Iomega HDD 20 GB in the test: External hard drive for USB 2.0

Iomega HDD 20 GB in the test: External hard drive for USB 2.0

Hardware & Technology

As already mentioned, a 2.5-inch notebook hard drive takes place in the chic, slim and just 120g heavy housing their service. With the 20 GB variant we had, the choice fell on an IBM Travelstar IC25N020 whose retail price is around 125 euros. So Iomega charges a whopping 124 euros extra for the case, the cables and the docking station.

USB plug
Above with plug

With With its dimensions of 1.5x9.0x18.5cm (HxWxD), the hard drive, which also makes a good and non-slip impression, should find its place on every office table.

Size comparison with Nokia 6210

The IBM Travelstar used is a 20 GB hard drive that is barely audible and works quietly at a speed of 4200 revolutions. The 20 GB are accommodated on a single hard disk (platter) and cached in a 2 MB hard disk cache. However, this is deactivated and can therefore not be used. When we asked Iomega, we were informed that this function had been deactivated for security reasons. The manufacturer does not want to pay for the higher performance of the hard drive with poor data security. If the hard drive is removed from the docking station during a write process, all data in the cache would be lost. If the cache is deactivated, this source of danger disappears. An attempt to activate the cache with hard disk tools from IBM failed, since these mostly DOS-based programs cannot access the USB hardware directly. We were informed that Iomega itself will not publish a corresponding tool to modify the hard drive's operating modes (noise level, hard drive cache usage) in the firmware. Both settings are factory set to the slowest, quietest and safest values.

Default: No write cache
No internal cache available

IBM specifies the access time of the hard disk as 12ms. Of course, this value only applies if the drive is connected to the IDE bus (ATA/100 is supported). However, since Iomega uses tricky technology to move fromTo get a parallel hard drive signal to a serial USB signal, the access times should be a bit higher. More on that later in the article.

According to IBM, the Travelstar has a power consumption of 4.7 when it starts up Watt. In read/write mode it is satisfied with around 2.3 watts. With an operating voltage of 5 volts, it requires a current of approx. 490mA in operation, which could actually be applied directly from the USB port (a maximum of 550mA could be drawn). Only at the start would there be massive supply problems with 940mA. This was certainly the main reason why Iomega opted for an external power supply.

The recommended monthly operating time (power-on hours) is 333 hours, i.e. approx. 11 hours a day. In our test, however, the Iomega “external hard drive ran significantly longer (although not constantly under load) than the suggested 11 hours. By the way, the Iomega docking station does not automatically put the hard drive to sleep, so that the maximum recommended operating time per month is exceeded if the computer is used for a longer period.

Docking station
Docking Station

Since it is a regular hard drive, it is also possible to divide the drive into several partitions . However, Iomega does not recommend portioning the hard drive, although it was possible for us without any problems.

Partition like a normal hard disk
Partition like a normal hard disk
Two partitions
Two partitions

However, the question arises as to how far it makes sense to split a small 20 GB disk.

On the next page: Test system