Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Systems and Services > Mac Basics and Help

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Feb 20, 2013, 10:18 AM   #1
Dirtyharry50
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: May 2012
Recommendations for reliable USB Backup Drive?

I have endured enough pain and suffering with my current Seagate GoFlex 2TB USB 3.0 drive being used for Time Machine on my mid-2011 27" iMac running OS X 10.8.2. It keeps turning off and disconnecting and its driving me mad. I have been on the phone multiple times with Apple Support and they feel the drive is the issue after all we've tried. I have scoured the Web and discovered many unhappy Seagate customers with Macs who made the mistake of buying this model of USB drive for backups.

So, I am hoping not to make another mistake this time. Thus the request for recommendations of a decent USB Backup drive for use with Time Machine. If it happens to be available on Amazon.com that would be a bonus.

Sometimes I wonder if I should have just bought a Time Capsule instead of a Airport Extreme but too late now.

My hard drive is 1TB and I am wondering if 2TB for the backup was overkill, particularly where 250 gigs is given to a Windows 7 bootcamp partition that is not backed up. It's just for games. I do not create a lot of new data usually so one terabyte would probably be fine. It also does not need to be USB 3.0 since my iMac only supports 2.0.

Anyway, I would be grateful for some tried and true advice here on a current model USB drive that is reliable and just works. That would be wonderful. Thanks.
Dirtyharry50 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 2013, 10:28 AM   #2
Weaselboy
macrumors G5
 
Weaselboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Many users here have the WD My Passport drives and they seem to work well. I have a 500GB version that has been trouble free. They are pretty reasonably priced also.
Weaselboy is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 2013, 10:31 AM   #3
Knoodles
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Gone to the Beach
I've had very good luck with Western Digital External drives. Been using two of these for almost two years without a glitch. Bus powered. And it's sold through Amazon.

WD Elements
Knoodles is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 2013, 10:36 AM   #4
Fishrrman
macrumors 68040
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
"Anyway, I would be grateful for some tried and true advice here on a current model USB drive that is reliable and just works. That would be wonderful."

I never cared for "pre-packaged" drives. Too much money and all-too-often they are quirky.

If you want something that is "reliable", my advice is to do-it-yourself.
DO NOT feel intimidated by this notion. It's easy. If I can do it (I'm a neanderthal), you can, too.

For backing up, my suggestion is that you spend less than $30 and get something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Plugable-Docki...SIN=B003UI62AG

Then, get either a 3.5" or a 2.5" "bare drive" from the vendor of your choice. If you're dissatisfied with the drive you have now, you might even open it, take the internal drive out, and put it into the dock.

Just connect the dock to the Mac.
Put the drive into the dock (it just "plugs in").
Turn it on.
Initialize it with Disk Utility.

You now have a backup "docked drive" ready-to-go.
It will be "seen" by the Mac same as an "enclosed" drive.
It's bootable, too (provided you backup the right way, read on).

Also, I would STRONGLY SUGGEST that you STOP using Time Machine for your backups, and instead download and try out CarbonCopyCloner.

CCC will create a bootable "clone" of your internal drive that is identical to the internal drive. It can also do incremental updates, clone the recovery partition, and can even "archive" versions of files like Time Machine does. YOU CAN'T BOOT FROM A TIME MACHINE BACKUP (shouting very intentional).

In a "moment of extreme need" (and you will have one of those someday), the thing you need closest-at-hand is a bootable backup of your internal drive. Just connect it you'll be ready to go in a couple of minutes -- to repair or restore the internal drive. You can't do that with Time Machine.
Fishrrman is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 2013, 11:03 AM   #5
old-wiz
macrumors 604
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: West Suburban Boston Ma
My thought.....never every trust just one backup drive, whether it's connected via usb, firewire, ethernet, wi-fi, or anything else. Any backup drive can fail, period.

I have three physical drives, all with Superduper clones, and cycle them and keep one in a vault.
old-wiz is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 2013, 11:18 AM   #6
Weaselboy
macrumors G5
 
Weaselboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishrrman View Post
CCC will create a bootable "clone" of your internal drive that is identical to the internal drive. It can also do incremental updates, clone the recovery partition, and can even "archive" versions of files like Time Machine does. YOU CAN'T BOOT FROM A TIME MACHINE BACKUP (shouting very intentional).

In a "moment of extreme need" (and you will have one of those someday), the thing you need closest-at-hand is a bootable backup of your internal drive. Just connect it you'll be ready to go in a couple of minutes -- to repair or restore the internal drive. You can't do that with Time Machine.
You partly can. You are correct you can't boot and operate the computer from a TM backup, but since 10.7.2 you can boot from a Time Machine drive and use that to format a new drive and completely restore a system. The first TM backup creates a copy of the Recovery HD partition on the TM disk.
Weaselboy is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 2013, 03:37 PM   #7
inscrewtable
macrumors 6502a
 
inscrewtable's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Australia
What Fishrrman said is good advice.

With a dock it's easy to slip in another raw internal HDD to create a double back up.

Personally I use the voyager q because I wanted firewire as well as usb 3. It's a pretty solid unit and the best thing about external docks is that they are completely silent. The Voyager also uses the Oxford chipset which I believe is a good thing.

I also use SuperDuper to make a bootable clone I've never had the need to time machine I think it's a bit gimmicky but I'm sure that it has it's uses for some people. However I prefer the watertight security of a bootable clone.
__________________
2013 2.7GHz rMBP
iPod Touch 5th Gen,

Last edited by inscrewtable; Feb 20, 2013 at 03:54 PM.
inscrewtable is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 2013, 03:50 PM   #8
designs216
macrumors 65816
 
designs216's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Down the rabbit hole
I use the speedy Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro USB3 drive. Although quickness isn't a requirement for a backup drive, it gives the flexibility to use as a decent work drive if necessary.
designs216 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 23, 2013, 01:03 PM   #9
Dirtyharry50
Thread Starter
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: May 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weaselboy View Post
Many users here have the WD My Passport drives and they seem to work well. I have a 500GB version that has been trouble free. They are pretty reasonably priced also.
Thank you very much Weaselboy for the recommendation and helpful link. I just purchased it from there. Should be here on Tuesday.

Lots of good user feedback on this one from the Amazon site. I checked out the WD site and had no trouble finding the firmware update and Mac ML compatible utilities available for download as well.

It was only 75 bucks and since I have Amazon Prime I got free two day delivery.

Hopefully, I win.

Thanks a lot to everyone else too who took the time to reply. I appreciate it.
Dirtyharry50 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 23, 2013, 01:29 PM   #10
phoenixsan
macrumors 65816
 
phoenixsan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
I would go with....

WD, LaCie and Hitachi/Seagate, from first to last. I still own a 250 GB external WD., almost 4 years and no problem in all.

__________________
Mac Pro 2012 3.06 Westmere version, 12 Core 64 GB RAM, 4 TB , iPhone 5 (black), Moto G 8 GB (black)
phoenixsan is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Systems and Services > Mac Basics and Help

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
USB 2.0 drive good enough for backup satchmo Mac Peripherals 7 Feb 12, 2014 08:21 PM
Time Machine: Can it be set to only backup a USB drive? dmk1974 Mac Basics and Help 8 May 26, 2013 03:20 PM
Recommendations for USB 3 hub, and 32 GB flash drive? uncleMonty Mac mini 2 Jan 8, 2013 01:32 AM
USB 3.0 - External Bluray drive & 3TB drive for backup nick2421 iMac 1 Oct 24, 2012 01:36 PM
External USB 3.0 SSD drive recommendations? benguild MacBook Pro 3 Oct 23, 2012 08:29 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:42 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC