Suggestions for external harddrives

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by ThatGirl, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Can anyone tell me which brand of external hard drives would be the best to use for my iMacs?

    Someone picked up an iomega for me, but if I had been there, I never would have bought it. I have had nothing but trouble from iomega, and I am going to take that one back.

    What is the best brand? What should I look for? I have files that are larger than 4GB. Which harddrive will allow me to transfer those?

    Thank you.
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Northants, UK
    #2
    Make sure you buy a triple interface model.

    USB 2
    FireWire 400
    FireWire 800

    Best of both worlds, the USB means you can lug it anywhere and a FW 800 gives you a performance increase when you upgrade you Mac.
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Northants, UK
    #3
    And it goes without saying that you should buy the biggest you can afford.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    zelmo

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Mac since 7.5
    #4
    LaCie D2 drives rock.
     
  5. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #5
    LaCie D2 are our work faves... get the biggest one you can afford.

    They're expensive but worth every penny, will last you for years & years.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #6
    i'll second that! i adore mine, and it has never given me a moment of trouble ::knocks on wood::

    be sure to shop around, though. i got a pretty good deal on mine off amazon.com

    you might also keep an eye out on dealmac.com and consider getting a nice internal and then an enclosure for it. whatever you get, you're going to want at least a 7200 rpm model (i can't believe some people are still selling 5400 rpm externals) with a 8mb buffer if possible.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Thanks, everyone!

    What do I need to look for, to get one that will allow larger than 4GB files to transfer? I don't know what the designating initials or numbers mean. Thanks.
     
  8. macrumors member

    SasyBabe

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #8
    Do not buy a seagate... mine didnt work with my PB.. but did work with my PC.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    #9
    I like Other World Computing's "Mercury Elite Pro" series. They have streamlined, quiet cases, and have all three (USB, FW400, and FW800) connections on a single drive.
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #10
    GB = Gigabytes: size, pretty obvious
    RPM = Revolutions Per Minute: Higher # means faster spin which means you can access the data faster.
    8Mb Cache = This is how much data is able to be stored in the HD queue - 8 is a good number and is standard on most newer drives.

    In short any drive will hold your files, though LaCie drives seem to get a lot of positive publicity on these forums. Make sure you get a drive that has enough space (I would say that 120-160 GB should do you fine--but I dont know how many files you have). As combatcolin said, make sure you get a triple interface. It will definitely help speed up the process by using the fastest connection possible.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #11
    Thank you. So the 8mb cache designates that more than 4GB can be transferred at a time? I just want to be sure I understand before I start looking.

    Thanks!
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #12
    Thats my understanding according to this

    Whatis.com is a good source of computer and computer-related terms, if you ever want to look up the meaning of something else. :)
     
  13. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #13
    Thanks!
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Solafaa

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    #14
    I have the LaCie and i like it, its very good and fast. I hace a 300GB modle and it get filled up pretty fast so the more you can afford the better.
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #15
    I've had a series of LaCie drives, and they've all been great. I haven't had problems with any of them - just bought a 500Gb d2 for video editing!

    Look out for the larger ones (1Tb...) as they have a cooling fan on them, and I've heard a few people saying that they're quite loud.
     
  16. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #16
    The cache has nothing to do with how much data you can copy... don't worry. When you plug it in, it acts just as another hard-drive although you may need to re-format it.

    You'll be able to back up your dvd project, no probs.
     
  17. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #17
    It probably wasn't formatted properly.

    Generally, all drives are more or less the same and if correctly configured will run on any kind of computer.
     
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    #18
    Someone on these boards said to avoid the LaCie Porsche drives... I asked why and got no reponse. Is there any truth behind this? I've had my eye on the 200gig for a while now.
     
  19. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #19
    I think the Porsche drives have flimsier plastic cases and some people have had heating problems... but don't quote me on that.

    Get the d2, they're sound.
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #20
    Damn, the lunatics are running the asylum around here. People, if you don't know the answer, don't post your wild-ass guesses and lead people astray.

    1. Cache has nothing to do with the maximum size of files you can transfer to the drive.
    2. The drive itself has nothing to do with the maximum size of files you can transfer to the drive.

    That's right, every firewire drive will allow files larger than 4GB. The secret? You need to format the disk as HFS+, not FAT32. Unfortunately using HFS+ limits you to using the drive on Macs (for the most part.) The FAT32 filesystem, while convenient and usable on Macs and PC's, can only handle files up to 4GB in size.

    The filesystem, not anything about the drive itself, is the limiting constraint on filesize.
     
  21. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #21
    1) Cash doesn't have to do with the size, but does have a little to do with the speed.

    2) Actually, it does... you cant put more on a drive than there is free space to hold it... While you are correct about the filesystem, it dosnt matter what FS you use if there isnt space on the drive... that's all I ever said.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #22
    I appreciate all the information, but I don't know how to reformat the drive. I used to be able to do all of this stuff with the old Mac systems. I've been using them since the desktop Mac that had no harddrive at all! Ever since I moved on to the iMacs, everything seems a little harder to accomplish. For instance, whatever happened to "rebuilding the desktop"? I know I sound ancient...well, I am. Anyway, I'm trying to move into the new generation of Macs. Just need a little help getting there!

    Thanks.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #23
    Since you didn't find the drive in Apple System Profiler and in Disk Utils (I'm remeber right, don't I?), then its not a formatting problem.
     
  24. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #24
    Rebuilding the desktop has gone, thank god!

    I recommend this book... OSX: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

    Use DiskUtility to reformat the drive. It's in Applications>Utilities.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2002
    #25
    OWC Elite Drives

    I'm not sure what computer the parent poster has, but I saw OWC drives mentioned earlier. A note on OWC Mercury Elite drives -- if you have an older mac, buyer beware. They look nice and are quiet, but compatibility is not as good as LaCie and other drives. We experieced consistent problems (like, everytime we used it) with the 800 series drive locking up while writing to the drive, data disappearing, and soft crashes where no drive could be accessed. The tech "help" offered was this was a synching issue between the internal and external drive and we would need to slow down the external drive so that it would be in synch with the internal drive using the included hard drive tools. Not what I'd call an acceptable solution, but whatever.

    Unfortunately, the Intech Hard Drive tools that come with the drive are poor as well. They definitely were/are not fully committed to OS X. If you have a problem, some features (like the one needed for tweaking the drive speed, ha ha) are only available on the OS 9 version of the software. If you've ditched Classic, as many have, this is completely and utterly useless.

    Ultimately, even though the problem was clearly with the drive being incompatible with specific computers which their product page stated would be compatible, and the only "fix" was to cripple the drive, we got sacked with the 15% restocking fee. They worked fine with our newer macs in the short time we had them, but who knows if they would have experienced similar problems if we kept them.
     

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