External hard drive questions

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Todd Stout, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Screenwriter

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    I am going to pick up an external hard drive ASAP and have a few questions about doing so. The first thing I want to use it for is copying a lot of files to before I wipe a Dell Dimension 8100 PC that I am about to clean install Windows XP on (again). This PC is equipped with USB 1.0 (1.1?) along with all other standard connections. Once that is finsished, I'd like to use the drive on a newer PC (as yet to be purchased) that will likely have USB 2.0 as well as Firewire connections. Are there external dives that support USB 2.0 and/or Firewire that also can be used with this older Dell PC?

    Thank you.
     
  2. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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    Virtually all USB 2.0 external hard drives are backwards compatible with USB 1.1. Unless you’re Dell was one of the first models to use USB it should be 1.1 and not 1.0. Even then a BIOS update MIGHT be able to upgrade to USB 1.1.
     
  3. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    You can also buy a regular hard drive (internal) and get a firewire/USB2 enclosure separately (probably a dozen brands are available now). It may save you a few bucks...look for other threads here that discuss this.
     
  4. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

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    Not too mention that a harddisk connected via USB 1.1 will be *extremely* slow. In that case, as Max said, it will probably make more sense to connect the HD internally to copy the stuff over from the old drive, and then later on use an enclosure to use it as an external drive on a new system.

    -Christian
     
  5. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Screenwriter

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    Thank you for the replies. I wasn't too clear on the whole USB 1.1 vs 2.0 compatibility thing.

    I ended up ordering a Western Digital 120GB external (USB 2.0/Firewire) hard drive online. Someone at work pointed out that I had better get a USB 2.0 adapter card or I'm going to be as old as he (about 10 years older than me) by the time the files are transfered over so I ordered one of those too.

    Hopefully this makes my clean install of Windows XP (again) a little less painful.
     
  6. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    I recommend against having to either install a card, additional HD in the old computer, as I think you can always start the process and then watch a DVD and by the time the movie is over it should be copied over as well.
     
  7. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Screenwriter

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    I attempted to get the D-Link USB 2.0 card installed last night. It went right in without a hitch but now the PC is having problems recognizing it. Their Web site says I may have a conflict between the card and the motherboard and to call tech support. I did that and after about 30 minutes of getting suggestions I had already tried, I was told to call back during the day and ask for "level 2 support."

    Sometimes I really get the feeling that PCs have it out for me.
     
  8. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    On the same topic, need I assume that a drive connected via FireWire/USB has the same BIOS limitations as internal hard drives? I plan on getting a 200 GB external drive soon under Windows 2000 and I'm obviously concerned about having access to the entire drive.

    Can external hard drives be partitioned as well? I would assume so, but I don't want to regret a purchase by being ignorant of the facts before the purchase.
     
  9. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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    I don't know about BIOS limitations with external drives, but I do know that you can partition them. A friend has a 120GB external drive with a ~60GB NTFS partition and two ~30GB FAT32 partitions so he can use the drive with two computers: one with Windows XP and the other with Windows ME. He has this enclosure:

    TRIUMPH SAPHIRE 3.5" USB 2.0 & FIREWIRE COMBO EXTERNAL CASE ENCLOSURE(TT-746U2F)
    http://www.pcmicrostore.com/PartDeta...x?q=p:10501116
     
  10. Jesse Leonard

    Jesse Leonard Second Unit

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    Do you have the latest XP service pack installed. Some USB 2.0 drivers won't work unless this is installed.
     
  11. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Screenwriter

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    I'm on Windows XP SP1. I generally run the Windows updater every couple of weeks or so to make sure I have the latest updates. It appears as though this particular card doesn't play well with this model of Dell PC.

    I just spent literally an hour on the phone with D-Link tech support (about the first 25 minutes or so was spent on hold waiting for a level 2 technician before I was hung up on). We tried a few more times to get this card to work and the tech basically came to the conclusion that this card just may have some sort of conflict with something on this motherboard. He suggested that I try this card in another computer to make sure it isn't the problem (not really a convenient thing to do though). I asked if I should try another brand and he felt that was a good idea. I think I wil go pick up another card at a local store and try it out.

    One of the computer techs at work suggested I go into the device manager and uninstall all USB devices including all of my onboard USB 1.1 ports. He said that the PC would redetect them all when I reboot... it didn't. Is there a way to reinstall the onboard USB ports?

    StephenL, I wish I could answer your question but I'm not all that familiar with that particular subject. I may be mistaken but I thought drive size was limited by the particular operating system you are running.
     
  12. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Have you tried installing the card into a different PCI slot?
     

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