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External HD questions


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#1
fledgling

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I have come into possession of a Maxtor DiamondMaxPlus8 40GB ATA hd that was previously in an old Win98 pc. The hard drive was formated to remove all data before I received it. It is not in an external case. I was also given an R-driver II usb 2.0 to ide cable.

I presently have an Acer laptop running xp pro and an Acer desktop running XP Media Center.


Does any know if there is any compatibility problems?
Do I need an external case?
Do I have to format HD?
Are there any special settings?

Sorry if questions sound lame but I don't want to just hook it up and screw up laptop or pc. I would like to use hd as a backup drive for both laptop & pc.

Any and all help would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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#2
pip22

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There should not be any problems and it won't 'screw up' either of your PCs. The only error message you would get (if any) is if one of your PCs had the old type (slow USB1.1) USB ports. Windows would simply warn you of the disparity but the drive would still work. Just make sure you configure it as 'Master' with the jumper at the back. Not 'Slave'. The drive should have a small diagram or label on it, showing you what position the jumper needs to be in for 'Master'.

I would add, however, that a proper external case is preferable to a basic IDE/USB converter cable. For one thing, a proper enclosure will (usually) have an on/off switch to save wear on the drive when it's not required, and it will look better than having a bare drive on your desk.
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#3
SRX660

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If i may inject something i would add that using a standard ATA desktop HD may have power problems with the USB port powering the drive. USB power can be used on laptop drives( even tho i have had a 50% failure rate on 4 kits). Standard desktop drives could need up to 30 watts and USB power supplys only 12.5 watts. I would opt for a external enclosure as they not only have shut off switches but are also externally powered with a AC adpter.

SRX660
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#4
fledgling

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Thank you both for your quick responses. I will opt for the external enclosure as suggested. Thanks again.
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