View Full Version : Mass Storage Devices
06-11-2003, 06:35 AM
I have a Nikon D1 with a 1g micro drive. On a day to day basis this will work fine; even at max res and in the NEF Raw format I can store a bit over 100 shots. I have been exploring low cost alternatives, including buying a laptop as storage for extended trips.
After reading remarks about the x-drive, I checked out various portable mass storage units and think this might be the answer. I'm wondering if any of you have any experience with the Vosonic line of mass storage devices. I noticed while shopping, they also make a unit for not much more that will also allow you listen to MP3's, view pics on a 2.5 in display (providing they are JPEGs) or watch MPEG's.
If anyone is interested, I see them listed at http://www.mydigitaldiscount.com/ for about $250 for a 40g storage unit, and about $349 for the 40g unit with player. Both are palm size, and I think either would make a nice addition to a camera bag.
Any reviews would be welcome.
06-14-2003, 06:38 AM
First.. Typo in first line... My camera is a D100...
Since I didn't get any response to my first message.. I'm not sure whether nobody had any advice or whether there just isn't any interest.
I went ahead a purchased a small (20 gig) mass storage unit. If anyone is interested in what I'll be learning about it.. please reply to this thread.
06-14-2003, 07:04 AM
I am looking for the something in the same line. I have looked at the web site link that you have posted and tried to find more information but could not find anything.
I have briefly taken a look at several other more well known brand such as Digital Wallet but because of the price, I haven't made the plunge yet. But lately after acquiring the PhaseOne Capture software for RAW processing, I felt in love with RAW images and will required a MSD for travel.
Please let me know about your experience. One of the major issue for me is the battery life.
06-14-2003, 07:20 AM
I've been using portable hard drives for almost four years now. First was a 6 gig Digital Wallet (no longer manufactured). Now a 20 gig Image Bank. They both worked fine. Brought the pictures home.
Try spending some time on the 'Storage and Media' forum at www.dpreview.com. Lots of posts there.
As for battery life, my IB uses AAs. I generally power it with a set of rechargeable NiMH AAs. I carry a set of disposable lithium AAs in the event that I get in trouble.
06-14-2003, 07:38 AM
I've only just recieved this Vosonic 20 gig X's drive II, (approx. $196 USD W/shipping)so I don't know what the future will hold, but my initial evaluation went well.
After charging the battery (interal LI-Ion and built in charger with external power adapter),I loaded my micro drive which requires no adapter, trasfer is intiated by simply pressing the transfer button. It only has two buttons.. on and tranfer... so it's virtually idiot proof. It creats new folder and copies the files into it. I repeated this a couple times to see how it would do.
I then connected it to my pc via the USB port. It's accessed in the same way you access any drive and behaves just like a hard drive. It also functions as an adapter for smart media and type 1 and 2 compact flash, etc.
It was very easy to use, functioned well and was sufficiently fast as to not cause me any concern. Since I don't have any thing like it I can't compare it's speed. But one thing is for sure, it's a lot faster than a Zip drive.
That's all I can add for now, but will add as I gain experience with it.
06-14-2003, 08:56 AM
For info check http://www.dpreview.com/news/0301/03012801vosonicxdrive2.asp
06-14-2003, 04:06 PM
The problem was you asked whether people had any experience of a specific product, and the answer to that was no... If you'd asked about PHDs in general, or portable CD writers then you might have had more replies ;-)
06-14-2003, 06:59 PM
Thanks for the review Ned. If you have time, can you see how many times that the X drive allows data to be downloaded from the CF before we have to recharge it please.
03-18-2004, 11:56 PM
Just to share my enthusiasm.
I have just purchased an X-Drive portable storage device with 30GB capacity on a online store (www.compgeek.com)
Incredible! I made my order yesterday at lunch time and it was delivered to me at 3h00 PM this afternoon, 27 hours after my order. This online store warehouse is in California and I live in Quebec. So I can say that this ComputerGeek store and Fedex combined together are really efficient in delivering your purchase rapidly.
Just for your info if you are interested - the cost (x-drive + 30 GB HD) is $204 US + transport and taxes if applicable.
Now it remains for me to install the HD, format it (I've never done that before) and make my first trials…. I hope everything works fine.
03-22-2004, 09:20 PM
So, my first trials show that it works perfectly at home with Windows 98. I transferred all my pics on it (about 3 GB)as a back-up. But then when I try to read the files at work which uses Windows XP it doesn't work well, the files load very slowly and some I can't view, or it even makes my computer crash. They say that with Windows XP we do not have to install the driver. (I posted a email to the company but they didn't reply)
After having experienced problems I did install the driver and it's not much better. Can anybody help me solve this problem ? Have any idea what I should do? I don't really need it for work I could bring photos on a memory card but since I intend to buy a new computer for home before the end of the year and will certainly have Windows XP I need to solve this issue before I make that purchase.
03-22-2004, 09:56 PM
Best option would be to post over on the Storage Forum @ <a href="http://www.dpreview.com">DPReview.com</a> and see if anyone else has had similar issues...
If not, then I'd say it's likely that either your USB controller isn't quite installed correctly, or the X-Drive driver isn't quite right. Possibly a firmware update either to the computer or the X-Drive would fix it.
Do you have any other USB devices on the XP box? It's possible that something is eating all the bandwidth - USB network, hard disk or video adapters will probably slow things to a crawl.
It's also possible that your work machine only has USB 1.1, if your home machine has USB 2.0 that might explain the performance gap!
03-22-2004, 10:12 PM
Hum... a lot of possibilities here.... but I might ask my technician about the USB controller installation issue, since I did have some problems with the front load USB ports with another device (a portable card reader). On the rear USB ports there is already a card reader and 2 printers connected, with no problem.
As for the X-driver, well it's suppposed to work without installing the driver. The Vosonic site does not show any updates and as I said they didn't answer my email.
About USB 1.1 and 2 - in fact it might be that at home I hve USB 1.1 (it's a 4 yeard old computer) and it works fine whereas at work it's a brand new computer with USB 2.2 (purchased november 03 when we had a break-in and thieves went away with my computer which is the server).
Thanks for the leads...
03-22-2004, 10:56 PM
I just found a firmware upgrade for my device. I'll load it tonight but I'm a little nervous about it since my x-drive works well at home and it doesn't say what kind of problem this upgrade fixes.
03-23-2004, 12:52 AM
Make sure you've backed up everything on it, then it doesn't really matter what happens. For reference I've upgraded the firmware on thousands of devices (one of the perils of working in corporate IT), and I rate the chances of a failure at <1%.
Just make sure its batteries are fully charged and you should be fine!
I got an X-Drive II last summer - I had no problems using it with XP. Didn't have to install anything. I've been happy with it. Just make sure you plug your CF cards in straight - the casing's not as precise as it might be, and unbending those pins is tricky to say the least!
I later got a USB 2.0 card to speed it up (and to save me having to unplug things), but I never got it to operate above USB 1 speeds. I suspect the problem is with the USB card, though.
03-23-2004, 02:03 AM
For USB2 support under XP you need XP Service Pack 1, and you also then need a USB update see:
<a href="http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;Q329632&" target="_blank">Microsoft article</a>
03-23-2004, 05:53 AM
Thanks Adrian and Greg... it does seem to be linked to the USB card.
I tried tonight the update on the x-drive and add problems loading it at the very beginning, I had error messages on the first click, so I didn't start the update process.
It has nothing to do with the CF or Sony Memory card being inserted the wrong way. Once the files are saved on the x-drive I only have problems reading them on the computer with Win XP.
I think I'll call the technician at work to very the USB card. I don't feel secure installing the service Pack you mentioned Adrian since I experienced problems just trying to update the x-drive.
I'm not familiar enough with all this and the computer is new so it should work properly, still being on garanty.
03-23-2004, 06:14 PM
"I don't feel secure installing the service Pack you mentioned Adrian since I experienced problems just trying to update the x-drive."
Because you had problem with x-drive update that you're going to have problem with the service pack for XP. Actually, if you any problem with the service pack after installing it, you can easily de-install it.
03-23-2004, 11:20 PM
Just to report that I found the problem. It was the front USB on the computer. When connecting the device to the rear USB it works fine as well as on other computers in the office. So we will need to have these USB ports replaced. I'm soo relieved.
Thanks again to those who gave me some advice.
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