Section 8.4. Our Picks


8.4 Our Picks

Here are the removable hard disk drives we recommend:

Removable cartridge-based hard disk drive

Castlewood ORB 2.2 Drive. Although the Iomega Jaz is better known, the ORB matches or exceeds it in most important respects, is less expensive, and uses much less expensive disks. Available in IDE and Ultra Wide SCSI internal versions and Ultra SCSI and USB external versions, the ORB uses $25 cartridges that store 2.2 GB. Although the capacity of the ORB makes it less than ideal as a backup device, it can serve that purpose if you have a limited amount of data to back up, need a removable hard disk drive, and cannot also afford a tape drive. One exception: if you must transfer image files or other large pre-press materials, consider the Jaz Drive, if only because service bureaus more commonly have a Jaz Drive than a Castlewood ORB. (

Removable frame/carrier-based hard disk drive

StorCase Data Express. StorCase was originally a product line of Kingston Technology (the memory folks), but in 2000 Kingston spun off StorCase as a subsidiary. Data Express units are available in every hard drive interface from IDE to Ultra160 SCSI, and with options such as support for hot-swapping and RAID. The frame/carrier assembly sells for $75 to $250, depending upon interface and options, with separate frames and carriers available for about half the price of the combined units. We use an ATA/66 Data Express DE-100 unit in our main test-bed system. (

The sole disadvantage to the Data Express line is that it is oriented towards VARs and system integrators, and can be hard to find at retail. If you have difficulty finding the Data Express and would like a retail alternative, consider the Antec DataSwap series, which can be purchased directly from Antec or from numerous resellers. (

External hard disk drive

Maxtor Personal Storage 3000-series. Frame/carrier systems are the most flexible solution, but require that each system to or from which data is to be transferred have a frame installed. Cartridge-based systems are Plug-N-Play, but have smaller capacity and lower performance than standard hard drives. If you need both Plug-N-Play connectivity and high capacity and performance, the best solution is a USB 2.0 external hard drive, and the best product we know of in that category is the Maxtor Personal Storage 3000. (

For updated recommendations, visit:

    PC Hardware in a Nutshell
    PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition
    ISBN: 059600513X
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2002
    Pages: 246

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