External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by solafekxela, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. solafekxela macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    #1
    Hey, I'll be buying the 20' iMac in January and need an external hard drive to hook up to my wireless router mostly for backup purposes. It needs to be at least 250 GB and I would prefer not to spend more than $150. Any suggestions?
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Andover, MA
    #2
    I highly recommend a Firewire drive (as opposed to USB 2.0). LaCie makes some good ones, and you can also buy an external enclosure (like this) and insert a hard drive (like this) into it (trivially easy).
     
  3. alexstein macrumors 6502a

    alexstein

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    #3
    Are you looking for a network drive? ..or just an external drive to hook up via FW or USB2?
     
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #4
    Good catch... it seems like he wants a network drive. I misread the post.
     
  5. Steveo macrumors newbie

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    Dec 23, 2006
    #5
    250GB OWC Mercury Elite-AL 800 Pro

    OWC's Aluminum-case external drives are hands down the best drives you'll find. this one's FW800/400, $160, has a seagate barracuda inside, and is cheaper and far more reliable than anything Lacie makes.

    OWC is the only mac store I ever buy from.

    I reccommend springing an extra hundred for the Two-drive striped model, I'm in love with mine.
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    So ignoring the continued discussion of solutions to a different problem than the OP has.... ;)

    Is there a list anywhere of NAS's that support native OS X formatting or else at least have POSIX compliance?
     
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #7
    As of right now, Lacie has a 250GB network drive, compatible with OS X, refurbed for $99.

    Bingo. Even if it's not POSIX-compliant (dunno), one should be able to backup files to it and/or create a backup disk image on it. I don't think you'll find much else under $150.
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #8
    Wow, that pricing is outstanding!
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #9
    It's worth noting, though, that it's only 100Mbps, not gigabit. Common problem with lower-end network drives, but, still, for $99? Hell of a deal.
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #10
    And 100Mbps isn't a real issue if you're stuck with 802.11g and 54Mbps. ;)

    B
     
  11. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #11
    Good point... although I'd hate to think of backing up 250GB over a wireless connection! :)
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #12
    I read through the docs, and noted one other caveat:

    The drive is by default formatted in FAT32. Meaning it cannot handle large (>2GB) files.

    The alternative is to format it in EXT3, which is a perfectly good journaled Linux FS. However, once you do so, Lacie claims you can no longer use it via USB (although I wonder what happens if you install Mac EXT support?).
     
  13. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #13
    Ah. Doesn't sound very different than the Linksys NSLU2... However, there are third party firmwares for the NSLU2 that allow you to use other file systems, including HFS+...

    FWIW the file limitation in FAT32 is just under 4GB not 2 GB. As jsw points out the OP's not going to have too much fun if they want to transfer so much data over wireless.

    B
     
  14. tuartboy macrumors 6502a

    tuartboy

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    May 10, 2005
    #14
    I see these external HD questions being posted quite frequently and it makes me think someone with the motivation and time should make an external HD guide that covers the topic thoroughly and the mods should sticky it. It's brought up enough that I feel it might be warranted.
     
  15. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000

    CaptainCaveMann

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    Oct 5, 2004
    #15
    I would recomend the MyBook external HD from Western Digital. I have one and it works great! :D
     
  16. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #16
    Ahhh, I knew that, but so many tech specs say 2GB anyway that I keep getting this confused! :eek:

    The thing is that EXT3 is just peachy... it has POSIX, it has a journal, it has other relatively modern features. But you lose the USB compatibility.

    And agreed, I do also think there should be a guide about this. I'm not sure I'm industrious enough though. :eek:
     
  17. solafekxela thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 1, 2005
    #17
    clarification

    I had originally planned to hook the drive up to my Linksys 802.11g router, but it seems like it would be better only to hook it up to my iMac. The main reason I wanted it on the network was for transferring and sharing data between the two computers (the other being a Dell). What do you think the best way to do that is, if I decided not to hook it up to the router?
     
  18. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #18
    If either computer is / can be on 100% of the time, then the best solution in terms of functionality (issues of power consumption, etc, aside) is to have the drive sit via FW on one of the two computers, formatted natively (probably MacHFS+ on the Mac is better than NTFS on the Windows computer) and then share the drive across the network. When a computer is serving the drive, all the filesystem compatibility issues go out the window.
     
  19. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #19
    There are no Network Attached Storage devices that format their disks with Mac HFS+ (Mac OS Extended). All of these devices are a tiny Linux embedded server, with an Etherenet port and a drive. The drive will be formatted to whatever native format the embedded server supports, this is not changeable and *may* impose maximum filesize limitations. Other than video projects, however, you are unlikely to have a single file larger than 2 Gb (or 4 Gb whichever is operative) *except* if you are doing Retrospect backups that are configured to save as a single large data file. Then you will run into problems sooner or later. The workaround is to split your backup job into smaller pieces by specifying sub-volumes, and backing those up to different Sets.

    The Network drive's data is SERVED out to the network as either a SMB share, or very occasionally, an AFP share. In my experience, the companies who emulate AFP do a poor and buggy job of it. So you will address the drive as a SMB network share (which is the conventional way of dealing with network servers), and which has some limitations of filenaming compared with native OSX.

    If you want
     
  20. dr427 macrumors regular

    dr427

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    Oct 13, 2005
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    Oklahoma City
    #20
    Another agreement here! The guides is the first place I looked.

    Maybe do a poll?:confused:
     

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