More External Storage 

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In my last piece I covered reasonably small units, here a little larger in size – still small enough to fit in a pocket – and a lot larger in storage capacity.

Seagate 6GB USB 2 Pocket Hard Drive

Seagate Pocket USB Hard Disk

This looks very like a yo-yo it is circular 7x7x2cm and weights only 50grams. It is grey and black with a clear plastic centre that flashes blue when data is being transferred. Twist the grey outer cover to reveal a standard USB plug on the end of a 13cm black lead. When not in use the lead fits into a groove around the black edge of the drive, the plug fits into a slight recess in the body and the outer grey case covers it.

Described as 6GB the pre formatted capacity is 5.57GB. In the three PC's and notebooks I attached it two - all Windows XP - it was automatically assigned a drive letter and files were able to be transferred to a from it with no difficulty.

Speed of transfer to and from varied. Two of the PC's had USB2 drives the other only USB 1.1. The latter transfer of 1GB of various sized MP3 files to the unit from the hard disc of the USB 1.1 to the Seagate 6GB drive took 17 minutes.

Transferring the same files from a USB2 PC to the Seagate 6GB took 3mins 48 seconds, transferring the same files back to another directory on the hard disc of the PC took 2mins 28seconds.

I also transferred large and small files and transfer took the longer to the Seagate unit than from it, maybe something to do with the 2MB buffer of the Seagate unit.

My biggest problem with this unit was extracting it from the tough plastic that needs to be almost totally destroyed to open it, my solution was an industrial sized pair of scissors but the remaining packaging was a hazard in itself with numerous sharp edges.

Seagate 160GB Portable External Hard Drive

Seagate External Portable 160G USB Hard Disk

This weights a more substantial 300 grams and measures 13x9.5x2.5cm. It has a mini USB lead in the rear going down an 80cm long cable to two standard USB plugs a green one and a blue one. This unit is matt chrome with black face and back.

Some PC's tend to not have enough power to drive larger hard drives and one solution is to have an external power supply. However another solution is to have an extra USB plug. I only ever needed the green one plugging the unit into PC's and notebooks, the latter on battery power. The green USB plug is labelled power + data. The blue one should you need it is labelled power.

Thankfully the 160GB drive - the largest in this series - comes in a conventional box that is not only easier to open but has a lot more display area for information, more on that and the software supplied in a bit.

Doing the same transfer tests as with the 6GB unit above produced a figure of close to 17 minutes for the transfer from the USB 1.1 machine. However the transfer to and from the Seagate 160GB to a USB 2 PC were all but identical at 1minute and 5seconds. This unit has an 8MB cache.

Backup software is provided with the unit Bounce Back Express from CMS. Given the 160GB size it is likely to be big enough to carry out full backups for most home desktop PC's of more than a year or so old as that is likely to be a lot bigger than the internal hard disc supplied at that time.

All Seagate drives supplied in Europe have a two years parts and labour guarantee.

The likely prices are £63.67 inc delivery for the 6GB and £136.56 for the 160GB also including delivery from the first two links below. I cannot find a UK site but this has illustrations and stats for all Seagate drives.

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Comment by Kieron, May 17, 2007 17:22

I have had a seagate for about a year now, I have had no problems with it, I have droped it a coule of times and throw it across the room once but it still works lovly. I would reccomend this to anyone who needs resonable space at pocket size, If you have any replys please contact me on [email protected]

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