Best external storage device for 2008 imac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Quiensera, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. Quiensera macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2013
    Hi, I'm thinking of upgrading my Imac from Leopard 10.5.8 to Snow Leopard then to Mavericks, if possible, so I would need to back up my files. I was wondering if someone could recommend a good external storage device/hard drive that will work with both Leopard and newer systems and isn't too expensive (under 100$, ideally). 500gb of storage capacity would be plenty, but if it's just a few dollars more for twice that, it may be worth it. Also, if it's a more expensive one, but currently on sale, that would be good. :)

    I haven't used external storage before, so I'm not sure what to look for when shopping around. I hear some drives are "faster" than others, does that just mean for data transfer? I would probably transfer all files once before installing the new system, then still use it afterwards as backup. I have a desktop, Imac 8,1 with 2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1gb RAM (but I plan to add at least 2 more GB to that). So the device doesn't need to be ultra slim or anything. Just reliable and not too expensive.

    Any suggestions?

  2. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    Firewire 800 would be the fastest for that iMac - really all major external drives are about the same quality. Its more personal preference.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Like Spink said, drives are all about the same as far as brand name goes.

    I like the WD My Passport series of USB3 drives mainly because they are inexpensive and available everywhere.
  4. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012
    I wholeheartedly recommend the Freecom Quattro external drives.

    They are fast, cheap, reliable, quiet and look good next to an iMac. Best of all, it comes with all the interfaces and all the cables. So you can start out with Firewire - which will be fastest with your 2008 iMac. But if you ever upgrade your iMac, you can use USB3 at a later date, which is of course faster.

    I really like these drives.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    My suggestion will be different from the others.

    First, get a USB3/SATA docking station. Cost will be $25 or even a few bucks less. To see what's available, go to amazon, then enter "usb3 sata dock" in the search box. You'll get many choices.

    Then, get a "bare" hard drive from the vendor of your choice. I'd suggest a 2.5" drive over a 3.5".

    Put the drive in the dock, connect to Mac, initialize with Disk Utility, then use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper (or Time Machine if you must, but a clone would be better) to create your backup.

    If you use CCC or SD, your backup will be bootable, as well. Just hold down the option key at startup until the startup manager appears, and then you can choose your external volume from which to boot. You can download and use CCC 3.4.7 for free, find it at:

    A USB3 dock will only operate at USB2 speeds for now. But if you decide to upgrade the Mac in the future, you'll get a big speed boost from the dock, as well.
  6. Twimfy macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2011
    Just a quick addition to this thread.

    You will need to add more Ram before you upgrade to Mavericks it being a minimum requirement (it flat out won't install without it). I'm sure you knew that but figured I'd mention it just incase.

    Also, although it is better to stay on the side of caution, you should be able to upgrade all the way with no loss of data whatsoever. Of course there is a risk but I recently took a friends iMac from 10.5 to 10.9 with no ill effects and everything was intact, well apart from all of the PPC apps of course.

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