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Thread: External USB 3.0 hard drive that just works

  1. #21
    Soundwave
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    Greetings,
    I have a T100TA with the 500GB extended drive (imported from Taiwan), with the intention of using it as my primary laptop when I travel abroad. I am looking for a Portable HDD to add to my extended memory. I will probably buy a 2TB portable drive. The consensus in regard to the recommended choice seem to be toward the Toshiba Canvio line of drive, and to a lesser degree, the Samsung line. I am planning to expand the USB ports, as well as supplementing the power requirements with an AC powered, 4 port external Hub. Do anyone on this forum have any experience using portable hard drives in conjunction with an AC powered external Hub?
    Last edited by themorn2112; 07-12-2015 at 12:39 AM.

  2. #22
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    I use my external drives with a USB 3.0 hub (powered) with my notebook PC without any issues, but I have not tried it with my TF700T w/dock. I can't guarantee that it will work. However I have tried a USB HDD plugged directly into the dock and that did *not* work - presumably due to power requirements.

  3. #23
    Soundwave
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    That is why I am planning to buy a 4-port AC powered hub, in hopes to "augment" the power requirements of the less green portable hard drives that have performance issues mentioned in this thread. From time to time I have found some really good sales on portable HDDs that have power issues mentioned here. I am hoping to circumvent the power issues by buying an AC powered USB hub.

  4. #24
    Shockwave
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    You should be fine using a powered hub. That was always my solution in the past when I ran into USB power consumption issues due to power hungry USB HDDs. It was always a hassle due to losing the convenience of PC portability, USB HDD portability and having extra wires to deal with. In the end the powered hub solved the problem. You'll probably want to make sure to get a hub which has at least a 2Amp power supply adapter. The most frustrating parts for me with some of these non green USB HDDs and using a power hub, was that the HDD would work fine when connected to the PC with the powered hub, but eventually I would transfer files from my PC to the HDD and unplug the drive to plug it into another device and then I was constantly dealing with the frustrations. For example, I will often download movies on my PC and put them on a portable USB HDD. Then plug that USB HDD into the USB of my Samsung TVs, to playback the movies on the HDD. Then it wouldn't work and then you would run into the problem that the TV might not support USB hubs or you're now having to purchase powered USB hubs for all your other devices. So the money you might save on purchasing a non Green USB powered HDD is now spent on purchasing addition powered USB hubs for all the other devices you own.

    If you're purchasing a "portable" USB HDD and don't need the portability of that HDD, then you may be fine.

    I have moved on from that, and try to purchase brands of USB HDDs that aren't so power hungry such was my experience with WD, Hitachi and Sony HDDs. I purchased a Sony 2TB USB portable HDD because I had no previous experience with Sony HDDs and I found it at a great reduced price. I'm sorry I ever made that purchase, because I absolutely hate that HDD. After owning it for 2 months, I turned around and purchased the Seagate 2TB USB portable HDD. So I really didn't save any money. I actually spent twice as much.

    Don't purchase this HDD, no matter the cost savings would be my recommendation.


    Some things to consider, your use cases may be different than mine.

    I've had great results and have been happy with the Price/Performance of the Toshiba Canvio series USB HDDs as well as a 2TB Seagate Slim Backup Plus USB HDDs.
    Last edited by Rednroll; 07-14-2015 at 07:55 PM.
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  5. #25
    Soundwave
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    Rednroll

    Rednroll - your experience is pretty much what I am trying to avoid. The specs you recommended for the 4 port hub is pretty much what I was targeting. My first choice for USB AC powered hub is the "Satechi 4 Port USB 3.0 Hub" (link at bottom of post) which has an AC power adapter rated at 3A. I am hoping to avoid your experience involving connecting a portable HDD with other devices by loading the file I want to use onto my T100 (I have an imported version with the 500GB extended memory). I intend to load most of my files on the Portable HDD, then transfer them to my T100 for viewing on an LCD screen via HDMI cable, or convert convert my media file to a format that can be stored and used on my media player (Cowon D2+) for use via RGB cable to a tv that don't have a digital input.

    As far as my choices regarding HDD, considering the experiences and recommendation form other posters on this thread, my first choice would be the Toshiba Canvio 2TB drive. I have been seeing some good discounts on WD 2TB portable HDD, but I have misgivings considering some of the experiences of other posters on the thread. That is why I am consider a WD portable if I can compensate for the power requirement by using an AC powered USB hub. Has you or anyone have any experience using a WD portable HDD on an AC powered USB hub?

    On a side note, another factor is the weight. I travel with only carry-on baggage, so weight is a big factor for me. I am limited to 15 lbs (7kg), so hopefully, a portable HDD and powered USB hub will be the last addition to my travel accessories. I am not too concerned with the weight of the HDD and hub, as they both seem to be fairly light. I have my T100 and accessories in one bag that fits inside my duffle bag that weighs ≈5 lbs.

    Satechi 4 Port USB 3.0 Hub
    Last edited by themorn2112; 07-14-2015 at 10:44 PM.

  6. #26
    Shockwave
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    Quote Originally Posted by themorn2112 View Post
    Has you or anyone have any experience using a WD portable HDD on an AC powered USB hub?
    I have some experience. I currently have a 1TB WD "Mypassport" portable USB 3.0 HDD. When I purchased it over a year ago, I was really struggling with myself to make that commitment based off of all my previous WD USB HDD nightmares. It was on clearance for $35 at Sam's Club. I put it in my shopping cart, shopped around the store awhile, put it back on the store shelf, then as I started to head to the check out, convinced myself to go grab it back off the shelf and buy it because I had an application for it, which allowed me to not have to rely on the "portable" aspect of this HDD and the price was "cheap".

    For my home network, I have an Asus RT Router, which has dual USB ports for network storage. So you can say the router has a built in USB powered hub. I'm using this WD USB drive as a local network drive, connected to the router. On the 1st USB port of the router I already had a 2TB Toshiba Canvio Basic which contains my stuff and family videos and photos. I wanted the WD drive to be a family shared network drive. I basically told myself, I'll try connecting this WD Mypassport to the 2nd USB port of the router and if I run into any problems, it's immediately going back to Sam's Club since Sam's has a good return policy. Even if it was only $35.

    So it's been working fine there connected to my Asus Router. I don't move that WD HDD, so I don't rely on the portability aspect of the HD. It's there because myself, my wife and son each own a T100. We use it as a shared network drive to transfer files between each other, share our music collections and backup our software programs and give us extra available storage for our T100's via a network shared HDD. So when I need to install a program on any of my other PCs, it's convenient just grabbing that program installer from the WD network drive, or streaming and sharing our music collections with each other.

    Here it is on my network with my Toshiba and Seagate USB HDDs in all it's glory.


    I'll also add, I have only had to disconnect it once and reconnect it within that year because it wasn't powering up. While the Toshiba Canvio which is connected to the same router and has been connected for well over a year, I haven't had to do the same. So the Toshiba wins again. The ironic part about this, is that the Toshiba Canvio isn't one of the newer slim models, it has 2 platters where it's essentially 2 HDDs stacked on top of each other within the same package where I would expect it to require more power than the WD. However, that does not seem to be the case.
    Last edited by Rednroll; 07-15-2015 at 08:06 AM.
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  7. #27
    Soundwave
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    Rednroll - Thanks for your reply. It looks like I am steering toward the Seagate Expansion 2tb portable hard drive, but have also found a WD Elements 2TB portable HD, which I found new for $70.00 US from Adorama on ebay's website. The Seagate HD I have found consistently at around USD80.00 from several merchants, most notably, Amazon.com website. I also found another USB 3.0 4 port hub from Sabrent that cost slightly more, but is more reliable based on the website product reviews Link below.

    Sabrent USB 3.0 4 port Hub

    Your thoughts???

  8. #28
    Shockwave
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    Personally, if you're budgeting around $70 for a 2TB portable USB HDD, I would steer clear of the WD portable USB drives because I feel there are better options in this price range. I would chose the Seagate for $10 more based on my under whelming past experiences with WD portable HDDs. However, if the $80 is exceeding what you're targeting to spend, then you might want to consider the Toshiba Canvio Connect.

    I consider the Toshiba canvio series of USB HDD's one of the best values available.

    The 2TB Toshiba Canvio Connect is consistently around $70 through an online purchase.

    For instance:
    Toshiba Canvio Connect 2 TB External 5400 RPM HDTC720XK3C1 Portable 0022265430163 | eBay

    I have no personal experience with the Sabrent hubs. I have found the Anker brand USB hubs to be good value (ie Price/Performance) powered USB hubs. Read the reviews on amazon, they tend to agree.

    Anker powered hubs:

    7-port USB 3.0 (I own this one)
    Anker AH121 USB 3 0 7 Port Hub with 36W Power Adapter | eBay
    Typically, with this hub I have not had any problems, EXCEPT when I plugged the Sony HDD into it. I typically have a DVD-RW, and (2) self powered full size USB HDDs connected to it for backup purposes. I have only gotten devices not working after connecting the Sony HDD which seems to be the case on most of my other devices as well. This hub has a > 6amp power supply, yet I still run into problems with the Sony HDD.

    4-port USB 3.0
    Amazon.com: Anker AH111 USB 3.0 4-Port Hub with 12V 2A Power Adapter and 3ft USB 3.0 Cable [VIA VL812 Chipset]: Computers & Accessories
    Last edited by Rednroll; 07-26-2015 at 09:39 AM.
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  9. #29
    Soundwave
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    Rednroll - I ended up buying the "Seagate Expansion 2TB Portable External Hard Drive" at ≈ USD75.62 (USD81 after taxes and shipping). The other factor in my decision to buy this portable external HDD is that there is no addition software embedded in the drive, which is a plus for me in that there is more space for data storage, but on the same token, there is no encryption for my files ( guess I could find a 3rd party encryption software, but don't think I will need one). This drive has gotten excellent reviews on Amazon, and is well regarded on this forum, as I recall. The Canvio was on sale as well, but the deal clincher was the bare bones nature of the Seagate, combined with the lower price, in conjunction with the good reviews. I did not find a comparable price anywhere near me, combined wth Amazon's no questions asked return policy.

    My next step is the 4 port USB 3.0 hub and Power bank. We hashed over the ports choices, but any input on compatible power banks would be greatly appreciated. I obtained some invaluable insight on this forum site, as well as some tips on modifying usb connector ends to allow use on most chargers and accessories. Any input on Power Bank recommendations and advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for your input to date.

    Addendum: I am now gravitating to the "AmazonBasics 4 Port USB 3.0 Hub with 5V/2.5A power adapter". This hub seems to meet my performance requirement, and has an overall superior review score, for cost that is lower that the Sabrent. I am still considering the Sabrent because of the wider spacing between ports that will allow me to plug in various sizes of flash drives and USB plugs.
    Last edited by themorn2112; 07-27-2015 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Additional information and update

  10. #30
    Shockwave
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    Let us know how you like the Seagate. I was checking it out from the Amazon link you provided, and wasn't sure if that is one of the "slim" versions or not. I have this one and it's currently my favorite portable USB HDD.....if there is such a thing LOL.

    http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Portab...agate+slim+2tb

    This guy travels back and forth with me from work to home on a daily basis. I really like the slim HDDs, because you can put it in your front shirt pocket and hardly notice it's there. I was doing that with the standard size USB portable HDDs before I purchased the Seagate slim and now those feel like a brick in my pocket. So, I only look for the slim models now. I'm waiting to run across a bargain on a 2TB Seagate slim portable USB HDD, to replace this Sony HDD that is constantly giving me grief. I have an Asus laptop and every time I plug the Sony into the USB 3.0 port on the laptop, and try to copy a file, it disconnects before it is done. Too much power for the port. For some reason, it works most of the time when I plug it into the USB 2.0 on the same laptop instead. Go figure....I get slower transfer speeds for the tradeoff of "at least it works...most of the time". I should go pawn it off on eBay while it still has some value left and put those funds towards another Seagate slim. However, I would have a guilty conscious knowing how much troubles it gives me and couldn't pass those troubles onto someone else.....it does 'look" cool though.
    Last edited by Rednroll; 07-28-2015 at 02:15 AM.
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