Best Portable HDD to use for Time Machine Backups

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ms.sarcastic, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. ms.sarcastic macrumors newbie

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    USA
    #1
    I switched to Macs 3 years ago and Time Machine is probably one of my favorite features EVER. Had to switch my data to two new computers and I was able to restore my entire hard drive with a few clicks with every thing just the way it was on the previous computer... LOVE IT!

    Anyway, I've just run out of space on my Backup drive and I need a new one. I've had a WD desktop unit from my PC days, but that's no longer usable (it's only 150GB) and a Lacie 350GB portable one.

    I want to get a new portable drive, preferably 1TB or up. I wish I could get the Apple Capsule but that's a bit out of my price range.

    Can anyone recommend a good drive to use for Macs in the ~$150 price range?

    Thanks!
     
  2. kdog679 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    #2
    The drive I bought is the seagate freeagent goflex 1.5tb. Most of the reviews are positive, but I'd read through them as a couple of people did have problems. I however, have had none, and it even came with a modified version of paragon ntfs, allowing me to have a ntfs partition on the drive for windows/mac store.

    The winning point on it though was the price. On amazon right now the drive is 120$.
    http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-FreeA...MCRA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319751708&sr=8-1

    Good luck in your search!
     
  3. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    Nov 18, 2010
    #3
    No portable HDD should be viable for backup.
    Portable HDD causes fragmentation and has a much higher chance of failure than their stationary counterparts. Which defeats the purpose of a backup.
     
  4. marc11 macrumors 68000

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    #4
    I have been using a wd MyPassport 1tb usb portable for about 8 months now. No issues. I have it partitioned to be a clone of my internal boot and data drives and a time capsule. No complaints.
     
  5. Steve's Barber macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 5, 2011
    #5
    What kind of nonsense is this?

    OP: Just about *any* external drive will work fine for backup purposes.
     
  6. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    Nov 18, 2010
    #6
    In the long run, hard drives subject to physical shock are much more likely to fail. Also, bad insulation means more heat, which is harmful to just about any computer component.
    Although your MBP has a hard drive, it is surrounded by a shock absorbent mount. Cheap portable hard drives do not have such mounts. Plastic casings make a neat tidy oven for a hard drive. All amounts to a higher rate of failure for a portable hard drive.

    If you have to get one, then get one with a metal casing to help with the heat.
     
  7. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #7
    Utter claptrap.

    2.5in drives are designed for use in notebooks therefore are more shock and movement resilient than a 3.5" drive. Just don't drop it when it's powered on.

    As for the fragmentation quote, I can only think you are on drugs.
     
  8. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    Nov 18, 2010
    #8
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738
    It is a fact that SSDs do not fragment, and that HDDs do. The more physical shock a hard drive receives, both on and off, more fragmented it becomes.
     
  9. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #9
    Where were SSDs mentioned anywhere in this thread?

    OP requested a 1TB drive, therefore the only option is a mechanical drive. Fragmentation of the files is down the OS not the physical drive type.
     
  10. Gillespie81 macrumors regular

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    Minnesota
    #10
    i have gdrive mobile that i use for nightly backups. i got the firewire800. works good
     
  11. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #11
    Of course SSDs fragment. They just have such a fast access time to seek the correct cluster that it's unnoticeable. The time it takes for a mechanical drive to seek the new cluster depends on the physical location and distance from the previous cluster and the rotation speed and speed of the mechanism.

    Whatever the drive type the arrangement of the files on a hard drive is down to the format chosen and the operating system that is managing the drive. OS X is pretty clever at managing the file allocations and positioning on the drive as long as there is a a reasonable amount of free space.

    I suggest you read up on Apple's guidance notes on the subject of fragmentation - http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1375
     
  12. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    Nov 18, 2010
    #12
    That article only applies to hard drives.

    I was generalizing. Technically yes SSDs do fragment in minuscule amounts, but if OS X even dares to "manage" the SSD's data in any way other than TRIM, then it is wasting the SSD's precious operations. Since no defragmentation is required, you might as well say that the fragmentation problem does not exist.

    @OP a network backup solution will be cheaper and more reliable. Instead of a single failure-prone hard drive, you'll have a full server with multiple hard drives in RAID arrays to protect your data.
    Or you could go with a stationary drive that you keep at home. More reliability.
    Or you could get a server/router with backup storage, e.g. Time Capsule. That way you get a wireless backup solution.
     
  13. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #13
    Erm, an SSD is a hard drive.

    Other than TRIM support (garbage collection for SSDs to improve write performance) there's no difference between the way in which OS X would handle a HFS+ formatted 100GB SSD or a 100GB mechanical drive. It's just storage to the OS.
     
  14. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    #14
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_disk_drive
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_drive
    Just a clarification that solid state drives are not hard drives.

    OS X passively defragments hard drives. Which means it moves fragmented data from one place to another. Which involves reading and rewriting of data.
    SSDs have a limited amount of R/W operations that it can do. OS X recognizes the SSD and should not defragment it. If it does, then it's unnecessarily wasting the R/W operations and doing more damage than good, and Apple is dumber than it appears to be.


    Which brings me to my next point: hard drive fragmentation. Server backups do not require defragmentation, at least not on your side.
     
  15. Steve's Barber macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    What started out as an inquiry to a 1TB, sub-$150 backup solution turns into RAID setups and solid state memory solutions. Freaking hilarious. :D
     
  16. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    #16
    When I see "portable HDD" and "backup" in one sentence, I choke in amazement. Why people do this, I don't even know. I've had at least 5 external hard drives fail on me, much more on my friends. Backup is something you try to keep safe, not carry around everywhere and risk it getting damaged or stolen like some average external drive.
     
  17. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #17
    There's no TRIM support prior to 10.6.8, and then it's only for Apple supplied drives.

    Will it work for Jimbob with his precious OCZ Vertex? Who knows.

    I'm off to bed, feel free to continue completely derailing the which usb drive should I pick for Time Machine thread.
     
  18. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    Nov 18, 2010
    #18
    Ever hear of TRIM enabler?

    I ringed in (or at least tried to) my opinion that a portable backup solution using USB drives is not viable, that the OP should look for something else such as an SSD. 2 other people started commenting on how "wrong" I am and derailed the thread. :p
     
  19. ayres macrumors regular

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    Sep 27, 2010
    #19
    hey there, do you have firewire 800? if so, i always think it is a great idea to utilize it with a portable hd.

    about one month ago, i purchased a lacie rugged 1tb drive with firewires and usb. moved my music to it from a stationary drive, and i was going to use it for time machine. loved it! one week in, it corrupted! took it back, and i haven't decided yet on another portable. others have more success with the lacie rugged. though, it is $200.
     
  20. ms.sarcastic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    USA
    #20
    Thanks everyone for the input (and the interesting discussion lol).

    Ended up going with a WD My Passport for Mac.

    Re: Lacie Rugged - had the older 350gb model from a few years ago, never had a problem with it till I ran out of space. The 1TB one is a bit pricy though, and I baby my drives so I figured it was too much to pay for the "extra" protection.
     
  21. madisonfaye macrumors regular

    madisonfaye

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    #21

    I use a WD My Passport and its worked great so far :) I think you made a good choice! Plus they have an aluminum color option that matches the MBP :p
     
  22. randomrazr macrumors 65816

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    Jan 1, 2011
    #22
    whats ur opinon on the apple time capsles?
     
  23. adamvk macrumors 65816

    adamvk

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    #23
    LaCie Rugged. Fantastic drive, plus it's Firewire...so you can backup fast.
     
  24. GuitarG20 macrumors 65816

    GuitarG20

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    Jun 3, 2011
    #24
    nice choice! I use a 2TB myBook to back mine up, but it stays in the same place, so I don't need to move it. xD
     
  25. macchoccy macrumors newbie

    macchoccy

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    Oct 31, 2011
    #25
    LaCie d2 Quadra 1TB

    Couldn't agree more.
    I also have an Iomega StorCenter ix2 but this is not compatible with Lion which resulted in my Time Machine backups failing. Was therefore forced to buy the LaCie although Iomega have got a fix in test but according to their website there is no sign of it being released anytime soon and I couldn't live without backing up.

    Details here if affected - https://iomega-eu-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/28279
     

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