Blank (virgin) HDD's; are any preformatted?

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Thread: Blank (virgin) HDD's; are any preformatted?

  1. #1
    Tiger Shark
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    Blank (virgin) HDD's; are any preformatted?

    I have always been under the impression new hard drives (not SSD's) are not formatted. Low level, yes, but not for ant file system (FAT32, NTFS, ext2, ext3 etc.) It was up to the user to prepare the drive.

    I got into a discussion with an "engineer" from a small CE manufacture regarding DVR's and he is/was under the impression new drives were already formatted. I explained how could be since there isn't any way the manufacture would/could know how/where the drive was going to be used.

    I did a little searching and came across this article;
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-...al-hard-drive/

    and this statement;
    Most new external hard drives available in the market are designed to be plug and play. By plug and play, what I mean is that you can just plug in the hard drive and start using it right away. This is because the manufacturers send the disk initialised and ready to work with the most common operating systems.
    The internal hard disks available in the market, on the other hand, require to be prepared before use.
    "External" hard drives?? The only "external" thing I know is an external enclosure.

    Am I missing something here?? Has something changed in the past five or so years??
    Last edited by videobruce; 05-04-2012 at 07:34 AM.
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  2. #2
    Capt. Picard Fan Mod proxops-pete's Avatar
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    The article is referring to indeed external HDDs (which are really just internal HDDs in an enclosure, but lots of manufacturers sell it that way)
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  3. #3
    Tiger Shark
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    Confusing and incorrect. Only adds more to all the other confusion.
    The HDD isn't "external", the enclosure is. The HDD can be either.
    Keep free, over the air television alive. Wireless services occupy enough spectrum already, they don't need any more. Free, OTA TV is what makes this country unique.

  4. #4
    LOLWUT ImaNihilist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
    Confusing and incorrect. Only adds more to all the other confusion.
    The HDD isn't "external", the enclosure is. The HDD can be either.
    The HDD is considered external if it comes in an enclosure and a retail box. The manufacturers often DO know if the drive will end up in an external enclosure. Sometimes they will even add an R or -R to the model number, which stands for retail. Retail drives are often bottom of the barrel. You don't see a lot of server-grade HDDs in retail enclosures. In fact, I know of zero.

    They are typically formatted FAT32 for compatibility or NTFS. Most SD cards and USB sticks come pre-formatted as a single partition, either FAT32 or exFAT (if they are large, like 64GB). There are some drives that now come pre-formatted for Mac as well, with a single partition HFS+, but more often than not they are actually FAT32 for compatibility.

    If the drive ships with a USB, Firewire, or eSATA controller it's safe to say that it comes pre-formatted. 9 times out of 10 it's going to be FAT32.
    Last edited by ImaNihilist; 05-04-2012 at 11:25 AM.

  5. #5
    Tiger Shark
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    The HDD is considered external if it comes in an enclosure and a retail box.
    AFAIC, it's incorrect to call the same thing two different names; internal drive, external drive. Both can the same drive, it's the enclosure that makes the difference. The three words need to be in the same phase: External enclosure drive.

    This is the same as calling a LED driven LCD TV a "LED TV".
    Last edited by videobruce; 05-04-2012 at 12:39 PM.
    Keep free, over the air television alive. Wireless services occupy enough spectrum already, they don't need any more. Free, OTA TV is what makes this country unique.

  6. #6
    LOLWUT ImaNihilist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
    AFAIC, it's incorrect to call the same thing two different names; internal drive, external drive. Both can the same drive, it's the enclosure that makes the difference. The three words need to be in the same phase: External enclosure drive.
    The drives are often binned differently. Seagate will bin different versions of a drive for internal OEM, internal retail, external OEM and external retail.

    It's pretty common to refer to any drive intended for use in a retail external enclosure to be called an "external" drive. This is the language that both Seagate and Western Digital use, and pretty much everyone else. WD had a few external drives on the market for a while that had special logic boards for power savings.

    In some cases, there are HDDs that are ONLY available for external retail. The new 2TB 2.5" from WD is an example. There is no "internal" variant.
    Last edited by ImaNihilist; 05-04-2012 at 12:59 PM.

  7. #7
    Tiger Shark
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    This is the language that both Seagate and Western Digital use
    This is the 1st time I have come across this. This is as bad as Samsung calling LED driven LCD TV's "LED TV"s".
    Not the same thing.

    More unnecessary confusion. Gotta love the CEA.
    Keep free, over the air television alive. Wireless services occupy enough spectrum already, they don't need any more. Free, OTA TV is what makes this country unique.

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