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BUSlink USB Hard Drive (30GB)

Revised on

Originally posted on August 30th, 2001


I purchased the BUSlink USB Hard Drive as part of my Desktop >> Laptop lifestyle adjustment project where I traded in my Pent. 4 1.4Ghz Superfast tower for a 850Mhz Pent. 3 HP n5440 laptop.

I wanted to duplicate as close as possible the same storage options as my desktop mentioned above so I ordered the laptop with a HP external USB CDRW burner (model #8220e) and this BUSlink device.

My laptop originally came with Windows ME but I wanted to use either Windows 2000 or XP. I attempted to use the BUSlink with WinME but the drivers seemed to really slow down OS. For instance, when I opened My Computer, it would take a few seconds to complete the list of the contents there.

Something else that bothered me was the whole system seemed to be slower. My laptops' no screamer so anything that slows it down concerns me. BUSlink had a update to the software on their website but that didn't help. I called BUSlink and the tech support number was busy... interesting. Called back a few times and got through. The tech told me in a nutshell that Windows limits the size of file(s) when you transfer over USB (ie. coping data from the laptops hard drive to the BUSlink). I'm trying to cooberate this with I'll update that here when I get a confirmation.

It's gotta be the drivers and/or the device itself. I don't have any problem with my Iomega Zip 250 or the Jaz drive that works over USB. The tech also added that if I compressed the data, that might help. Well thats just bull. Here I fork over $200 smacks for this 30gb drive and it can't transfer a lousy 500mb file from the PC to the BUSlink? I think not.

UPDATE: 09.15.01
I soon discover (no thanks to BUSlink) that I can't use my trusty Belkin self-powered hub ($39) with the BUSlink. It's some kinda power problem. The Belkin guys point their finger at BUSlink and BUSlink points theirs in the air. Anyway, when I plug the BUSlink into the USB port on the back of my laptop port replicator it seems to work fine... hold a second... I said seems... I also have a external HP CDRW that connects through the USB port too. Guess what... it doesn't work either using my Belkin USB hub. So, now I have to disconnect my HP Deskjet printer (USB) and use a standard printer cable, no problem, the printer cable is faster anyway, but I also have to stop using my Belkin USB hub. Why you may ask? Well, I only have two ports on the back to the HP laptop, one for the HP CDRW and the other for the BUSlink drive. Now I can't connect anything else because I do a lot of archiving from clients PCs to my laptop then to the BUSlink then to the HP CDRW drive for archive purposes. Guess that's not going to be happening because guess what again... I can't archive large files from the BUSlink over to the HP CDRW because of some incompatibility. Why? Power and bandwidth problem. BTW; I also can't use any other USB thingies like my cool Logitech Quickcam Pro 3000 Webcam because I can't hot-swap any USB devices. Why? Because I run Windows 2000 Pro and it doesn't hot swap the HP or the BUSlink. I have to do a shutdown and then use my camera.

This whole aspect of the USB storage sucks. Really. I am very disappointed. I heard from a guy on that I can try to get one of these USB 'Y' connectors that splits my two USB ports on the back of my laptop from two ports to four. I'll post that here when I get the chance.

Here are some stopwatch tests of file transfers...

Copying a 57,413kb file from the BUSlink to my laptop - 63secs or .911mb per sec. going through a powered Belkin USB hub.

Copying a folder with various sized files, 55,615kb from my laptop to the BUSlink - 65sec or .855mb per second.

This is a far cry from their 8mb per second transfer rate,

So there ends my review of the BUSlink USB Hard Drive. Why in the world would anybody order one of these if you couldn't use it like a real hard drive? I would think that the engineers at BUSlink would have thought that people like me would use this device as backup device, transferring hundreds of files, large and small to archive their stuff. They wouldn't want to be limited to errors and files size limits.

In summary; The drive kinda works, for little files. It's really slow but priced competitively against other units for what it does. I think I'll be trying the Firewire version out to see if it performs any better.

I give it a stars.