Best Portable Hard Drive for MacBook

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DarthBowie, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. DarthBowie macrumors member

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    Aug 11, 2006
    #1
    Anyone have opinions/experiences they would like to share?

    Thank you!

    :cool:
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
  3. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    Jun 3, 2006
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    #3
    Probably not the ones you build yourself. Some have varying current requirements and some won't power up with some drives with every USB socket (i.e. they require more current when the HDD is spinning up than USB sockets are 'legally' allowed to give out. A problem in certain cases).

    I would recommend the Freecom HDD's. Bear in mind I use USB drives for PC/Mac use - don't really have a use for Firewire drives, which as the post below says will allow you to boot from it.

    The FHD-2 is an aluminium encased drive with a minUSB socket. Pretty low profile, smart looking and very cool in use. 4 still used at home, about 10 still in use elsewhere, 1 failure in just under 2 years. Very reliably bus-powered. Practically every USB port I've plugged this drive into powers it, which is not the case for all USB 2.5" drives - especially the third-party enclosures I mentioned above. I'd recommend this if you don't feel you need the drop-resistant features of the Toughdrive mentioned below. Another feature is that if you dismount the drive, it switches off (can't remember whether it worked all the time on a Mac). The data sync button doesn't work on a Mac.
    http://www.freecom.com/ecproduct_detail.asp?ID=3542&CatID=8020&sCatID=1146438&ssCatID=1146441

    I was casting around for replacements to the FHD-2's and having bought a few, I decided on the Toughdrive as the most viable replacement for actually portable use.

    The Toughdrive is of course bus-powered, and is just like the FHD-2 in terms of powering reliability. It has a captive USB plug (and an extension cord), rubber buffers around the drive in a plastic shell, which is itself encased in rubber. Gets warmer than the FHD-2 in use, but extended run-time testing has found no functional issues. I initially bought a batch for my own use, found it excellent and we acquired a large number recently. No failures to date but it's fairly early days. The captive, flexible USB plug is a good idea once again for actually portable use (Forgot cables? you'd be stuffed with a regular drive. Not with the Toughdrive), but the elastomer it is made out of will break down and become brittle after about 5 years of use.
    http://www.freecom.com/ecproduct_detail.asp?ID=3506&CatID=400


    All Freecoms seem to use Samsung drives.
     
  4. anothermacaddic macrumors member

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    Jun 5, 2007
    #4
    Love the portability of my firelight. Also I can boot to it because its firewire...a major plus to verify a carbon copy backup (also restoration is much easier). Love the ease of use of the maxtor one touch 3, the one touch backups of selected folders, great for night time press and forget backups.

    Love my nas, i never have to worry about cords. Its always attached if im on the network, and i can ftp to it anywhere. The speed isnt that great but its nice to know i can get anything anywhere and throw a dvd somewhere need be off my hd. Even though that will take a good 40 mins.
     
  5. chhc macrumors newbie

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    Jun 5, 2007
    #5
    i have heard mixed reviews for the western digital passport drive but i picked up a 160gb passport and my local costco for 89.00 and it has been great... I have loaded it up and have had no problems at all.
     
  6. DarthBowie thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 11, 2006
    #6
    I just want a portable drive so I can store Word files, pics, as well as music I purchase from iTunes. Which one should I go with?

    Thanks!

    :cool:
     
  7. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    Dec 11, 2006
    #7
    WD Passport.. I've had my 80 gig for 2 years now and it's great. Planning on getting a new 250 gig one when I get my MBP for backup.
     
  8. iProd macrumors regular

    iProd

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    Santa Barbara
  9. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    Dec 11, 2006
    #9
    Maybe if you want to burn out the hard drive in like 2 months.
     
  10. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

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    #10
    And it's slow...
     
  11. weckart macrumors 68040

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #11
    If it is a Macbook, then USB is just as good for booting from.

    I currently use a Freecom mobile 160GB, a WD 120GB Passport and a LaCie Rugged 160GB (FW800). I still have my older lower capacity Smartdisk Firelites in USB2 and FW400 flavours. They all work fine. A PC Mag I read recently said the Freecom was slower than most of the rest of the market, but it has always felt fast enough for me.

    I have only ever had one mobile drive die on me and it was a minor name I picked up in the Netherlands. The housing had a weak chip on board which required 2 USB ports to power the drive, which the others do not. The housing eventually failed and I transferred the hard drive to one of my Smartdisks.

    The Smartdisks are upgradable, in that they are easily dismantled. The LaCie can also be taken apart with some care. The Freecom and WD appear to be sealed units.

    Take your pick.
     
  12. byakuya macrumors 6502a

    byakuya

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #12
    I think formac has some really nice hard drives that go nicely with the Macbook (www.formac.de)
    Not so sure though where you can get them in the US but I imagine there is a distributor that sells them also.

    byakuya
     
  13. cheesyapple macrumors newbie

    cheesyapple

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    Sep 17, 2007
    #13
    If it helps ive had numerous wd passport 120 or 160g recomendations and as a result it will be my next portable hd
     
  14. DarthBowie thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 11, 2006
  15. jboeckler macrumors newbie

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    Sep 8, 2007
    #15
    I've been looking...and don't think they are available in the US. THey should though because I think they would sell a few of them.
     
  16. jaydub macrumors 6502a

    jaydub

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    Jan 12, 2006
    #17
    I wish getting to the HDD wasn't such a pain in the MBP, otherwise I'd definitely jump on it. I've opened up the case before but it's still a nightmare.
     
  17. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

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    #18
    Yeah, but it's not too bad. I can have it open, install drive and closed usually within 8 minutes. Of course, I've probably done it 10-15 times.
     
  18. jaydub macrumors 6502a

    jaydub

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    #19
    yeah i've only done it once, but i'd love to have more space. I currently have 4gb free. :eek:
     
  19. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

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    #20
    Ouch. I just ordered the 200gb 7200 rpm Hitachi to throw in my MBP from Newegg, so that thing should stroke along nicely ;)
     
  20. jaydub macrumors 6502a

    jaydub

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    Jan 12, 2006
    #21
    I haven't done a HDD upgrade on a mac, but is it possible for me to mirror my drive onto the new one, or do I start from scratch?
     
  21. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

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    #22
    Yes it is. Use Carbon Copy Cloner to create an exact image of your current drive. Works like a charm.

    When my new drive arrives, I have a external casing that I put the new hard drive into, then connect via Firewire. I create an exact image of my current MBP hard drive to the external drive.

    Then, unplug and take the MBP apart. Take the current drive out, and put in the new drive that I just created the hard drive image on. You get the same exact drive, with a lot more room :D

    To transfer the information over to the external takes about 2.5 hours.
     
  22. sam10685 macrumors 68000

    sam10685

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    #23
    I was just going to say that.
     
  23. GavinTing macrumors 6502

    GavinTing

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    #24
    Bought a few for my the office.. Based on "looks", and not price.. :D

    The WD passport is beautiful.
     
  24. polycat33 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    #25
    I love my G Drive Mini, it's small, matches my MBP, uses firewire 400 so I can boot off of it in case my internal hard drive fails, and it even comes with a carrying case! (not that I take it anywhere, but if I did I'd be set).
     

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