Time to buy an external HD

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Lyle, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #1
    I need to invest in an external HD for my MacBook (which has a 100Gb drive). The main purpose at this point is for backups (i.e. I want to have a bootable backup drive). At this time I don't have a digital video camera, or a large music collection, or any of the typical things that tend to consume hard drive space.

    This drive (a 120Gb Seagate, price $62.99 plus shipping) looks like a winner for my purposes. My primary concern is this: Should I be looking for a larger capacity drive (e.g. this model, a 320Gb drive)?

    P.S. Probably going to pair it with this enclosure (the MacAlly FW400+USB combo). If you have an opinion about that choice, I'd like to hear it as well. ;)
     
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Thumbs up on your seagate disk & enclosure choices.

    Personally, I'd gamble on the future and shoot for a larger hard drive, myself. But I can't seem to find anything solidly supporting that the enclosure works with large hard drives other than this statement on the manufacturer's website: "Designed to be used with all 3.5" IDE hard disks". Does "all" mean "all"?
     
  3. Lyle thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #3
    Yes, I'm debating that as well.

    Question: If I were to buy a larger external drive, and partition it appropriately, am I correct that I could clone my internal hard drive into a 100Gb-sized partition, and then have the remaining space on the external drive for, you know, whatever?

    On this page from the manufacturer's web site, they say "Supports any capacity 3.5" ATA Hard Drives." So I think that's a yes.
     
  4. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Absolutely.

    Clearly I didn't look too hard. Lazy. :)

    But this confirms that you should get a larger hard drive. :)
     
  5. Lyle thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    Madison, Alabama
    #5
    Sounds good! Thanks for the advice.
     
  6. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #6
    You could also try getting an external HD usb/firewire enclosure- where you put in your own internal HD into the external case. It's cheaper and you can always change out the HD in the future if you wanted. I have one and its awesome.

    Try this search to get started
     
  7. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Oct 21, 2003
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    Portland, OR
    #7
    LOL. Just read the thread's title, huh? ;)
     
  8. jrober macrumors regular

    jrober

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Heathfield, UK
    #8
    I agree with the last poster, I didn't start with an enclosure, instead went for the Iomega MiniMax 250gb. Does the business as a backup and the extra firewire and usb ports are useful when my laptop needs to be on the desk with the screen.

    John
     
  9. Lyle thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #9
    Well, that's what I thought I was doing. :confused:

    The Seagate drive is a 3.5" internal drive (I ended up ordering a 200Gb model, by the way) that I will install into the MacAlly enclosure that I mentioned.

    Like you mentioned, if I do end up "outgrowing" the 200Gb drive, I can always just upgrade that piece and re-use the existing enclosure.
     
  10. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Portland, OR
  11. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #12
    Maybe a bit late, but the Enermax Laureate is a dual SATA/IDE external enclosure with USB2.0 (not FW400, alas). It means you can move to SATA drives in the future.
     
  12. CNU182 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
  13. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    California
    #14

    Im a retard. Excuse me while I go back to my confused world.
     
  14. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #15
    Reliability, reliability, reliability...

    oh, & get a larger drive

    the GB/$ ratio gets better as the drive gets larger

    plan for growth, would suck to have to buy a 2nd one later
     
  15. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

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    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #16
    The lack of FW wouldn't be very good considering he's going to use it as a backup device. USB = no good for that sort of thing.
     
  16. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #17
    Eh? Why is USB no good for backup? He's got a Macbook (USB2.0).
     
  17. Lyle thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #18
    I want to be able to boot up from an external drive, if need be. It is my understanding that that option's only available for Firewire drives.

    If I was merely using the external drive for backup copies of files, or extra storage, then yes, USB would work.
     
  18. Lyle thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #19
    Success!

    The hard drive (a 200Gb Seagate drive) and enclosure (from MacAlly) arrived today. The hard drive was an OEM part, so it didn't come with cables, or documentation, or anything -- just the bare drive. That was a little disconcerting, but it turned out to be no big deal. The MacAlly enclosure, in contrast, was a full "retail kit", which came in a box with Firewire and USB cables, etc. -- everything you'd need.

    From the time I got all the parts out of their boxes, it took me maybe ten minutes before I'd installed the hard drive in the enclosure and was up and running. Not difficult at all.

    I plugged in the new drive and used the Mac OS X Disk Utility to partition it into two partitions: an 80Gb partition for the backup, and the remainder as "data". Formatted both partitions.

    Next, I downloaded Super Duper! (based on numerous recommendations) and used that to do a full backup. It took a little over an hour. (I will probably purchase a license for Super Duper so that I don't have to do a full backup each time.) Once it was done, I rebooted to make sure that I could indeed boot from the external drive (which was the whole point). It worked fine, although it is noticeably slower to boot from the external drive.

    So, I now have a backup solution and I can sleep soundly at night. The total expense was about $135, including shipping. I don't know that I really saved any money doing it this way, but it was a fun little project.
     
  19. kaboutertje macrumors regular

    kaboutertje

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #20
    Glad you can finally sleep now :). I still got a normal pc with a 250gig hard drive in it which I use for a gaming machine atm.
    I'm thinking of buying a macbook though and selling my normal pc, I would need a external hard drive though. (with the biggeste macbook hd being 120gig)

    I want it to be:
    - Small
    - Silent
    - ok looking
    - At least 250gig

    Right now I found these
    Toshiba 32g (on the right compared to a lacie d2)
    €150
    320gig
    7200rpm
    [​IMG]

    Western digital mybook essential
    €109 250gig
    €140 320gig
    7200rpm 16mb
    [​IMG]

    Lacie hard drive usb porsche
    €119
    250gig
    7200rpm
    [​IMG]

    I think I'm going for the WD mybook 320gig, the design is ok the size is good it's fast and from what I heard not that noisy. But for people that are in the market for a budget external hard disk I hope this can be of use to you.
     
  20. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #21
    Glad to hear you can sleep comfortably. However, did you ever think if you God forbid had a fire and lost your mac and hard drive? Do you have copies of your important docs, pics, etc. stored off-site? Just something many don't think about- until it is too late that is.

    I think I will buy one of those you ordered- sounds like a real deal and a great way to not only back up but have additional HD space if needed.
     
  21. Lyle thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #22
    Most (but perhaps not all) of the important files are backed up on a drive at work as well. They're just copies, not a bootable backup like the drive I just bought, but it offers some additional protection. But you make a good point.

    By the way, I did my second backup tonight, this time using SuperDuper's "Smart Update" option, and it only took about 15 minutes (as opposed to the full backup last week which took a little over one hour).
     

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