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Old 12-22-2010, 12:38 AM   #1
linuxlover.chaitanya
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Need external USB HDD. What make and model to prefer?


Hello all,

I am planning to get a new external hard drive. And it is mostly going to be used by uncle on Windows XP. I might just use if I need on Ubuntu but that is not the matter of concern.
I had Seagate in mind. But one of my friends just broke his Seagate within an year of purchase. And it was not due to mishandling neither does it have any physical damage. It just can not be recognised any more by OS. The probably due to the bad sectors.
And this has has made me thing again about the make. Should I prefer Seagate and take the incident as one in million that friend ran out of luck?
The data stored is going to be important one. What are the other makes and models do you suggest?
 
Old 12-22-2010, 12:48 AM   #2
TheIndependentAquarius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxlover.chaitanya View Post
But one of my friends just broke his Seagate within an year of purchase. And it was not due to mishandling neither does it have any physical damage. It just can not be recognised any more by OS. The probably due to the bad sectors.
And this has has made me thing again about the make.
Seagate has a 5 year warranty! Why didn't your friend make use of that?
 
Old 12-22-2010, 01:00 AM   #3
linuxlover.chaitanya
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It does have a warranty and it may eventually get replaced, but what about the content in the disk? For lame users, that might be borked disk, but what if it gets into wrong hands and he/she takes the content out? I am more wary about the content being leeked out or something. The content could be very personal or important like my uncle is going to use it to keep some business related documents and accounts and data that we can call secret.
 
Old 12-22-2010, 01:20 AM   #4
TobiSGD
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Then he should use encryption, then he has no problem with that.
To your original question: I have used disks from almost any manufacturer, and I couldn't see that one brand is more error prone than an other.

EDIT: But of course you should have a good backup strategy, if it is important data.

Last edited by TobiSGD; 12-22-2010 at 01:24 AM.
 
Old 12-22-2010, 01:27 AM   #5
TheIndependentAquarius
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I thought he must be aware of the encryption method since he was a part of this thread: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...window-839189/
 
Old 12-22-2010, 01:29 AM   #6
linuxlover.chaitanya
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
Then he should use encryption, then he has no problem with that.
To your original question: I have used disks from almost any manufacturer, and I couldn't see that one brand is more error prone than an other.

EDIT: But of course you should have a good backup strategy, if it is important data.
We are not talking about Linux users with a lot of computer knowledge here. These are all users who use computer as a tool to get their work done. That is it. No more no less. And I am not going to manage things for them. I am just going to be buying it for him. Encryption is surely one thing that should be used but as I said I am not going to be the owner of the disk.
I would certainly make backups of the data on the optical media disks for sure for him.
 
Old 12-22-2010, 01:32 AM   #7
linuxlover.chaitanya
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anisha Kaul View Post
I thought he must be aware of the encryption method since he was a part of this thread: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...window-839189/
Again. You are misreading the thread or misunderstanding it completely. I am NOT going to be using the disk. And I am not going to be responsible for it as well. The only reason I posted is I had doubts about Seagate in mind. I wanted to buy it but cuz my friend did not have very good time with it, it made me think twice about it.

And as far as encryption goes, I know it and use it on my office desktop. My home partition is encrypted one.

Last edited by linuxlover.chaitanya; 12-22-2010 at 01:34 AM.
 
Old 12-22-2010, 01:33 AM   #8
prodev05
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Seagate is the best of All. Especially when come to portable hard disk, now a days fully packed hard disk's available in the market (320GB, 500GB, 1TB). Always we can't assume that a hardware won't fail. We should prepare for the backup also.

regards
++Arun
 
Old 12-22-2010, 01:33 AM   #9
TheIndependentAquarius
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Okay so you mean that data should be totally safe without any efforts on you Uncle's part??
Well, if the data is extremely important, then I he should "learn" the encryption or any other method used to safeguard the data. Relying on a high quality disk is no way going to help IMHO.
 
Old 12-22-2010, 01:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prodev05 View Post
regards
++Arun
[offtopic]
So, I correctly guessed your nationality by reading your posts in that "Christmas" thread
[/offtopic]
 
Old 12-22-2010, 01:47 AM   #11
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you welcome

regards
++Arun
 
Old 12-22-2010, 02:48 AM   #12
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Western Digital or Trekstor for me.
 
Old 12-22-2010, 03:18 AM   #13
catkin
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We have had a disproportionate number of Seagate HDD failures here but our sample size is small (around 10 HDDs) so I am not confident about the statistical significance and anyway we have warmer and damper conditions than most HDDs are operated in.

My first USB HDD was a Western Digital "My Passport" Essential which useless on Linux.

I now have two Hitachi "SimpleDrive mini" 500 GB USB HDDs which did not work reliably until partitioned with empty space before the first partition and formatted with ext3 instead of JFS, since when they have been no trouble except udev rules do not pass PRODUCT and SERIAL for one (although the information is supplied by udevadm and is shown in /var/log/message -- go figure!). Based on this un-encouraging experience the third 500 GB USB HDD is a Transcend StoreJet, cheaper than the big name brands, and it has worked without problem.

None of the USB HDDs:
  • Can be spun down using the only tools I know -- hdparm and sdparm even with a CONFIG_USB_SUSPEND enabled kernel.
  • Can be monitored by SMART.
If I was starting over I would look into alternative portable HDD connections -- Firewire, SCSI, SATA?

Last edited by catkin; 12-22-2010 at 03:19 AM. Reason: typo
 
Old 12-22-2010, 04:15 AM   #14
linuxlover.chaitanya
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Hey Charles,
Thanks for the detailed information. I had Hitachi as option as well. But after comparing the prices here in Nagpur, I ruled it out. Hitachi is a lot costlier than other Seagate and Transcend brands. After my friend had trouble with Seagate, I tried looking into other brands for options and Transcend came as value for money. It is cheaper than other big brands like Hitachi, Toshiba and Sony. But there are people I know who are happy with it. One of my colleagues has got a 5 year old transcend 1gig usb pen drive and it is still working fine.
I dont know much about Firewire. But the laptop that uncle is using does not have the firewire port. I know that. It is a very old IBM Think pad R52. And what do you mean when you say SCSI and SATA? Are you wanting me to buy a SATA drive and case it for external use? It would need external power as well and it would not be useful for travel use. And he does a lot of travelling.
And because it is going to be used as a storage for the data and he is typically not concerned about the technicalities, though he is an engineer, USB should also just work for him. Portability is also one of the concerns I am looking at.
 
Old 12-22-2010, 05:37 AM   #15
catkin
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Hi Chaitanya I wasn't suggesting you use Firewire or external SCSI or SATA [note below], I was just putting the idea "out there" in case anyone finds this thread for whom those are options. WWR? World Wide Rant? Writing Worth Reading?

EDIT: note: because you specifically asked about USB HDDs

Last edited by catkin; 12-22-2010 at 05:43 AM.
 
  


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