Need Help With New External Hard Drive!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SumoFisherman, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. SumoFisherman macrumors newbie

    SumoFisherman

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    Santa FE, NM
    #1
    OK, first time poster and feeling a little stupid. I'm on a iMac G3 500MHz running on OSX 10.3.9 (also have OS9 classic-rarely used). I just installed a Western Digital 250GB USB2 external. I have a few questions on what to do next:
    1: Do I have to partition the drive into smaller GB's?
    2: Which files should I transfer (Applications, photo programs, iTunes,
    etc.)?
    3: I have new software for a digital camera (including a RAW file
    converter) that needs a ton of memory, can I install that directly
    to the EHD and how?
    4: The EHD came with some Google software on it that supposely
    will not work with Mac, do I trash it or keep it?
    5: Generaly, how do I optimize the performance of my iMac with this
    new drive?
    Installing this was a suggestion from my brother because of memory issues left on my iMac (System Profile says I have 128MB SDRAM and 10.69 out of 19.08GB on the Mac HD available). Any help from all you Mac savy's would be greatly apprieciated!
    The Sumo::confused:
     
  2. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #2
    well the External hard drive will be best used for storage.
    i don't believe that your iMac G3 has USB 2.0 so the transfer speeds are gong to be limited to 1.0 - not the greatest, but will work for the most part.

    i wouldn't use it for your applications, but your iTunes files, documents and the like should be easily stored on it with no problem.
     
  3. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #3
    1. no you don't have to partition it, although it's probably formatted as FAT32 (MS-DOS) so that Macs and Windows can both use it - you are probably best off reformatting it (using Disk Utility) to Mac OS Extended if you don't intend to use it to transfer files to Windows users.

    2. Generally speaking, you can transfer apps to the external, but i'd stick to the stuff in your Documents, Pictures and Music folders (if you move them wholesale onto the EHD, put aliases to the new locations where the old folders were, with the same names, and iTunes etc should find them automatically). Some apps (like Photoshop) have a "scratch disk" preference that you can set to the EHD, which will save a lot of local HD space when you have them open and are working on large files.

    3. You can install apps onto the EHD, you can move all your apps onto it for that matter. Not sure of the pros/cons in detail - it's not something i'd do myself, but more out of suspicion that it's not right than any real knowledge.

    4. If it doesn't work with the Mac, I'd trash it (although reformatting the drive will get rid of anyway).

    5. The EHD will help somewhat with clearing enough space on your internal to make OSX happier (it likes to have 8GB free to play in if it can), which will help. Beyond that it won't add to your system's performance much. If you are able, look at upping the RAM (it should take 2x512 max), or if you're game (it's not difficult just a little frightening), replacing the internal drive with a larger, faster one (not too large - it won't see anything over 137GB).

    As PoD mentioned, the USB1 issue may be a problem. If it's still possible to do so, you might also consider swapping the EHD you have for one that has a Firewire port (i presume the iMAc 500 has Firewire?) or a combo Firewire/USB2, which will be a lot faster than USB1. Using the drive for a scratch disk or apps is probably not sensible under USB1.
     
  4. SumoFisherman thread starter macrumors newbie

    SumoFisherman

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    Santa FE, NM
    #4
    Thanks

    Hey, thanks to the both of you! I'll see what I can do with this thing. As far as the USB goes, I think it says it's capable speed is 12Mb/sec. I don't know if that is USB1 or what. But I do have a USB2.0 hub on there...which I guess won't make a difference if I have it plugged into the USB1. I do have a FireWire Bus, if things just go painfully slow I'll just have to switch it out.
    Thanks Again!
    The Sumo:cool:
     
  5. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #5
    if you have a FW port and your External Drive is capable of FW. by all means use it. trust me on that. USB 1.1 will crawl in comparison to FW 400.
     
  6. SumoFisherman thread starter macrumors newbie

    SumoFisherman

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    Santa FE, NM
    #6
    Usb

    Thanks again, unfortunatly this EHD is just USB2.0 no FW. I might just get another EHD that is and just use this one for minor storage. Is there any way to switch out my USB1.0 hub for a 2.0? I'm just going to have to play around with this thing. Also, should I back up everything that is going to a EHD on disks? I heard these drives sometimes crash. Hey, thanks again for the advise!
    The Sumo...:cool:
     
  7. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #7
  8. SumoFisherman thread starter macrumors newbie

    SumoFisherman

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    Santa FE, NM
    #8
    I'll give that a try trainguy. Thanks for the link!
    The Sumo
     
  9. SumoFisherman thread starter macrumors newbie

    SumoFisherman

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    Santa FE, NM
    #9
    Thanks

    Hey, thanks everyone for the help! I went out and got a WD320 EHD (Dual, w/FireWire connection). I also have a 512 stick on its way, (Had to order one because it's imposible to find here in town. Everyone said they are too old?). Thanks again!
    The Sumo:D
     

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