Buffalo HD-LB4.0TU3-EU 4TB DriveStation USB 3.0 3.5 Inch External Hard Drive
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Buffalo's DriveStation USB 3.0 Hard Drive is the next generation of high speed external hard disk, and offers SuperSpeed transfer speeds of up to 130 MB/s, 3 times faster than USB 2.0. Backwards-compatible with all USB 2.0 enabled computers and notebooks, the DriveStation USB 3.0 is an easy to use external hard drive to add additional external storage to any device using a USB port. The DriveStation features a sleek, gloss black chassis that can be positioned vertically or horizontally, adapting to the location it is used in for an efficient use of space.
An easy to use, economical and silent solution and with auto installation and auto power on/off, you can quickly store, access, and transfer files, digital images, documents, and back-ups. Just plug it in to a PC or Mac and it works.
To enjoy USB 3.0 speeds the host device must be equipped with a USB 3.0 port or compatible USB 3.0 interface card.
DriveStation;Set up CD-ROM;USB Cable;AC Adapter;Quick Setup Guide;Warranty Statement
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The drive arrives formatted as a FAT32 volume, so it will work straight away with both Windows and Mac computers, but you can easily reformat to more flexible formats if you plan to use it with only one platform. There's a Windows-only drive management package on the drive which lets you customise settings and add features, but this is optional. The manual also says there's a Mac app included but there isn't (just an empty folder called 'Mac') but everything you're likely to need is already built into OSX.
I was looking for as quiet a drive as possible and I think I found it. With no onboard fan the only sound you hear is the drive spinning and this is mostly a quiet whirring. The heads are also relatively quiet - they do make a low-pitched tapping sound while busy but compared to many drives it's quite unobtrusive. The drive case only has soft feet on the front edges so you can make it even quieter by sticking a set of small rubber pads underneath (if you have such a thing) but that's probably unnecessary for most people - it's already the quietest external drive I've owned.
The quietness and the shiny 'Piano Black' plastic case might also make it ideal for use with TV's that need an external drive for PVR functionality - although I haven't been able to test this out myself. There's a small LED on the front but it's quite subtle and not too bright - unlike many drives it doesn't flicker as data is being transferred, it just blinks slowly (every 2 seconds or so) while the drive is in use. The drive unit (and mains adaptor) also stays relatively cool, mine barely gets warm even running all day. There's nothing fancy or expensive-looking about the DriveStation but for the price it seems a great-value way to store and/or backup your data.
UPDATE 2: I've now had my DriveStation for just over a year (where does the time go?), using it almost every day and can honestly say I've had no problems whatsoever with it. I formatted the drive into two partitions and use one to store an iTunes media library and the other as a backup store (for Time Machine), so the drive is running for most of the day on most days (I work from home) and has been absolutely fine. I saw some people had problems with the bundled software, I had a quick look at this on my Windows laptop when I first got the drive but I just deleted it - you don't actually need any extra drivers or software to use the drive, everything you need for basic use is already built into Windows, OSX or Linux. So, for me, it's been a great value buy and I continue to be very happy with it.
Reading reviews it seemed to do well and this brand was cited as not giving any problems interfacing with a Panasonic TV.
It arrived ready to interface with a PC (I have XP Pro) so I tried it first with that. All worked perfectly.
I attached it to the TV as per instructions and, having warned me about re-formatting and non-intechangeability with anything else (which I expected to be told - it is all in the manual), it then worked exactly as described. The whole process controllable from the TV remote and non-technical users not needing to get involved with the Humax at all for the "Pause TV" facility.
You can also set it to record a programme using the TV's tuner and the TV in standby which I suppose is a possibility should you ever be in the situation of wanting to record a third programme when not at home or home but not wanting to watch any of the three programmes while present.
The drive is "silent". That is you are not aware of it running unless you press your ear to it.
I was so impressed with the drive that I bought another one, 15 days later, for the PC as, although this has 160Gb and a 250Gb drives, I had no external hard drive backup. With all my .mpg .bmp .wav and .mp3 files on it, there is still a huge capacity remaining. Only downside was that it had gone up £10 in the interim! Still, that is the state of hard drive availability at present (Nov-Dec 2011)
One point worth mentioning. When I connected the first drive to the PC I disallowed the auto run file but, reading the paperwork, it said it contained 3 .pdf manual files. So I ran the self-extracing .exe file, saved the .pdf files for future reference (as I knew the TV would delete all this info.) I unplugged the drive (PC still running) and installed it successfully with the TV. Next time I turned on my PC it said "Boot from CD" which it couldn't, so stayed on the black DOS screen. I couldn't get it to move on, so re-booted it and diverted it to the boot-up menu screen. It had put the missing USB Buffalo drive as the first device? I reset this to the required sequence and all was fine.
I am not sure whether I did anything wrong but mention it. I suspect that running the .exe file did something and it might be that if I had left it connected I MAY not have seen this effect. I plugged in the second Buffalo drive, did not do anything, it worked straight away (I declined the auto run) and I moved the supplied files out of the root to a sub-directory and they are available if wanted but not a problem.
I can recommend these drives.
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