New external HDD - after some simple plug and play recommendations,please!

Hi Folks, Right then, long story short… I need to backup my laptop (HP G70, running 12.04), and my “normal” backup device, (Seagate 2TB external USB) is being a fool (!) - its clicking and is often unavailable - as in it mounts ok, and then just disappears!

So, given that there is a bit of time pressure involved, and I will be passing near a Maplin and PCWorld and John Lewis on sunday, I am thinking I will just buy a new one, and sort the other out at a later date…

I am after minimum 1TB, and obviously linux compatible, (I.E. no automatic windoze rubbish).

Any one bought anything recently they could recommend, please?



Nope … But pretty much any external HDD should work … steer clear of anything with built in encryption such as Black Armour.

Have you considered just buying a HDD and a USB enclosure

Defenitely worth considering (as Mark said) the option of using your own HDD and a USB enclosure.
As for your existing drive, is it possible that it is suffering from power (or lack of) issues?
You may considere a twin USB connector lead to get more power.

Mark and SeZo:- Thanks for the replies…

The USB enclosure idea is what I would do if I had the time, and may still do, if I can shift things around a bit to “win” some time…

I really just need a quick fix ASAP, so wanted to steer clear of the ones which come with bundled windoze software - tho a few I have seen do say they can re-formatted for Mac, and therefore presumably for linux too - I.E. no fancy hardware cobblers going on - just a disk in a box…

Sezo:- the existing drive has a wall wart PSU, and I hadn’t considered, yet, what might be wrong with it - I will need have a look at the on load output of the little darling to check, and I might try powering it off a bench PSU, just as a temporary measure, to see if it is lack of power - thanks for that - tis a good idea!



a) a USB HDD enclosure will add about 5 mins (if that) … I mean you bung the HDD inside the enclosuse, and plug it in

b) an enclosure will allow you at a later date to remove the HDD from your current external HDD and test it in the enclosure

You do understand what we mean by an enclosure ? … just an external HDD without an HDD in it (you fit your own.

This kinda thing:-

BTW, if the external HDD is to be shared with a Windows PC, you WANT if formatted for Windows … Linux can read and write to Windows file systems … Windows CANNOT read Linux file systems.

But as I said, as long as it doesn’t come with any fancy “hardware” encryption it will work in Linux.

Hi Mark -
The enclosure is so obviously the way to keep away from hardware encryption cobblers, that yes, it is definitely the way to do this. :slight_smile:

However, I am just recovering from two months on Tramadol, :o and the back injury which this narcotic was prescribed for, so I my head is very much still “out there, man” ! (hence the PnP requirement!!)

The associated work backlog is a bit of a pain, and then there’s… blah blah blah - you get the idea.

The “local” “shops” only seem to have stuff with hardware encryption in ( I.E. Pcworld sell dynamode enclosures ) and Maplin only seem to have either USB 2 ATA only enclosures, ( and no large disks ??? ), or USB 3 SATA raid enclosures ( for £115!! exc disk(s)). As I said above, it appears that I need to “make some time”, and order the stuff of this interwebby thing, but that is just something else to do!!

I probably asked the wrong question really - perhaps I should have said:-

“Who has recently bought an external HDD which worked with Ubuntu 12, out of the box, PnP, and which one did you buy, please. Thankyou”

Now, given that Mrs Sim works for JL, and is there today (!), then if I/we knew Brand X works, and JL sell it, then… job done.

Sorry if I have confused all this into a heap

We will go and have a looksee on the morrow…



Sim, originally from Earth, and returning slowly ;D

I can tell you a business I deal with has 2 of the 2TB versions of this:
Western Digital Elements 3TB 3.5" USB2.0 - PCWorld
(click the link)

and they “just work” with Linux (Ubuntu12.04 on their machines) … formatted as NTFS, but that’s fine … probably came with some Windows software, but that can be ignored.

So I’d expect any of the WD Elements drives will be OK … but so will the vast majority of external HDD’s


Here’s the 2TB version:
Western Digital Elements 2TB 3.5" USB2.0 - PCWorld

Both of those come with an external power supply.

Mark, your a star! that is exactly what I was after - Thank you very much!

Even “in stock” at JL too, so Mrs Sim is on the case!!

Thanks again



P.S. just downloading the peppermint 4 .iso, since this G70 is becoming unusable on Ubuntu…!


Just last week I bought my first ever external HDD a WD 1TB.

Installed Ubuntu 12.04 on to it and am running it on a seven year old Dell desktop.

Its flying.


First thing- never get a Seagate- I did and they are legendarily junk. I’d go with WD - the most reliable from years ago. I’ve never had one fail or known anybody else that did.