Thursday, March 18, 2010

Shopping for the Perfect External Hard Drive

A few years ago, my laptop conked out on me. I lost valuable files and photos. I kept a brave front and told myself everything is a learning experience. I re-formatted my laptop, installed the necessary programs and started loading it again with various files and photos. I noticed my NEO Laptop was slowly but surely getting filled up to the brim. I decided to burn important files into DVDs as back up, just in case. This plan worked really well until the DVD drive itself conked out on me. That was when I decided to get myself an external hard drive. I dragged hubby to Megamall’s 4th floor where gadgets and gizmos abound. After wearing our feet out from going in and out of the stores, we were able to find an affordable 320GB external hard drive. It was a black Fujitsu costing P3,900 if you paid in cash and a bit more if you paid in plastic. We gathered up all our available money (forgotten coins from the corners of my gigantic bag included) and paid in cash, just to avail of the discount.

When I got home I was so excited to fill up this new gadget with gigabytes of files. I mean 320 GB! Exactly how immense that memory space was almost impossible for me to imagine, having lived with my 30GB laptop for years! I loaded my important files, important memories of milestones in my life: my daughter’s first and second birthday parties, anniversaries, reunions etc. At around that time I was just learning digital scrapbooking, so I also had oodles of digital kits and fonts and layouts, some of which were paid for with my hard-earned PayPal money. I trusted the contraption completely. It worked just great for some months…until one day, as I was booting the laptop, it hung. I restarted it but it still won’t continue its booting process. I tried a couple of hundred times more. I finally gave up and brought it to NEO’s service center in Megamall. They did all they could but they said that my operating system was corrupted and I had to re-format the darn thing AGAIN! After a fit of hyperventilation, I took solace in the fact that I still had all my files in the 320GB external hard drive after all that is its purpose right? When the technician plugged it to their computer, it still had all the folders I set up: Movies, Photos, Documents, Scrap Stuff. All movies were in tact, all documents were intact, a few digital scrapbooking files were retrieved, but Empty Photos Folder!! I opened the folder and zip, null, nada! Disaster of disasters!

After that I grudgingly had the laptop re-formatted by a friend. I told him to just delete everything so I can start on a clean slate. He did, but I was still traumatized from my experience. I stopped scrapping for some time. I refused to download my pictures to the laptop, and the memory capacities of my gadgets are constantly filled up. I rebuffed any suggestions to delete files from our camera or cell phone. For a while, I only used the laptop to check my email and surf the net.

After a few months of living in such a dismal state, I felt so miserable and constricted. I decided to take action. I gathered up all my resources and decided to buy another external hard drive. I just can’t live like this. I wanted to take more pictures, record more home movies, crap more stuff! I have a growing daughter, it is my responsibility to record her childhood!

Initially, I wanted to buy a 500GB Seagate FreeAgent Go for P5,600 at PC Express. It was highly recommended in the internet, carried a 5-year warranty and looked sturdy enough. And I was about to pay for it when the clerk mentioned that it was not shock-proof. I placed the money back in my wallet. Maybe that’s a factor in my former gadget’s demise… hmmm… interesting… but is there such a thing as shock-proof? Apparently, there was such a thing. The clerk guided me to the Buffalo Shelf. There I found the Buffalo’s MiniStation™ with Hardware Encryption USB Hard Drive. Here are some of its features:

Compact, lightweight and portable storage solution for all. Securely store, back-up and transport digital images, music and other files without taking valuable space on your PC’s hard drive.

• Portable USB Hard Drive with Hardware encryption
• Shock resistant body available in three colours, Crystal Black, Pearl White and Ruby Red
• Stylish design with glossy finish
• Cable management, with flat wraparound USB cable
• TurboUSB for faster data transfer rates
• Shock Resistance body to protect your data from the knocks and shocks of daily life
• Flat, wrap around cable management system, integrated into the body - so you will never lose the cable again
• Full Disk Encryption for Windows® to protect data from unauthorised access
• Memeo™ AutoSync backup software included to protect your files
• SecureLockManager Easy™ for Windows remembers your logon credentials and logs you on to your drive quickly when using Full Disk Encryption for Windows
• Includes Picasa software from Google™ that allows you to easily organise and edit digital photos and movies
• Stylish glossy design, in three great colours, Crystal Black, Pearl White and Ruby Red
• Easy to use and set-up out of the box, no drivers or power supply required
• Connects via USB to any PC or Mac

After a lot of soul searching, I settled for the crystal black one. Actually I wanted to get the ruby red one but hubby kept on giving me the evil eye. It cost us almost P6,ooo.

Epilogue: It has been a few months since I took a chance in the 500GB Buffalo hard drive. I have been able to take it along with me on several occasions. I’ve never dropped it but I still hold on to their claim of strength and durability. I have loaded oodles of unedited, big sized files but I’ve still yet to reach 25% of its capacity. I am satisfied. Looks like I’ve finally found the one that will make me get over my trauma from the past.

Hey, what is this I hear? They also have a 2 Terabyte External Hard drive? Well, let me just wipe the drool off my mouth and let me start stuffing coins in my piggy bank. This monster offers four times the space of my current drive, Wow!

Here’s to hoping that by the time I fill Ms. Piggy up, the price for that contraption would’ve gone down already! Fingers and toes crossed!

1 comment:

*~Sarah Lynn~* said...

Very nice, the laptop I got has a 500GB hard drive. I always wanted an external one though. So funny that the last one you bought they gave you a lower price for paying in cash instead of credit. I found electronics to be a bit expensive in the Philippines, I tried looking for a camera over there one year when my camera died while in the Phil but they were all more than the US prices. $100 still isn't bad for 500GB though. Have fun filling it up! :)

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