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16 May 2007

More computer questions. This time about hard drives. [More:]

I need to get another hard drive to back up all my photos/music, but I don't know whether to get an external or internal.

A dummy question about internal drives: They're like a CD drive, right? There should be a slot on the front of the box? (In other words, not like memory, where you go inside and install it there?)

If so, I'd need to remove my 2nd DVD drive (don't need it, the other drive also plays CDs and DVDs). I don't have any problem with that. Would my computer?

That said, what are the advantages of internal over external, besides not having to install the external one, uh, internally?

What else do I need to look for?

What if it fails? Does it take all my pictures and music with it?

Thanks for the edumacation....
Actually, when I installed my internal HD, I had to open up the box. If you have usb 2.0 or FireWire (anything less will be too slow) go external. I just got one and I couldn't be happier with it. The external one will also be more convenient for transfering data to a new system when the time comes.
posted by jonmc 16 May | 17:57
This is the one I got. Piece of cake to set up, works like a dream.
posted by jonmc 16 May | 17:59
I'm confused, jon. The one you linked to is external, but you mentioned an internal one. Two different HDs?
posted by mudpuppie 16 May | 18:05
Yeah, two different ones. I have two internals and 1 external HD. I bought the external as backup in case of system failure and for easy data transfer to other systems.
posted by jonmc 16 May | 18:21
Internal is cheaper, quieter and uses less energy.

External is very slightly easier.
posted by box 16 May | 18:34
Another question: Say I install a second hard-drive and transfer all my music over. I can delete it from my existing HD, right, and play music from the 2nd one?

Sorry. I really know nothing about this.
posted by mudpuppie 16 May | 18:38
Yup, sure can.
posted by box 16 May | 18:47
You have to open the case to install an internal HDD, an external one will plug into either a USB or a firewire port with a (usually) supplied cable. In some cases (not usually), you may have to set jumper switches or go into the BIOS to change settings on an internal drive, while an external drive should just plug-n-play.

If you are running two optical drives already, you may need to check that your power supply is up to the task of running more drives.

If you put your music on an external drive and use Windows Media Player, it may tend to lose track of where your music is if you plug things like flash drives in and Windows re-allocates drive letters.

If you just want more storage space and don't mind the extra work, install an additional internal drive, as it will be cheaper and perform better. if you think you might want to use it for transferring data or for backing-up or don't want to fiddle around with cables and stuff, buy an external drive.

If you buy an external drive, then use it to transfer all your data to prior to formatting the HDD and re-installing the OS, I strongly recommend that you don't leave the external drive powered up on the edge of your desk where kids could knock it to the floor, wiping all your data when the HDD slams onto the concrete. Like I did :-(
posted by dg 16 May | 19:25
w00t || Little dog fosters tiger cub.