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Flustered Old Lady Needs External Hard Drive & Hub Advice


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#1
Salila

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I'm an Authentic Old Person living with Extreme Hardware Ignorance. **

I need a 1T (at least) external hard drive, & my computer only has 1 USB port, so I need a thing that works like a power strip so I can plug in more than 1 thing at once (including the external drive when I get it). - I think this is called a "hub"?

I will be very grateful for any suggestions, recommendations, etc that anyone will be kind enough to offer with regard to which external hard drive and USB power strip doodle - I should get.

Here's my System Information:

---------------------------------------------

OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Manufacturer Dell Inc.
System Model Vostro 400
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 11 GenuineIntel ~2327 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date Dell Inc. 1.0.10, 12/15/2007
SMBIOS Version 2.5
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "5.1.2600.5512 (xpsp.080413-2111)"
Total Physical Memory 1,024.00 MB
Available Physical Memory 424.64 MB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 2.40 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys


---------------------------------------------
** Exposition and Rantage:

You'd think I could just ask around, but absurdly, among my friends and family, I am the nerd, so no advice potential there.

For various reasons of policy and/or overall cost-reduction strategies & the Economic Transition, retail employees are no longer an information resource as they were in Olden Times, & tend to be either limited by knowledge and/or company rules to provide customers with assistance in the order-taking process only.

There are a few who work on commission, or as in the case of Dell, carry a limited number of products, and will thus recommend the product whose sale is most likely to result in their ability to remain in housing and/or purchase food, not necessarily one that would be a good fit for me, or, for that matter, anybody.

Reading reviews on amazon, et al has been counter-productive.

For me, this is a Major Purchase, (In addition to being Authentically Old, I'm also Authentically Poor), and every single device reviewed always has a handful of horror stories, which have made me so nervous that I've put off buying the [bleep] thing, until now I am in a full-blown Space Crisis.
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#2
phillpower2

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Hi Salila :D
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822136469
http://www.newegg.co...2-205-_-Product
Around $95 for the two including shipping, hope they are what you are looking for.
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#3
Alzeimer

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Unless I am wrong but the Dell Vostro 400 is a desktop, so wouldn't it be easier to buy a USB 2.0 PCI card (assuming you have PCI slots available) that would add 2 to 4 USB ports to your computer since hubs do not always performs as good as they should.
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#4
phillpower2

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Unless I am wrong but the Dell Vostro 400 is a desktop, so wouldn't it be easier to buy a USB 2.0 PCI card (assuming you have PCI slots available) that would add 2 to 4 USB ports to your computer since hubs do not always performs as good as they should.


You are correct Alzeimer the Vostro comes in 3 variants laptop, desktop and all in one and the 400 model is a desktop.
http://search.euro.d...h=False&~ck=tab
I think the OP is looking for the easiest option but I agree the pci/usb card would be the recommended way normally.
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#5
Salila

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...
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822136469
http://www.newegg.co...2-205-_-Product
Around $95 for the two including shipping, hope they are what you are looking for.

Thanks, phillpower! That's a good fit for my budget, I'm going to look at them now!

...wouldn't it be easier to buy a USB 2.0 PCI card...

Yes, it is a desktop!

If I'm not mistaken, a "card" is something that goes inside the tower where all the computers internal organs are?

phillpower is right - while that would probably be the easiest thing for you to do, but anything that would involve unscrewing the computer's skin and taking it off, much less fooling around inside there is not dreamt of in my philosophy!

Getting the external drive and hub and plugging them in will be for me, the crowning technological feat of a lifetime! :D
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#6
phillpower2

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Hi Salila
Thank you for posting back, I am happy that what I suggested meets your requirements :D
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#7
deggitt

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Hi, just had a look at the VOSTRO 400, it has 4x usb ports on the back panel & 4x usb ports on the front panel !!! :D


or are you using 7 ports already ?

Edited by deggitt, 25 September 2010 - 05:28 AM.

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#8
Salila

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Hi, just had a look at the VOSTRO 400, it has 4x usb ports on the back panel & 4x usb ports on the front panel...


Maybe the one you saw is newer? I got mine in 2008, and it only has one. It has what might be a kind of one, but the mouse's tail lives there.

Or maybe mine was a special economy version, because I didn't buy it as a person. It was part of a large corporate purchase of many computers (Long story of approximately 9000 words deleted for your convenience).

Oh wait. Is the front panel the thing where the little door comes down and there are 2 colory-edged round holes and those slot things? Are those USB ports? I thought they were for a fancier sound system or something that I wouldn't understand. :D

;) Well I told you I was clueless. But even if that is what they are, I guess you can't really have too many USB ports these days. I have seen some hubs with 8. And the number of things that need them increases daily. Besides, isn't the drive for a mini one? I think the one in the back is mini?

Anyway, the big news is that I bought the drive and the hub! ;)

And also something called an extender cable because so many people said that the one that comes with drives is too short. I am planning to have the drive live on top of the tower, I've seen so many people say they do that, but I should probably ask if it is safe. Should I put a doily underneath it?

And phillpower, I got the exact ones you said, but in case anyone else wants them too, they are a little bit cheaper at amazon plus free shipping, so yay that! All together, with the extender cable it was about $90!

So of course when they arrive I will return and ask all kinds of questions about how to hook them up in a safe and explosion-free manner.

Please try to contain the thrills of delighted anticipation elicited by that prospect.
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#9
deggitt

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For your perusal princess....


http://www.support.d.../CR532A01MR.pdf



pages 15 / 18 / 20....lots of funny little connectors on the back :D ;)

Edited by deggitt, 25 September 2010 - 08:40 AM.

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#10
phillpower2

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Good news on the Amazon deal I just love people saving money (especially me)

Please try to contain the thrills of delighted anticipation elicited by that prospect.

:D
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#11
beep9362

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You should have no problem to plug in your hub and drive. I have 10 year old computers and no explosion ever happened, by plugging in a USB hub. I have several external usb-drives plugged into a 7-port hub and everything works fine.
The only thing is, some drives or ports have to be turned on before Windows recognizes them and then turn the computer on.
Good luck!
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