When purchasing a hard disk drive, it is important to understand and verify the hard disk drive is suitable for your uses and has or does not have the options you may or may not need.
When looking to purchase a hard disk drive the first and foremost important consideration is the Interface the hard disk drive uses to communicate with the computer.
IDE/ATAPI/ATA One of the more commonly found hard disk drives and used with IBM compatible computers, IDE is generally an easy to install and customize interface. If considering purchasing an IDE/ATAPI/ATA hard disk drive, verify that there are available locations for the drive to be connected to.
SCSI Another commonly used interface. The SCSI interface is generally a faster solution when compared to IDE/ATAPI; however, in some cases, they can be more difficult to install.
External (USB / Fire wire / Parallel)Several external solutions are also available; these include but are not limited to USB Hard disk drive, Fire wire Hard disk drive and Parallel Hard disk drive. When considering an external hard disk drive, it is important to look at the speed difference for transferring data to and from the hard disk drive.
It is also important to look at the transfer rates of the hard disk drive; long transfer rates can considerably slow down your computer when transferring larger files. When looking at the hard disk drive, look for specifications listing the RPM.
Below is a listing of some other important considerations to look at when purchasing a computer hard disk drive:
Warranty How long is the warranty and what does it cover.
Support Is the technical support number a free number is it open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Included components Verify that the hard disk drive that you are purchasing comes with the needed components to install the drive. Generally, hard disk drives included from the manufacturer will include an IDE / ATA/66-100 Cable, standard drive rails, instructions and diskette for installation.
When purchasing an ATA/66 drive, the computer must support ATA66 as well as have an ATA/66 cable in order to support the transfer rate of 66 MB per second. If the computer does not have this cable, the drive will automatically be decreased to a transfer rate of 33 MB per second.