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External Hard Drive Enclosures

What makes a good one?

     
11:25 am on Sep 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm in the market for a new external hdd case. I have a WD 320gb IDE drive, that I plan to use as a backup/portable drive.

In looking around for external cases, I see a lot of varying prices, for what looks like the same thing. Can anyone tell me what the must-have features are? What constitutes as a "quality" piece of hardware?

- It obviously must support large ( > 137gb) drives.
- I know it must be aluminum to release heat.
- I know it must have USB/Firewire for ease of use.
- I want to be able to boot to the drive, but I think that's a BIOS limitation anyway.

What else do I look for to justify the price they advertise, vs. the $9.99 I see at other places?

3:56 pm on Sept 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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When I purchased a couple of these I had the ideas you had and only two others that you didn't mention...

a. A good cooling fan which will ventilate not only the internal power supply, but also the drive. (good slots for airflow)

b. The ability to take off the "front" of the case in order to install a CD drive. Works great for me to take a CD burner to a computer that doesn't have one.