Is there any way i can use my desktop external Hard Drive on my laptop?

By mollyannrawr ·
I just bought an Iomega UltraMax with Firewire Hard Drive on eBay, not knowing it was a desktop hard drive. and i only have a laptop. i have an ACER Aspire laptop with Windows 7 on it. So is there anyway i can use the desktop hard drive for my laptop? maybe using special connections? or something. cause i really don't want to have to buy a whole new external hard drive.

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Reponse To Answer

by Who Am I Really In reply to This unit is supposed to ...

re: File system & connections

if it's pre-formatted to FAT32
you can safely leave it that way
unless you plan on storing files larger than 4GB
in which case you'd need to use exFAT or NTFS

FAT32 has no security restrictions or implimentations
in which case if yer laptop takes a crap
you'll have no problems accessing the files on the external disk with another machine
(I use FAT32 on all external disks)

if your laptop has an express card slot
skip Firewire and go with e-SATA

USB-2 = 480 Mbps

1394a = 400Mbps
1394b = 800Mbps

Gen 1 = 1.5 Gbps / 1,500Mbps
Gen 2 = 3.0 Gbps / 3,000Mbps
Gen 3 = 6.0 Gbps / 6,000Mbps

Express Cards normally run e-SATA at the Gen 2 speed

PCMCIA Cards can only run e-SATA at the Gen 1 speed

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Reponse To Answer

by mollyannrawr In reply to This unit is supposed to ...

Ok well now that ive backedup all my files. can i delete them off my computer? or do i have to leave them on their?

cuz i bought the external hard drive so i can clear my bigger files off my computer and just use them through my external hardrive. when its hooked up to my computer. so i have the files when i need them.

EX: iTunes is a really big file and i kinda wanted to put that on my external hard drive so that i can take it off my computer along with all my music and just use it on my harddrive when i need to sync my iPod and whatnot.

is that even possible? or not?

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Yes and no.

by Alpha_Dog In reply to Is there any way i can us ...

Install it in the laptop? no.

Connect it to the laptop, yes. Purchase an inexpensive IDE / SATA to USB converter. Make sure it comes with the power supply and all the little adapter cables. Should be about $15.00

Alternatively, you can buy an empty external case for around $20-40.00 and install your drive.

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re: "moving the iTunes library"

by Who Am I Really In reply to Is there any way i can us ...

I wouldn't move it

you can move just about every other user file type
- MSO: Word / Excel etc. documents
- Image files (camera pics)
- etc.

but moving an iTunes library to another location is a complicated process
that can result in the loss of the library or part of it

you should still backup the library

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Just depending on how big the drive actually is

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Is there any way i can us ...

You may find that it's better to use NTFS instead of FAT 32. You???ll just get less wasted space on the drive as FAT32 isn't as good for the larger HDD's.

As for moving your Data tot he External Drive yes it's possible but it may not be desirable.

As for programs provided that they are installed to the External Drive they will work but if you just move them to the external drive then no they will not work. You need to install them to the drive and then again depending what programs are actually involved you are likely to get error messages about broken Links if you do not start the computer with the drive attached.

Also you need to remember to use the Safely Remove Option on the Start Bar to dismount the external Drive. You Can Not just turn off the computer as the external drive will not be shut down correctly and this will lead to a corruption of the Partition Tables and possible loss of your data.

Another thing to remember is that External HDD are not designed for full time use and are subject to Heat and Vibrational Damage more often than Internal Drives are so you should work on the premiss that the drive is going to fail sooner rather than latter.

If you need a external drive to use a lot of the time you need one with an Actively Cooled Enclosure like the one made by Antec the MX1


As for Vibrational Damage there is unfortantly nothing you can do to prevent this from occurring.


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"can i unplug it and take it with me?"

by seanferd In reply to Is there any way i can us ...

Yes, certainly. You just need to be more careful with it than a drive which is designated as "portable". Be gentle, don't swing it around in a bag, or toss it on a car seat, or drop it.

Portable drives are just more shock-proof, essentially, and have a different sort of look and design to the case.

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