Firewire Hard Drives and Tiger

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Jalexster, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. Jalexster macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    #1
    Ok, let me explain my situation. My iBook (800Mhz G4, 348MB RAM, AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth, Combo Drive)'s internal 40GB hard drive is running out. Plus, the whole system is running kinda like crap. I could reformat and reinstall, but with nothing to back up onto, I thought a better soloution would be to buy an Firewire Hard Drive, hook it up to my iBook and install Tiger on to that when it comes out.

    Now, I was going to get a LaCie 250GB Firewire HDD. The one designed by that design firm that I can't remember the name of, Porche Design or something. It's in a misshapen cube-like metalic case. Anyway, I have heard that LaCie's drives often have problems (burnt out bridge-board, failed HDDs, etc...). However, I have heard that many other brands of Firewire drives, EXCEPT LaCie's have firmware incompatabilities with Mac OS X.

    This leaves me in a bit of a pickle. What should I do? Take a risk with the LaCie drive that may screw up, or take a risk with anouther brand that may just plain not work.

    Or is there a better option? Are there any other brands that I can look into? Also, remember I am in Australia, so I can't order stuff from an overseas store. I was going to get the LaCie drive from Harvey Norman's or CitySoftware.
     
  2. e²Studios macrumors 68020

    e²Studios

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #2
    I have Two LaCie 250Gb Porsche Design Firewire drives and they have given me no issues. They also work well with OS X and havent given me any issues there, the only one thing thats happened is when i put them both right next to my new Mac Mini and it blocked the airport from seeing the WAP, but thats more my fault for placement error :p I love the drives and their performance, ive been pleased with them overall.

    Ed
     
  3. Jalexster thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    #3
    Well, that is encouraging. Thanks. I'd still like a few more opinions on the matter. Also, if the bridge board is burning out, can't I just stick some 90mm PC fans on it or something to keep it cool? (On the case vents I mean)
     
  4. e²Studios macrumors 68020

    e²Studios

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #4
    from what i can tell there would be no place to put the fan on the case, the drives are actually really small. They arent much wider than the standard HD width, they are slightly taller than a standard HD, and maybe a few inches longer than a standard HD. As far as cooling goes mine have been on 24/7 for nearly 2 years now and never have complained about it, they are also stakced on each other as LaCie says they can be. The case can get a little hot at times, but ive never had an issue with them overheating, i think LaCie and Porsche Design (http://www.porsche-design.com/deutsch_en.PorscheDesign?ActiveID=40032) have made this drive to really high standards not only in how nice they look, but also how well they operate, and if you were wondering yes its the same company that makes/designs the cars too :)
     
  5. bostonwhaler1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #5
    I have actually found La Cie drives to be among the most reliable in the industry. Back when I sold Macs, I happily recommended La Cie for any external HD needs, and never had a single complaint. I use them myself in a professional application and have been completely satisfied. I would however recommend the d2 series drives, due largely to the triple interface. Also, they come with the bracket to stand upright and as such occupy less desk space and offer better heat dissapation.

    Thumbs up for La Cie!
     
  6. Norouzi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #6
    Overall, I have to say I really like Lacie. I too sold a ton of them when I worked for an Apple Reseller, and can only remember one coming back. Now here at work I have a Lacie Big Disk 500GB D2 external drive and I have had to have it sent back for repairs 3 times, however they were very quick about it and the last time I sent it in was over 6 months ago and it's been working perfectly ever since. I also have a Lacie D2 CD burner at home that has been one of the best investments ever for my PowerMac.
     
  7. Jalexster thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    #7
    Ok. I'll save up a little more for a d2 model (AUS$100 or so for a d2 vs a Porsche Design). I thought they looked like they would operate a little better as well.

    Thanks for all your advice.
     
  8. newton213 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    #8
    Little late, but here's my 2 cents:

    That 250GB Lacie Porsche drive you're talking about is the same drive I'd had my eye on for two months a while back. Cheapest 250GB external drive w/Firewire I could find, and I'd only heard good things about Lacie. Even have an external Lacie Porsche CDRW drive, so I really like the style. Anyways, I could never find anywhere that had the Firewire model in stock, only the USB 2.0. Finally, I was about to give up and get the USB one when I saw a slick lil' Seagate external on sale at Comp USA. 300GB, Firewire, and it was only $20 more than the Lacie. I love it, I had OS X installed on it and it booted fine from there externally, but I would really recommend you keep OS X installed on the internal drive. Since your HD is already full you said, what you'd want to do is backup everything to the external drive once you buy it, all your documents, music, etc. Then w/your OS X install disc, do a wipe of your internal hard drive so it's totally erased, install OS X on there, and then have your system setup so you keep all your documents and apps and stuff on your external drive. I'm pretty sure that your internal drive is going to give you better performance than an external drive, but I guess it depends on what kinda drive is in your computer, the computer model, etc. ALSO, if you're planning on upgrading to Tiger, I'd recommend you wait to do all this stuff, whatever you decide on, until you buy Tiger. That way you're not going through all the trouble of another OS X install. Do it once and be done with it. Hope this helps!

    PS- If given the choice, I'd pick an external drive with a triple interface, so no matter what computer you have down the road, the drive will still be compatible. FireWire 400 & 800, and USB 2.0. And go for the biggest hard drive you can afford. 250GB seems huge when you're used to squeezing into 40GB, but you'll appreciate the space later on.
     
  9. Jalexster thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    #9
    A couple of things I forgot to mention.

    My internal drive's performance is flakey at best. Sometimes it just goes AWOL, and Hardware Test on the Hardware Test Disc, and Installer and Disk Utility on the Mac OS X install disc can't detect it. They just report no hard drives present. It shows up again a few hours later. I'm eager to get my data onto an external drive.

    Also, I'm planning to buy a Mac mini eventully. Now, they have really slow drives in them. The one I'm gonna get (LaCia Hard Drive Extreme Firewire 400 and 800 - 250GB. The one with an upright stand), is a 7200rpm drive, so I should get better performance than the internal drives in both the iBook and Mac mini.

    Also, I think I'll run a Firewire 800 to 400 cable between my iBook and the drive, that way I can jack my iPod into the Firewire 400 port on the back of the drive, and use it as a pass-through. Will that work?
     
  10. Platform macrumors 68030

    Platform

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    #10
    Yes do that the d2 drives are suppose to be very good and I have only heard good thing about them ;)
     
  11. newton213 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    #11
    I see what you're saying now. For your current setup, sounds like external with everything would be the way to go. With the mini though, hmmm. Because even though it's technically a faster drive, you're still limited by the speed of the interface. I'm not sure about the specifics, but it would seem to me that the internal bus would run faster than FireWire 400, which is what the mini supports. If you want to dig thru some tech. specs on Apple's website, I'd suggest that. And what you're talking about doing w/the ibook now, 800 - 400 cable, sounds like it SHOULD work. I'm pretty sure it would. Guess you don't know for sure until you try, but the most you'd be out is the cost of the cable, and one of those is handy to have lying around anyways. Good luck!
     

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