External Hard Drives: How do I Choose Which One to Buy

4 Ago/09

hard driveLately, I’ve realized that my computer is full of data and is close to its limit. Normally, I burn data onto a CD or DVD and then delete it off my system. The problem is that over time, the CDs have developed a few unreadable areas. So, I’ve pretty much lost a few chunks of data.

To combat this problem, I’ve decided its time for me to buy an external hard drive. I figure 500 GB is more than enough for me right now. What’s confusing me though is choosing which hard drive to buy. I’ve settled on a 2.5″ drive that draws power from the USB port so I won’t have to worry about an external power source. After a fair amount of research and considering my budget, I’ve narrowed my choice down to these two:

Seagate FreeAgent Go
Transcend StoreJet 25M

I’m getting a lot of conflicting reviews about both drives which is why I’m asking the Ghacks readers to help me make my decision. Here are some of my queries:

Multiple OS support: My primary computer runs Windows XP but I also own a laptop that’s running Ubuntu. I’d prefer something that works out of the box with both but I’m not averse to a little tweaking if necessary.

Partitioning: Would I need to partition my drive? I’m planning to segregate the data according to its format but can I just copy everything on it or should I create dedicated partitions? Should I leave some space free in case I want to install a portable version of an OS?

Durability: What’s the point in spending all that cash if my HD’s going to conk out after a while? Is build quality a factor and how long can I expect the drive to last?

What do you think of my choices? Have I missed anything out? What are you using for external storage and are you happy with it? Let me know in the comments.

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