A Hard drive for time machine

Discussion in 'iMac' started by PaulCostello, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. PaulCostello macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    #1
    I'm still getting used to the iMac world. but man, is it great!
    I wanna get a hard drive to begin using time machine. Any recommendations on a 500gb, cheap and dependable hard drive?? My only use for the drive would be time machine. thx guys
     
  2. Drew017 macrumors 65816

    Drew017

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    East coast, USA
    #2
    First of all, let me welcome you to the world of Mac OS X!
    In answer to your post...
    Time Capsules from Apple are the best option, but not the cheapest.
    http://www.apple.com/timecapsule/

    OR you could make a partition on your internal hard drive (It's like creating a virtual second drive) and store your backups there.
    http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/partitioning_tiger.html

    Some more drives...
    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/mac_accessories/storage

    Hope this helps!

    PS- you can ALWAYS check eBay/ Amazon as well!
     
  3. Hirakata macrumors 6502

    Hirakata

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    #3
    I have to respectfully disagree with the above poster.

    Time Capsule is too expensive for what you're looking for.

    What use will a separate partition be if your HDD dies?

    Those drives on Apple's website are way too expensive. Just go to Amazon and order a 500 GB HDD. USB drives should be between $70 and $90.
     
  4. Drew017 macrumors 65816

    Drew017

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    East coast, USA
    #4
    I respectively agree with you. The OP asked for the best option. I also did say something about the price. I, too would never pay that much!
     
  5. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #5
    I agree TC is way to expensive for a simple TM backup solution. Also a good rule of thumb especially with TM is to get a HD that is double the size of your internal HD.
     
  6. Hirakata macrumors 6502

    Hirakata

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    #6
    I actually use a drive that is half the size of the internal and it works out fine. My backups go back over six months.
     
  7. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #7
    Any external USB, FireWire or Thunderbolt drive will work, even the cheapest one.

    It's only with networking solutions that Time Machine is picky.
     
  8. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #8
    When doing backups, I prefer time machine plus a separate drive with a bootable clone (superDuper or CCC). Time machine takes time to rebuild the disk in case of failure, while a bootable clone is back up in minutes.
     
  9. lc25 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    #9
    I have a 2Tb seagate USB drive which i paid £79 for in the sale and works a charm. Pretty much any drive bigger than your internal drive will do the job fine just go for one with a good warrenty to cost ratio.
     
  10. penguy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #10
    I would look at it a little differently...and for the OP, this may not be an issue, but keep in mind that TC is a base station + HDD. In my case, my service provider has given me a crappy base station...I need something that has better range and is more reliable...decent base stations run $100-180 (apple airport extreme). so, for the delta $100-180, you are getting a 2 TB server grade HDD. I haven't found one in that price range...even the high end is competitive...but, it depends on your needs...if you don't need the base station, than yes, I agree, it is too much...though an external drive from OWC (Mercury Elite) $200-240 depending on the interface you want
     
  11. lexvo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #11
    The easiest solution is an USB-HDD, any brand will do.
    I myself am using a Western Digital for over 2 years now without any problem.
     
  12. zulkiflim macrumors regular

    zulkiflim

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    Singapore
    #12
    Heya

    If you are serious about saving your data then a NAS is the way to go.

    Time capsule is great and all but is fooling to rely on a single hardisk drive.
    Get a Qnap or Synology dual bay drive.

    That will ensure you will at least have only 1 HD fail in raid 5 /10 config.

    Personally i am using a 4 Bay 8 TB drive in raid 5 as a backup ( time machine) and store all my media files.
    And it works great.
    And using the Airport extreme as the swither.
     
  13. frank4, Apr 8, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012

    frank4 macrumors regular

    frank4

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #13
    I just got the "WD Elements" 3TB drive at a good price and it seems to work fine for Time Machine backups. Unlike many external drives this one doesn't have any backup software on the HD but that's OK since Time Machine (maybe plus manual backups) are what I will do.

    The drive connection is only USB2 but that's all I need for now, and later I might remove the actual HD from the Elements box and put it in a "drive dock" that has faster ports like USB3 and eventually maybe Thunderbolt.

    The WD drive can be written at about 26 MB/sec (1.5 GB/minute), it has a 3.5" drive probably 5400 rpm. It's quiet and only got slightly warm after several hours of the initial 300GB backup by TM.

    Although it's relatively big at 3TB considering my Mac Mini HD is only a half a TB (500 GB), I figured I'd eventually be putting a bigger HD in the Mini, and it was only a little more expensive than 1 and 2 TB drives.

    I poked around the files that TM puts on the external drive, and they're in unmodified form so are useable as is, I thought they would be compressed but not so. That means the user can grab or access the backup files using Finder instead of using the TM app window, if desired.
     
  14. Unkei macrumors member

    Unkei

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    #14
    Passport!

    Yep!
    Get a Passport portable hard drive. The same drives work with pc or mac and prices are very reasonable. I have two, one on a PC, one on a iMac.Though they come with some, no software is needed to use the. They are basically PlugnPlay!
    I don't think you'll be sorry.
    Unkei
     
  15. Spike88, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012

    Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #15
    For a desktop iMac (compared to a portable laptop), I can vouch that a FW800 port attached "My Book Studio" external HDD drive works great. For internal 500 MB drive, I'd recommend a minumum 1TB or even 2 TB exernal drive (for many historicals of same changed files).

    Surf:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmvLVmwjT18
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpW48_RW9e0

    These can be bought from many different physical and/or online computer stores. Do shop around because prices for exact same product does vary.

    Note: External attached HDDs are in KISS (Keep it Simple) grouping. And, they are low cost for Time Machine. And being FW800, they are faster data transfer compared to USB 2.0 HDDs as well...
     
  16. PaulCostello thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    #16
    Thx guys for all the great replys! I still didn't get an external drive, because I have one final question. What I wanna do (not sure if this is possible or not) is buy a large external drive, maybe 2 or 3 TB. Partition 1 TB to be devoted to time machine, then partition the rest of the drive for pics, videos, etc. Can i do that? Partition the drive into two separate drives, use 1st partition exclusively for time machine and use the second partition simultaneously for loading my pics and videos. is this even possible? Is anyone out there using this set up?
    Again, thanks for the feedback, it is most appreciated!
     
  17. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #17
    As stated above (multiple times?) any drive with a compatible connection will work.

    Connection-wise FireWire is way faster than USB, but more expensive.
     
  18. Adz76 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Location:
    Dagobah System
    #18
    Yep thats no problem. I highly advise you lay out a little extra for the FW800. Thunderbolt is still a bit pricy and if you want to hook up several USB devices a FW drive can run in the background and leave all USBs available. I bought a WD studio with quad interface ( FW 400, 800 USB & eSata ) Open disk utilty and delete the drive , then create 2 volumes, one in FAT32 if you want to hook up the drive to PCs and PS3 etc for your media the other volume for timemachine is OS Journaled case sensitive. By default I believe when a drive is used for TM it tries to use the entirety of that drive for back up.
    The only issue is you will be using your drive more by accessing 2 volumes, in an ideal world 1 backup is never enough. If you get stuck just Google "creating multiple volumes in disk utility". Oh and be CAREFULL in disk utlity. If you dont have backups its easy to have a "for f*cks sake moment". I should know!
     
  19. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #19
    Paul,

    As a rule of thumb it is a VERY poor idea to use the same physical drive for backup as you do for storage. A backup HD should ONLY be used for just that, backup! The reason being is if you use the same physical drive and it crashes (and they all eventually do) you will have lost not only your data but the backup for it too which defeats the whole idea of backing up.

    However back to your original question I'd recommend an OWC Mercury Elite Pro drive for it's quality, connections and speed. For the TM drive get a USB/FW400 model, a 500GB drive is only $129.00. I would use the USB connection. However for the data drive at the minimum get a Firewire drive or even better Firewire 800 both for the speed the provide over USB. You can find these at OWC's site at www.macsales.com
     
  20. Unkei macrumors member

    Unkei

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    #20
    SORRY!
    Unkei
     
  21. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #21
    I would push to have more than one backup drive. I currently rotate 2 external HDDs as SuperDuper clones, plus one additional external clone that I keep in the basement in a fireproof box and use that once a month.

    I don't like the idea of depending on just one external HDD.
     
  22. Atomic Ed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    #22
    I was in the same situation as you in looking for a time machine drive for my new imac.

    I did quite a bit of looking afound and ended up deciding on the WD My Bokk Studio 2 Terabyte model with firewire. I picked it up at bestbuy for $159.99 and it works awesome and the chasis is also made of aluminum like the imac, it matches wonderfully sitting on the desk.
     

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