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  • External Harddrives - a few questions

    Hey, I got a few questions about these external harddrives. Because I have two houses, it seemed like the perfect option because now I could store all my games/downloads on the external harddrive and just carry it with me every time I go to my other house. (a notebook isn't an option yet) But I wondered, if I'd install all my games on the external harddrive in house 1, would I be able to just plug it in and load the installed games in house 2 and play them ir would I have to install the game on the over there too?
    And if I'd play a singleplayer game and save my progress in the game folder on my external HD, would I be able to just continue my progress in the other house too?

    This might sound really dumb, but I just want to know it for sure before I purchase one :)

  • #2
    Re: External Harddrives - a few questions

    its possible but it wont work like you want. Speed would be the issue, as usb i dont believe is fast enough to do what you want. Your pc bus, which the other HDs run off of is faster which helps remove lag, which usb isnt nearly as fast.

    Thats the only thing i can think of that will mess the idea up, which is a good idea.
    that sounds like a good idea trooper.
    -Vulcan

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    • #3
      Re: External Harddrives - a few questions

      You don't need external for that if you have a screwdriver. You can use thumbscrews on the case and you don't need to "install" the drive, just attach the cables, set it in a stable place in the case, and choose to not use your computer as a practice dummy for your Jean Claude Van Norris kicks.

      As for the installation issue; you might need to run the installers on both machines for the sake of registry entries, but after that it shouldn't trouble you any longer. Be sure the game stores saves locally. TES4: Oblivion is a turd and stores saves in the D&S/User directory. Inane to da max. Anyway, yeah -- check that, but it should work.

      I wouldn't go USB/External unless you plan on running on other people's boxes.

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      • #4
        Re: External Harddrives - a few questions

        If I were you, I would try to load every game you possibly can onto your Steam account, that way you can easily recover them at your other computer..
        Skud


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        • #5
          Re: External Harddrives - a few questions

          Thanks alot for the help and tips guys, truly great info. It's too bad the external HD-idea would probably not work. I am considering just buying an internal one now but the main problem with that is, I switch houses approximatly 3 times a week (I live with my mom 1/2 of the week and 1/2 with my dad) and I'm not sure how much time/effort it would take to keep changing HD's all the time and if it would hurt the HD's themselves too much.

          So I guess I'll just stick with my two seperate HD's now until there is money for a notebook. But because I am maybe going to buy a small second HD for one of my PC's (current one is 1 gig away from full), I got one little question:
          How hard is it to install a second HD? I have no experience with installing HD's, so can I just do it myself (with a bit of help from Google probably) or do I need to watch out for certain problems?

          And Skud, that would maybe be an option but I'm also talking about mods and demos here, so that probably won't solve it I'm afraid...

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          • #6
            Re: External Harddrives - a few questions

            Time and effort to swap: 20 seconds.
            Damage concern: Get a small box and put it in a static-bag if you have one handy. And you will since the drive ships in one. As long as you don't drop/kick/flush/stab the drive you should be okay. Handle like eggs or something.
            Second harddrive = plug the wires in. If you're Windows it'll appear in the disk manager and you can format it right off. Linux, you'll need to mount it, which is a whole 20 seconds more.

            The only concern I see is ensuring you have the right interface, since we're in the transition phase where most things have IDE and SATA in various proportions. An IDE drive is sure to work as long as you haven't a super duper new computer with a crap mobo that lacks an IDE socket. SATA will work on everything except super duper old crap that doesn't have a SATA socket. So, look in the cases. If you see a large flat belt (some are rolled into thick (3cm+) tubes) with wide, long terminals, those are IDE. Thin skinny sockets only about 2cm wide are SATA. Prefer SATA if you have an availiable SATA socket on both machines, but IDE is certainly fine for this application. If you are on single-HDD machines, likely there will be a gray slave IDE jack in the middle of the IDE belt doing nothing but waiting for you to plug something in.

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            • #7
              Re: External Harddrives - a few questions

              You'd be better off making images of each game you own and storing them on the external HD, then using those images to install the game locally. If you installed them on the external HD, in most cases they wouldn't play if you plugged them into another computer and just tried the exe.

              As far as saved games, you could copy your saved data onto the external HD and bring that info back with you.
              |TG|Switch

              Better known as:
              That noob who crashed the chopper.
              That noob who ran over the mine.
              That noob who TK'd me with a sniper rifle.
              That noob who hit that APC at 300m with light AT! Our APC...

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              • #8
                Re: External Harddrives - a few questions

                http://www.tigerdirect.com/static/html/hdinstall.html

                http://www.helpwithpcs.com/upgrading...hard-drive.htm

                couple good guides i just googled. HD installation isnt hard, just take your time and pay attention to detail. If you unplug something make sure you plug it back in, will help with head aches later.


                And remember we are always here to help if you have some questions.
                that sounds like a good idea trooper.
                -Vulcan

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                • #9
                  Re: External Harddrives - a few questions

                  What about an external SATA drive? Even if your motherboard doesn't have external SATA ports, you can get a PCI card with an external SATA port for ~$25.

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                  • #10
                    Re: External Harddrives - a few questions

                    He'd be getting two to accommodate both systems, of course. And do we want to open the tin of demons that is how many systems have sufficient PCI slots these days?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: External Harddrives - a few questions

                      Concrete, you could always get yourself a hot-swap bay for your harddrive (or another harddrive) on your house1 computer.

                      Another (more expensive) alternative is to use firewire external hard drive cases instead of a USB one (presuming house2 comp has firewall). You'd roughly get about 83MB to 97MB transfer speeds (about as fast as a EIDE hard drive).
                      |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                      TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                      Former 9th & 13th

                      Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                      Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                      SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                      TG Primer and Rules

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                      • #12
                        Re: External Harddrives - a few questions

                        I like the external SATA idea. If a PCI eSATA card is cheap, it's a pretty good solution. There should be plenty of PCI slots available. There are generally 2-3 slots on mobos these days. Networking is onboard these days and graphics gets its own bus. The most common PCI card would be a sound card. It definitely leaves a slot free for a PCI eSATA card. Other possible PCI cards could be a TV tuner and I really can't think of anything else that the OP would likely have in his system.

                        - It's who you game with.

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                        • #13
                          Re: External Harddrives - a few questions

                          ...and today, boards only come with but one PCI slot, or they give you two but stick it between two PCI-E so if the card is anything more than a waif you can't fit it in, and if you do it suffocates your video card fan. :D

                          I'm confident he'll tell us what his systems' capibilities are. Yes.

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                          • #14
                            Re: External Harddrives - a few questions

                            Although, most have 3 PCI slots. It's usually the high end boards, which try to cram in all sorts of features, that have fewer PCI slots. In that case, it'll most likely have eSATA built in. This is why board layout is important when choosing a mobo.

                            - It's who you game with.

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                            • #15
                              Re: External Harddrives - a few questions

                              Great insight on all the options guys, thanks :) I will start taking eSATA in consideration now as well. I'm not sure how many PCI slots my PC has, though, but I will check that out later.

                              But Acreo, what exactly is a hot-swap bay?

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