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I bought a new laptop a few months ago and I decided to replace my old Western Digital external hardrive with a new, larger capacity one.
One of the reasons I was draw to this Buffalo one is because it is a "plug and play" type. You don't need to install any software to make it work. This was one of my biggest gripes about the Western Digital one so this one sounded perfect for me.
~~~ Product information and technical specifications ~~~
I am not particularly technically minded but I have an okay understanding so bear with me.
The Buffalo mini-station was made in China for Buffalo which is part of Melco Holdings Inc.
The hard-drive measures 10.5cm by 8 cm by 1.5cm so as you can see, it's quite small and neat. It comes with a short USB cable to connect it to your laptop.
The size of this hard-drive is 1 terabyte - that is 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. In real-speak, the ministration can hold 24,000 songs or 280,000 photos. Basically, it's big enough to back up your laptop and have loads of space left over! The drives uses a USB 2 connection and seems really quite during file transfer.
As you will be aware, many of the larger external hard-drives require an external power supply from the mains. One of the things I liked about this one is that it does not require extra power; the USB connection does it all.
The Buffalo MiniStation is compatible with Windows7, Windows Vista, Windows XP and Mac OS 10.4 or later.
Buffalo provides a 2 year warranty for all of its products which gives some peace of mind!
~~~ My Experience ~~~
I ordered the Buffalo hard-drive from Amazon and it arrived in a small, neat box. Inside the box were the hard-drive, USB cable, warranty info and a set-up guide.
The set-up guide is basic - it basically just says plug the USB into the computer and into the hard-drive. It gives you information about how to get on to the user manual which comes pre-installed on your Buffalo.
On plugging it in, my laptop installed the device drivers in about 30 seconds and that familiar window popped up asking what I would like to do. I chose "Open Folder to View Files" and found the user manual etc. I was really relived to find that this hard-drive works just like a USB pen drive. You can just click through the contents in the file folder.
I began to back up my computer. You can run an automatic back-up or you can do it manually. I actually decided to do it manually because it was so easy and gave me greater control of what I was backing up and what I needed to delete.
To copy a file on to this hard drive you just open the window on your computer and then copy and paste whatever you need into the Buffalo folder. It is ridiculously simple. It also works really quickly. I managed to copy and paste a couple of thousand photos and songs and video files on to my Buffalo in less than 30 minutes. It seems like a really quick, smooth transfer with no glitches of hiccups.
While the Buffalo is plugged in you will feel the internal mechanism spinning. I am always wary about moving things like this while they are "going". I accidentally knocked my Buffalo while I had files transferring and nothing happened! They just continued to transfer over quickly and smoothly. Perhaps it was just lucky, but on some other hard drives this would have led to an error message!
Also, while it is plugged in you will see a blue light in the bottom section of the drive. This is quite useful to let you know that the drive is working but it is not entirely necessary and is perhaps there partly to make it look pretty, which it does.
The drive is almost completely silent while it is running and seems to be entirely unobtrusive. It does not slow my computer down or get in the way, it just sits like a silent sentinel, backing up my important information. So far I have backed up my whole laptop and I have more than 60% of the memory left. The hard-drive still runs quickly and I can access information by simply searching within the hard driver or by actually clicking through folders. It's completely simple to use.
To disconnect the drive you just do the same as you would with a pen drive and eject it. It ejects quickly and easily. During periods of long use it may become a little bit warm but not to any great degree.
I like to keep my Mini-station safe in a little specially designed shell type case which I got from Amazon for £7.
~~~ Conclusion ~~~
This is a very simple, efficient and reliable hard drive. It is highly effective for people like me who live with a pen drive attached to them and enjoy the simplicity of "plug and play" technology. It feels like a great, reliable place to store all of my important information and is certainly very handy for backing up files and organising my laptop.
I highly recommend this External hard drive. It is so easy to use and there are no clunky, extra software programmes to run. You just plug in and use it. Simple, easy, quick. If you are looking for a good external drive, this is definitely one to go for.
The Buffalo Mini-Station is available on Amazon for £79.99.
I needed an external hard drive for Uni as you do a lot of watching films there so needed space for all of them! I was recommended this one in PC world and when they said a 1TB for £80 I couldn't believe it and still don't. So the value for money with this is amazing!
In terms of reliability I haven't had any problems whatsoever and it still continues to work well a year later from when I first bought it. It even looks a lot better than more expensive external drives and is even smaller!! I was also offered carrying cases for which you can buy for its protection.
Probably the best thing about it is the size. Easy to fit in any laptop bag as an accessory or in any bag for that matter, whether your taking a presentation to work or you have essays for uni on it, its very convenient.