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Old April 4th, 2005, 02:31 PM   #1
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External Firewire Hard Drive Recommendations

Hi, I need to pick up some external hard drives (not recording direct-to-disk, but I thought this forum was the closet to what i'm looking for).

I haven't bought an external disk drive before. I'm currently considering the following two drives:

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1272079&CatId=531
http://www.canadacomputers.com/cc/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=006822&cid=HD.342

Another option is just buy an external HD case and build one myself. Is there large quality differences between manufactuers? What do you guys recommend I do?

Thanks,
Ari
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Old April 4th, 2005, 04:37 PM   #2
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I personally like Lacie. But Maxtors are great as well. If you are using a G5 they have a external firewire 800 (G-RAID) that matches your case.

Ive had the best experiences with my Lacies though. I had a Maxtor but it got fried. (maybe it was just mine; however, i never had a problem with my lacies. Yet. )
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Old April 4th, 2005, 04:47 PM   #3
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What type of hard disks to the Lacie's use? ( or does Lacie manufactuer their own hard disks?)
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Old April 4th, 2005, 06:08 PM   #4
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Im not sure. I know that Lacie says that they do their products "in house" so im assuming that it is their own HDDs. I could be wrong though. Nevertheless, they make a great product. with great support.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 03:02 PM   #5
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I use Wiebetech drives and have had great luck with them. You can pick up Firewire 400/800 enclosures along with USB 2.0 as well. You can find them at:

www.wiebetech.com

They're a little more expensive but they're quality enclosures hands down.

John
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Old May 16th, 2005, 10:28 PM   #6
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FYI - do NOT purchase the PPA International "Gear Box" 1394 enclosures. I recently purchased three of them only to find there is a design or manufacturing defect. All of the enclosures worked fine when only one PPA was on the 1394 bus. BUT when a 2nd or 3rd enclosure was added to the 1394 bus (daisy chained or thru a hub) the bus stopped working.

A quick trip to the lab and use of a 1394 bus analyzer revealed the problem - all of the enclosures have the same "Global Unique ID" (GUID in 1394 speak). Without unique GUID's devices can't communicate properly on the bus. Since the vendor ID is part of the GUID, using one of PPA's enclosures with other devices shouldn't be a problem (I had Sony, Maxtor and other devices on the bus with one PPA enclosure) - just don't purchase or attempt to use a 2nd unit.

The folks at newegg.com gave me an RMA and the enclosures are no more.

FWIW, my other external drives (Maxtor, Western Digital, others) have all worked fine. My personal preference are for:
1. Unit with an on/off power switch so I can keep unused drives powered off.
2. Aluminum enclosures WITHOUT a fan (quiet a is good thing).
3. Combo enclosure for "just in case" I don't want to (or can't) use the 1394 port.

Keep in mind the new 7200 rpm ATA drives will be able to saturate a 1394a (400Mbit) bus - but the next step up in performance to 800Mbit with 1394b will add at least another $50 to the price of your enclosure.

Lacie does not manufacture drives.

Greg
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