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  1. I would like to know which external hard drive is better, the one that has also the switch for on/off or the ones that start when the pc starts?

    Thanks!
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    It depends...USB, FireWire or E-SATA?

    I usually buy an external case (with the appropriate interface) and a drive to install inside.

    All of my external drives have a power switch. If the drive is powered on at boot it will be recognized...otherwise, not. I would imagine that the only difference would be that the drive would always power on at boot.

    Unless you want an external without a power adapter?
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  3. Originally Posted by Video Head
    It depends...USB, FireWire or E-SATA?

    I usually buy an external case (with the appropriate interface) and a drive to install inside.

    All of my external drives have a power switch. If the drive is powered on at boot it will be recognized...otherwise, not. I would imagine that the only difference would be that the drive would always power on at boot.

    Unless you want an external without a power adapter?
    USB.
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    Depends on the above comments. I like the 1tb Fantom drives. The Alum enclosure doesn't have a fan but the drive seems to stay fairly cool and they seem to have an idle mode. However, the main reasons I like them is they are about $100 each and they have both USB and ESata ports. The ESata port is much faster (2x) than the standard 2.0 USB port on my machine.

    Tony
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    Originally Posted by alintatoc
    Originally Posted by Video Head
    It depends...USB, FireWire or E-SATA?

    I usually buy an external case (with the appropriate interface) and a drive to install inside.

    All of my external drives have a power switch. If the drive is powered on at boot it will be recognized...otherwise, not. I would imagine that the only difference would be that the drive would always power on at boot.

    Unless you want an external without a power adapter?
    USB.
    USB is plug and play (XP and up). It does not matter if it is powered on, or even plugged in, at boot. It will be recognized when it is connected and powered. Unless it is your only boot drive...then your computer will have issues.
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  6. Originally Posted by Video Head
    Originally Posted by alintatoc
    Originally Posted by Video Head
    It depends...USB, FireWire or E-SATA?

    I usually buy an external case (with the appropriate interface) and a drive to install inside.

    All of my external drives have a power switch. If the drive is powered on at boot it will be recognized...otherwise, not. I would imagine that the only difference would be that the drive would always power on at boot.

    Unless you want an external without a power adapter?
    USB.
    USB is plug and play (XP and up). It does not matter if it is powered on, or even plugged in, at boot. It will be recognized when it is connected and powered. Unless it is your only boot drive...then your computer will have issues.
    One more thing, when I want to shut down the pc then I get like couple of seconds of delay until I can actually choose to shut down. If sort of feels like the external hard drive went off sleep mode or something. Is that normal?
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    Originally Posted by alintatoc
    Originally Posted by Video Head
    Originally Posted by alintatoc
    Originally Posted by Video Head
    It depends...USB, FireWire or E-SATA?

    I usually buy an external case (with the appropriate interface) and a drive to install inside.

    All of my external drives have a power switch. If the drive is powered on at boot it will be recognized...otherwise, not. I would imagine that the only difference would be that the drive would always power on at boot.

    Unless you want an external without a power adapter?
    USB.
    USB is plug and play (XP and up). It does not matter if it is powered on, or even plugged in, at boot. It will be recognized when it is connected and powered. Unless it is your only boot drive...then your computer will have issues.
    One more thing, when I want to shut down the pc then I get like couple of seconds of delay until I can actually choose to shut down. If sort of feels like the external hard drive went off sleep mode or something. Is that normal?
    Yes. When you power down your computer it finishes writing any data that it is holding in volatile memory to the hard drive(s). Otherwise the data would be lost, just as if your power suddenly went out. As the system checks to make sure that no data is waiting to be written to the drives the external USB drive is slower and adds one more level of checking that the computer has to do at shut down.

    You might also want to check your power management settings. If your drive is going into a low power mode after a period of no activity then it will take a few seconds for it to power back up just to have it checked prior to shut down. That is a personal preference as to how you want your system's power management to work.
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  8. Now I've noticed that also if I start the pc with the external hdd connected then windows is starting slower. Now I unplugged the usb and I restarted without the external hdd and the windows started quite fast.
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  9. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Your motherboard BIOS may be checking USB devices to look for a USB boot device and that may be slowing down the boot. I would look in BIOS to see if there are any settings that might cause this.
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  10. Originally Posted by redwudz
    Your motherboard BIOS may be checking USB devices to look for a USB boot device and that may be slowing down the boot. I would look in BIOS to see if there are any settings that might cause this.
    How about if the reason is not from BIOS?
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    Your OS is just checking all drives and devices at boot. USB is not noted for its speed. It does provide flexibility in being hot plugged and unplugged. Not speed. If you want speed in an external drive go to E-SATA. Otherwise, endure the few extra seconds at boot and shut down. Why is this such a problem? Why is this time so important that it warrants investigation?
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  12. Originally Posted by Video Head
    Your OS is just checking all drives and devices at boot. USB is not noted for its speed. It does provide flexibility in being hot plugged and unplugged. Not speed. If you want speed in an external drive go to E-SATA. Otherwise, endure the few extra seconds at boot and shut down. Why is this such a problem? Why is this time so important that it warrants investigation?
    It's not so big deal actually, I just wanted to find out the reason because in case the external hdd would be faulty then I could return it in 30 days to the shop

    By the way, is it better to have the external hdd in NTFS format rather then FAT32?

    Thanks anyway!
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  13. Originally Posted by alintatoc

    By the way, is it better to have the external hdd in NTFS format rather then FAT32?
    It depends on your intended use: FAT32 cannot handle files larger than 4Gbytes. Some video files may exceed that size. Some DVD players that can play media files from an external drive cannot read NTFS format.

    I think that FAT32 is preferred if you want to access the files from a Mac, but I don't have a Mac to confirm that.
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  14. Originally Posted by OldAmateur
    Originally Posted by alintatoc

    By the way, is it better to have the external hdd in NTFS format rather then FAT32?
    It depends on your intended use: FAT32 cannot handle files larger than 4Gbytes. Some video files may exceed that size. Some DVD players that can play media files from an external drive cannot read NTFS format.

    I think that FAT32 is preferred if you want to access the files from a Mac, but I don't have a Mac to confirm that.
    When I try to format normally with xp, then the system tells me that something is running from the hdd and I have to quit all applications but I don't actually know what's running...
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    Having an on/off switch is a good thing. You can turn it on when you want to and not leave it always running.
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    Originally Posted by alintatoc
    Originally Posted by Video Head
    Your OS is just checking all drives and devices at boot. USB is not noted for its speed. It does provide flexibility in being hot plugged and unplugged. Not speed. If you want speed in an external drive go to E-SATA. Otherwise, endure the few extra seconds at boot and shut down. Why is this such a problem? Why is this time so important that it warrants investigation?
    It's not so big deal actually, I just wanted to find out the reason because in case the external hdd would be faulty then I could return it in 30 days to the shop

    By the way, is it better to have the external hdd in NTFS format rather then FAT32?

    Thanks anyway!
    Do you plan to use this on multiple systems or just on your XP machine? You usually do not want to mix NTFS and FAT32 on a system. It can be done, but it can also cause some general wierdness. NTFS is probably the way to go due to the file size limitation within FAT32.
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    Originally Posted by alintatoc
    Originally Posted by OldAmateur
    Originally Posted by alintatoc

    By the way, is it better to have the external hdd in NTFS format rather then FAT32?
    It depends on your intended use: FAT32 cannot handle files larger than 4Gbytes. Some video files may exceed that size. Some DVD players that can play media files from an external drive cannot read NTFS format.

    I think that FAT32 is preferred if you want to access the files from a Mac, but I don't have a Mac to confirm that.
    When I try to format normally with xp, then the system tells me that something is running from the hdd and I have to quit all applications but I don't actually know what's running...
    Guess I should read the entire thread before responding to the first thing I see

    How are you formating? Best to set the drive up through Computer Management.
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    Originally Posted by OldAmateur
    It depends on your intended use: FAT32 cannot handle files larger than 4Gbytes. Some video files may exceed that size. Some DVD players that can play media files from an external drive cannot read NTFS format.

    I think that FAT32 is preferred if you want to access the files from a Mac, but I don't have a Mac to confirm that.
    FAT32 is compatible with more systems/hardware/OSes, including Macs and Linux. To have NTFS support, someone either has had to pay/make an arrangement with Microsoft, or use the drivers from those who reverse-engineer NTFS (or, of course, do it themselves).

    NTFS' security probably makes it less than ideal for using a pen drive in a DVD player, I don't know.
    If cameras add ten pounds, why would people want to eat them?
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  19. Thanks for the info.
    One more thing, the external hdd has 1TB but I have available only 931GB, is this normal and why?
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  20. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Yes, it's normal. The OS and the HDD reserves some for it's own purposes and real life hard drive sizes are different than what the manufactures usually quote, so they read a bit smaller than advertised. You aren't losing any space.
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  21. Originally Posted by alintatoc
    Thanks for the info.
    One more thing, the external hdd has 1TB but I have available only 931GB, is this normal and why?
    Drive manufacturers quote sizes in decimal, so 1Tbyte means literaly one billion bytes. Computer software typically measures storage (and memory) in binary, where a megabyte means 1,024 bytes, a gigabyte means 1,024 megabytes (1,048,576 bytes), and a terabyte means 1,024 gigabytes (1,073,741,824 bytes). By that count, your 931GB available translates to 976,224,256 bytes. The difference (23,775,744 bytes), as redwudz says, is space used for the drive directory and similar administrative purposes.

    ===
    There I go again, foozling the exponents. What I should have said is: A decimal Terabyte means one trillion bytes (1,000,000,000,000). A binary kilobyte means 1,024 bytes, a megabyte means 1,024 kilobytes (1,048,576 bytes), a gigabyte means 1,024 megabytes (1,073,741,824), and a terabyte means 1,024 gigabytes (1,099,511,627,776 bytes). By that count, your 931GB available translates to 999,653,638,144 bytes, and the space not available is 346,361,856 bytes--roughly the equivalent of one one-hour TV show compressed with the xvid codec.

    It's a good thing I'm not a rocket scientist. My moon shot would land in downtown Tehran.
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