ANSWERS: 7
  • The Chief recommended some to me, gave me a great link with them all listed. Had the page bookmarked and then I had my computer problem this summer. He should know, I've got to ask him again myself. He uses his for hundreds of TV shows. They are pretty cheap, too.
  • i hope you paid for ALL of your music files ...
  • Well, lucky you this is a real easy one, and relatively CHEAP, too! There are two basic types of external HD's: the small, portable drives and the larger desktop style drives. Both are literally plug and play: connect it to a USB port and you are ready to go. By desktop style, I mean something that is designed to sit on your desk, usually has an AC adapter to power it, and a USB cable to connect to any USB port on your computer. They are a little larger than the portable ones, but not huge by any stretch of the imagination. By portable, I mean ones that are literally the size of a 3 x 5 card and about 5/8 inch thick. They may also be powered directly from your computer by the USB cord itself: no AC adapter needed. Which one you need is based on what you need it for. Personally, I use the portable HD's because they are SMALL and USB powered. I own a laptop, so the small size and lack of an extra power cord to have to carry around makes a big difference to me. Portable HD's also mean it's real easy for you to transport massive amounts of data with you wherever you go, in very little space. In otherwords, portable HD's are all about convenience to me. I'm familiar with two major brands, Simpletech and Western Digital, so those are the ones I'll talk about. Both are outstanding HD manufacturers. There are other manufacturers and they are all probably just as good. Western Digital (WD) makes two types of external HD's: My Book and My Passport. My Book is the kind designed to sit on your desk, My Passport is the tiny, portable HD. Here is a link to Best Buy so you can look at them: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olstemplatemapper.jsp?id=pcat17080&type=page&qp=crootcategoryid%23%23-1%23%23-1~~q70726f63657373696e6774696d653a3e313930302d30312d3031~~cabcat0500000%23%230%23%2311a~~cabcat0504000%23%230%23%233y~~cabcat0504001%23%230%23%232d~~cabcat0504003%23%230%23%231k~~nf398%7C%7C5765737465726e204469676974616c&list=y&nrp=15&sc=abComputerSP&sp=-bestsellingsort+skuid&usc=abcat0500000 You'll note that they come in various sizes, with the My Book versions going up to 2TB (2000GB). The My Passport versions go up to 1Tb (1000GB). If you don't have a need for the smaller portable version, the My Book version is MUCH cheaper per gigabyte. For example, a 500GB My Passport costs about $110. A 500GB My Book costs about $80. The 1TB My Book Essential costs about $110. So, for about $100 (give or take), you can easily get anywhere from 500GB to 1TB of storage. When I first started buying external drives, I bought the Simpletech Signature Mini's: http://www.simpletech.com/products/storage/signature-mini/ They are the small portable drives, USB powered. I liked them because I liked the color choices and style of the case. My wife has a TON of TV shows and movies she's recorded on the computer. It has a 320GB HD, but when she discovered how to record TV shows off the cable, it rapidly filled up. I first bought her a 750GB HP portable media drive, designed to slide into the bay in the front of her computer. But she soon filled that, too. So I would buy a 500GB Signature Mini once in a while to clear stuff off her computer...I'd fill the little HD and simply put it in the desk drawer out of the way. The Mini's make it easy for us to bring a ton of kid's shows with us when we go somewhere...I always bring my laptop, so entertainment is never a problem. Currently, she has four 500GB external HD's, the 750GB HP drive, and the 320GB computer HD. The computer is nearly full again, and I've already got another 500GB drive waiting. It's to the point now where prices have come down so much, I'll probably buy a 2TB drive, like the My Book, and consolidate things on that. NOW, another important aspect of an external HD: Most of them come with software already installed on them that you can set up to automatically back up select files and folders from your computer. This way, if your computer HD fails, you have a backup copy of all your important stuff ready to go. I don't use this feature with my laptop, because I don't do much which requires lots of backup. I simply copy the stuff I want to keep onto a portable manually. My wife has a My Book for her desktop...but she's never set it up to backup her files. Which she should because she has a LOT. I should probably just do it for her. With the selections available to you, you only need to decide on three things: 1. Budget 2. Storage Size 3. Style (color, physical size and shape, who makes it)
  • western digital hard drives have always been great for me
  • I'm a fan of Western Digital and Seagate. But even those can die. Especially when you have children who knock them over. Ask me how I know. :) My dad has a Western Digital external which he hooks up periodically, backs his stuff up, then puts back in the box and in the trunk of his car. That works for him. I've recommended Carbonite to a few people, it's about $50 per year for unlimited backup space. This means no matter what your data is safe and you'll be able to access it even if you have something really catastrophic like a fire.
  • They all die about equal chance. I got a cheap one and literally washed it in the washing machine and it's still going, but spend more on one that lasted little time for no reason. Your only safety is in numbers - buy more than one of them and store the same thing on each.
  • Lately we have been using Seagate's FREE AGENT GO. Has been working really well with no problems so far. You can copy to it directly or it also comes with really easy to use software for backing up and sycronizing.... Highly recommend it!

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