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Warning: Long post- Help with connecting an external hard drive please?

microsoft.public.windows.vista hardware devices






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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-21-2009
jezterking
 

Posts: n/a
Warning: Long post- Help with connecting an external hard drive please?

I will make this as short as I can but I donít even know where to startÖ
I purchased a Fantom Drives 1 TB GreenDrive and connected it to my
laptop (HP Pavilion dv7 notebook with Vista 64) using an eSATA cable
because it supposedly makes a major difference in transfer speeds. The
drive is no faster than with a USB cable, so I googled to find info
about slow eSATA transfers and read through a LOT of posts on different
forums & now Iím more confused than ever! I found that I needed to
format the drive to NTFS, so I did. I read that I need to create
partitions (or that creating them will make things run faster) but I
really donít know how to do that or why. THEN I read to use HD Tune to
check the speed of the drive which tested at a maximum of 79 MB/sec. So
I looked for more info on making it faster. Then I looked at my device
manager and the hard drive isnít even listed on there. I have another
external hard drive (a smaller one thatís a FAT32 that I am returning)
connected up with a USB cable and that is listed but not the new one.
The new one shows up when I open My Computer to save files but itís not
in the device manager or the computer manager. Now I see all this stuff
about checking BIOS & making sure all the settings are correct for eSATA
on my laptop, which I know nothing about. So like I said, I donít even
know where to start with my questions. I just want to know in laymanís
terms (is there such a thing? Where I donít have to go from one
Wikipedia definition to 15 more) how to connect the external hard drive
to my laptop via eSATA and have it operate at the 300 MB/sec that itís
supposed to. I also want to make sure itís formatted and set up to get
the best/safest performance as well, though. Sorry for the book but my
head is seriously spinning and I donít know what to do. Is there a
forum for dummies like me to get simple information about these things?
God I hope soÖÖ
PLEASE HELP!?


:cry:


--
jezterking
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02-22-2009
Hula Baloo
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Warning: Long post- Help with connecting an external hard driveplease?
jezterking wrote:
> I will make this as short as I can but I donít even know where to startÖ
> I purchased a Fantom Drives 1 TB GreenDrive and connected it to my
> laptop (HP Pavilion dv7 notebook with Vista 64) using an eSATA cable
> because it supposedly makes a major difference in transfer speeds. The
> drive is no faster than with a USB cable, so I googled to find info
> about slow eSATA transfers and read through a LOT of posts on different
> forums & now Iím more confused than ever! I found that I needed to
> format the drive to NTFS, so I did. I read that I need to create
> partitions (or that creating them will make things run faster) but I
> really donít know how to do that or why. THEN I read to use HD Tune to
> check the speed of the drive which tested at a maximum of 79 MB/sec. So
> I looked for more info on making it faster. Then I looked at my device
> manager and the hard drive isnít even listed on there. I have another
> external hard drive (a smaller one thatís a FAT32 that I am returning)
> connected up with a USB cable and that is listed but not the new one.
> The new one shows up when I open My Computer to save files but itís not
> in the device manager or the computer manager. Now I see all this stuff
> about checking BIOS & making sure all the settings are correct for eSATA
> on my laptop, which I know nothing about. So like I said, I donít even
> know where to start with my questions. I just want to know in laymanís
> terms (is there such a thing? Where I donít have to go from one
> Wikipedia definition to 15 more) how to connect the external hard drive
> to my laptop via eSATA and have it operate at the 300 MB/sec that itís
> supposed to. I also want to make sure itís formatted and set up to get
> the best/safest performance as well, though. Sorry for the book but my
> head is seriously spinning and I donít know what to do. Is there a
> forum for dummies like me to get simple information about these things?
> God I hope soÖÖ
> PLEASE HELP!?
>
>
> :cry:
>
>

There's a lot of marketing hype out there about TRANSFER RATES.
However the thing that most of the time limits disk access speed is arm
movement and rotational delay. Only after these two things have taken
place with the actual data transfer take place. The limited exception
to this is when the data is in the relatively small cache. A 16 meg
cache might sound big to some, but compared to a TERABYTE, it's a drop
in the bucket, so in most cases you're stuck with seek time and
rotational delay being the critical factors. And when these two things
have gotten you to the right spot on the disk, you've still got to
transfer the data into memory, which again is limited by the rotational
speed of the disk (usually 7200 RPM). So yes the TRANSFER RATE with
eSATA can be faster than USB, but the disk doesn't spin any faster
regardless, nor does the access arm (seeking) move any faster.
Now regarding NTFS, once you get above about 8 gig, using FAT32
becomes incredibly ineffecient, wasting more and more space because
"cluster" size increases until it can waste a ton of disk space to store
small amounts of stuff.
Finally partitioning. It does NOT speed things up. In fact if you
frequently access stuff across multiple partitions, you've got to move
the access arm further, slowing everything down. The main advantage to
partitioning is separation of things like software and data. This is
particularly convenient for things like backup/restore and reorgs. If
you keep all your software on C: and your data on say E:, then you can
backup your C: and reorg it relatively infrequently, since it doesn't
change as fast as your data. And when you back up or reorg your data,
you don't have to do it to your C: partition. It's very convenient, and
the backups and reorgs go faster (a tradeoff with the increased seek
time if you have to move between C: and E: frequently).
Clear as mud? Welcome to disk management! :-)
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 02-22-2009
jezterking
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Warning: Long post- Help with connecting an external hard drive please?

Wow! thanks for the quick, precise and most importantly SIMPLE answer,
Hula! Can you also tell me if I need to change any settings in my BIOS
or anywhere else in my computer in order to use the eSATA drive? Also,
it's not showing up on my device manager. I can open it when I go to
computer in order to save files but it's not showing up other than
that.... Any idea why that is? Thanks again!


--
jezterking
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 02-22-2009
Hula Baloo
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Warning: Long post- Help with connecting an external hard driveplease?
jezterking wrote:
> Wow! thanks for the quick, precise and most importantly SIMPLE answer,
> Hula! Can you also tell me if I need to change any settings in my BIOS
> or anywhere else in my computer in order to use the eSATA drive? Also,
> it's not showing up on my device manager. I can open it when I go to
> computer in order to save files but it's not showing up other than
> that.... Any idea why that is? Thanks again!
>
>

I must confess to not having gotten around to trying eSATA. I've got
at least 2 external drives that would work with it, but I don't have a
PC with an eSATA port; and since I'm not convinced it would be any
faster than USB, I haven't bothered with it. I will say that external
devices can be quirky in whether and how they show up in Device Manager.


Re BIOS settings, run SETUP and look to see if there's anything about
enabling/disabling eSATA. If there is, of course you'd want to make
sure it's ENABLED. It's hard to generalize about that because there're
so many different versions of BIOS setups.
Good luck!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 02-22-2009
David
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Warning: Long post- Help with connecting an external hard drive please?

"Hula Baloo" <eepyeep@nospam.juno.com> wrote in message
news:uEzAdlJlJHA.6124@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
> jezterking wrote:
>> Wow! thanks for the quick, precise and most importantly
>> SIMPLE answer,
>> Hula! Can you also tell me if I need to change any
>> settings in my BIOS
>> or anywhere else in my computer in order to use the eSATA
>> drive? Also,
>> it's not showing up on my device manager. I can open it
>> when I go to
>> computer in order to save files but it's not showing up
>> other than
>> that.... Any idea why that is? Thanks again!
>>
>>

> I must confess to not having gotten around to trying
> eSATA. I've got at least 2 external drives that would
> work with it, but I don't have a PC with an eSATA port;
> and since I'm not convinced it would be any faster than
> USB, I haven't bothered with it. I will say that external
> devices can be quirky in whether and how they show up in
> Device Manager.
>
> Re BIOS settings, run SETUP and look to see if there's
> anything about enabling/disabling eSATA. If there is, of
> course you'd want to make sure it's ENABLED. It's hard to
> generalize about that because there're so many different
> versions of BIOS setups.
> Good luck!


I can relate my experience with external SATA drives. There
are two standards, IDE mode and AHCI mode (ignoring RAID).
The latter is hot pluggable and the former is not. You must
boot the computer with the drive attached and turned on if
using IDE mode. If you installed VISTA with an internal SATA
drive without AHCI enabled in the bios and enable it later,
VISTA will not boot without making a registry change first
to allow it to load the AHCI driver during boot up.

My external drive has SATA, USB, and IEEE 1934 ports on it
and after getting AHCI working, it is well worth it. The
transfer rate is 2-3 times faster than with either of the
other interfaces. I image my internal hard drives onto the
external drive and the speed increase is remarkable.

David

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 02-22-2009
jezterking
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Warning: Long post- Help with connecting an external hard drive please?

Hey David, the faster speed you are talking about sounds great but like
I said, I have NO idea what you were talking about with the whole IDE -
ACHI stuff.... :huh:


--
jezterking
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 02-22-2009
David
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Warning: Long post- Help with connecting an external hard drive please?

"jezterking" <guest@unknown-email.com> wrote in message
news:3c46b679bda8beaaea057a6fff73fed7@nntp-gateway.com...
>
> Hey David, the faster speed you are talking about sounds
> great but like
> I said, I have NO idea what you were talking about with
> the whole IDE -
> ACHI stuff.... :huh:
>
>
> --
> jezterking


I agree that understanding the various SATA interfaces takes
a bit of research to fully comprehend. Unless you are doing
huge multi-GB transfers such as I do with backups or using
it for video editing, your simplest approach would be to
stay with USB for your external drive. The advantages of a
SATA connection to an external drive become worthwhile when
a lot of data transfer is involved. What is your application
for the external drive?

David

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