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Topic: Is this a good external hard drive for Wii U?

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Treverend

1. Posted:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/WD+-+My+Passport+1TB+External+USB...

It's USB powered, meaning it doesn't have it's own AC power cable and is powered through whatever device it's plugged into. I know the Wii doesn't have powered USB's because I plugged my Kindle into it and the Kindle recognizes that it's plugged in but it won't charge.

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Zaphod_Beeblebrox

2. Posted:

That's a very good question. Nintendo should be publishing specifications like this. Personally, I wouldn't bet on it supplying enough power for a drive unless Nintendo explicitly says so. The Wii U's power supply would have to be designed to have enough surplus DC output to power the ports in addition to the Wii U itself.

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skywake

3. Posted:

It should work and if it doesn't I'd be surprised. From what I can remember the only official accessories for the Wii that used USB were microphones and LAN adapters. No need for anymore power. With the Wii U it has charging cables galore out of the box and supports external USB storage.

So I think it's ports can handle a ~3W external HDD.

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Zaphod_Beeblebrox

4. Posted:

Yeah, I'm sure you're right, @skywake. I just remember buying a tiny drive which came with two USB cables. The instructions said if one cable (for data and power) didn't work, plug in the other cable too (for additional power only). But that was years ago. Small drives are probably vastly more efficient now.

Put your analyst on danger money, baby.

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PhantomMiria

5. Posted:

my wii powers devices plugged into the usb drive. I charge my zune off it all the time...

EDIT: My brother (@Kagamine) has this one, and he says it works great. It's chaeper than the one you had too.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+Canvio+Basics+HDTB110XK...

Edited on by PhantomMiria

Casyn

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CoffeeWithGames

6. Posted:

Don't forget to check around for cheap SD cards, depending on how much storage you think you will really be needing. That's my issue right now, figuring out how much extra I'm going to want. Will probably just wait a while and see what happens with the system and games first.

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skywake

7. Posted:

I don't know why you'd bother with SD cards.... I mean... pulls up a spreadsheet
Untitled
....... if you think you'll need more than 32GB get a HDD

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Sean_Aaron

8. Posted:

If I wasn't planning on getting retail releases over download I'd go the SD card route myself.

Regarding external hard drives I've had a couple of Seagate multi-TB hard drives for a couple of years and I'm quite pleased with them. They have their own power supplies which I suspect has to do with the enclosures doing something extra like caching read-write operations to protect agains data loss in the event the computer crashes or loses power suddenly.

In any event I wouldn't go for the biggest and cheapest drive you can get, but rather the cheapest, best-quality drive. One thing that occurs to me is that the Wii U is unlikely to include a backup routine, so an enclosure that does low-level RAID like mirroring at the hardware level (data is mirrored between disks in the enclosure, but only looks like one drive to the system) would be something to consider. I know I wouldn't want to spend many hours re-downloading retail releases if I could help it! That's probably what I'll look to get once it's clear how comprehensive the retail downloads are going to be.

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Wheels2050

9. Posted:

Sean_Aaron wrote:

In any event I wouldn't go for the biggest and cheapest drive you can get, but rather the cheapest, best-quality drive. One thing that occurs to me is that the Wii U is unlikely to include a backup routine, so an enclosure that does low-level RAID like mirroring at the hardware level (data is mirrored between disks in the enclosure, but only looks like one drive to the system) would be something to consider.

I completely agree with the first part - paying an extra $20 or so for a reputable brand is far preferable to buying a cheap HDD that won't last.

As for the RAID thing, it's a good idea but ultimately I don't think it's worth the cost for most people - enclosures that handle RAID aren't cheap, and I imagine that many people couldn't justify the cost of a second (apparently useless, 99% of the time) HDD for the RAID configs that allow data recovery.

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Zaphod_Beeblebrox

10. Posted:

I'm not an expert on RAID but my casual experience with it over many years is that it rarely works properly in consumer or "pro-sumer" devices. It really seems like a sham. A year or two ago I read some reviews of one of the brands and people said that it worked fine as long as you never lost power. You could yank out drives and replace them, no problem. But if you ever lost power to the whole unit, the device's internal file system would be irretrievably corrupted and you'd lose access to your data. It sounds like the device wasn't properly journaling and staging writes to ensure file system integrity in the event of total power loss.

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shingi_70

11. Posted:

Its not. Its usb 3.0 while the wii U IS USB 2.0. Even though its backwards compatibale you might be able to find a 1TB usb 2.0 drive cheaper.

shingi_70

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skywake

12. Posted:

Sean_Aaron wrote:

If I wasn't planning on getting retail releases over download I'd go the SD card route myself.

Regarding external hard drives I've had a couple of Seagate multi-TB hard drives for a couple of years and I'm quite pleased with them. They have their own power supplies which I suspect has to do with the enclosures doing something extra like caching read-write operations to protect agains data loss in the event the computer crashes or loses power suddenly.

In any event I wouldn't go for the biggest and cheapest drive you can get, but rather the cheapest, best-quality drive. One thing that occurs to me is that the Wii U is unlikely to include a backup routine, so an enclosure that does low-level RAID like mirroring at the hardware level (data is mirrored between disks in the enclosure, but only looks like one drive to the system) would be something to consider. I know I wouldn't want to spend many hours re-downloading retail releases if I could help it! That's probably what I'll look to get once it's clear how comprehensive the retail downloads are going to be.

I disagree on multiple points. For a start game data isn't that important so I don't think RAID is really worth the effort. If you really want to spend that much money making sure you don't have to redownload your entire X00GB collection of games over your tediously slow 'nets then get a NAS and invest in a proper RAID setup not-attached to the Wii U or even just copy it to another drive somewhere. That way if the cheap drive hooked upto your Wii does fail you end up "downloading" the games you managed to backup at the ~100Mbps of USB2.0.

If I was building a New Gaming PC I'd have a 120-240GB SSD for OS and some games and then a fairly cheap single 1-3TB mass storage HDD for game data and mass storage. Seperate to that I'd I'd backup my important data to some other device. The same applies here... except with 32GB instead of 120-240GB and with significantly less money to be spent.

Also your external Seagates are almost certaintly not USB powered because they are 3.5" drives rather than 2.5" drives. 3.5" drives tend to not be powered by USB because they generally spin faster and are not optimised for lower power consumption. Many 3.5" drives draw >10W when in use while 2.5" drives draw <2W. That's the difference.

Edited on by skywake

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Hyperstar96

13. Posted:

Treverend wrote:

I know the Wii doesn't have powered USB's because I plugged my Kindle into it and the Kindle recognizes that it's plugged in but it won't charge.

Wrong. It does have powered USB ports.

Hyperstar96

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Sean_Aaron

14. Posted:

skywake wrote:

I disagree on multiple points. For a start game data isn't that important so I don't think RAID is really worth the effort. If you really want to spend that much money making sure you don't have to redownload your entire X00GB collection of games over your tediously slow 'nets then get a NAS and invest in a proper RAID setup not-attached to the Wii U or even just copy it to another drive somewhere. That way if the cheap drive hooked upto your Wii does fail you end up "downloading" the games you managed to backup at the ~100Mbps of USB2.0.

If I was building a New Gaming PC I'd have a 120-240GB SSD for OS and some games and then a fairly cheap single 1-3TB mass storage HDD for game data and mass storage. Seperate to that I'd I'd backup my important data to some other device. The same applies here... except with 32GB instead of 120-240GB and with significantly less money to be spent.

Also your external Seagates are almost certaintly not USB powered because they are 3.5" drives rather than 2.5" drives. 3.5" drives tend to not be powered by USB because they generally spin faster and are not optimised for lower power consumption. Many 3.5" drives draw >10W when in use while 2.5" drives draw <2W. That's the difference.

I didn't say my drives were USB-powered and they're not - I wouldn't want a USB-powered drive for anything but mobile use and I have no need of that.

As far as storage goes I wouldn't have a consumer NAS either - I'm not doing operational read-write over wi-fi (past experience argues against it even with 802.11n) and I've yet to see any consumer level NAS that didn't sound dodgy in some respect. If I had a server room with a NetApp and CAT-5 wiring, sure, otherwise it's a waste of money.

Hardware RAID I've used has meant buying a separate enclosure and disks. The outlay is a couple-hundred quid and there's no propriety filesystem being used beyond what the Wii U will supply. Downside has been noise levels, so unless there's some better quality DIY kit out there I probably will end up doing as you suggest and having two drives and performing two downloads or hopefully the Wii U OS will have some kind of data copy feature. Of course if the retail releases end up being limited, then this is all mute because I'd just stick with SD. Actually if the games are only 1-4GB I might do that anyway!

Edited on by Sean_Aaron

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skywake

15. Posted:

@Sean_Aaron
I was saying why the reasons you gave for them not being USB powered were probably wrong. I wasn't saying that you claimed they were USB powered, I would have no idea if they were or not. My wording could have been clearer but given you said "mine are USB powered because ..." and I said ".... because they are (prob) 3.5" drives [...] >10W vs <2W" and so on I don't see how you came to the conclusion you did.

Consumer NAS is perfectly fine. What I'm talking about is literally the same as your "hardware RAID" box (usually by Synology or QNAP) just with a Gigabit Ethernet port on the back instead of USB. It costs around the same amount as non-networked solutions especially once you've included the price of the disks and you can use it for general media streaming and backup of other data. I'm not saying that this is a good way to backup Wii U game data, infact I wouldn't bother at all, but just that if you wanted that data to be secure get a generic solution. NAS is very handy.

Then there's also the fact that most consumer level NAS enclusures have a "quick backup" function. A one button feature that lets you backup the contents of a connected USB storage device. If you're going to spend a "couple-hundred quid" then you'd be better with one of them and a bargain bin HDD for your Wii U than a really, really fancy RAID enabled USB mass storage device......

Edited on by skywake

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Sean_Aaron

16. Posted:

I did look into consumer NAS and as someone who supports "real" NAS like Network Appliance as part of my day job it just doesn't sound like anything I would trust with data I cared about like my film library or photos. Having said that I'll warrant the last time I looked into it was 2007-2008 so there's a chance it's less sketchy now.

The more I think about it the more SD makes more sense to me. I had a ton of download content for the Wii due to heavy reviewing for NL and I'm sure I'd have room to spare on an 8GB card. Now I know sizes will be larger for the Wii U eShop, but i do most of my gaming on a 16GB iPad and I have room to spare. The fact is that downloadable titles the size of Bastion aren't that common and I'm unlikely to be buying more than one retail release a month for Wii U so a handful of SD cards plus the built-in 32GB flash on the deluxe should be plenty of space.

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skywake

17. Posted:

@Sean_Aaron
I've had a 1.2Ghz ARM + 512MB DDR2 based NAS that was a bargain ~$120AU (~80GBP) almost a year ago running pretty much 24/7 with no problems. It's only got one disk in it (Taiwan floods, storage was expensive when I got it hence the bargain) and it's mostly used as a DLNA server but the point remains.

If someone's wanting to spend "a couple hundred quid" (~$300-450AU) on a storage solution they should prob grab a cheap two bay NAS from QNAP or Synology or maybe spend a bit more for a four bay one. Then put $200AU down on that and throw another $220AU into two HDDs for a multi-TB RAID1. Much better value given how useful network storage is. Then separately grab whatever cheap storage they have lying around for the Wii U.... which they can then backup to the NAS occasionally.

but really if you're not going to download retail titles and do somehow manage to go over the 8/32GB of built in memory..... go to your supermarket and grab a 16GB thumbdrive off the shelf while you're getting Milk that week. Storage is cheap! :)

Edited on by skywake

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cyphid

18. Posted:

Since I have a lot random SD cards lying around, I should be fine for awhile with additional space. I suppose my 16GB SD card in my 3DS could be switched out for Wii U

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