Question re External USB hard drive

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I have a 7 year old computer with XP pro Sp2. Pentium 4, 1.5 GB, 512 Ram. It
is running fine. My motherboard is an old MSI 845 pro. Everything is running
great, except I am running out of storage.

The MainBoard has 4 IDE connections which are taken up by ATA C Drive
(master),  ATA CD (master), 2 small ATA drives (slaves) for storage and
backup. It also has 4 USB-1 ports, two of which are used for printers. There
is no SATA port.

I thought of inreasing storage by buying a 500 GB external USB hard drive.
Is there any reason why this might not work in view of the fact that my MB
has only USB-1 and no SATA connection and that all IDE connections are in

Will Windows recognize the full 500 GB through the USB connection?

Thanks for your help


Re: Question re External USB hard drive

Walter R. wrote:
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USB 1 is going to make that external a bit slow.    Maybe too slow based
on your needs.
I'd replace one of the small ATA drives with the 500 Gig. ...or...
If you need more C: drive then use Acronis True Image Home to migrate
the C: to the new 500 Gig.    Be it partitioned in 2 or more parts or
one.   You will get more space either way and speed.

Re: Question re External USB hard drive

Big_Al wrote:
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If you have a PCI slot available you can get a USB2 adapter card. This would
probably not be cost effective unless you need the speed for other devices e.g.
thumb drives.
You could also add a card with IDE ports. This could be a lot cheaper because it
is a lot more likely you could scrounge one from someone who has an old one that
they no longer need.

                   Mike Walsh

Re: Question re External USB hard drive

Walter R. wrote:

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A USB-2 adapter card will make a BIG difference: about 40X faster for
about $15US.  Otherwise you would be better off to replace one of those
existing small drives with a new big one.

Hope you get to read this: Roadrunner will discontinue your usenet
access tomorrow.  You can still access newsgroups via Google Groups
if you have the patience, or sign up for usenet access through a
third party.  I'm a RR customer using (free) to
post this.  Works great!


Re: Question re External USB hard drive

Thanks for letting me know about the Roadrunner / Usenet disconnect. I would
have wondered what happened. I'll try to switch to Teranews.

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Re: Question re External USB hard drive

On Sun, 22 Jun 2008 12:21:48 -0700, "Walter R."

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As others have mentioned you have 3 main options:

1)  Get an internal drive instead, much faster than all but
#2.  It'll replace one of your present drives and that may
be a good idea anyway as a 7 year old drive (assuming at
least one is the original drive) is a liability being near
the end if not past the end of it's expected lifespan.

2)  Internal PCI SATA controller card with eSATA port on the
back.  That eSATA port allows an external SATA hard drive to
be used and will be much faster than USB2, let alone USB1.
Having the PCI SATA card you could instead opt for an
internal SATA drive in addition to, or to replace one of the
present internal drives.  This option also means you have a
SATA drive viable for your next system if you should choose
to move it when you eventually upgrade to a newer system.
The same could be said about a PATA or USB2 drive but the
SATA is most viable for the primary drive the system runs
the OS off of.

3)  USB2 controller card for USB2 external drive.
Performance might be about half (or much less when dealing
with lots of smaller files) of what you'd see with an
internal PATA or SATA or external eSATA linked drive.

USB1 would work in a pinch and would allow seeing the whole
drive but due to how slow it is, that's not a very good
option expecially considering the slight extra cost of an
internal card over the roughly $75-125 cost of whichever
500GB HDD you decide on.

Re: Question re External USB hard drive

Thank you, Kony, for a very helpful explanation of my options.

Have a great day

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