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Old November 15th, 2006, 01:11 PM   #1
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usb harddrive?

hey everybody,
i am about to start teh process of injesting a tremendous amount of footage and preparing for my edit, thus putting me in the market for a harddrive.
i am opting for an external but i know little about them.
i saw one on sale recently, 300 gigs but it was usb 2 instead of firewire.
is this a bad thing? will there be any quality loss or anything?
thanks in advance for the help.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 01:29 PM   #2
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USB 2.0 and Firewire are comparable when it comes to speed of data transfer for capturing and editing. I own several external drives, a mix of USB 2.0, Firewire, and both - all have had no problems when editing video directly off of the drives.

Quality loss isn't an issue since the drives don't have anything to do with camera or capture settings. A USB 2.0 or Firewire external drive behaves just like an internal drive for all intents and purposes.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 02:28 PM   #3
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Hey Jason,

I have a lacie that has done pretty well. Sometimes you can find rebates at your local tech warehouse store. Western Digital Mybooks are crap. Don't buy one. Ironically I have had success with older Western Digital externals, just I've had and have heard other reviews that Mybooks are crap.

Try lacie, see how that goes.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 03:24 PM   #4
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mine is usb+firewire combo, and what i was paying attention to when purchasing it was the drive speed - 7200rpm, as opposed to my internal drive's 5400rpm.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 03:38 PM   #5
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What about these small USB external hard drives that are like "flash" drives and don't require a power source? I have one that's 100 gigs.

Are these OK?

Last edited by Adam Bray; November 15th, 2006 at 09:24 PM.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 09:55 PM   #6
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A 100Gb flash drive would cost thousands of dollars. Are you sure it isn't a laptop hard drive in a USB enclosure? If so, laptop hard drives are often as slow as about 4,000rpm which is slower than the slowest desktop drive. It is possible to get a 7,200rpm laptop hard drive, but they are expensive and would likely use more power than is supplied by USB.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 10:24 PM   #7
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Double post-My bad!
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Last edited by Mike Teutsch; November 16th, 2006 at 07:19 AM.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 10:32 PM   #8
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I suppose it's a laptop drive. I don't know what it is. Someone gave it to me as a gift. I'm not that computer litterate anyways. I just know it's a real small hard drive that just plugs into the USB port. I use it for my desktop.

It's this here. I thought it was 100. I guess it's 80.

http://www.westerndigital.com/en/pro...sp?DriveID=162

It says it's 5400 RPM.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 05:19 AM   #9
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Jason and others:
I will strongly recommend you to buy firewire800 or 400 disks. Teoretically the usb2.0 is faster than firewire400 but me and many others have experienced issues using usb2.0 in the capture and editing process.
You may do a search at the internet: firewire vs usb
Here is one of the results:
http://www.usb-ware.com/firewire-vs-usb.htm

Good luck!
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Old November 16th, 2006, 05:55 AM   #10
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I just bought a 250GB usb-firewire combo external hard drive. I can use it with usb to capture from camera to harddrive:

XL2 - (firewire) - laptop - (usb) - harddrive


but I get problems if I try capturing in this configuration.

XL2 - (firewire) - harddrive - (firewire) - laptop
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Old November 16th, 2006, 06:00 AM   #11
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This is what I got in place of that mybook btw. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...vi=accessories

It has run without any issues.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 10:45 AM   #12
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It's funny the different experiences people seem to have with external hard drives. I have been using a USB 2.0 for video capture daily for five years without any issues. On the other hand I have had many issues with firewire drives.
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Last edited by Jeff Chandler; November 16th, 2006 at 04:04 PM.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 01:15 PM   #13
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I gave up on firewire connection for external drives on my windows systems, too many times getting the "check disk" error on the drive after booting up, and yes I do shut down the drive correctly with the tool bar icon. The drive is always recovered without a loss of data but it's time consuming and makes me nervous.

USB2 has worked without a hitch with video capture and editing for me.

As for that Lacie drive in the link above, I've heard of problems with that model with overheating, I always get a fan in my external drive enclosures.

YMMV

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Old November 16th, 2006, 03:07 PM   #14
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thanks guys, usb it is.
$100 for 300 gigs! we have a winner!
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Old November 16th, 2006, 03:19 PM   #15
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Just to chime in...

I use a Lacie external firewire hard drive on my Mac system (FW800) and a Lacie Dual Layer DVD-RW daisy-chained through the external hard drive. I haven't had any problems with this configuration at all.

I think the best advice is buy something that's in your price range, that's well reviewed by an independent source (Cnet, maybe), and from a retailer that will allow an exchange for another item if what you buy doesn't play well with the rest of your system.

Just a side note...
Someone on an earlier post said that their system has problems when it's hooked up "camera - drive - computer" all with firewire. I'm not a tech, but this maybe because of the flow of this setup. Data from the camera to the drive can run at 100% capacity, but passthrough data from the drive to the computer has to share bandwidth with the data coming back from the computer to the drive.

I'm not sure if I said that very well, but I think the concept is sound. Think of the data as water and the cables as pipes. Pipe #1 and #2 are the same size, but pipe #2 needs to be shut off and the direction of the flow changed every other second or so. It only stands to reason that pipe #1 would allow more water to flow through it than pipe #2.

On your second configuration, "camera - computer - drive," even though your using two different kinds of "pipes," the flow is one direction.

Don't know if this helps anyone out, or if I'm just pontificating...

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