Internal or External Hard Drive?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by The Toon Master, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. The Toon Master macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    #1
    My 160GB HD is almost filled up, and I am considering upgrading my Hard Drive. I've heard Internal Hard Drives are faster and much more safer, but External Hard Drives are easier to install and cheaper. The fodler that takes up most of the space is Music and Video (Taking up a total of 91GB). Since it's a desktop, I think external is the best way to go, but I know that external HDs are signifigantly slower and it takes longer for the computer to check the HD when it boots up (My comp already takes 2mins before I can open a single application). Also, I do not know if I have a Firewire port (I don't know a lot about computers, but i bough the comp from Dell in late 2005). I also don't want to risk losing the files, which I know is a problem with external HDs (I've spent countless hours getting this data, and i don't want to risk losing it); but i am too incompentant to install an internal drive (I don't know where the motherboard is).
     
  2. anotherarunan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom (UK)
    #2
    Do you have a PC or a Mac? because most recent macs have firewire ports. If this is a pc...i'd advise getting an internal..but then again if its an old pc..it may not be worth it..especially as you say you're not good with computers so you may find installation a bit tricky. So maybe just go for a USB2.0 external...which you can always use with a new PC/mac if you get one!

    Btw, Ive had my 160gig external since september and so far, so good.
     
  3. The Toon Master thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 10, 2006
    #3

    I have a Dell PC XPS 400 from late 2005

    i'm just fearful i'll lose all the data and it'll run incredibly slow
     
  4. superleccy macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    That there big London
    #4
    If your computer came from Dell, why are you asking here? :confused:

    If you're "too incompetent" to install an internal drive, then unless you know someone who can do the job for you, then an external drive is your only option.

    You can get some nice fast external hard drives (look for 7200 rpm). In fact, having your Music and Video on a decent quality fast external drive can actually speed your machine up!

    Firewire 400 (or even better, Firewire 800 or eSATA) is best for external hard drive, but I doubt your Dell has any of those (although you can buy PCI cards to get those interfaces). If so, then USB2.0 would be your only choice... and it would probably do you fine.

    You are right to be worried about loosing your data. All hard drives die at some point, taking your data with it... true for external and internal. The only solution is to keep everything backed-up in some way.

    Maybe a LaCie 2Big Dual RAID is the thing for you. Two drives in one enclosure, all ready to go (once you've reformatted them for your Dell). Use it in RAID1 mode and it maintains two copies of all your data - one on each of its disks. So if one fails, then you can restore from the other.

    But maybe your Dell running out of HD space is a sign for you to chuck it in the skip and get a nice shiny new iMac. You can order up to a 750Gb HD, Sir... :)

    SL
     
  5. The Toon Master thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    #5
    I use this forum for my persistant iPod problems, and i've had help on some other PC problems too

    I can most likely have the internal HD installed at Best Buy or a local computer store

    Really? My friends say an external HD slows it down.., but then again they probably don't know too much

    I do have an 80Gb external Drive, but i've never used it an i'm not sure if it works/reliable. So maybe what I could do I can backup some of the files on there

    Do you know if any other company offers that dual Hard Drive? i've heard that LaCie i very unreliable

    The computer isn't mine (Parents), and i don't have the money to get an iMac (and my Dad is anti-Mac because "they aren't used in a real business")
     
  6. superleccy macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    That there big London
    #6
    There are speed advantages to be gained by separating your audio/video onto a 2nd hard drive - even an external one. However, if the external drive is cheap & slow, or if your computer doesn't have enough resource to cope with the additional aggro of controlling a USB drive, then those speed advantages may disappear... or worse. Tips: Max out the RAM, clean install your OS and use Firewire or eSATA if you can.

    Pick the best backup strategy that works for you. But since you've got 91GB of stuff, you'll need to think of something else pretty soon. Can you back it all up to DVD?

    Yes there are others - look around. Or you can buy an RAID enclosure and put your own drives in it. Whatever. Each brand of hard drive will have its champions and haters on this forum, and on every forum. I've used LaCie for 3 years and yeah I've had a couple of minor problems but nothing that's caused any lasting damage or data loss. Choosing the right backup strategy is the most important thing.

    Good luck
    SL
     
  7. CallsignBaron macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    NC USA
    #7
    Any hard drive no matter how it connects to your computer can fail. If this data is irreplaceable then you should consider backup redundancies. I do alot of photography and my work is all on my system (internal) hard drive, an external hard drive and on DVD media which is kept off site in a fireproof safe. If you are relying on only one drive for important data then the question is not if you will lose your data but when you will lose it. I have a Western Digital external drive, 7200 rpm usb 2.0, and it is quite speedy. I regularly watch videos from it as well as fly X-Plane flight sim. All of the flight sim files are on that drive and so the game runs entirely from the external drive. It is interesting to note (and I was surprised) but the game actually runs faster from the external than it did on the system drive. It does take a little extra time to load but I get more FPS. Hope this helps. :)

    Also you can tell your father for me that I own 5 hotels and use Macintosh computers exclusively and with an average of more than two million dollars in gross sales annually we do consider ourselves a "real business". :D
     
  8. The Toon Master thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 10, 2006
    #8
    ^ I think I was looking at the exact model (500GBs for $125)

    My Dad just wants me to get used to Windows since they have Word and Excel (which I remind him you can get for Mac, but shruggs it off).

    Superleccy, My computer is pretty fast, and it is just 2 years old, but I am worried that it doesn't have the additional resources [I have 1GB RAM and a Intel Pentium D CPU 2.80GHz (2CPUs)].

    The other major point of getting the external Hard Drive for me besides space concerns is to not burn to DVD. It's tedious and annoying process for me, and it usually takes awhile for my comp to burn a CD/DVD (Data and Actual DVD)

    How can I tell if my comp can use 7200 RPM Hard Drive?
     
  9. superleccy macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    That there big London
    #9
    Unlike FW or eSATA, USB hard drives place additional load on the CPU. You have a nice fast processor, but some extra RAM would be a relatively inexpensive upgrade for you if things start getting a bit sluggish.
    The computer doesn't care how fast the hard drive spins. All computers can handle 7200rpm drives (although if used internally, they tend to require a bit more cooling).
    SL
     
  10. The Toon Master thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    #10
    I can't get additional RAM because "If you mess up installing it, you can destroy the computer", though all you have to do is just insert the card in like a USB.

    alright, I thoguht I read some computers can't read it..
     
  11. Spievy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia
    #11
    Who is feeding you this BS.

    You just have to get the correct memory for your computer. You can take it down to Best Buy and have them install it. If your (Dad) is worried buy a protection plan or something to guarantee THEIR installation.

    When you turn 18 get a Mac ;)
     
  12. The Toon Master thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    #12
    I meant for the 7200 RPM, but i've heard the same thing for RAM

    I think I could install the RAM, but I don't think i'll be allowed to

    I also don't have a huge amount of money to spare, so I might just stick with the Hard Drive and get the RAM later.
     
  13. Spievy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia
    #13
    Yes you can use a 7200 RPM internal Hard drive. As for Memory/RAM you have to get the correct type for your machine.
     

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