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View Full Version : Adding External HD to Imac. How big is too big?


roxy1107
Jun 30, 2004, 09:34 AM
Hi from Texas. I am new to the forum and would love some advice.
I have an Imac DV SE with only a 13GB HD that is partitioned between OS9 and OSX Panther. I really need to add space and am wanting to add a LaCie external drive. How big can I go. Will 250GB burn up the inner workings of my Imac? My mac runs at 5200 rpm. Is the 7200rpm a concern?
Any thoughts on this would be welcome.
Thanks :) :)

iGav
Jun 30, 2004, 09:46 AM
Howdy!

Like memory... you can never have too much storage capacity ;) difference in speed isn't a problem and it'll work just fine. :)

Happy filling. :p

roxy1107
Jun 30, 2004, 09:58 AM
IGAV,
Thanks for the feedback. I'm definitely learning as I go.
Sounds like the LaCie is the Cadillac. I already have a LaCie CD burner that I love. So onward to actual functional storage. I figure if my Imac poops out I will still have the HD to use on another system.
:)

iGav
Jun 30, 2004, 10:17 AM
I'm thinking about picking up a 500GB LaCie... I'm also partial to the LaCie Porsche drives... but I'm also looking at the Formac Disk Oxygen in the 500GB version. :D

drizahy4
Jun 30, 2004, 12:58 PM
anything bigger than a foot long is to big so i hear.

MacDawg
Jun 30, 2004, 01:30 PM
I figure if my Imac poops out I will still have the HD to use on another system.
:)

Great point... I'm thinking of picking one up myself. I had to do a backup of all my data a while back and wanted to put them on DVDs instead of CDs. I decided to buy a spindle of DVDs... and realized later that I could have almost bought a firewire drive for what I paid for DVDs! (and should have!)

I think you will be happy with your purchase, and the fact that you can transfer to a new system is a great plus! Storage space is a good value these days.

straphound
Jun 30, 2004, 03:50 PM
You may want to research what will work internally with your iMac. If it is using ATA/100 or ATA/66 it may not be able to recognize a 250 GB HDD or only recognize a certain amount of it, say 128 GB. You may be better off getting an external firewire drive to compliment your computer.

sushi
Jun 30, 2004, 04:38 PM
I figure if my Imac poops out I will still have the HD to use on another system.
Yes, an external FW HD will work on any system.

Currently I have 4 x 120GB on one system. I purchased them when 120GB were the largest external drives available. They work great.

And now that prices are dropping, I am looking at another 250GB drive.

Sushi

seamuskrat
Jun 30, 2004, 04:42 PM
Are you considering an internal or firewire external drive?
If its an internal, you will be limited by your Macs ATA bus. I believe its 66 for your Mac, and would limit you to about 120 gigs.

However, an external firewire drive will be seen and work fine with the iMac. Maxtor, Acom, LaCie, all make reliable (in my experience and use) drives to choose from.

Hi from Texas. I am new to the forum and would love some advice.
I have an Imac DV SE with only a 13GB HD that is partitioned between OS9 and OSX Panther. I really need to add space and am wanting to add a LaCie external drive. How big can I go. Will 250GB burn up the inner workings of my Imac? My mac runs at 5200 rpm. Is the 7200rpm a concern?
Any thoughts on this would be welcome.
Thanks :) :)

Chip NoVaMac
Jun 30, 2004, 04:45 PM
Just be sure to get a HDD that is FW, not USB.

strider42
Jun 30, 2004, 05:28 PM
You may want to research what will work internally with your iMac. If it is using ATA/100 or ATA/66 it may not be able to recognize a 250 GB HDD or only recognize a certain amount of it, say 128 GB. You may be better off getting an external firewire drive to compliment your computer.

all CRT iMacs are limited to roughly 137 gigs of formatted capacity (I think thats the number anyway) for internal drives. beyond that though, any IDE drive will work (and 7200 rpm is fine, despite the claims of some sites).

As for external, there is no limit perse, but if you decided to build your own using an enclosure and a drive, make sure the chip set in the enclosure supports large capcity drives if you want more than than 137 gig limit.
You could, for instance, upgrade the internal and put the old one in a firewire case. the 7200 rpm drive internal would make for a few speed increases as well. A nice upgrade overall, and cheaper maybe too.

MongoTheGeek
Jun 30, 2004, 05:54 PM
The drive should be no larger than a foot on a side and weigh less than the computer. :)

virividox
Jun 30, 2004, 06:10 PM
its too big one your bank account shows negatives; seriously get as much storage as you can while you have the money to get it

FightTheFuture
Jun 30, 2004, 08:20 PM
i think the huge 1 terabyte is too big. imagine having that thing 80% full and it suddenly gets corrupt! oh noes! sound like alot of us are in the same boat.

i recently purchased the 8x dvd burner by LaCie (design by FAPorsche) at a good rate at page computer (http://www.pagecomputers.com/cgi-bin/page/B1299304.html). its pretty good considering the rate on LaCie's site is $199. its supposed to arrive tomorrow, so if you guys need an update on if the transaction/product arrived in good condition i'll let you know.

you can also get LaCie's 250gig drive (FAPorsche) for a measly $225 at buy.com (http://www.buy.com/retail/product_jump.asp?sku=10353523&SearchEngine=PriceGrabber&SearchTerm=10353523&Type=PE&Category=Comp&dcaid=15890)... upon further inspection - you can get the 8x dvd burner pretty cheap on buy.com right now too. man, i should've waited a day.

iGav
Jul 1, 2004, 06:12 AM
Are you considering an internal or firewire external drive?

It's in the thread title. ;)

sushi
Jul 2, 2004, 11:42 AM
Just be sure to get a HDD that is FW, not USB.
Totally agree. Do not waste your time with an external USB drive. Get a FW one instead.

Sushi

Chip NoVaMac
Jul 2, 2004, 02:21 PM
Totally agree. Do not waste your time with an external USB drive. Get a FW one instead.

Sushi

I was assuming that he did not have USB 2.0 on his system. Even if he did he would be better off with FW, but some great deals are out there for USB 2.0 external HDD's.

iShater
Jul 2, 2004, 04:48 PM
I put together an external HD a while back using an Oxford911 chip-based enclosure and a 120GB Maxtor drive for my iBook, it works great.

When I tried to use anything larger than 120GB I hit problem, drives couldn't be formatted/read properly and OSX couldn't handle them.

Now your iMac is older than my iBook and I would guess it might have the same problem. I would play it safe and go for 120GB for now.

I think others have seen this issue as well.

If you do a search on my ID you can find the discussion thread where I went through the trouble shooting for it.

roxy1107
Jul 10, 2004, 08:19 AM
Thanks everyone. Your comments were incredibly helpful. For some reason I thought I had to buy the USB connecting drive, but it was back ordered so I called back and asked them to send the Firewire drive with 200 gb for just $10 more dollars. Supposedly, it's much faster, as well. The tech seemed to think there is no reason I couldn't use that with my iMac G3. We'll see. If the computer dies, I'll know. Then that will justify getting a G4 or G5!!! :cool: It's all good!

roxy1107
Jul 10, 2004, 08:27 AM
The drive should be no larger than a foot on a side and weigh less than the computer. :)


I guess I don't need another Imac. But, the 200 gig instead of the 6gb I have sure will be nice whichever container it's in.