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How reliable are 2.5" external hard drives?

How reliable are 2.5" external hard drives?

I'm seriously considering keeping all my files only on external hard drives.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 65
Total answers/comments: 2
Guest [Entry]

"The problem with external enclosures is heat. Standard internal drives expect some ventilation, while external enclosures often seal the drive in with no forced ventilation.

If you want an external drive, it would be better to get something like the WD Passport, because it is already engineered with the intention for it to be used externally. Also, these types of external drives, being targeted for external use, will probably be engineered to withstand more bumping around than a standard internal drive(stuffed in an enclosure).

Now as far as your question about whether the external drive, or your laptop's hard drive is more reliable, I don't think can really be accurately answered. The best thing to do is assume either will fail at any time, and take precautions to protect your data! The problem with hard drives and reliability is it is very difficult to quantify or measure, and manufacturers generally have no incentive to invest in significant improvements to reliability. They can offer better capacity, RPM, and latency, in an effort to increase sales. However, increasing reliability through design and QA will cost them extra money and increase drive costs, and it is not something quantifiable that they can use to market and increase sales. So from one drive to the next, it's really hard to know what to expect."
Guest [Entry]

"A specific recommendation, good as of 22 Feb 2010:

Stay away from Seagate Momentus 5400.6 500 GB 2.5"" drives. I've had 3 die in two different laptops in a 3 month span. (The 320 GB models have been working just fine for me.)

If you can stomach hauling them around, get desktop-sized external drives. They're generally cheaper per GB, and the drives are more reliable."