Good brand for external hard drive?

I’m looking for a relatively inexpensive external HD to back up stuff.

Radio Shack near me has a 160GB Maxtor for 69.99, 7200 RPM 16MB cache.

Is this a decent drive?

Everyone is going to have their own tale of drives that they will never ever buy again because of a brutal past experience. Here’s mine: I’m a big fan of Maxtor and Western Digital (just got myself one of these not that long ago). As for the drive in question, we had some at the bank that the odd executive used for daily backups and I never heard any complaints.

It’s hard to beat the 500 Gig MyBook drives for price. Last I checked they went for 130 on newegg as a regular price, and I just picked one up for 100 even on Dell.

Are these drives–with the USB 2.0 interface–fast enough for gaming purposes? Just curious.

For video editing work I use all LACIE drives - the response times are great, the cases are solid (and stay resaonably cool) and they accept a variety of cables.

You mean to play games you’ve installed on the external drive? Well, the USB 2.0 interface maxes out at ~40MBps in real-world performance (theoretical max is 60MBps); while an ATA/133 interface max is 133MBps and SATA is 300MBps. Real-world performance of internal HDDs varies, of course; but I would consider the USB 2.0 interface enough of a bottleneck that I wouldn’t use it for anything disk-intensive, including gaming. EDIT: FireWire 800 is better, if your PC supports it and you’re willing to pay extra for it.

If you’re not in any rush, pay attention to sites like Techbargains to find a good deal on an external HDD. Like Quaro said, Dell had a 500GB WD for $100 not long ago.

buy your own enclosure and throw in a hard drive.

Does your WD 500gb have a high pitched whine to it? Mine does. It’s driving me up the wall.

I haven’t heard a peep from it. I actually have it right next to my rightmost LCD and I never notice it’s there unless the circle is flashing due to access. I literally picked it up two weeks ago so maybe it’s a newer version?

Mine’s only a couple months old. But I’m sensitive to high pitched noise… people around me can never hear the stuff that drives me up the wall.

I’ve got really nice speeds from both firewire and USB, typically around 66MB/s and 50MB/s on long copy operations.
My big test was salvaging a game partition (120 gigs), and DOpus times all operations.

I will, as usual, tell people to avoid Maxtor :)
(Two burned, literally, last one went whiney, then clanky, then dead)

I’ve got a couple of WD’s that have been rock solid.

Unless you’re interested in picking up one of the newer drives that don’t need a power brick of their own. BB was selling 160gig WD external USB-powered drives for ~$110 last I saw.

That’s right, they’ve become really cheap lately. However, I’m pretty particular so continue to buy specific brands of quiet HDD and enclosures separately.

I just bought this one this week:

I’ll add my voice to the “Maxtor and WD” vote. My current external HD is a Maxtor.