SATA to conform with your drive.
3. Unscrew external enclosure.
4. Insert hard rive in external enclosure.
5. Format hard drive...voila..you're done!

I'd recommend something from Hitachi...Travelstar series. WD's Scorpio Black has some nice ones to...

I know its sounds like some work but in the end, you'll have a better quality solution than you can buy off the shelf for the same $$s.

PocketHead 30 Jan 2009 01:47

just get an mp3 player, my ipod is 80gb, small and very robust (though I hate iTunes).

Niva Say Never 30 Jan 2009 12:39

Thanks guys, i hadn't thought of making one up. The work involved doesn't phase me in the slightest, its reliability i'm after. Thats the main reason i've discounted the mp3 player idea, maybe others are better, but i've heard of too many ipods dying in normal use, let alone being bumped along corrugated piestes for days on end.
It doesn't need to be massive, but i do shoot a lot of photos on a trip. Easilly over a gigs worth on some days (the vast majority of which get binned later) but even the good shots mount up pretty quick on a longer trip. The biggest sd cards i've seen are 32gb and not cheap. For example, it looks like i could get something like a 250gb freecom tough drive for about half the price of a single 32gb sd card.


Flyingdoctor 30 Jan 2009 12:49

My Western Digital 250GB passport HD rides in my topbox wrapped in bubble wrap inside a Peli case along with my Eee. It's an optical drive but it's survived ok. My plan was if I was on some serious off-road I'd just put it inside my jacket to protect it from any serious vibes. If it breaks someone will still recover the info for you, at a price. I thought it was worth the risk.

Xander 30 Jan 2009 13:24

Hey Niva Say Never,

I am in the same boat I am looking to see which one to buy.
the 4 choices i have found are (all come in various sizes from 100 gig -500gig):
Freecom ToughDrive, and its twin Transcend StoreJet
Buffalo MiniStation TurboUSB
eGo Portable Rugged Hard Drive from Iomega
and the
LaCie’s Rugged Portable Hard Disk.

Now I know nothing about any of them Except the Toughdrive survived a year in a field camp in Borneo (being used often, but i dont know about how it was treated).
So if you find out any better info please let me know.

Rebaseonu 30 Jan 2009 13:38

Yes, hard disk is cheaper than flash memory but the question is -- do you really need that much of storage space? How about 32GB flash disk or memory card?

Hard disk has moving parts which makes it much less reliable and it is also much bigger and heavier. You can easily slip USB flash disk in your pocket and keep your valuable data all the time with you, not talking about miniature memory cards you can easily hide in your underwear. :innocent: This is very important, in my opinion.

I'd go with latter solution even it offers me less storage for amount paid. At home -- yes, hard disk is fast and cheap.

colebatch 30 Jan 2009 14:43

If you are storing digital video you take en route, you need a hard disk

(1) buy a 2.5 inch one not a 3.5 inch one... they are a quarter of the size and weight. Current 2.5 inch drives are just about the size and weight of an 80 gig Ipod ... and store 4 times as much for a less than half of the cost.

(2) buy one that that is USB powered. Ones that require an external power plug will double the weight and volume.

(3) spend up and get 320GB or 500 GB ... if you are going to bother with a HDD rather than flash cards, you might as well have the capacity to justify the decision

(4) I have never had a problem with Transcend products. Use them all the time. The 'StoreJet Mobile' is the "military drop test" tough product line. And remember that if worst comes to worst, you can almost always recover the data on the drive, even if you stuff the drive by forgetting to put it in a waterproof bag when you drop your bike in the river. You will just have to pay a data recovery mob to do it. But play it safe, buy a protective case, and always keep it in an ortlieb bag.

And also bear in mind that memory cards and USB pen drives are full of electronic circuits too ... they too can be ruined by dropping them in the river

Niva Say Never 30 Jan 2009 16:33

Thank you all for your input, it's much appreciated.
The more i think about it, the more i am leaning towards a small (physical size not capacity) usb powered hard drive. I could pbobably get away with 2x 32gb flash cards/pens, but from what i've seen we are talking a pretty serious amount of cash there. I do like the idea of sticking to flash memory, but i think i'll have to wait a year or two before the capacity i need comes within my budget.

Xander - I was with a friend last night who's had a Buffalo ministation for a year now, he's very happy with it. No probs at all, but i don't think its had a particularly hard life. I can't remember where/who, but i'm sure someone here was slating LaCie drives for their unreliability. I've had a 250gb LaCie at home for 2+ years now without any problems, but it just lives on a shelf and is never moved/shaken. Its a big one that needs seperate power so would be no good for the road anyway. I'll keep scratchig around for info and post anything that may be of use to you here.

Colebatch - Thanks, i like the sound of the StoreJet Mobile. I think i'll be looking at them later.

MotoEdde 30 Jan 2009 16:57

You can pick up a laptop(2.5") external 320GB with an enclosure for $100...
I used this on my recent trip and continue to still use it to this day...4 years...

They're tiny, and power themselves via the USB...as enticing as the Flash drives are...the competitive price points won't be there for 2-3 years.

Niva Say Never 31 Jan 2009 15:41

For the moment at least, it looks like that's the smart move.
I think its between the StoreJet and the Buffalo, i'm hearing good things about both from various people. Unless other brand options come to light in the mean time, i'll be picking one of them at the end of feb.
Thanks to all who've contributed


motoreiter 31 Jan 2009 17:58

I've got one of the Lacie rugged external hard drive, took it on two month trip through china, russia, ukraine over some rough roads. put the hard drive in a case, didn't have any problems.

James Rothwell 4 Feb 2009 08:38

I saw Amazon advertising a 1TB external drive the other day which looked like value.

Is there any downsides to having a USB disk other than data transfer isn't especially fast when trying to copy 2GB worth of video and photos per day.

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