8 Replies Latest reply on Jun 9, 2010 4:40 AM by Chuck A. McIntyre

    Suitable External Hard Drive for Hi-Def Footage

    Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

      We recently purchased two Western Digital "My Books" that come with eSATA ports.  The drives were listed on the retail seller's Website as 7200 RPM.  They truned out to be "Green" drives that run at variable speeds. 5400 RPM - 7200 RPM.  The particular models that we bought aren't even listed on the Western Digital Website with the rest of their external hard drive products.  Probably a discontinued model.  A search on the WD site brings up a little information on this drive, but the actual rotation speed documentation is not anywhere to be found.  The owner of the company I work for, called Western Digital and learned from a WD rep about the variable rotation speed of these drives.

       

      We have had trouble with these drives not showing up when two drives are plugged into the same computer at the same time.  Also the eSATA feature sometimes doesn't work.  One of the drives continually gets MFT errors.  There weren't any firmware updates available, so we're pretty much out of luck with these two drives.

       

      So..

      It seems it's becoming increasingly difficult to find an external drive suitable for HD editing.

       

      Seagate has a new line of drives:

      "These drives are called the GoFlex.  They come with different adapters for example, from Seagate's site:

      FreeAgent® GoFlex™ Desk Desktop Adapter Kit — USB 3.0 - 79.99

      STAE107

      Upgrade both your desktop computer and your GoFlex™ Desk external drive to USB 3.0, for performance that's up to 10x faster than USB 2.0—perfect for transferring and accessing movies and other large files.

      Features an illuminated LED capacity gauge and supports both vertical and horizontal drive orientation options

      Everything you need is included—PCI Express add–on card, USB 3.0 cable, and a GoFlex Desk USB 3.0 adapter

      The GoFlex USB 3.0 adapter and PCI Express add-on card are backward compatible with USB 2.0"

       

      go_flex_collage.jpg

       

      Question:

      On an X58 motherboard, I wonder if USB 3.0 via Seagate's supplied PCI Express ad-on card will be as fast as eSATA?

       

       

        • 1. Re: Suitable External Hard Drive for Hi-Def Footage
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Chuck,

           

          I have not yet seen any comparisons of USB 3 versus eSATA disks, so I can't give a clear answer.

           

          I can offer a suggestion, however. Exchange the WD Caviar Green disks with Caviar Blacks in the MyBook enclosure. I had a MaxLine III fire wire external disk, that failed. I opened the enclosure and put a new and larger WD disks in and voila, it worked again.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Suitable External Hard Drive for Hi-Def Footage
            John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Over in the DirecTV forum there is discussion of external drives, and the Antec MX-1 case seems to be favored... if you want to build your own

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Suitable External Hard Drive for Hi-Def Footage
              shooternz Level 6

              I just buy the same drives as I have installed internally and thrown them into external cases or external

              caddies.

               

              Cases have Sata, F/W 400/800 connectors.

               

              Some of the drives I format  so I can access them on MACS in a cross platform workflow.

              • 4. Re: Suitable External Hard Drive for Hi-Def Footage
                Studio North Films Level 3

                I agree with Shooternz & John T smith

                 

                just buy an external exclosure and install your own HD.

                 

                go for one with a fan installed to keep the hd cool for long operating use.

                 

                this is an example.

                 

                http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Antec-Veris-MX-1-E-SATA-or-USB-20-Carbon-Glass-Frame-and-Du al-Layer-Covers-Actively-cooled

                 

                 

                Baz

                • 5. Re: Suitable External Hard Drive for Hi-Def Footage
                  Tayedrummer Level 1

                  A local rental house here in Toronto use Caldigit VR drives (http://www.caldigit.com/CalDigit_VR/) for their DMT (data management tech) workstations that go out with solid state cameras like RED/P2.  They're not terribly expensive, fan cooled, have eSATA, USB, Firewire400/800 connectors and  can be configured into all sorts of RAID arrays.  They're rugged enough to be plopped into a Pelican case and loaded with the gear and Caldigit make larger units if you need more than 4Tb but I have only seen the VR's onset. I don't know what actual drives are inside, looking at their web site it looks like they ship the units with drives as opposed to SATA RAID enclosures you may get from Newegg.

                   

                  The drives play back Red One footage in Red Alert and Red Cine without a hitch.

                   

                  Full disclosure:  I do not work for or am sponsored in any way by Caldigit and Red One is my least prefered camera of all time to shoot with.

                  • 6. Re: Suitable External Hard Drive for Hi-Def Footage
                    Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                    Thanks for all of your helpful suggestions.

                     

                    All of the Western Digital USB 3.0 External Hard drives I looked at were"Green" on the inside.  "We are the world, we are the people and we're saving the world one hard drive at a time" .  I spoke with WD's tech support and the rep I spoke with informed me that I don't need a 7200 rpm external hard drive.  7200 rpm is only appropriate for internal drives.  After I told the owner of the company I work for what the tech support person told me, he went on a 10 minute improv, elaborating upon why I don't need a 7200 rpm external hard drive (joking of course).  This man missed his calling and there's hardly a dull moment where I work.

                     

                    I have settled on a PCI Express USB card made by Gigabyte (my motherboard manufacturer),

                     

                    A Western Digital 1.5TB 7200 RPM internal hard drive

                     

                    Rosewill Aluminum drive enclosure (has a fan).

                     

                    Hopefully the USB 3.0 experience will be better than the eSATA experience where the WD My Book drive would all of a sudden decide not to show up on a particular computer ever again.

                    • 7. Re: Suitable External Hard Drive for Hi-Def Footage
                      John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      I did mention having read discussion on a DirecTV forum... since external eSata drives are the only way to keep your warranty and expand capacity... and the Antec MX-1 is the enclosure that is most often recommended

                       

                      I also read that the WD My Book was SPECIFICALLY warned against

                       

                      You may be OK with a USB-3 setup... but I still say that an Antec MX-1 with a 7200Rpm drive of your choice would work

                      • 8. Re: Suitable External Hard Drive for Hi-Def Footage
                        Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                        In our office, we seem to have a universal problem with external hard drives connected by eSATA.  Sometimes they don't show up.  Sometimes they will after a restart.  Other times they stop showing up and we can't get them to be recognized, no matter what we try.

                         

                        John T Smith Wrote:

                        "I also read that the WD My Book was SPECIFICALLY warned against"

                         

                        One of the guys at our office has about 15 My Books.  He told us that he has never had any particular problems, so that's how I got started down the WD My Book road.  I agree with you after my experience and research.

                         

                        John T Smith Wrote:

                        "You may be OK with a USB-3 setup... but I still say that an Antec MX-1 with a 7200Rpm drive of your choice would work"

                         

                        Right now, the boss is dead set against another eSATA drive.

                         

                        There just isn't much of any information around yet related to USB 3.0 user experience in a video editing environment. Using a USB 3.0 PCI Express card could possibly make it even more risky.  At least the USB 3.0 card is made by my motherboard manufacturer, Gigabyte.

                         

                        We're going to give it a try on one of our systems.  I'll let everyone know how it works out.

                         

                        Question:

                        Are any of you other guys/gals having issues with eSATA drives not showing up when you plug them in?  Have any of you had an issue where you plug in two, same model, identical TB external drives at the same time and not be able to have both drives show up at the same time?  In the case of our two WD My Books, it appeared Windows 7 was trying to give both drives the same drive letter.