External Hard Drive recommendations

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by muflyer, Sep 30, 2006.

  1. muflyer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #1
    I am looking to acquire an External HD for backing up my iMac and also for storing, accessing and playing videos, songs, etc. I think I'm probably in the range for a 250GB one with both Firewire (400) and USB 2.0. Does anyone have any recommendations for the best brand and seller? As I will primarily be using this for video, does anyone know how an External HD compares to the internal HD for response time and usability with apps like iMovie, etc.?
     
  2. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #2
    Check out OWC's offering - good stuff.

    If you want fast, you want one with FW800, but your machine does not support it.

    FW400 will have to do.
     
  3. Temujin macrumors 6502a

    Temujin

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    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    #3
    I have a Lacie triple interface drive (firewire 400/800, usb2) which I'm very pleased with. My next external will be a Lacie too.

    Works great with iMovie and FCP, no problems with speed at all.
     
  4. sturigdson macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    #4
    I'll chime in and say that OWC is great, and that the Lacie drives [porsche, D2, and big disk triple interface] have all proven very reliable for me.

    I have one 250 GB that I've partitioned into various startup drives that are backups of each of our home computers. I back them up to their own partitions once a month- if they go down, I've got one drive that's ready to bring them back up. If you got a 250 or larger, you could have one partition that's just a bootable backup for use in emergencies, and one that's for data.

    Speed's good on mine, which are all FW400. Good for movies, FCP, data, music.
     
  5. muflyer thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 14, 2006
    #5
    Thanks everyone. Can I use the same external HD for both a Mac and PC and if so, is there a special way I have to partition that?
     
  6. plinkoman macrumors 65816

    plinkoman

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    Jul 2, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    yea, if you format it as fat32, it will be readable/writeable by both mac and windows.
     
  7. muflyer thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 14, 2006
    #7
    By doing so, will I limit there be a limit to the size I can set aside for each?
     
  8. plinkoman macrumors 65816

    plinkoman

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    Jul 2, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #8
    do you want separate partitions for each, or do you want just one partition accessible by both?

    In any case, you can make partitions any size you want; the only limitation of fat32 is that no single file can be over ~4GB
     
  9. macman2790 macrumors 6502a

    macman2790

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    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    can someone suggest a good portable external hard drive
     
  10. muflyer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #10
    Actually, I would probably be looking to backup my iMac HD (with the ability to boot from the external); backup my PC HD (also bootable) and then have a place for movie projects, photos etc. as well. Ideally, I would like to have it accessible by both the PC and the Mac, but I worry the 4GB limit may be prohibitive for movie files. Thanks for your assistance.
     
  11. seany916 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #11
    G-Technology

    I have a 250GB external from G-tech and love it. I did a lot of research and spoke with a lot of people. No offense to the people that run LaCie, but I heard more horror stories about them than any other company (though that might be due to the popularity of LaCie drives, more sold=more problems). the one company I heard the least problems with was G-tech. Kinda pricey, but I figure reliability is worth more than anything else. I use it primarily for editing video. I have some important info on it for easy access on another computer, but I primarily archive my really important stuff onto DVD (2 copies in different places). Regardless of what eHD you decide, don't worry about price. Reliability is most important. If your eHD crashes, you'll be crying.

    Running it now. No problems yet. I've got the FW800 version which comes with 1 FW400. You can save a few bucks by getting the FW400 one that comes with USB2.0. My girlfriend will be getting that one soon. She likes the Firelite tiny ones, but I think they're stupid for what you pay. I'd rather just get an 80GB video iPod and get double use for my money.
     
  12. Karpfish macrumors 6502a

    Karpfish

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    #12
    I suggest you get 2 HD's. One for Mac, one for PC.
     
  13. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #13
    The best, and cheapest, solution is to buy an internal drive and a separate enclosure. Use Seagate for the drive, and find an enclosure that has received good reviews. I usually hawk the deals on newegg.com when I am looking for new drives.
     
  14. Temujin macrumors 6502a

    Temujin

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    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    #14
    Take a look at Macdrive. It will enable your Windows PC to read and write to and from any Mac formatted partition.

    I use it and love it.
     
  15. rafifreak00 macrumors regular

    rafifreak00

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    Aug 7, 2006
    Location:
    Kansas. No, not on a farm.
    #15
    MacMall.com is having a huge blowout sale on external hard drives from all the top brands- Western Digital, Fantom, LaCie..

    This Fantom 250GB FireWire / USB 2.0 External Hard Drive is quite a deal, and you'd be crazy to pass that up.

    Hope that helps!
     
  16. drlunanerd macrumors 65816

    drlunanerd

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    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    I cannot recommend these. OWC have now sent me 2 faulty orders of these cases (3 faulty - the expensive quad interface ones), and frankly their customer service blows chunks. Very disappointing.
     
  17. tuartboy macrumors 6502a

    tuartboy

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    #17
    If you can, I recommend formatting all externals HFS+. I have used a lot of FAT32 externals and the CPU utilization on my G4 PB goes way up (like %50), especially on USB externals. With HFS+ on FW400 I notice no noticeable increase in CPU utilization when in use.

    As for speed, my FW external 3.5" outperforms my internal 2.5" on my PB. I have my aperture and iPhoto libraries moved over to it for the speed boost.
     
  18. cuestakid macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    San Fran
    #18
    western digital has a series of external drives known as the My Book-there are three levels with the only difference being that the Pro version has FW800 and the others dont

    here is a link with a comparasion to all three
    http://www.wdmybook.com/en/features/sidebyside.asp
     
  19. achie25 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    #19
    Is that easy to do?
    I am looking into getting my first external drive to use to backup my G4 PB and to store videos that I will use with Final Cut Express. I have never done a backup and so I am new to all of this. I would like to keep my music, videos, and photos on the drive as well. So far I am leaning towards the MYBOOK Premium or Pro. I would like the triple interface with the FW800 so that is tempting.

    Any thoughts.
     
  20. primalman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    at the end of the hall
    #20
    I will say that while things can happen with any company, this is not indicative of the OWC experience. I have been buying things from them since about 1998, around $15,000 worth of stuff. I have had exactly 2 RAM sticks flake out, out of about 90 or so, and no cases, external drives or even bare hard drives. Their customer service has always taken care of me. Get to know them, make friends. They will treat you right.

    I almost always recommend OWC to people looking for drives and memory.

    To the poster who was looking for a portable sized drive, look on OWC. Complete solutions or roll your own portable and desktop sizes.
     
  21. tuartboy macrumors 6502a

    tuartboy

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    #22
    It's a breeze. Hook up your drive and head into Disk Utility. Select your drive, click the Erase tab and format your drive using Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and when that's done, you will be set.

    Another benefit I found doing this is a huge decrease in mount time. The same for iPods. If you have your iPod formated for windows (which works on both platforms) your mount time will be rather slow. Formatting drives for Mac will make mount times a few seconds instead of like 45.

    Edit: don't format your iPod with Disk Utility. Use the iPod pane in iTunes 7.
     
  22. kgarchar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    #23

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