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External Hard Drive

April 9th, 2010

image An external hard drive is a type of hard drive which is connected to a computer by a USB cable or other means. Modern entries into the market consist of standard SATA, IDE, or SCSI hard drives in portable disk enclosures with SCSI, USB, IEEE 1394 Firewire, eSATA client interfaces to connect to the host computer.

Modern external hard drives are compatible with all operating systems supporting the relevant interface standards they operate with, such as USB MSC or IEEE1394. These standards are supported by all major modern server and desktop operating systems and many embedded devices. Obsolete systems such as Windows 98 (original edition), Windows NT (any version before Windows 2000) old versions of Linux (older than kernel 2.4), or Mac OS 8.5.1 or older do not support them out-of-the-box, but may depend on later updates or third party drivers.

How to add an External Hard Drive to you computer?

Adding an external hard drive to your computer is an easy way to increase your computer storage. You can use your external drive to back up files or transfer files from computer to computer.

  1. External hard drives connect to your computer via an USB, firewire or SATA cable. Check your computer to see which interface your computer supports. In general, firewire is the fastest, so if your top priority is transfer speeds you may choose to go with firewire. On the other hand, if you intend on using the drive with multiple computers you may prefer to get a USB 2.0 external hard drive since most computers have a USB interface port.
  2. Determine your storage needs. Computer storage is pretty cheap these days so it’s a good idea to get the most storage you can. 100GB may seem like a lot, but if you download music and movies it can add up quickly. Compare prices and find a compatible drive with sufficient space for your needs
  3. Once you have found the right drive for your computer, it’s time to attach it. External drives are very easy to add since they do not require you to open up your computer. Simply connect it to a power source and use the cable it came with to attach it to your USB, firewire, or SATA interface.
  4. Your pc will recognize the drive when you plug it in. After attaching your drive, your computer should recognize it immediately and assign it a letter and name, such as “Removable Drive F:”. At this point your drive is ready to use and you can click on it as you would any other drive to access its contents.

How to Partition an External Hard Drive?

When you add an external hard drive, you may do so for a number of reasons. But once you have that hard drive installed, creating different partitions for different purposes can expand your available options. Partitioning an external hard drive is just like partitioning an internal hard drive—just be sure that you are careful when you start your partitioning and make sure you are working with the external hard drive and not a drive that you want—partitioning a drive will immediately erase all information on the drive forever.

  1. Check your external hard drive to ensure that there is no data on the hard drive that you want. As soon as you start the partitioning process, all data on that drive will be completely and forever erased.
  2. Run the Microsoft Management Console. This can be started by typing “MMC” in a command prompt window, or just typing “MMC” in the “Start Search” box in the Windows Start menu.
  3. In MMC, add the Disk Management snap-in. This can be done through the File menu by selecting add snap-in. Select “Disk Management” from the list.
  4. Right-click on the disk in the list of disks at the bottom of the snap-in. From this short-cut menu, you will have various options related to the partitioning of the drive. You can expand the partition, delete the partition, or shrink the partition. You can also mark it as the primary partition if you like.
  5. Format the new partitions. Using the same shortcut menu, you should format all the partitions that you wish to use. You can also set their drive letters here if you like, so your operating system will know which drive is which letter.

Plan ahead how many partitions you want and what size they will be so you know how you will set this up when you get to that point. Partitioning completely erases all contents of a disk immediately.

Where to buy External Hard Drive?

  • Find the right external hard drive for you at Oyyy.co.uk
  • Top 20 Most Popular External Hard Drives on Amazon.com
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