External Hard Drive Guide and FAQs (Portable Hard Drive)

This post contains FAQs about external hard drive. FAQs explained in detail to get an external hard drive information. You will get complete answers for your drive related questions, which helps to make a proper decision.

What is an external hard drive?

External hard drive is a device which connects to a computer or laptop via USB connection. This device provides a portable storage solution. External hard drive also called portable hard drive. Device used to backup computer data. External hard drives connect to computers from outside and eject any time, which gives a complete portable data storage solution.

This external hard drive gives a cost effective solution for portable data storage. Compared to cloud solutions external drives are a good solution for personal less critical data backup storage.

Is an external hard drive good for gaming?

Yes, external hard drives are good for gaming. But, it depends on different factors and the game’s internal process.

USB port connection, CPU type, RAM size, external hard disk size and current data size, computer’s internal hard disk reading speed and game process are different factors. These factors decide whether an external hard drive is good for gaming or not.

For example, 8GB of RAM, Core i5 or upper version CPU, USB 3.0/3.1 connection and quality external disk with enough space gives good gaming experience from external hard disk.

Is an external hard drive faster than internal drive?

Answer to this question is more technical compared to other external drive related questions. But, here we tried to explain things in a simple way for a USB based connected external drive.

Following are different factors, which affect external hard drive speed.

Type of process:

Process speed between external and internal hard drives fast or slow based on processes. For example, transferring data from the internal disk to the external is a slow process. While, moving data in the same drive is a faster process.

Type of hard drive connection:

Here, we discuss external hard disks with USB connection. So, USB ports 2.0, 2.5, 3.0 and 3.1 may make minor differences in speed based on data transfer rate.

Type of hard disk:

Hard disk read and write process speed is the same if both internal and external disk have the same technology. But, if both hard drives have different technology (e.g., HDD and SSD), then the SSD drive gives fast results.

Hard disk size and stored data size:

Stored data in hard drive and drive size also affects speed. Suppose, if the external hard drive is full with data and has only 5% space remaining and an internal hard drive has 60% empty space, then in this case internal disk performs better compared to external.

Is an external hard drive faster than internal? Whether an external hard drive is faster than an internal drive or not, depends on different factors. Factors are: process type, drive connection type, drive technology type, drive storage size and size of stored data. But, based on personal experience and basic analysis, we found that you may face minor slowness in the external drive process (here both drives have the same specification). But, it depends on the type of process and different factors.

Are external hard drives allowed on planes?

Hard drives come under the electronic device category. And, electronic devices allowed on flight depend on the country and airports where you are travelling to and from. So, it is good practice to confirm things with the airline.

Based on online content analysis, in most cases external hard drives are allowed on planes. But, it may be possible that you need to pass security checking for external drives (in some cases, it may include drive data checking).

Here, the number of drives is also a thing which you need to care about. So, if you plan to carry more than the normal amount of disk, then it is a good idea to confirm all things with the airline before journey.

So, it is good practice to confirm things (external hard drive allowed or not) with the airline, if you have doubt. For a more clear answer, you can provide drive size and specification, if required.

Does the external hard drive slow down ps4?

Hard disk process performance depends on different factors. Here, with old external disk, game interface speed and load time might be slightly slower than internal drives.

But, with new external drives and with USB 3.0 or upper port connection, you will not notice any difference.

It means with current external hard disk technology and connection, external hard drives not slow down PS4.

Does an external hard drive need a power supply?

Normal external hard drive which is used for personal use to connect with a computer or laptop generally comes with a single port. This port connection is used for both data transfer and power supply.

So, normal external hard disks do not need separate power supply. Here, hard drives get power from the same computer USB port which is used for data transfer.

How expensive is an external hard drive?

External hard drive’s cost is different based on size, technology, brand, RPM and compatibility. In the market external hard drives cost $20 to $400+.

External drive for personal use and average data storage capacity cost you near about $40 to $70.

So, hard exact expenses depend on your requirement and budget.

Types of external hard drives for personal use

Following is list of external hard drives for personal use. Popular hard drives as per current trend are Solid State Drives (SSD) and Serial ATA Storage Drives (SATA).

  • Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA)
  • Serial ATA Storage Drives (SATA)
  • Small Computer System Interface (SCSI)
  • Solid State Drives (SSD)

Is an external hard drive repairable?

Here drive repairable issue can be divided into two types. First some errors in accessing drive data and second is physical damage.

Normal errors repair:

In most cases normal drive access errors due to corrupted data or other reasons can be repaired using CMD. For this you need to search your solution with error detail. Simple errors may be fixed without formatting.

Physical damage repair:

This is a different case, here if your external drive dropped and damaged, then you will possibly have two options. Options are – drive repairing for data recovery or buy new drive.

  • Drive has valuable data and damaged: repair from company service or reliable expert.
  • Drive has normal data and is damaged: based on damage percentage, go for a new hard drive. (hard drive with normal damage and in working condition, you can use it for general data storage and try to avoid drive use for valuable data storage).

Is it safe to use a damaged external hard drive? Hard drive damaged due to drop or other reasons, but it is not damaged as much to stop working. In this case (for safety), the hard drive is no longer reliable to store any valuable data.

Is an external hard drive repairable? Answer is Yes, external hard drives are repairable based on damage percentage. But, avoid use of damaged drives to store valuable data. To repair a damaged drive with valuable data, choose a company service center or reliable expert. On the other hand, If a drive does not have value data and needs high repair cost, then definitely go for a new drive for saving and safety.