Wednesday, March 09, 2005

IT: Products that [almost] work as advertised: External USB Hard Drive

You never know how well a product fits your needs until you get your hands on it yourself. Ages ago, I purchased an Archos Recorder jukebox and within a week it started acting funny. Yes, that's a negative endorsement. I lived with it until it finally bit the big one, at which point I cannibalized its 20gb 2.5" HD into an external USB 2.0 case.

Things went smoothly for a while, until I attempted to use the "1.1 compatibility cable" and found that still not enough power was being provided to the hard drive. USB1.1 is not always implemented to provide enough juice, so "special" USB cables were made with 2 connectors. This proved to not be sufficient, and I experienced numerous "power surge" and write failure issues. Not only this, but it took a while for these errors to start manifesting themselves. I used the drive successfully for about a month before these issues arose.

There is a 5V connector right on the enclosure (a definite plus) which I've yet to utilize, but plan on doing so shortly.

The sexy enclosure is "Mapower Warps" (review). It works beautifully in a USB2.0 only environment, but if you have any 1.1 machines - hold off for now.


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