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Thread: New External Drive

  1. #1
    John Morton's Avatar
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    New External Drive

    I was looking for a new external drive, as my photo editing computer was running out of space on its internal drives (I was resorting to storing files on my scratch disk!) and my old external drives were pretty much full, too.

    Went shopping around, looking at what is available where I live; and while pricing various options, I happened to notice a selection of drives in little boxes hanging on display hooks, instead of in regular sized boxes on shelves.

    They were by Toshiba; and having heard very good things about their notebook computers, I picked up one of their 1 T external drives.

    It is smaller than a pack of cards (well, slimmer but a bit taller and wider); and with only the USB cord (no power supply) and no vent holes or heat fins, I quickly realized that it is a flash memory drive.

    Pretty nice - no moving parts to wear out, so I can use it to archive image files and then have my standard disk drives for files I will be editing and re-saving, or moving around as I work on projects. Someone in another thread here mentioned that flash drives wear out if used over and over with material that is erased and re-written all the time; but for storing RAW files in NEF format, this seems to be exactly what I have been looking for: so much so that, I expect I will be purchasing several more!

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    Re: New External Drive

    Do you have a link to it John?

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    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: New External Drive

    Don't be fooled into thinking the lack of an external power cable means a Flash drive. While the size is right, the price of a 1T Flash drive would probably be more like the price of a decent camera body.

    But, of course, I could be wrong...

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    Re: New External Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by darkslide View Post
    Don't be fooled into thinking the lack of an external power cable means a Flash drive. While the size is right, the price of a 1T Flash drive would probably be more like the price of a decent camera body.
    Small external hard drives, based on 2.5 inch disk technology, can be powered from your USB connection and need no external power supply. They have been around for years, and are great for carrying large amounts of data around.

    I have seen no statistic on the reliability of these, but given their small size, my gut instinct would be that they are more delicate than their larger 3.5 inch brothers (those with a power cord and cooling vents..). And especially if you throw it around thinking it is indestructible flash memory..

    So I would check the fine print in the instructions..

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    Re: New External Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by lenelg View Post
    Small external hard drives, based on 2.5 inch disk technology, can be powered from your USB connection and need no external power supply. They have been around for years, and are great for carrying large amounts of data around.
    Made an interesting discovery the other day with a USB3 SSD drive; It kept "disappearing" at irregular intervals - and to cut a long story short, the problem may well have been due to the fact that I was running it from a single USB port rather than using the dual USB power/data cable.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: New External Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Made an interesting discovery the other day with a USB3 SSD drive; It kept "disappearing" at irregular intervals - and to cut a long story short, the problem may well have been due to the fact that I was running it from a single USB port rather than using the dual USB power/data cable.
    That sounds like a laptop problem Colin; a lot of manufacturers do not put full USB power level into the laptop ports to preserve battery life. There are a number of kludges to work around the problem, like requiring the user to plug into two USB ports or in some cases actually running on an external power supply.

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    Re: New External Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    That sounds like a laptop problem Colin; a lot of manufacturers do not put full USB power level into the laptop ports to preserve battery life. There are a number of kludges to work around the problem, like requiring the user to plug into two USB ports or in some cases actually running on an external power supply.
    Hi Manfred,

    Nope - hasn't been used on a laptop.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: New External Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Manfred,

    Nope - hasn't been used on a laptop.
    Are you using it with a USB2 port on your desktop, instead of a USB3 port? The USB3 power requirements are higher than USB2. All that extra throughput speed comes at a price...

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    John Morton's Avatar
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    Re: New External Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by darkslide View Post
    Don't be fooled into thinking the lack of an external power cable means a Flash drive. While the size is right, the price of a 1T Flash drive would probably be more like the price of a decent camera body.

    But, of course, I could be wrong...
    You might be right, Ian; the documentation is very limited and the print VERY fine!

    However, I haven't heard any sound issuing from it whatsoever while it has been in use; so although I was unaware of the 2.5 inch technology Lennart mentions below... well I'll have to track it down Online and make sure!

    OOPPs - my mistake!!

    Turns out it is a disk drive after all. Took a while to locate the specs but...

    Hard drive size 1.0 TB
    Storage Hard Drive / Hard Drive Type External hard drive
    Interface type SuperSpeed USB 3.0
    Buffer size 8.0 MB
    Average seek time12.0 ms
    Spindle speed 5400.0 rpm

    Should have realized, as Ian notes, that the price is too low for it to be a flash drive... even with the drop in prices over the past few years.

    My apologies for getting everyone's hopes up!

  10. #10
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: New External Drive

    2.5" drives are actually more robust than 3.5" drives, as they are designed for use in portable environments. They have safety measures built in, like automatic head parking when they are not reading / writing. The downside is that they have a slower rotation speed and have a lower capacity that the 3.5" drives. I use 3.5" drives in all my backup devices, but I use networked drives, rather than ones I connect directly to the computer, so I have them located in safe locations where nobody is liable to bump into them.

    I use both SSD and regular 2.5" drives on my external video recorder. The SSD is more reliable when shooting on the go and where the recorder will be subjected to movement and bumping, but when I shoot of a tripod, the larger capacity of the regular drives works well for me.

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    Re: New External Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Are you using it with a USB2 port on your desktop, instead of a USB3 port? The USB3 power requirements are higher than USB2. All that extra throughput speed comes at a price...
    It was primarily a PCI-Based USB3 card with separate power connector, but I was only using 1 connection to the drive. Took it home where it was on a single USB3 port ... same problem. THought it might be the case the drive was in, so tried it in a USB2 case ... same problem. Tried it in a case with external power available ... never had a single problem since.

    I've yet to try it back in a 2.5" USB3 case using both power connectors though.

  12. #12
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: New External Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    It was primarily a PCI-Based USB3 card with separate power connector, but I was only using 1 connection to the drive. Took it home where it was on a single USB3 port ... same problem. THought it might be the case the drive was in, so tried it in a USB2 case ... same problem. Tried it in a case with external power available ... never had a single problem since.

    I've yet to try it back in a 2.5" USB3 case using both power connectors though.
    That is certainly not the behavior I would have expected. USB 3 is supposed to deliver 900 mA versus the 500 mA found in USB 2. Maximum power requirements for a SSD are somewhere around 1.2W.

    On the other hand you have a workaround and things work, so it's more of mystery than a problem....

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    Re: New External Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    That is certainly not the behavior I would have expected.
    Me neither

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    Re: New External Drive

    Made an interesting discovery the other day with a USB3 SSD drive; It kept "disappearing" at irregular intervals - and to cut a long story short, the problem may well have been due to the fact that I was running it from a single USB port rather than using the dual USB power/data cable.
    Don't know if this is the same problem, but I also had a "disappearing" drive with one of the very small external units, though I was actually using a USB2 port, since my PC doesn't have USB3. Luckily, it was in the first few days of use and I had not yet deleted anything from my internal disks. In my case, I took it back to the shop, and they agreed there was a problem. I swapped it for a 1Tb 3.5" with its separate power supply and everything was fine.

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    Re: New External Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Don't know if this is the same problem, but I also had a "disappearing" drive with one of the very small external units, though I was actually using a USB2 port, since my PC doesn't have USB3. Luckily, it was in the first few days of use and I had not yet deleted anything from my internal disks. In my case, I took it back to the shop, and they agreed there was a problem. I swapped it for a 1Tb 3.5" with its separate power supply and everything was fine.
    Hi Dave,

    Basically, I pretty much eliminated everything apart from the power. The 2.5" SSD Drive didn't miss a beat in testing or in "the real world" once it was in a 3.5" enclosure with external power, but faulted on 2 different PCs in 2 different 2.5" cases when on "single USB feed power" - so the power is all I can put it down to at this stage.

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