what are the benefits of external HD over internal?

By Snuffy09 ·
my 120 external HD took a dump (pics, music, games, bye-bye). I took the drive out of the enclosure and hooked it up to my computer and still nothing actually my computer wouldn't even boot with the drive as a slave. tried booting form a HD utility cd and i couldn't even see the drive.

now im looking for a new external HD and I have to stop and wonder besides not being Mobil (i don't need a Mobil HD) whats the advantage? they still crash, they are still affected by power surges, they still get bad blocks. ect., ect. ahhhhh!!!

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Agree With ALL Responses to Some Degree...

by sedunov In reply to cool

All of these responses are excellent and have merit. External drives are great for:

- Portability of files/data;
- Backing up of files/data - plus it's a good way for a company to take it's backups "off-site" every night (for safety/insurance);
- Separation of files/data/family photos etc. from OS drive;
- Transfer of files between PCs - much easier then burning one or more DVDs - especially if the files are much larger than a couple DVD's such as video files etc.;

Also mentioned was the frustrating lack of long-term durability and trustworthiness from many (most?) external drives. This is also a problem with internal drives - although this can largely be addressed by mirrored RAID arrays (an external option also).

My QUESTION is: has anyone come across any up-to-date data or survey that identifies the MOST DEPENDABLE external/internal drive models and manufacturers over any significant number of years?

I realize most manufacturers CLAIM their models will last X number of years, but how about some real-life data from an arm's length?

And sure they can guarantee their hardware and gladly replace defective units - but unfortunately they still can't BEGIN to replace the crucial and sometimes priceless data we've lost when their hardware tanked after a year or two of gaining our trust.

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by SPC_TCOL In reply to Agree With ALL Responses ...

The best ones would be the ones you can buy for servers.
But this has a price.

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Well external HDD's are OK if you remember their limitations

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to what are the benefits of ...

Many people do not remember that these are not for full time use and should only be used when needed. If you leave then running 100% of the time that the computer is being used the Drive will have a shorter life than it would if it was inside a computer. It will overheat much faster and is far more likely to suffer vibrational Damage.

If you need a External Drive for a long time use where it needs to run for long periods of time you need a Actively Cooled Enclosure like the MX1 from Antec


But these enclosures tend to be as expensive or more expensive than the drives shoved into them so they are not commonly used.

If you need something running all of the time stick to internal Drives they last longer and are less subject to damage.

External Drives just like Netbooks are often purchased for the wrong reasons and they come back to bit the buyers badly as a result.


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Tip to recover data from a crashed HD

by papamurph In reply to what are the benefits of ...

Put the drive in a zip lock baggie and put it in the freezer for 24 hours. Hook it back up in the external case. This works sometimes. If it does it will only give you about 20 min before it crashes again

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So what does freezing it do? {nt}

by Slayer_ In reply to Tip to recover data from ...
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Well supposedly

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to So what does freezing it ...

It allows any worn bearings or degraded Electronics to temporarily work for a short time so that you can recover the data off the drive.

There was also some HDD several Years ago that had the wrong grease applied tot he bearings of the Platter Motor and by freezing the drive it allowed the Bearing to free up and run till it got hot enough for the grease to stop the platters spinning.

Not a common thing these days but it may still be possible to hit one of the affected drives, though personally I would have expected all of those had gone to Silicon Heaven long ago.

The most likely thing is whit any slight Damage due to spikes done tot he electronics of the Circuit Board on the HDD that has caused the Components to go out of Spec freezing brings them back to a usable form till the unit overheats the next time and kills the Electronics. It's not so much the High Temps that kill the Electronics but the Temperature Swings from Cold to hot to cold again which does the most damage to them.


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Doesn't SMART warn you these days

by Slayer_ In reply to Well supposedly

If your drive is approaching critical? I know most BIOS's check SMART when they boot up (supposedly). Isn't that what it's for.

I question it though, cause my 120gb HDD in this machine, is 8 years old now. No bad clusters. Nothing, Speedfan shows it almost perfect. 97% fitness and 97% performance. My 320 Gig which is 6 years going on 7, shows 97% fitness 100% performance with an advisor on power on hours count.

NOTE : your hard disk Power On Hours Count attribute current value (76) is below the normal range (89 - 100) reported for your specific hard disk model. Basically your hard disk was powered on for more than the maximum time the average user did. This means that either all of the reports collected are from hard disks that were not powered on for too long (this is realistic for recent models) or that your hard disk is becoming old. Usually this is not considered as a pre-failure advisory, but you should check whether you want to replace the hardware or keep an eye on its performances over time.

Both these drives are near and passed their expected life spans, and yet SMART says they are perfect. I noticed one of my drives is louder when booting from a cold boot, but it get quiet after it warms up. This concerns me, should I be worried? i noticed the spin-up time on the SMART tests for the 120 looks lower, maybe it's time I turn off power saving "Shut down hard disks". The power on hours count is "Power On Hours Count 64 26729 Good" Lower than the 320, but has no warning ???

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Smart works very well on internal HDD

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Doesn't SMART warn you th ...

But does nothing for external Drives.

The Makers Testing Utility is still the best tool to test with. I have several 500 MEG Drives here that are positively Fossils and they show up as perfect under every test that I throw at them. Only problem being so small they are not even big enough to hold a Swap File.

But basically what you want to look at is Overheating as the main Prefailute condition.

As for noisy drives I got a Seagate returned from the maker after one failed and it tests OK but it sounds as if someone has shoved a handful of Bolts into a washing machine and is running it without water. I only use that drive as a Backup now in an external Caddy and only run it when I need to save Data to it. I haven't needed to recover anything from it and I don't really trust it but till it shows signs of kicking the bucket I have to believe the test results.

Doesn't mean to say that I have to like them just believe them.


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by papamurph In reply to So what does freezing it ...

It helps so shrink all of the internal parts back into spec

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