good external hard drives (e.g. WD Elements)?

Paul Erickson paule at
Fri Jul 17 18:47:25 UTC 2009

On 07/17/2009 03:10 AM, Mike Cloaked wrote:
> Dr. Michael J. Chudobiak wrote:
>> On 07/16/2009 09:58 AM, Tim wrote:
>>> Now I'm wondering what can be trusted as a medium for removable backups.
>>> I much prefer the notion of something like a drive that carries
>>> uncompressed copies of files, for direct access to a backup.  Rather
>>> than serial access tapes, or terribly slow multi-DVD collections.
>> I found USB drives to be hugely unreliable. I ended up removing the
>> disks from their enclosures and using them inside the main computer
>> chassis, like a normal drive.
>> I think something is buggy with the USB drive implementation, though I
>> don't know what exactly (kernel driver, enclosure electronics, who
>> knows...)
> I have been using a Seagate FreeAgent Go external usb drive for this purpose
> for some time and has worked flawlessly.  When I got the drive I simply
> re-partitioned it with ext3 from scratch, and removed all trace of the
> Windows one-touch backup system in the process.
> Plugging in to F10 and F11 based systems under Gnome works just fine and I
> run backups based on rsync (and rdiff-backup).
> The drive is physically small and neat and the only minor issue is the short
> usb lead that comes with the drive.
Hi Mike,

If you don't mind, I would appreciate a little more detail on how you 
reformatted the drive.
I have been trying to get a 500g Segate FreeAgent Go to work, and so 
far, I have had no success. When I can get the box to recognize it, I 
keep getting write errors, and frequently the drive
will not be recognized at all.

Thanks in advance.

cheers, Paul - VA7NT - email: va7nt at

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