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Topic # 9686 5-Oct-2006 02:54
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Can anyone recommend a good value external hard drive, 250-300gb or more, that offers both usb and network connectivity...

Im not finding much, local that is, so maybe you guys will know of some...

The only ones ive found that comes close in terms of price and features so far are:


Seagate 300GB Network Drive
http://www.digizone.co.nz/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11_37&products_id=324
Pros: Can connect to it via either ethernet or usb 2
Cons: Cannot be added onto


Maxtor Shared Storage 300GB Baby NAS
http://www.digizone.co.nz/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11_37&products_id=898
Pros: Can add another portable and printer to it
Cons: Can only connect via ethernet


Netgear SC101 Storage Central 500GB
http://www.digizone.co.nz/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11_54&products_id=373
Pros: Is 2 pyhsical seprate hard drives in case, hard drives can be upgraded, only $20 more then 400gb model
Cons: Can only connect via ethernet


Any help will be appreciated Smile




HTPC: Silverstone LC16M | abit IP35 Pro | Intel Quad Q9400 2.5GHz | Corsair 520HX | Samsung SH-S203D DVD Writer | NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 512MB RAM | 2 x 750GB Western Digital Caviar GP HDD | 4GB DDR800 RAM | D-Link DWA-547 Rangebooster N 650 Desktop | Blackgold BGT3540 | Microsoft Remote Control & Remote Keyboard for Windows Media Center | Windows 7 64bit

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  Reply # 48080 9-Oct-2006 18:47
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Not one suggestion?

Guttered.

I have had a look at many many NZ websites for these, including pricespy, so have proberly covered most bases anyway...

I'm proberly going to go for the Maxtor Shared Storage 300GB Baby NAS...
Best price I can find is $403.10 at C&L Computer.

http://www.clcomputer.co.nz/catalogue/product_info.php/cPath/1_65_66/products_id/64328




HTPC: Silverstone LC16M | abit IP35 Pro | Intel Quad Q9400 2.5GHz | Corsair 520HX | Samsung SH-S203D DVD Writer | NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 512MB RAM | 2 x 750GB Western Digital Caviar GP HDD | 4GB DDR800 RAM | D-Link DWA-547 Rangebooster N 650 Desktop | Blackgold BGT3540 | Microsoft Remote Control & Remote Keyboard for Windows Media Center | Windows 7 64bit

Mobile: Nokia N97, Nokia N900, Samsung Galaxy S, HTC EVO 3D, iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III (current)

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  Reply # 48396 12-Oct-2006 09:00
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Actually - I am in the same boat as you - and was hoping someone would reply....

I am trying to figure out which technology to get - So far I considered the following:

(1) External hard drive with USB 2 and / or Fire wire 1394 interface - (so I can conect it to the computer I want to backup or restore)

(2) External Hard drive that is permanently connected to the Ethernet port in my LAN (which has ethernet ports and wireless router) (So i access it from my computer as a network share)

So far the ones I found in NZ are:

- Western Digital 500GB USB2.0 NetCenter 7200rpm 16MB Cache. interface: Ethernet only. [AVG SEEK TIME: 8.7 ms, 2 ms (track-to-track) AVG LATENCY: 4.20 ms (nominal) - Price NZ$ 1k Retail

- Iomega 1 TB (i.e. 4 x 250GB SATA) 3.5 External Hard Drive - Interface: USB 2.0 /FireWire 800/FireWire 400 TRANSFER RATE: USB 2.0 : 60 MB/sec,FireWire 400 : 50 MB/sec FireWire 800 : 100 MB/sec - $2k Retail

- If the 1TB one above is expensive, there is of course the cheaper - Seagate 750GB 1394/USB2.0 Combo External Drive @ NZ$ 1k Retail

All of the above comes with nice backup software. I have played with two of them in various shops and cant make my mind up.

My primary uses would be:
- Backing up hard drives of machines in the network
- Store virtual machine images
- Record movies from Sky and play it back later (though I have not found a neat / legal way of doing this yet)

If anyone has any suggestions - please let me know.

Tim

 
 
 
 


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Reply # 48407 12-Oct-2006 09:23
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It really depends on your needs. I have a Maxtor 1TB RAID (0,1) USB 2.0/Firewire external unit here. I don't care if it's network connectable because I have it plugged into a server in my LAN. But if I needed I could plug it into some of those new routers with USB 2.0 ports.

So I would move the need of network connection down in the priority list, because there are alternatives. Instead I went for

a) high capacity 1TB (RAID 0) or 500GB (RAID 1)
b) high speed (RAID 0) USB 2.0
c) easy of use (it's a box and my DualPhone stand sits on top of it)





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  Reply # 48408 12-Oct-2006 09:26
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I would suggest ReadyNAS NV or X6 if you want ethernet NAS storage. with their X-RAID you can add new hard drive as you needed them, and X-RAID will automatically upscale its RAID to better suit/maximise the usage of your HDDs.

Check out ReadyNAS NV, and they have a reseller in NZ, Solutionz NZ ltd.

Though this is not cheap though, from Amazon's site (as this is the only place I can find $$ reference) the highest is US$3099 with 4x 750GB SATA Seagate Enterprise Drive, and 1GB, RAID-5 setup.




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  Reply # 48409 12-Oct-2006 09:33
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Also while I was searching for NAS related info, I spotted this. "Temporarily solving the disk space problem at home"




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  Reply # 48423 12-Oct-2006 11:12
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Thanks for the responses and the link to "Temporarily solving the disk space problem at home" article.

I checked out the Maxter One Touch drive as well as well as the RAID options available (and the costs associated with it !). NAS seems like an overkill - though I can see the rationale for it.

I thought the network connection via Ethernet (you generally pay about $120 extra for the Ethernet version over USB 2 / Firewire) was a good idea becasue I dont have a permanently turned on server as such at home. The WD external drive I looked has power save - so it can just sit there on idle (like a printer connected to Ethernet) except when I access it. I thought I could plug the drive in the cupboard in to my D-Link ADSL wireless router Ethernet socket, so every computer at home can access the drive via Wi-fi. I hate clutter on my table.

My biggest concern about any external drive hardware that comes with its own 'software' to access the hard drive [basically they map it somehow - so they appear as a local drive on your Computer] is its future proofness.

In a couple of months when I upgrade my OS on my machine to a Vista, will I still be able to map to the external hard drive using the supplied software (e.g. In the case of Western Digital it is called Easy Link I think. In the case of Maxtor I think it is called the
OneTouch Manager).

Most of the external hard drives I looked at (including Iomega, Maxter and WD) also comes with EMC Retrospect Express HD backup. I am hoping Retrospect Express would be Vista compatible.

Right now I am warming more and more towards Western Digital (based on GB/$). I will probably sacrifce the network connectivity via Ethernet over extra space.

Tim






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  Reply # 48425 12-Oct-2006 11:12
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Thanks for the suggestions guys Smile

But I think I will be going with the Maxtor Shared Storage 300GB Baby NAS

While I would love some of the soloutions mentioned above, they are just too pricely for me at this point.

And this Maxtor model gives me the ability to add-on other portables, so while proberly not the quickest or most effeicent setup, it allows me to build large storage capacity at minimal cost...in stages.

So with the Maxtor 300gb, and my old HP 160gb, I will have 460 available to my network....and maybe later I will buy a 500gb and add that to the collection, giving me almost 1tb.




HTPC: Silverstone LC16M | abit IP35 Pro | Intel Quad Q9400 2.5GHz | Corsair 520HX | Samsung SH-S203D DVD Writer | NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 512MB RAM | 2 x 750GB Western Digital Caviar GP HDD | 4GB DDR800 RAM | D-Link DWA-547 Rangebooster N 650 Desktop | Blackgold BGT3540 | Microsoft Remote Control & Remote Keyboard for Windows Media Center | Windows 7 64bit

Mobile: Nokia N97, Nokia N900, Samsung Galaxy S, HTC EVO 3D, iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III (current)



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  Reply # 48428 12-Oct-2006 11:32
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WirelessNZ: NAS seems like an overkill - though I can see the rationale for it. 

Right now I am warming more and more towards Western Digital (based on GB/$). I will probably sacrifce the network connectivity via Ethernet over extra space.


Yeah NAS is not for everyone, depends on what you need, if your running a server then theres no needas pointed out above...my network is very basic, 2 pcs connected to a wifi router that connects to the net...thats it...

But im wanting to keep my laptop mobile, and not wanting it to connect to anything, so to make best use of my wifi, so while I could connect portables to the other pc which then my laptop would have access to through the network, that pc is not always on, and its an old machine...so if I use a portable with NAS built in, so I can connect it to my router, I will have access to the storage space at all times without having to physically connect to my laptop.

Also as the other pc currently has the printer attached, and thats not available if the other pc is turned of, I will conect that printer as well to the NAS device, as well as my other portable.....so I like the flexibility there.

Cost...yep it is more expensive than a simple storage soloution with just usb2/firewire...but so I can connect wirelesly to 2 portable storage devices and a printer at all times...I think its value in the long run.




HTPC: Silverstone LC16M | abit IP35 Pro | Intel Quad Q9400 2.5GHz | Corsair 520HX | Samsung SH-S203D DVD Writer | NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 512MB RAM | 2 x 750GB Western Digital Caviar GP HDD | 4GB DDR800 RAM | D-Link DWA-547 Rangebooster N 650 Desktop | Blackgold BGT3540 | Microsoft Remote Control & Remote Keyboard for Windows Media Center | Windows 7 64bit

Mobile: Nokia N97, Nokia N900, Samsung Galaxy S, HTC EVO 3D, iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III (current)

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  Reply # 48429 12-Oct-2006 11:40
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I use SimpleShare NAS/ethernet external drives (also USB/Firewire versions avail.); you can get them to do their own sector scanning: www.duo.co.nz

You might also look at Pleiades external drives, seem to be avail. w. a range of interfaces: www.digizone.co.nz

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  Reply # 48435 12-Oct-2006 11:59
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ReadyNAS solution is not for everyone's budget, which is why we made it a long term goal to have it in our house/network for our MS-DVR and other media storage. It will appear as a shared volume, and you can even have it integrate into ADs if you have that.

My immediate solution is to get HP's Personal Media Drive to slot into our HP MCE. 300GB should be enough but bigger the better. (at the moment it stands at 500GB max.)




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  Reply # 48461 12-Oct-2006 13:43
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I have come full circle.

After reading the posts above, I looked at buying an empty ReadyNAS from Solutionz and adding cheap hard drives to it my self (it worked out cheaper). I also looked at the Intel Baxter Creek Cube - which support up to 2TB - which was in the same price range.

But, In the end I just ordered a Maxtor Shared Network Attatched Storage II - 1TB !! It was just over $1400 - yeah - I could have built a fully fledged Desktop computer with 1TB at that price - but I just want to plug it in to the network and not have to worry about it and not waste any more time on it...

The Maxtor Shared Network Attatched Storage II is similar to to the Baby NAS the Bartender was getting - but it has 2 x 500GB - so you can RAID it - and if my daughter want to plug her mac to the network and back it up, it lets you do it without interferring with my backup - so it seems like a pretty god compromise. The Baby Nas wont work with Mac aparently.

Tim

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  Reply # 48530 13-Oct-2006 07:35
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For the benefit of anyone considering getting the 1 Terabyte Maxtor Shared Network Attatched Storage II - 1TB - here is a quick update of my experience with it overnight:

(1) Installation of hardware: Within 15 minutes of the package arriving yesterday afternoon, I had read the Quick setup guide, and had the Maxtor box plugged into the LAN via Gigabit Etherenet cable enclosed (Maxter has DHCP - so it automatically assigns itself an IP address on the local subnet), and the disk ready to use (it takes a couple of minutes for you to press the button to set up RAID 1 - and while it is building the array in the background, it lets you start using it).

(2) Backup Software: The Maxtor comes with two interfaces - a Web application accessed by opening the IP address on a Web Browser and a Win32 application with a few wizard driven interfaces to set up common shared backup folder structure (with a business profile or a home profile), users and backup jobs. The Win32 app has a couple of bugs (e.g. if you use the advanced Web interface to create folders and users, the Win32 app picks up all objects (including shared folders) as 'Users'. I deleted the users and folders I created using the advanced Web interface and used the Win32 wizard to recreate the users and folders - and this time it was fine. I still used the Advanced Web interface to set the security and other media options

(3) Operation: I tried to back up my laptop over Wi-fi - and it took too long. In the end I stopped the backup (which incidently locks the file it copying on the desktop) and wired up my laptop using a Cat 5 cable (Unfortunatley the built in network card on my Toshiba is limited to 100MB, where as my hub and the Maxtor was on a Gigabit Etherenet circuit.). It took about 5GB / hour to back up my laptop hard drive - and it ran all night. At one point I was looking for a way of connecting my laptop via USB the Maxtor has two USB 2 ports - but I dont think it is for connecting to your computer - it is designed to add more USB drives and shared printers.

(4) Reliability of the backup: The Win32 app tells you the backup is complete. It is only when you click on a different tab (4 more mouse clicks) that you get to find that the operation was incomplete. You have to click on another button to display a log file to see a list of files it did not copy because of "Internal Error".
It basically omitted my Outlook pst folders which was anoying (I dont know why - the app was not running - but further investigation revea;ed that an Outlook process running in the task manager (it must have been the indexing the folder with the new Windows Search Service (I am using Office 2007 T2B). It also ommited the SQL Server data file and the WHOLE of the Windows directory.

A Random audit on various folders in the tree directory indicated that and every file or directory that was System or hidden atrribute (e.g. the boot stuff in root directory) were also ommited.
To test the integrity of the backup, I restored MyDocumets folder to a new machine and tried to play some media. For some reason it did not copy the license file (i.e the file where Windows media backs up for Digital Rights Management) was not copied either - and I had to manually copy it - which made me wonder about the integrity of the whole automatic backup operation. There was also another file it did not copy - but it probabloy had other issue - the file appeared to have a 'cyclic redudancy check'. This is the same file it was copying when I interrupted the backup earlier - and I was wondering if the backup process it self messed up the cyclic reduncancy check on the file while it was modyfying the status of the file.

(5) I am now backing up my second PC (a tablet) using a more manual method (I am just backing up the image of the OS using turbocopy (comes with Windows Resource kit) from a dos prompt to a share I have mapped for the new Maxtor). It seems to run faster - and ... nearly finished - so I can stop writing this.....

Overall I am pretty hapy with it.

Tim


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Reply # 48533 13-Oct-2006 08:44
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It sounds good,but you must have gigabit ethernet in all your devices, otherwise a network attached device performance will always be limited to the slowest speeds - in your case the laptop, since most laptops only have 100 Mbps network interfaces.

I use it on my server, which is 480 Mbps for USB 2.0, and on a gigabit network this wouldn't be a bad performance.

For backup, if you want the Windows files, I recommend creating an image of your drive - use Norton Ghost or Acronis. I use HandyBakcup to create backups of specific folders. It will keep a cycle of copies which means you can store a certain number of copies of all those files and remove based on the number of copies, or age.





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  Reply # 48561 13-Oct-2006 13:11
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WirelessNZ:  ... the file appeared to have a 'cyclic redudancy check'. This is the same file it was copying when I interrupted the backup earlier - and I was wondering if the backup process it self messed up the cyclic reduncancy check on the file while it was modyfying the status of the file. ...


I believe the CRChecksum is generated by the disk/interface hardware, not software and at least hints there may be a bad sector.  If using XP have you looked at the system events: 
Go to Start> Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer > System 
there might be a logged entry at the time you received the CRC report. Have you considered a Check Disk operation (scan/fix bad sectors), or SpinRite?

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  Reply # 48576 13-Oct-2006 15:03
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freitasm: For backup, if you want the Windows files, I recommend creating an image of your drive - use Norton Ghost or Acronis. I use HandyBakcup to create backups of specific folders. It will keep a cycle of copies which means you can store a certain number of copies of all those files and remove based on the number of copies, or age.



Thanks for the suggestion. Now that I have a rapid backup device on the network, I will be relying more heavilly on just copying the Virtual machine file (using Virtual PC).

Last time I tried Ghost, I had problems getting the Ghost image saved in the boot drive on a sigle drive laptop: When you are in the Ghost command prompt, I could not get the real mode DVD writer driver to work from the DOS prompt that Ghost boots up to, nor could I get the Network drivers to work in DOS mode! So I gave up in the end. I did think about repartitioning the hard drive - so I can save ghosts on a different partion - but it was too hard for my small brain.

lapimate: I believe the CRChecksum is generated by the disk/interface hardware, not software and at least hints there may be a bad sector. If using XP have you looked at the system events: Go to Start> Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer > System there might be a logged entry at the time you received the CRC report. Have you considered a Check Disk operation (scan/fix bad sectors), or SpinRite?


Mate, I dont have the same level of confidence you have in the application. The bottomline is the application did lock the file for exclusivity, while it was copying, it did changes the icon tag that appear against the folder in Windows explorer - so you can not call it non invasive - you can not say with 100% certainty that the backup software is categorically not guilty - although I am open minded about it.

Then again, given that the file concerned is an Outlook pst file, and the fact that I am running a Technical Beta of Outlook 2007, I cant rule out Office 2007 corrupting the file. I also remember trying to force Office to open this file after a failed backup attempt (see (4) above in my earlier post today).

Any way - there was nothing in Event log relating to my drive, and besides, I managed to recover my file from a Volume shadow copy without any loss of data.

freitasm: It sounds good,but you must have gigabit ethernet in all your devices, otherwise a network attached device performance will always be limited to the slowest speeds - in your case the laptop, since most laptops only have 100 Mbps network interfaces.

I use it on my server, which is 480 Mbps for USB 2.0, and on a gigabit network this wouldn't be a bad performance.


Good point. Though, I rarely connect my laptop to the network using network cable - I am always using Wireless for the laptops - and I am hoping the Wi-fi throughput is not going to bring down the switched Gigabit Ethernet speeds. Right now I am looking for better ways of utilising the high speed network and high speed hard drive..... which is my next project.


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