External hard drive questions!



Hi guys,
I have some questions regarding the External hard drives:

  1. Are they compatible with every PC Configuration that has a USB 2.0?
  2. Can I add an external hard drive of 300 GB on my 7 years old PC who has a USB 2.0?
  3. Does External hard drives work exactly the same with the Internal ones in terms of performance, data quality and durability?

Thanks mates,


In my personal experience no. I bought an external enclosure to recover an old hard disc, but I’m not able at all to use it on my computer. In my brother computer the enclosure works without problems at all, but for some reason my computer refuse to recognize the hard disc :frowning:

Sorry, I’m not able to answer :frowning:

Performance will be slower than an internal hard disc, because the USB connection is slower than the IDE or the s-ata one.
Data quality and durability are the same of any hard disc (internal or external one) :slight_smile:


Thanks for the reply geno888
I just have 1 more question:
Is there a difference in the speed and gameplay if you play a game installed on the Internal HD and if you play the same game installed on the External HD?



For one thought would be the speed transfer of USB compared to Pata or Sata. Pata and Sata would be faster load in my view. Also you never posted your computer hardware specs that would help the user here identify what you would need in system wise hardware to best suit your needs for usb inclosures.


I agree with coolcolors :iagree:

An external drive will be slower than an internal one because the USB port is slower than the IDE one, but I don’t know if the USB2 speed is anyway sufficient to allow playing a game. I think that is related to the game too: freecell will play fine, but Quake could have some slowing


Geno!!! :slight_smile:

I agree with the above, depending on the game, intensive shooter of graphic heave games are going to be sluggish on usb2 compared to most “internal” connections. USB drives are best usedas remote storage / data back-up / 300gig thumbdrive uses. Firewire can offer more bang for the buck speedwise, but still.

What os are you using? I know I have trouble with my win98se box with usb2 devices while my xp/sp2 simply just see’s them no problem.


The only exception would be if you are using an older hard drive. I have a 60GB Maxtor from a few years back that would only transfer at 35MB/sec. That is almost the same speed that I can get with an external USB2 case.


Ref your 2nd Q, the HDD size depends on the O/S you use in the 7 years machine.
As everybody assumed you’re in the MS field, lets say that it makes a dif if you use Win98, 98SE, ME or 2000.
The 98’s only “see” 32GB but 2000 may cope with more GBs, just look at the O/S limits, part the disk with partitions that are not higher than that and you can go (keep in mind the maximum number of drive letters allowed by the O/S).
3rd Q - depending on you machine bus - 7 yeard it can be 66 or 100 probably - as USB uses the I/O sys it will tend to be slower than the IDE channel, if you have a 7200 rpm disc.
Durability tends to be the same. For data quality I’d prefer firewire, as ZigZagMan suggested and can be faster than USB as doesn’t use the I/O and buffer to give the idea of a continuos streeam of data - Firewire does it in the 2 ways - PC to drive and drive to PC.


@ geno888 If you take that old HDD and hook it up as a secondary drive(not boot device), it should show up in the BIOS, if it does, the old HDD should show up under [I]My Computer[/I] Local Disk (E: ), Local Disk (F: ) etc…even if the boot sectors are jacked, the data should still be good. Just drag it over to Local /C: etc…

I think when two HDDs are hooked up at the same time the faster one will default to slower RPM’s to match the older HDD. Should be like that w/ the USB HDD too.