Backup HDD - iPod or something else

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by gamestriker, May 1, 2005.

  1. gamestriker macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2004
    I'm headed to college in the fall, and I'm going through the list of items I must have in college. I figure I need a backup hard drive for that rainy day (that will never come probably :p ) when my PowerBook fails for some reason or other.

    Now, what I can't decide is whether its better for me I to get an iPod 30GB or 60GB and use it as both my music player and backup HDD or get an external HDD to be the backup (and then just get an iPod mini 6GB as my music player).

    If I use the iPod as the backup, it would kill 2 birds with one stone, save money, but I would probably only save my Home space on it (I don't mind having to reinstall Tiger if something bad happens as long as I have a backup of my Home space).

    If I get a seperate external HDD, it would be an 80GB to match my PowerBook, and I'd have a perfect clone of my entire HDD in there and I could just restore everything from the there if something bad happened. I could then just get an iPod mini 6GB for my music (I have a small collection; the mini probably wouldn't fill up until next year I expect.)

    Any help on making this decision would be appreciated.

    P.S. One thing that did come to mind was the fact that the iPod 60GB could be more easily stolen in college than an external HDD, especially since I would take it everywhere.
  2. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    It's a tough choice, and the new iPods are great for file transfers and music alike. I think at this point, you will have to weigh convenience vs space.

    I'd go for the iPod (it's a hell of a lot more CONVENIENT than carrying around an external HD,).

    edit: go for the 60 gig!
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    This is a concern...although how much more it is at school depends on where you live now and where you're going. I take my iPod around with me everywhere, and I am not particularly careful about it, but I am not overly concerned about it. But my department building is mostly grad students (clinical psychology, public health, nursing, pharmacy, etc), so the traffic levels are greatly reduced.

    One advantage of the external HDD is that (why get an 80GB? >200 GB drives are *very* affordable, as long as you're happy with FW or USB and not looking for NAS) you can buy one bigger than your PB HD and make backups, or offload files should you choose to at some point. This is something you will not be able to do with an iPod as readily.

    How long have you had your PB? I found that, switching from Windows to Mac, my hard disk consumption pattern changed quite significantly. The share of my HD taken up by documents of various kinds is much larger than it had been on a PC -- for several computers now, I always had 2-3 GB of school-type documents -- Word and Excel files, SPSS, and so on, and >1GB of e-mail, but this is the first time I'm adding >15GB of music and >1GB of pictures to all starts to add up. :D
  4. gamestriker thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2004
    I'm going to a fairly large university (30k students I think) as an undergrad majoring in CS so I expect there to be moderate to high traffic. And I have had my PowerBook since February and my patterns haven't changed much yet (I've always been a data packrat), though I still need to move a bulk of my files over from my PC. I expect a notice in my patterns once I actually begin college.
  5. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Go with the external drive - carrying a backup of your critical data around with you at all times could be a dangerous proposition. Sure, you could create an encrypted drive image on the iPod to avoid data theft, but you still have the loss (or damage) potential. You can get a 6GB mini and a 160GB LaCie D2 for $450 or less, combined.

    Besides, with a larger external drive you'll allow yourself the luxury of storing large amounts of files (as mkrishnan says, always go bigger - at least double your PB HD). That way you can store everything from backups of your data to backups of movies, etc.
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    external, because you never know what may happen, and it allows you room to grow too. its safter than carring it around with you, and i dont think the iPod's hard drive was meant to take that sort of beating when it comes to updating your backup all the time....
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    It pays to be careful...I went / go to two ... actually, maybe three, schools that are all bigger than that, and I can definitely feel that. Here at Florida, like I said, I'm in a building that sees less traffic, but at the University of Michigan and at Wayne State University, I felt conscious of leaving my things around.

    But I guess, this whole part of the issue circles less around how you want to back up and more around whether or not you want an iPod for music. I *love* my iPod, which is way too small (15GB) to be useful as a backup device ( doesn't even hold all my songs anymore *sob*). Have you considered getting both? :D

    A Shuffle and an FW hard disk of about 200GB together would cost not much more than an iPod Mini and less than a big iPod photo... :D :D :D
  8. gamestriker thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2004
    I had already decided that I wanted some form of iPod for music, probably a mini 6GB, and I decided to get a seperate external HDD. I really like that LaCie d2 one that emw mentioned. Anyone got any more suggests on an external HDD that around 160GB-200Gb?
  9. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    LaCie do a FW400/800 dual interface drive from around 120 up to 500Gb I think, I have a 320Gb and run it with the FW800 in my 17" PB it works like a charm.

    I also use my 60Gb iPod photo as a day backup and transfer device, so I'm covered if anything happens in the short term, then backup to the LaCie every weekend.

    The iPod's drive isn't really supposed to be used as a front-line data drive, but as storage it works well enough.

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