Sunday, May 19, 2013

Electronics Review: Cavalry 1TB External Hard Drive

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Quiet, efficient, and cool with lots of storage space
Cons: None
The Bottom Line:
Lots of storage space
Plus quiet and efficient
This hard drive is great

Nerves Gone Now That I Have this 1TB External Hard Drive

With as much time as I spend doing stuff on computers, you'd probably be shocked to learn I just bought my first external hard drive.  I figure I've been living on borrowed time by not backing up my computer.  After the monitor on my lap top starting fading, I decided it was time, and I bought the Cavalry 1 TB External Hard Drive.  I'm very happy with my choice.

My unit is black (although it does come in white).  It's seven and a half inches long, four and a half inches tall, and one and a half inches thick and weighs a few pounds.  It's portable enough, but not something you'd want to lug around on a daily basis.  There is a cool blue light that comes on when the unit is turned on.  It comes with a stand, so you can set it up on its side.

The drive comes with an external power adaptor, USB cable, and eSATA cable and bracket.  I had never even heard of eSATA before I got this hard drive, but apparently it's a faster way to transfer data.  Not knowing what it was, I hooked it up via the USB cable.

The hard drive is designed to work with Windows XP, Vista, or 7 and can be reformatted to work with early versions of Windows or the Mac operating system.  Since I have Vista, that wasn't a problem.  I plugged it in, and in a minute or two, it was all ready to go.

At that point, I went in and told my computer to create a backup on the external hard drive, and it went to work.  Not that I would have known.  It was quiet.  If I grab it, I can feel a little buzz, but I would never know it was running if I were in the same room.

When the drive is off, it is cool to the touch.  When it is running, it does warm up some, but it isn't too bad.  If it is more than a degree or two beyond room temperature, I'd be surprised.

To be honest, I haven't spent much time on my computer while it was backing up.  I was around for the first back up, but I spent most of the time in another room doing something else.  When I was on my computer, it didn't feel like anything was slower than normal.  I now have it set to do weekly back ups, but at a time when I'm not home.  It does its thing, and I have a nice pop up on my computer when I come back telling me that it's done.

When I was looking at hard drives, I debated about what size to get.  I finally settled on the 1TB.  It wasn't enough more expensive than the smaller sized hard drives to be cost prohibitive, and I figured I would be able to use it for a very long time.  After all, one terabyte (TB) is the equivalent of 1,000 gigabytes (GB).  The hard drive on my computer only has 100 GB on it.  It does look like there is software on the external hard drive, because my computer is actually showing that I have 931 GB of usable space on the drive.  That's still plenty of room for me for the foreseeable future.

Especially since my computer seems to be creating the back ups as zip files.  I'm using 15GB of the external hard drive right now backing up my pictures and files and music.  I'm not going to need more room any time soon even if I figure out how to do back ups with the full files and not zip files.

The external hard drive does come with a one year warranty.  Also included in the box is a quick start guide.  It's pretty much laughable.  It's the same one Cavalry uses for all their hard drives, so it is very generic.  Frankly, I figured out how to use it without the guide, so that's no big gain or loss.

While I would still be upset if my computer crashed tomorrow, it wouldn't be nearly as bad since my pictures and files are backed up on the Cavalry 1 TB External Hard Drive.  I think this drive and I will be friends for a long time to come.

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