Best portable External HD for MPB.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by helimx, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. helimx macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2008
    I'm still pretty new to computers, especially my macbook pro that I purchased in sept of 07'. Well, not new, just inexperienced I guess.

    I have filled up my MBP memory with my huge itunes library, and I need some extra storage. I've had external hard drives in the past, but it was quite some time ago, and on a desktop PC.
    Basically I need a portable, and "robust" external drive. I travel a LOT, and need something that can take a few bumps and shuffles. lol
    I would like atleast 250 gb of space, and I'd prefer not to have an external power cord if possible. I've used the search function, but all of the threads that come up are from mid july of 07 and back. So I'm sure more options are available now. I think I would prefer firewire, but that's just from what I've read here. I don't know if my MBP is FW400 or FW800 compatible, again, i got those terms from reading

    Once I do decide on an external drive, I'm sure I'll be back asking questions on how to use the thing. ha

    thanks for any help!!! and sorry for being such a newb. lol
  2. displaced macrumors 65816


    Jun 23, 2003
    Gravesend, United Kingdom

    For portability and to avoid needing an external power source, you'll be best off with a 2.5" external drive with a Firewire connector. Firewire provides more power than USB (and is faster in sustained transfer rates). Also, it's common to find drives with two Firewire connectors -- this allows you to daisy-chain multiple drives (or indeed other Firewire devices) together.

    As for brands, you're really best off browsing around for a drive with good reviews. Generally speaking, all the manufacturers use disks from reputable makers. So really the main differentiating aspect is how well the enclosure's built and the experiences of long-time users.

    I use these enclosures with bare drives that I buy separately (although you might prefer an all-in-one bundle). Overall I've been very happy. Very solid aluminium design and it's performed fine for the past year or two.
  3. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    These are worth looking into.

    FW800. Good case. Large HD.
  4. Loge macrumors 68030


    Jun 24, 2004
    Sounds like the "rugged" hard drives from Lacie might be what you are looking for. They do a triple interface model, FW400, FW800 and USB, giving you flexibility over which port to use. Bus powered and designed to take a few knocks.

    I have the 500GB model plugged into the FW800 port, but they do a range of capacities. I also have a 120GB from a while back still going strong.
  5. gan6660 macrumors 65816


    Aug 18, 2008
    I have a 250gb Toshiba and its great you could get it from Best Buy for $99 on sale.
  6. RealEvil macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2007
    I have a silver (metal) 250 GB Freecom USB2/FW400 drive. I bought it for about £90 in the UK a few months ago. Its the same colour as MBP but does look a little plain. But it works just fine. I dont think they make a larger drive in the same shell. Western Digital do a 320GB FW400 drive but their plastic cases scratch badly.
  7. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    I have the Lacie Rugged for my MBP and it gets tossed around like you wouldn't believe. The rubber outside and name is a lot of marketing hype, but they really are good little backup drives in a nice, small package.
  8. helimx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2008
    I actually just went and checked out freecoms website. they do make a 500 GB
    Toughdrive Pro, with firewire/USB, but they are sold out on their site, and they are asking 475 US Dollars!!! wheeewww... I mean dang, I know it's portable and all, but you can get muliti-TB drives on ebay for cheaper than that. But, like I said, I travel alot, so I may just end up biting the bullet on this one. and i like how the cables are intergrated into it.

    found this one on ebay, anyone have any opinions on it???
    Anyone else have experience with teh freecom toughdrives?? it looks like the perfect size, and they boast about how great it takes falls and whatnot.

    Also just checked out this Lacie hard drive. seems like a pretty good deal. It says it has 800/400 firewire, and USB.

    quick question, how do I know if my MBP is compatible with either 400 or 800 firewire? or are the connections the same?
  9. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    I am 99% sure all MBPs have FireWire 800, but attached is a link to what it looks like (it is the squarish one with an inlet. Firewire 800
  10. helimx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2008
    well, i think i am going to go with this one.
    the only problem is, they are sold out!!!! I've searched online, to the best of my abilities, and I cant find the same one. I found one with 500GB of storage, but no firewire.

    I would get the freecom, but it only has 400 firewire, and is much more expensive. but i really like the fact that the cables are integrated into it. but, for that much,I think it should have the 800 firewire also.

    SO, does anyone know where I can get the lacie HD I listed???
  11. 61132 Guest

    Oct 31, 2005
    Another vote for the OWC enclosures. They are easily upgraded as drive capacities increase. I have 4 of them and never had a problem.
  12. EB66 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    i know you said you wanted external and i don't know how big ur hd is now but you can buy a Western Digital Passport Essential edition 320gb for $120 from best buy....then you take that drive out of it and install it in ur macbook pro and put the drive that was in ur macbook pro back in it

    now youve got 320gb in ur laptop and a small portable usb external drive with however much storage you had before

    i just did this procedure and it worked out great for me
  13. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I love the OWC enclosure, but it's a tad big and hefty.
  14. gan6660 macrumors 65816


    Aug 18, 2008
    Why dont you buy 2 250gb ones for $100 each so you would save $275
  15. thomanjones macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2006
    The Lacie Rugged Hard Drives (if you can find the 500GB, if not, go with the 320) with FW 400/800 are fantastic. If you really need speed (doesn't sound like you do, but something to check out) they have a 7200 RPM 200GB external as well (the others are all 5400 RPM - still plenty fast for anything but heavy graphics/video work ie Adobe CS or FCP).

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