Nowadays, external hard drives are used by a majority of computer users around the globe. They are very popular due to their usability, durability, dependability, and the convenience they provide. They vary widely in size, shape, storage capacity, price, and features. The main factor is the storage capacity which ranges from 80 gigabytes to a stunning 4 terabytes. Despite being so different, they are very simple to use. If you are thinking of how to use an external hard drive, you need not worry, as it can be used just like a pen drive. For using and preserving the external hard drive in an efficient way, you need to keep it away from liquids and extreme temperatures.
Types of External Hard Drives
There are two types of external hard drives which normally differ in size and the way they receive power to work. The bigger ones may have storage capacities in terabytes, and are not meant for portable use. They are intended to be used continuously with a particular computer, like the internal hard drive. They need external power supply and don't use power provided by the computer. These external hard disks use USB, FireWire or eSATA cables; and are connected to the computer as well as an external power source. Their operation is very slow as compared to portable ones.
Portable hard drives are small, and may have storage capacities ranging from 80 to 800 gigabytes. They establish connection with the computer using one or two USB plugs. They do not need any external source to provide power, and receive power from the computers to which they are connected. Their operation speed is generally fast due to less storage capacity.
How to Add an External Hard Drive
Adding a hard drive simply means establishing connection between the external hard disk and the computer. You don't need to install any compatible drivers for the external hard drive to run. Just plug in its cable in the USB socket on the CPU. It will automatically be installed and connected. The installation process would hardly take around 30 seconds after it is connected to the PC. In many cases, an auto-play window appears which has an option to view the contents or play them in a particular audio or video player. If this window does not appear, you can go to the 'My Computer' option to view the external hard drive. It would be displayed as a removable drive that can be used for transferring data. You can then use it to cut, copy, delete, or paste any kind of data.
How to Remove an External Hard Drive
When the external hard drive is connected to the computer, a specific icon will appear on the right side of the taskbar below. You need to follow the recommended procedure to remove it properly. If it is just pulled out from the USB socket without ejecting it from the program, it may corrupt the stored data. You can eject it by right-clicking on the drive icon in the 'My Computer' window, or by right-clicking on the taskbar icon too.
Before purchasing one, make sure how much storage capacity you would need. If you're not sure about how much space your data will consume, just request the salesperson to help you out as to how much memory would you actually need. The working of an external hard drive is exactly like a pen drive, but with loads of data storage capacity. If you are using the hard disk on more than one computer, it is suggested to scan the memory periodically for preventing any virus attack on the system.