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External Hard drives - Questions

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brooklyn77 | 14:58 Mon 20th Nov 2006 | Technology
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I have a Windows XP PC I have 42GB of space used on my only internal hard drive, and 13GB free space

Since the free space has been this low my Hard Drive has been running a little slower and once in a while the Hard Drive will run faster and make lots of noise, all symptoms I understand of it being low on Memory.

I have cleaned the registry and checkd for viruses and spyware and defragged and all is ok.

So I move on to my next option of buying an external hard drive for around �80 - �120 for an approx 250GB of more space..but..

What I want to know is...can I put anything on the external hard drive..files, video, music, programmes etc.. or are there some things an external hard drive wont accept?

Also will buying the external hard drive mean my PC could run faster If I move across lots of my files. so Instead of my internal HD having only 13GB free I may have say 25GB free..would that increase the speed or smooth running of my PC?

Any advice and help greatly appreciated

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You can move absolutely anything and everything onto your external drive and just leave windows on your C drive thus freeing up your pc completely.

I was the same as you till I got one and didn't really understand the principles of an external but all that happens is you plug it into a USB port and it shows up on "My Computer" as another drive, say "K".

If I were you, I'd start by moving stuff to it like music, videos and pictures. They're what take up most space. Mind you, if you load a new program for example and install it in "K" instead of "C" it will still work perfectly well, possibilities endless. Word of warning though, they're not infallable and can break down like anything else. Externals tend to rely on heat sync for cooling where your pc has a fan so you can expect them to get warm, very warm sometimes so I think (just my opinion) that it's best to move stuff you don't use that much and then you can turn it on and off as you need it.

Remeber when turning it off to shut it down properly from the system tray, God, I sound like I know what I'm talking about but I don't really, it's just that I'ver got one!
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Thanks for that..thanks to your advice I thougt I would buy one..it cost �2000 so if it does not work I will blame you.

Only joking, I bought one for about �85 with 300GB storage
its a Buffalo HD-HB300U2-1 USB 2.0 Drivestation 300gb External Hard Drive

and it says it has a Unique Heat Sink Chassis that keeps Internal Parts Cool.

Is that good ? Sounds it.

Thanks !
Sounds great, I paid that for an 80Gb 6 months ago.

You can blame me all you want, I've got broad shoulders and you don't know where I live.
13 Gigabytes is a lot of empty space. Hard disks don't slow down just because there is a lot of data on them. Nor do they occasionally run faster and make a lot of noise because there is a lot of data on them. You will hit performance problems if your drive is badly fragmented, and this can be fixed by running a defrag. An external USB2 drive will typically run at about 90% of the performance level of the same drive if installed internally. It's difficult to see that you will gain anything by installing an external drive, except the temporary gain that you may get when you first copy the files over, as at that point they will not be fragmented.
rojash, read the question properly, he's already defragged
camioneur, read my answer properly. If he's already defragged then there is something else wrong, and adding an external hard drive will not solve the problem.
rojash

"and this can be fixed by running a defrag"
Defrag won't touch your swap file ( pagefile.sys ), if that's fragmented your PC will slow down considerably.
I'm not sure what point you are trying to make, camioneur. I mentioned in passing that performance problems could be caused by fragmentation and that this could be fixed by running a defrag. - this was a general observation about performance issues with hard drives.

The thrust of my post was that the symptoms described are not caused by having "only 13 Gigabytes" of space left on the hard drive.

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