When we opened our flagship showroom in South Burlington almost two years ago, a full-service repair facility had to be built from the ground up. We ordered benches, network gear, electrostatic discharge (ESD) prevention equipment, tools, hundreds of diagnostic parts, workstations, servers, storage solutions, and lots more. It seems that our technicians have a knack for breaking their computers in one way or another with much greater frequency than other employees. The most common failure is with FireWire and USB ports and buses. We deal with so many bad hard drives needing data recovery, and they all spew so much garbage data through the FireWire and USB buses that these are the first components to go.
Unfortunately, on all Macs, the FireWire and USB electronics are contained on the main logic board, so we always upgrade the service machines while they’re still under warranty, and are extra careful to very thoroughly test when we go to re-sell them as used or Small Dog Refurbished equipment. We tend to upgrade our workstations quite frequently around here to stay as current as possible and minimize downtime from any repairs that might come up.
We also tend to plow through external hard drive enclosures and external hard drives. We plug them in and unplug them from so many computers every day, that the actual plugs become damaged or the electronics fail prematurely. Only one external drive is still working after all this time in continuous use: the LaCie Little Big Disk. We rely on it all the time for its speed and rock solid reputation to just work each and every time.
LaCie just refreshed their Little Big Disk lineup to have four interfaces and greater capacities. They’re now called Little Big Disk Quadra and feature FireWire 400, FireWire 800, USB 2, and eSATA, and come in capacities of 400GB, 500GB, and 1TB. These drives are so fast because they’re configured as a RAID 0 made up of two laptop hard drives.
http://www.smalldog.com/product/71538 is the 1TB model
http://www.smalldog.com/product/71234 is the 500GB model
and http://www.smalldog.com/product/71233 is the 400GB model
You can, of course, find yourself a less expensive hard drive solution in each capacity, but you will not find yourself a more rugged, faster, and more portable bus-powered device no matter how hard you try. As we grow, and as equipment requires replacement, each technician here at Small Dog will have his or her very own.