Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cheap Storage: My New External Hard Drive

I just picked up a new external hard drive. It's a 1 TB model from Western Digital.
This particular model has some bad reviews on the internet, but it's working well for me so far, and it cost something like $0.30 per gigabyte.

Unfortunately, due to the convention of capacities of computer storage devices being advertised using their SI standard values instead of traditional and binary arithmetic, the 1 TB drive shows up as 931 GB once it's online.

Since the drive came formatted in as FAT32, I had to run a simple command to convert it to NTFS . (If you're interested, in the command prompt window, I typed convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs) Since I'm only going to be using this HD with windows machines, I didn't really mind. It means that I can use all the security features associated with NTFS, and I can copy files bigger than 4 GB onto it.

The other cool feature for this drive is the flexibility. It comes with USB 2.0 and Firewire cables, and it's got an eSATA port as well.

My only complaint so far is kind of nit-picky. It's hard to tell from the picture, but it's got an LED light on the front that moves back and forth when the drive is in use. It's really bright! I may end up just putting a piece of electrical tape over it though.


  1. Yeah, HD manufactures are crooks - I want my 69 GB back!

  2. Oh! Is that why I couldn't copy 4.2 GB .ISO files onto my ext HD - It's formatted in FAT. Is it possible to convert from FAT to NTFS without losing data?

  3. It's possible to convert from FAT to NTFS without losing data; You can use the same command listed in the post. However, you'll need to reformat it completely if you need to go back to FAT from NTFS.

  4. Judging by the amazon reviews you'd better back up your stuff somewhere else too :-)

  5. but the LED is bling!

  6. http://xkcd.com/394/

  7. I love how this showed up in google when I searched for the space problem.

    Speaking of SEO and HW, did you see this?


  8. First off, congratulations for an awesome purchase! That's certainly money well-spent. :) That 1TB is certainly useful, as it can store as much data as you want. Those ports come handy too. If one fails, there's always a back-up. I suggest you write a review about it - tell them that it's working well for you.