Recommended external storage devices?

Hi all.  I am looking at buying external storage to connect directly to the WD Live unit.  Would one of those portable hard drives that is powered only by USB work with the WDL?  Are there any specific drives that people recoomend for use with the WDL?   Thanks in advance for your feedback. 


Here you can find some information:  Hard drive compatibility list

I have 1 WD myBookStudio 1To and 1 myBookEssential 500Mo and both are working fine.

I have 1 verbatim Store’N’Save 3to which does not work really fine. There was 2 partitions so I think this was the problem for the WDTV Live.

I have 4  4tb Seagate drives with a small 4 port hub that works great. The WD Passport drives {portables} work without any trouble also.

I have a 500GB WD Passport with six FAT32 partitions that works fine. I got it for my PC for backup and sharing with another PC. Photos, music and video (different partitions) all work on the SMP. I thought usb hubs didn’t work?

I like drives that sleep after 5 minutes of non-use.  I have some Seagate portable drives that do this, but WDs likely can do this as well.  Lots of places have the 1 TB drives for under $100.  (See the GoFlex or Backup Plus line of drives).  Just be sure you can adjust the drive sleep times.  Seagate has a program called Dashboard that does this.  Newer drives are now set to never sleep, but if you click on the default sleep time, it reverts to 5 minutes.  Also, the newer and larger drives are formatted NTFS, and is what you need for larger video containing files.

I haven’t had a problem with third party USB enclosures with a WD/Seagate/Hitachi/IBM drive in them. Most of them are older and long in the tooth these days.

I have bare drives in 3rd-party enclosures, too.  The problem with this approach is that you have no software to control a sleep time.  The drive runs 24/7 when connected to a WD unit.  Nor good, unless you also watch the WD 24/7!  Best to get a drive in it’s own enclosure so you have the controlling software to go with it such as the ones I mention above.

That isn’t exactly true as a couple of mine actually spin the drives down. Most models with external power will have a switch and something like that unless it’s a really cheap one.

The Macally G-S350SU external enclosure does have a drive sleep feature following 5 minutes of inactivity.
As it turns out I am selling two of them on ebay…going to a big NAS.


Baconnaise wrote:

That isn’t exactly true as a couple of mine actually spin the drives down. Most models with external power will have a switch and something like that unless it’s a really cheap one.

A switch is not the same as an auto sleep mode.  Basically, I know that portable Seagate USB drives today have a sleep mode feature I can set and confirm, and observe that they sleep at the assigned time.  This helps me “sleep” at night knowing my drives are not running 24/7.  Bottom line of all this:  Drives with sleep mode features are the best kind to attach to a WD or any other device (e.g. Pogoplug) where you do not want the drives running all the time.  (BTW,drives in a laptop or desktop computer without sleep feature can usually be put to sleep via the PC’s controls.)

There was no implication or comparison stating a switch was similar to a sleep on an enclosure. Most popular branded hard drive manufacturers have their own lines of external enclosures and drives (Look at WD here). This is usually a standard feature. Windows power management controls have been around for a LONG time. You can count on just about any enclosure having or supporting some sort of power management. Units without an external power supply are usually the problem here as they’re cheap. Units with external power which should be the ones hooked up to a WDTV/XBMC/Roku STB will almost always have this feature.

Are you talking about internal laptop drives or external usb drives connected to the laptop? Interesting.

We still have a few points of disagreement here:

I’ll start by saying, why would I be talking about internal laptop drives when the topic here is “Recommended external storage devices”.  Of course, I am referring to external USB drives!  And, they come in lots of configurations; some of which have been mentioned.   

You said, “Windows power management controls have been around for a LONG time.”  Yes, but when a drive is connected to a WD player, WIndows is totally out of the picture when it comes to controlling the drive; especially sleep mode.  Windows can totally control a drive when the drive is connected to a PC, but not when drive is connected to an external device like a WD, or a Pogoplug.

I have lots of different external drives, e.g. 3.5" drives in their own enclosure with wall wart power (these are connected to the WD) and these drives have a built-in sleep mode of 5 mins that is not adjustable.  I have USB 2.5" drives that have no power – they get it from the device they are connected to.  They have adjustable sleep mode feature.  These are connected to my Pogoplug.  Then, I have some DIY drives in 3rd party enclosures in which I installed bare drives; both laptop and desktop sizes.  These have no sleep mode and they don’t go to sleep when connected to anything.

My suggestion to the OP remains the same: buy external (portable) drives that have an adjustable sleep mode built-in, because it is the only way the drive will sleep when connected to the WD unit or other external device.  The drive will need to first be connected to a PC to set up the sleep mode.  I have some Seagates like this.  The newest models are called Backup Plus and come in 1TB size for under $100.  WD likely has similar designed drives as well.

About all I need to say on this topic.