There are 4-forms of data storage that we use today. You could use an online storage website, but it may cost you $80.00 per year or more, and privacy is an issue. You could use a USB flash drive to store your data, however they are prone to virus’s and or corruption, and are limited by 50-GB max capacity. You could burn data on DVD disks. However, they only have a 4.6GB capacity, and depending on the amount you will need to backup per year, you could be spending hundreds of dollars for several spools of DVD blank disks.
The other option is an USB external hard drive. The original external hard drives were huge, bulky, required a fan to prevent overheating, and used a firewire connection. The later models used a USB connection, but still required a fan and an AC adaptor to provide power. Thankfully, these hard drives have now gotten small enough that they can fit in your pocket! They don’t require a fan because they don’t overheat, and don’t require extra power from a wall outlet, so no AC adapter is required.
I have a internal Western Digital 200-GB hard drive, and it has provided me great service for many years, this is why I know they are good. Plus I have a brother who is also using a smaller 40-GB model which, has never failed either. However, with all the games, programs installed on my PC, plus all my HD recorded content, I was left with only 30-GB free on a 200-GB hard drive. So, these hard drives are great for backing up your content so that it doesn’t take up space on your PC’s internal HD.
Many people forget that you absolutely can not fill up all the space on your internal HD! This is because your operating system is on the internal HD and requires room for SWAP filing process. Swap filing is where the OS will use your hard drive as temporary memory when you have used up all of your internal memory. This happens more and more now days since we have memory sucking OS’s, such as Vista and System 7!
If your internal hard drive is completely filled up, SWAP filing can no longer take place. This results in major computer error, malfunction, and most certainly, file corruption. This will cause you to have to format, and reinstall the OS!
HOW SMALL IS IT: The device measures 6” wide by 3” height, and weighs less then 1-LBS.
CAPACITY: This is a 1-TB hard drive, that means it is a 1000-GB unit. Actual capacity is around 950-GB free.
SPEED: This hard drive uses both USB 2.0 for todays computers and USB 3.0 for tomorrows. USB 2.0 transfer rate is 480-Mbits per second. USB 3.0 transfer rate is 3-Gbits per second.
I am running Windows XP Pro on a older AMD 64 3500+ PC with an ASUS A8V Deluxe motherboard. I have 2GB of memory installed. I am also using a D-link 7-port 2.0 USB hub. I connected the WD HD to the USB hub and my computer automatically came up with the hardware install wizard. I let it run, but since the device is so new, Windows XP had no driver for the device.
The device itself had the driver on it, but since I could not access it yet, I had to go to the Western Digital website, to their driver download section, to obtain the driver for it. Once I got the driver, it was very easy to install, and I was able to use my hard drive right away, without even having to do a reboot! The HD came with utilities as well such as a format utility.
Because of the programs already on the hard drive, and the reserve memory space, there is just under 950-GB free. I did two different types of data transfers to the WD HD. I had both my personal media player, and my WD HD, connected to the D-Link USB hub. I transferred over 9-GB of movies on 2-different Micro SDHC flash cards, to the WD HD. Since file transfer is slow with flash cards, it took just over an hour to complete.
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I then had 10-GB of data on the computer to transfer over to the WD HD. Since both the computer and the hard drive are faster then a flash card system, data transfer only took 12-minutes! Weather I was transferring data from the computer, or the PMP device, which both it and the WD HD were both connected to the same USB hub, the process went very smoothly.
Accessing the media on the hard drive was equally as smooth and quite fast. I went to open up a movie, and it opened up as fast as it would if it were on my internal! The movie played fine with no jitters. I am storing, pictures, videos, MP3’s, Word documents, PDF files, and archived files on my new Western Digital hard drive. I got this HD for backup purpose’s so I wouldn’t be accessing the files all the time.
One of the programs that comes with the hard drive is, backup software. This software, when run, will allow it to automatically backup your computer’s content at an interval you select. However in order for this program to function, you must keep your hard drive connected to your PC at all times. I do not approve of this for several reasons. To name a few, hard drive wear, virus’s, spyware, or file corruption due to power outage.
I like to copy over the files I want to backup manually, then disconnect the device, put it in the softshell case I bought for it, and put it up on a shelf. I like how the hard drive is much smaller then the larger standard. I could put it in my pocket if I wish, and it doesn’t weigh me down. I also like how it doesn’t need an external power source to function. And the hard drive only gets luke warm, so it doesn’t need a fan to keep it cool.
The USB cord that comes with it is quite small, so it forces you to have keep it near a USB port, preferably away from the floor! It’s a proprietary cord so, I am not sure if you could find a longer one in stores. This Western Digital hard drive comes in multiple colors, (Black) (Silver) (Blue) (Red) so a color for everyone, I chose black. The black color is a shiny one, meaning you can get finger prints on it, that’s another reason to want to buy the softshell case.
I remember when the first 1TB drive came out years ago, it cost $1000.00 dollars. When I bought mine, it was only $80.00 on Amazon. However, because of the recent flooding in Japan that knocked out their manufacturing companies, the price has now gone up to $140.00.
CONCLUSION: Regardless of Japan’s problems, I see this type of hard drive becoming more and more popular. Who wants those huge bulky mini heaters on their computer desks anyways? So far, I have been very impressed with my new HD from WD. I haven’t had any problems with it, I recommend it with 5-STARS!
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