How to Install a SimpleTech External Hard Drive
By Wolfram Donat
With the cost of computer memory plummeting, more and more people are choosing to buy and use external hard drives to store and back up their data. There are many choices of brands for hard drives, including Western Digital, Sony, MyBook and others. You can also choose between getting a USB 2.0 drive and a FireWire drive, both of which offer transfer speeds of ~400 Mbps (megabits per second.) A common choice for an external drive is one manufactured by SimpleTech. Installing a SimpleTech drive is very easy.
Connect the drive. Using the supplied USB or FireWire cable, connect one end of the cable to the drive, and the other to the appropriate port on your computer.
Plug in the drive. Using the included AC adapter, plug the adapter into the drive, then plug it into a standard 120V household outlet.
Format the drive. SimpleTech drives come pre-formatted as NTFS volumes, meaning that no special software is required if you only plan to use the drive with a Windows computer. However, if you plan to use the drive with a Mac, it will need to be formatted as either a FAT32 volume (to communicate with both Mac and Windows) or as an HFS+ volume (for Mac files only.) To reformat the drive, plug it into the Mac. Open Disc Utility (Applications > Utilities > Disc Utility) and select the SimpleTech drive. Choose either FAT32 or Mac OS Extended from the pull-down menu, and click the "Erase" button. Disc Utility will erase and reformat the drive in the selected format. The drive will now be available to read and write with your computer.
- FireWire vs. USB 2.0: Speed Comparison
- SimpleTech Quick Start Guide, SimpleTech Inc., 2005
- Be sure there is nothing on the drive you want to save before you reformat, as the reformatting process will erase all data on the drive.
- Be aware that while a volume formatted as a FAT32 volume can be read and written to by both Mac and Windows, the FAT32 format has a 4 gigabyte upper limit on file size.
Wolfram Donat is an information technology professional and writer currently finishing a degree in computer systems engineering. He has had success writing for both on- and offline audiences, and moonlights as a professional copywriter as studies permit. He is currently shopping his first novel to agents and publishers, and is hard at work on his second.