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Western Digital WDBAAF0015HBK My Book Essential Holds:
(Examples of the number of photos, songs, videos and any other files that can be stored on a hard drive are provided for illustrative purposes only. Your results will vary based on file size and format, settings, features, software and other factors.) One gigabyte (GB) = one billion bytes. One terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment.
What is an External Hard Drive?
An external hard drive is the same type of drive you'd find inside a PC or laptop, except that it is mounted in a separate enclosure. It can be used to store data permanently or temporarily, in the same way as a computer's hard drive.
External hard drives (the actual drive itself) come in two main sizes (physical size), 2.5" and 3.5". The 2.5" drives are the same as you would find in a laptop computer, whereas the 3.5" drives are identical to hard drives found in desktop PCs. The difference is in the interface that connects the external hard drive to your computer.
Usually, external hard drives connect to the computer via a USB/Firewire cable and often come with a separate power supply. Most modern operating systems will automatically recognise the hard drive as a storage device and assign it a drive letter.
The fact that external hard drives are simply placed in an enclosure, means you can usually change the actual hard drive itself without too much effort. This allows you to swap drives between enclosures, so you only have to buy one enclosure for many drives of the same type.
The storage capacity of these drives currently store up to and beyond 1TB (TeraByte) worth of data.
When shopping for your new external hard drive, bear in mind the explanations below for common terms used in the products descriptions.
Hard Drive Capacity: This figure, quoted in GB (GigaBytes), indicates the storage capacity of the hard drive. Your choice will depend on your requirements. As a guideline, a 160GB (GigaByte) hard drive would hold over 40,000 MP3 songs or 133,000 digital photos.
Spindle Speed: This refers to the speed at which the drive rotates - the higher the speed the better. The speed will be stated in RPM (revolutions per minute), 5,400RPM is around the average speed of portable drives, whereas 7,200RPM (and above) is common in desktop hard drives.
Interface: This indicates how the hard drive is connected to the computer, usually USB and/or Firewire (IEEE 1394).