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N1LAF
11-10-2010, 08:05 PM
First of all, anyone with the Seagate FreeAgent, 5 year warranty USB drives... They may actually last a year or less. If they click a lot, think about replacing it before total drive melt down. I was lucky, all data saved before it started to have major problems. The 1.5TB drives are the worst.

Interesting that the Seagate FreeAgent USB powered small drives are so problem free. I now have two, and have had the first one for couple years, been trouble free.

I replaced it with a Western Digital Essentials. Only if I know then what I know now, would have saved me a lot of hassles. An hour long phone call with Western Digital, and I got it. It was in front of me all the time at the Western Digital website.

I picked the WD Essentials because I thought it was a quality level higher than WD Elements. Essentials has a strong backup software suite, and it isn't really suited to those who are looking for simple storage. With one WD Essentials, works fine. But the WD Essential software/hardware prevents you from accessing more than one Essential drive at a time. Confirmed by WD.

The WD Elements is the simple drive, no backup software. It is slightly cheaper, and not a quality difference with the Essentials. You can have more than one Elements drive connected at a time. WD also stated you can have multiple Element drives with a single Essentials drive.

The WD drives are quiet, do not click like the Seagate Drive. It will be a year before I can recommend them (experience with drive needed)

n0iu
11-13-2010, 03:34 PM
According to http://www.blackfridayad.net/best-buy-black-friday-ad/ (scroll down to Hard Drives), BestBuy will be selling the Seagate 2TB FreeAgent GoFlex External USB 2.0/3.0 Hard Drive for $89.99 on Black Friday. So I am guess you won't be buying one, huh?

K6BSO
11-13-2010, 04:43 PM
I have had bad luck with Seagate drives. I only buy WD now. Not that I buy drives very often anymore.

n6hcm
11-14-2010, 06:45 AM
According to http://www.blackfridayad.net/best-buy-black-friday-ad/ (scroll down to Hard Drives), BestBuy will be selling the Seagate 2TB FreeAgent GoFlex External USB 2.0/3.0 Hard Drive for $89.99 on Black Friday. So I am guess you won't be buying one, huh?

i will (if i don't have to be in line at a best buy store). i don't do that waiting in line crap for consumer goods. this isn't cold war era eastern europe ...

W1GUH
11-15-2010, 12:38 PM
i will (if i don't have to be in line at a best buy store). i don't do that waiting in line crap for consumer goods. this isn't cold war era eastern europe ...

Oh, man! Why do you hate capitalism so much? Think of ALL THE MONEY that those stores spend on advertising and coming up with just the right come-on to get people to line up outside, clamoring to get in! We should ALL be totally willing, nay EAGER to thank them for spending all that money and helping 'em out by showing up early (extra points if you wait in line all night) so they can maximize the return on their investment. [sarcasm off]

ka8ncr
11-19-2010, 03:20 PM
I just bought a WD Essentials 2TB drive at Costco for $119. It was the only >1 TB drive that I've seen at Costco that says it will support a reformat to a different file format and function. The Seagate passport drives will, but they're sub 1 TB. The Seagate 1 TB drives and above as well as the HP drives explicitly state on their packaging that the format must be NTFS. I take that to mean it won't work formatted to something else.

I've had all sorts of problems with USB drives as of late. I've been shopping around for NAS frames although I hate the thought of network backups.

KC2UGV
11-19-2010, 03:22 PM
I just bought a WD Essentials 2TB drive at Costco for $119. It was the only >1 TB drive that I've seen at Costco that says it will support a reformat to a different file format and function. The Seagate passport drives will, but they're sub 1 TB. The Seagate 1 TB drives and above as well as the HP drives explicitly state on their packaging that the format must be NTFS. I take that to mean it won't work formatted to something else.

I've had all sorts of problems with USB drives as of late. I've been shopping around for NAS frames although I hate the thought of network backups.

Why are you averse to network backups? Any reason in particular?

ka8ncr
11-19-2010, 06:14 PM
Why are you averse to network backups? Any reason in particular?

I should say in my home situation. I don't want to backup over a wireless link, especially the flock of portable devices. We use network backups at work and there are few problems, but I'm not keen on rewiring the house to gigabit ethernet. The only place that there's wired ethernet is my kid's rooms.

n6hcm
11-20-2010, 03:43 AM
The Seagate 1 TB drives and above as well as the HP drives explicitly state on their packaging that the format must be NTFS.

show me. i've never seen anything of this sort.

K6BSO
11-20-2010, 11:46 AM
The Seagate 1 TB drives and above as well as the HP drives explicitly state on their packaging that the format must be NTFS.

So, they don't want their drives used in Mac or Linux boxes, then? Seems kind of silly to me.

KC2UGV
11-20-2010, 01:04 PM
I should say in my home situation. I don't want to backup over a wireless link, especially the flock of portable devices. We use network backups at work and there are few problems, but I'm not keen on rewiring the house to gigabit ethernet. The only place that there's wired ethernet is my kid's rooms.

You should look into "replication" first. I keep all my devices sync'd up on the "NAS" (AKA virtual machine backup server) using sftp. And then the backup server handles backing up there to another device.

After the initial sync, it's all just "play catch up" over one day. It just syncs deltas.

N1LAF
11-21-2010, 02:45 PM
Just bought a pair of WD Elements drive, and son of a gun, the same affliction affects them also - you cannot access more than ONE WD drive at a time. Going back to Best buy...

Think it's time to buy bare drives and USB to SATA enclosures.

n6hcm
11-24-2010, 05:57 AM
Just bought a pair of WD Elements drive, and son of a gun, the same affliction affects them also - you cannot access more than ONE WD drive at a time. Going back to Best buy...

Think it's time to buy bare drives and USB to SATA enclosures.

that's what i do. i like enclosures from other world computing, but they're a bit spendy. i also have to find a 2.5" SATA disk for my mac mini ... may be getting a hybrid for this disk since i can get it cheap.

N1LAF
11-24-2010, 06:09 AM
that's what i do. i like enclosures from other world computing, but they're a bit spendy. i also have to find a 2.5" SATA disk for my mac mini ... may be getting a hybrid for this disk since i can get it cheap.

Which drive enclosures that allow more than one on a system would you recommend... be nice if it was available from newegg.com

The combined price between bare drive and enclosure would not be that much more than from Best Buy..

n6hcm
11-26-2010, 06:35 AM
Which drive enclosures that allow more than one on a system would you recommend... be nice if it was available from newegg.com

i'm afraid i don't get your question here. do you mean an enclosure that can house several disks for one host? i have one of those from newegg ... has room for two more disks.

kf0rt
11-26-2010, 07:33 AM
I've got a whole slew (8-10) of the "Galaxy Metal Gear Box" USB drive enclosures -- never had a problem with any of them and they were pretty inexpensive, but it looks like they're no longer made...?

A clue for shopping on Newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=92&name=External-Enclosures&Order=RATING

Sort by rating... 5 eggs and 300+ ratings? You're probably going to be okay.

ETA: I've never heard of an external USB drive where only one was allowed on a system at a time. That sounds more like a problem with the system than the drive, but who knows? USB operates under Plug and Play rules and two identical devices will present identical vendor and product ID's to the system -- it's up to the system to keep them separate. I think...

N1LAF
11-26-2010, 08:49 AM
i'm afraid i don't get your question here. do you mean an enclosure that can house several disks for one host? i have one of those from newegg ... has room for two more disks.

With the Western Digital drives, connect an external USB drive, and you see the drive letter assigned to that drive. Plug in a second WD external USB drive, and no drive letter is assigned to it, even though if you look at it through 'Manage', the drive is there, but no drive letters.

With Seagate drives, plug in an external drive, you get the drive letter assigned. Plug in a second drive, the next available drive letter is assigned. What spooked me about Seagate, is the clicking from some of the drives, and the failure to work when plugged in. I would have to cycle the power like three times before the drive connected. Western Digital didn't have these problems, they just had other problems.

So, I am looking for external drive enclosures that do not behave like the WD external USB drives. This way, I can use better drives without the problems, and to be able to use more than one external USB drive on the system.

N1LAF
11-26-2010, 08:51 AM
I've got a whole slew (8-10) of the "Galaxy Metal Gear Box" USB drive enclosures -- never had a problem with any of them and they were pretty inexpensive, but it looks like they're no longer made...?

A clue for shopping on Newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=92&name=External-Enclosures&Order=RATING

Sort by rating... 5 eggs and 300+ ratings? You're probably going to be okay.

ETA: I've never heard of an external USB drive where only one was allowed on a system at a time. That sounds more like a problem with the system than the drive, but who knows? USB operates under Plug and Play rules and two identical devices will present identical vendor and product ID's to the system -- it's up to the system to keep them separate. I think...

If this problem exists ONLY with Western Digital and not with Seagate or Maxtor, I know because I have these drives, then it isn't the system.

n6hcm
11-27-2010, 04:51 AM
With the Western Digital drives, connect an external USB drive, and you see the drive letter assigned to that drive. Plug in a second WD external USB drive, and no drive letter is assigned to it, even though if you look at it through 'Manage', the drive is there, but no drive letters.

With Seagate drives, plug in an external drive, you get the drive letter assigned.

ah. that behavior is unique to wd (it annoyed me last week--one of our collaborators sent a disk to be filled up with data and it was a wd external. so: plug it in: one is a read-only thing that gets assigned a drive letter, and the lion's share of the disk space is visible but not assigned a letter or a mount point. formatted it and gave it a drive letter, then off we go.) the wd i carry around in my day bag doesn't do this, but probably because it's been formatted several times into several different fs types ...

kf0rt
11-27-2010, 08:02 AM
I've been running WD drives exclusively for eons in external enclosures (but not purchased that way) and never had a problem. I also format new drives before using them, even if it's just the "quick format."

Bizarre, and odd that I couldn't find anything on the net about this other than some instances that were pretty vague - "Plugged it in and the computer wouldn't see it" stuff. If it shows up in Windows' Disk Manager, delete volume, create volume, create partition, mark partition active, format, done (or something like that). I imagine Paul tried that, tho...

N1LAF
11-27-2010, 09:25 AM
I've been running WD drives exclusively for eons in external enclosures (but not purchased that way) and never had a problem. I also format new drives before using them, even if it's just the "quick format."

Bizarre, and odd that I couldn't find anything on the net about this other than some instances that were pretty vague - "Plugged it in and the computer wouldn't see it" stuff. If it shows up in Windows' Disk Manager, delete volume, create volume, create partition, mark partition active, format, done (or something like that). I imagine Paul tried that, tho...

I suspect most people do not attempt to use 2 or more USB external drives, and thus the low reporting on this. The WD support seemed to be aware of this issue, and immediately directed me to "My Computer", right click, then "Manage" to see all the drives and partitions. I tried the add/assign drive letters, but to no avail, so I will be turning to bare drives in external enclosures.

kf0rt
11-27-2010, 09:52 AM
I suspect most people do not attempt to use 2 or more USB external drives, and thus the low reporting on this. The WD support seemed to be aware of this issue, and immediately directed me to "My Computer", right click, then "Manage" to see all the drives and partitions. I tried the add/assign drive letters, but to no avail, so I will be turning to bare drives in external enclosures.

Just curious if you tried repartitioning the drive. I've got a number of external drives here (used primarily for backup), so normally run just one at a time. Just for fun, I fired three of them up (I'd need to dig out more power supplies to run more), and they all came right up -- two WD 1TB drives and one WD 640 GB. The main drives in this box (3x 1TB WD "Green" SATA) are the same as what I use in the enclosures.

N1LAF
11-27-2010, 10:16 AM
Just curious if you tried repartitioning the drive. I've got a number of external drives here (used primarily for backup), so normally run just one at a time. Just for fun, I fired three of them up (I'd need to dig out more power supplies to run more), and they all came right up -- two WD 1TB drives and one WD 640 GB. The main drives in this box (3x 1TB WD "Green" SATA) are the same as what I use in the enclosures.

I can only speak about WD Elements and Essentials, and I shouldn't have to 'reformat' to make them work. I can run multiple external Seagate free Agents and Maxtor USB drives without problem, which tells me that there is something particular with WD Essentials/Elements (1T, 1.5T, and 2T external drives).

KC2UGV
11-27-2010, 10:17 AM
With the Western Digital drives, connect an external USB drive, and you see the drive letter assigned to that drive. Plug in a second WD external USB drive, and no drive letter is assigned to it, even though if you look at it through 'Manage', the drive is there, but no drive letters.

With Seagate drives, plug in an external drive, you get the drive letter assigned. Plug in a second drive, the next available drive letter is assigned. What spooked me about Seagate, is the clicking from some of the drives, and the failure to work when plugged in. I would have to cycle the power like three times before the drive connected. Western Digital didn't have these problems, they just had other problems.

So, I am looking for external drive enclosures that do not behave like the WD external USB drives. This way, I can use better drives without the problems, and to be able to use more than one external USB drive on the system.

Paul, that's actually an easy fix.

Plug in Drive #1. Go into System, Disk Management. Assign the drive another letter, like Z:

Now, unplug drive #1, and plug in drive #2. You should see it now. Go ahead and plug in drive #1. You should see them both now.

This used to happen a lot with USB thumb drives, when manufacturers hard coded drive E: or F: into the firmware. WD might not have dropped this from the cage firmware.

N1LAF
11-27-2010, 10:23 AM
Paul, that's actually an easy fix.

Plug in Drive #1. Go into System, Disk Management. Assign the drive another letter, like Z:

Now, unplug drive #1, and plug in drive #2. You should see it now. Go ahead and plug in drive #1. You should see them both now.

This used to happen a lot with USB thumb drives, when manufacturers hard coded drive E: or F: into the firmware. WD might not have dropped this from the cage firmware.

Already tried that. Changed the drive letter to 'T'. When I plugged in the second drive, it also assumed the letter 'T'. I gave up on WD external USB drives, and now wilol be looking into external cases and standard bare drives.

I have been using the XP utility "Computer Management" for these operations.

kf0rt
11-27-2010, 10:27 AM
I can only speak about WD Elements and Essentials, and I shouldn't have to 'reformat' to make them work. I can run multiple external Seagate free Agents and Maxtor USB drives without problem, which tells me that there is something particular with WD Essentials/Elements (1T, 1.5T, and 2T external drives).

Probably true, but "particular" doesn't necessarily equate to "broken." I've never really trusted factory formats. In the old days, doing your own partitioning and formatting was mandatory.

KC2UGV
11-27-2010, 12:23 PM
Already tried that. Changed the drive letter to 'T'. When I plugged in the second drive, it also assumed the letter 'T'. I gave up on WD external USB drives, and now wilol be looking into external cases and standard bare drives.

I have been using the XP utility "Computer Management" for these operations.

Weird... Usually, that works even with the USB hard disks that have exhibited this behavior. And just using the Computer Mgmt panel.

N1LAF
11-28-2010, 12:03 AM
How about this for a two-drive solution...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=17-392-024&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Page=5#scrollFullInfo

n6hcm
11-28-2010, 04:46 AM
I tried the add/assign drive letters, but to no avail, so I will be turning to bare drives in external enclosures.

if the volume isn't formatted then you can't assign a drive letter or mount point ....

n6hcm
11-28-2010, 04:57 AM
How about this for a two-drive solution...

i have something similar that i bought about a year ago ... like you see in the reviews, documentation is skimpy (on the device i bought) but there was no rocket science involved in making it work correctly. in my example i just have the case running as JBOD (i don't have a real RAID controller and am not a fan of software RAID), it holds four disks and i've only installed two so far, and it works just fine. of course, now that i've written those words ...

N1LAF
11-28-2010, 07:53 AM
if the volume isn't formatted then you can't assign a drive letter or mount point ....

They are formatted, I had data on two drives. When I wanted to transfer data from one drive to another (rearrangement of data) I discovered the inability to have more than one WD drive at a time.