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Every computer has one and in fact without it it wouldn't really be a computer would it? It would be more a door stop with wires and a keyboard. But now matter what size hard drive you seem to buy, be it a 160GB or even a TB or two, it's not long before it's filled up with all that important data that you just don't want to delete; just in case it may come in handy one day.
So, as anyone who's ever filled up there twentieth hard drive knows, it's then a choice of buying a larger internal hard drive or an external hard drive, or maybe even both, but something has to be done.
And that's exactly what happened to me a few months back when my internal HDD on my laptop was starting to get a little too full, slowing down such things as system searches, scans and actually trying to remember where I'd left certain documents. Plus, the myriad of pen drives I have scattered around the house and workplace were fuller than a super model after eating a lettuce leaf wrapped around a slice of cucumber.
So I had to make that choice, be it a larger internal or an external, and it was the latter that I opted for due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, the internal HDD I had in my laptop was working fine, just a bit full up, and I really didn't want to go through the process of cloning everything over onto a new HDD, nor did I want to start from scratch installing the OS and everything else that is needed to get up and running again. But I think the main reason was the price tag on a certain external HDD that I had seen in a shop close to where I was working at the time.
This certain external HDD was in fact from a company called Hewlett Packard, (or HP as they are also known as... although isn't that a pencil? ...No, that's HB... sorry).
Anyway, this HDD that I bagged is the HP 500GB external USB 3.0/2.0 with 'SimpleSave', (which I will explain later)
The HDD itself is nice looking with the body having a shiny gloss finish, although, as anyone who's experience this type of finish will know, it does show up every single little finger print and dust particle.
It's a very handy size, measuring in at a pocket size 130mm wide by 170mm high and 50mm deep (approximately anyway), and weighs on at a feather weight ¼ of a kilo. So it can be easily carried around where every you go, although I tend to leave this at home and transfer any data at the end of the day, but that's my personal choice.
It comes supplied with USB cables and as it is powered by the USB port there's no need for one of those plug thins that stick into one of those white socket wotsits in your walls at home.
Using it is as easy as plugging in any standard external HDD. You just slot the connectors into the ports, with HDD port being smaller than the USB ports so you can't get confused. Then wait for the PC to find the drivers, which are inbuilt so there no worried there, plus, it finds and install the drivers in no time at all and you're ready to rumble, so to speak.
Once it's connected to your PC it opens up as an external HDD and it's then up to you what you transfer onto it, and visa versa.
It does state that it is for a USB 3.0 but as with many of these modern devices it is backwards compatible and can be used just as affectively on a USB 2.0, although I'm not so sure about a 1.0 as I haven't tried as yet, but who's using 'Beta-Max' video machines these days anyway?
Transferring data can be done in the usual way, either by copy/cut/paste, (the old fashioned way), or there's the drag and drop system and also the 'send to' method. They all work as well as each other without any trouble at all.
The few speeds tests I did using this worked quite well indeed, plus, I managed to test it on both a 2.0 and a 3.0 USB port, which made for some quite nice reading, but please note that data transfer speeds will vary depending on what data is being transferred.
On average I moved 500MB of a mixture of images, songs and documentation in a matter of 15 seconds on a 3.0 USB port, with the standard 2.0 port taking just short of 44 seconds for the same data. This timing was around the same fro uploading and downloading, which, for the amount of data to time ration is good news indeed. (blimey, I sound as if I know what I'm talking about don't I?).
Apart from the hard drive and cables, you also get a bit of software supplied on the hard drive, which is called SimpleSave.
This software is not a bad idea at all and is so simple to use, in fact, I if you get a chance then I would recommend installing it and using it as it could stop you losing that all important data that you may lose on a system crash.
Let me explain how this SimpleSave program works, (to the best of my knowledge).
Install this on your PC then, when you plug in the hard drive you will be shown exactly what is on your PC. Then, with the click of a few buttons, you can choose which data you want to save onto the external hard drive.
Yes I know that sound like something that all external hard drives do but this program then automatically saves your chosen data every few minutes when you system is idle for a while. So this way you don't have to keep saving your data manually all the time.
You can choose which files you want the program to save automatically, or even let it keep saving your entire system, (if you've not got more than the hard drive can handle).
This is a brilliantly simple idea without a doubt and saves you the worry of whether you've forgotten to save anything before you shut down you system.
Although you can choose to delete this software from the hard drive as it won't effect the performance at all. But may I recommend saving this somewhere just in case you decide to try it out in the future. You never know, you may like it, and it is free after all.
This is a sleek HDD and has enough internal storage to hold lots of important data that I want to keep safe.
The transfer speeds are remarkable, even on my USB 2.0, and as I've tried it on a PC which runs USB 3.0 I'm on the verge of updating my old faithful laptop to a modern one just for the impressive transfer speed that the 3.0 gives.
As I said it installed itself in seconds, although when I say installed itself it didn't climb out of the box and wire itself to my PC, I had to do that. I mean it installed the drivers in seconds, I just wanted to clarify that in case anyone shouted at me due to the fact they sat waiting for ages hoping that this HDD would actually 'install itself'.
The drag and drop work well, then so does the 'send to' method too, which I tend to use most often, but even the copy/cut/paste method does a good job as well, so there's no complaints about any of the data transfer methods.
Then there's the SimpleSave program which I find to be a rather useful little tool indeed, especially when I'm working on long projects and may forget to save it as I'm going along, as this program saves it for me automatically, without me even noticing it's doing it at all... bonus.
What more can I say about this external HDD with a well known company logo on it?
It does exactly what it says on the tin and at a speed even Usain Bolt can't grumble at, and as it is smaller than a filo-fax, (remember them?) it can be carried around in your average size pocket.
As for the price of this HP HDD, well, for the 500GB version, which I have, you will have to fork out about £70.00 - £100, which may sound a bit much but if you want speed, especially if you have a USB 3.0, then it's a nice price indeed.
There is a larger 750GB version which sells for around £120 - £150 and a massive 1TB version which sells for around the £150 - £200 region which, again, sounds a lot of money but it offers a lot of what people need these days... speed, so you can get on with your life.
© Blissman70 2012