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Help with picking new external network drive

Please help me. I am currently on my second WD My Book World 500GB external network hard drive.

I just want to be able to plug it into my router (Cisco) and access it from my laptop or any other pc, and really only use it for file storage with things like pics, audio, video, etc. Would like 500GB or 1TB, no need for less or more. I would like to be able to leave the drive on all the time, 24/7.

Not really happy with WD performance. First one had 'recall' due to power issue. My second one ran for a well over a year with no problems, but now fails to be able to be accessed after it is left on for a long period of time (more than one hour). Turn on to use for less than an hour it works fine, but longer than that, the blue rings stay lit and the drive is spinning, but my laptop cannot access it.

My laptop is a Dell Studio 17 with Vista 64bit.

I don't need any bells/whistles, just a good realiable drive that will last a real long time that I can access from my router from any computer.


Thanks

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Comments
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Edit/add to above

Oh, and don't need a server either. Just a drive to store things on

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here's a good place to start
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thanks for the reply

thanks for the reply, and already went there, but no real help as I need a network drive, so went here: http://reviews.cnet.com/best-network-attached-storage/?tag=rb_content;contentNav

but majority are servers. i only need a drive, no server functions needed, and to boot, they gave the WD MyBook 1TB a poor rating. Any other places to look or any other advice?

Now looking at a LaCie brand model Network Space 2. Any thoughts on that one?

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You are confused

Any network storage is a "file server", so don't reject servers out of hand. Instead, look for reasonably priced units that perform the necessary functions you require (take time to learn what they are).

Low cost NAS generally are slow, awkward to administer and fail (or gag until they cool down) mostly due to built-up heat inside the enclosure. Brands don't matter as much as the way they are designed. Better units are larger enclosures with exhaust fan (or fans, ie. noisy). Linux units are cheaper obviously due to free OS; WHS units cost more obviously due to Microsoft.

You could be better off running a low power PC (such as Atom), attach a USB drive of your choice and "share" it over the network as your file server. Again, take time to learn how if you don't know.

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i don't think so

i'm not rejecting a server by name, but i don't need more than 1 bay etc. i just need 1 drive that is at least 500gb up to 1tb that can plug into my router so i can access it from any pc and from the wireless on my laptop, and that i can map to my network drive on my laptop, that is reliable and can run 24/7 for a long time. my WD ran for a little over a year 24/7 and now works intermittently, mainly i can only have it on for an hour or less before my laptop can no longer find it as a mapped drive, but the blue rings are lit up, the drive is spinning, but no luck accessing it anymore..............

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to further add

if this nas drive can power down, say in a hibernate mode when not in use, that would be a big plus


Any thoughts on brands nd/or models for me to look at?


thanks

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If you insist in spite of warning about NAS flakiness

go to these websites and pick your Linux NAS, in alphabetical order with no particular recommendation about reliability:

Buffalo Technology, Iomega, Seagate, Western Digital

NAS enclosures w/o HDs are also available from the network cos D-Link, Linksys and Netgear. Google for more brands.

Interesting alternatives but quirky: Hitachi NAS dongle and Seagate Dockstar.

Good luck.

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