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Can Any Hard Drive & External Enclosure Work On Any Pc?

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Hello again,

Now let's say i buy a SATA hard drive and an external hard drive enclosure, can the hard drive still be detected on any pc? (ie: a pc based on PATA technology that uses IDE hard drives, mac, P3's, P4's, etc). Meaning will it work if I take it and use it on someone elses pc? I currently still have a Pentium 3 1.4Ghz pc that uses IDE hard drives. The reason I thought of getting a SATA hard drive with an enclosure (not even sure which one to look for), is because I've heard SATA drives are faster, and there a lot cheaper too. Older IDE drives cost a bit more now just becausing they're fading away. I want something like a 400GB drive to be able to take on the go as I work with a lot of files when I am out and I'm sick of carrying cdr's, dvd's, or emailing files to myself.

My friend said this:
If there is a sata usb enclosure than yes it will work on any pc. Because its going to the usb, but if your usb is usb 1 then there is no point in grabbing a sata unless your getting a deal on it.

Hmmm I don't really understand his answer. I just want a drive and an enclosure so I can take this thing everywhere I go, have it work on any pc, and than take it home and have it work here. A friend of mine has one where he just plugs it to the pc by usb and the pc recognizes it right away and it shows up on the screen. I assume thats plug and play technology but I dunno if all come with them. I want one so bad!

One of the issues that I should state is the fact that I may be traveling and the external drive might vibrate a bit, and I go out in the cold sometimes as I use public transportation so it may get chilly sometimes and I don't want it to ruin.

Thank You For The Advice!
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Yes, it should work on most systems.

The reason for the comment on the SATA drive with USB-1 is that it will be slower, but if you have USB-2 on your machine, then it will be faster on that. If your machine is USB-1, then there point is to not spend extra for speed which you won't be able to use.

Traveling can be an issue with hard drives. Heat and vibration can cause problems. The drives are better today, but if you really want to count on it you might want to consider a memory card type of device. It depends on how much size you need and how big of a device you want to carry around.
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