Buying external hard drive advice

Inkmonkey

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 2, 2003
435
1
Calgary
I have an old iMac LCD (700 MHz G4) running OS 10.3.9 and my 40GB hard drive is almost full. Remember thinking that was huge and I'd never fill that sucker.:rolleyes:

I plan on keeping this baby as a web surfer and getting a laptop real soon. But I'm thinking it might be in my best interest to get an external hard drive in the meantime. For back-up and some extra space. I think photos, music, and Photoshop files make up the bulk of my current filled hard drive.

Anyway, been reading a bit on the forums and not sure how comfortable I am buying an enclosure and putting the hard drive in there myself. Any recommendations for me? Brand, size, type, etc?

Appreciate it if anyone can steer me straight because this is new territory for me.
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
10,635
0
Working for MI-6
I prefer using Seagate HDDs- I have always had good luck with them. Second, I would recommend getting an enclosure that supports FireWire. :)
 

MacProFCP

macrumors member
Jun 14, 2007
53
20
Michigan
Quality or Price

If you're looking for the best external hard drives out there, than you want to look into a LaCie. They are reasonably priced and work forever. If you want to save money, I have had success with a Western Digital hard drive in a cheap enclosure. I do video editing and I need my scratch discs to be perfect, so I go with LaCie. However, there is a non-profit I do some stuff for and they could not afford the LaCie, so they went with the Western Digital. Both have been working for a number of years. However, the Western Digital does not get nearly the same amount of run time that the Lacies do. In the digital video world, everyone used LaCie.
 

moez

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2007
109
0
I would recommend Western Digital MyBook Premium. It has Firewire and USB, has a fanless design so doesnt make alot of voice and the best feature IMO is that after 10 minuets of inactivity, it automatically shuts down and switches back on again if u open a file in your external drive...

Ive been using it for about 2 months now and have had no problems with it as yet :)
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,910
2,480
St. Louis, MO
I would recommend Western Digital MyBook Premium. It has Firewire and USB, has a fanless design so doesnt make alot of voice and the best feature IMO is that after 10 minuets of inactivity, it automatically shuts down and switches back on again if u open a file in your external drive...

Ive been using it for about 2 months now and have had no problems with it as yet :)
From what I've heard, you're putting more wear and tear on your hard drive by letting it turn off and turn back on than just leaving it on. Dunno if it's true, but typically for electronic components, the initial power-on is more damaging than letting it run
 

moez

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2007
109
0
From what I've heard, you're putting more wear and tear on your hard drive by letting it turn off and turn back on than just leaving it on. Dunno if it's true, but typically for electronic components, the initial power-on is more damaging than letting it run
Thts a good point but i dont know... the turn on/off is automatic but yea I shd investigate this further...

Anyways, the switching off helps with the noise and heat thts for sure
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
I'm a huge fan of these drives. Every connection you could ever want at the high end, and all but eSATA for a reasonable price. And you can buy the cases to use with your own hard drives as well.

Also, if eSATA + USB2.0 is good enough for you, these enclosures are quiet, slim, and very, very easy to add your own hard drive to - seriously, as with most enclosures, all it takes is 2 minutes and a small Phillips head screwdriver.
 

Father Jack

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2007
2,481
0
Ireland
I have a Maxtor 300 Gb external hard drive. It has Firewire 400 ports and a small square one (Firewire 800 possibly?) I have it about a year now and use it for back-up every week. Quiet and fast ...... :)
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,910
2,480
St. Louis, MO
I'm a huge fan of these drives. Every connection you could ever want at the high end, and all but eSATA for a reasonable price. And you can buy the cases to use with your own hard drives as well.

So those OWC drives are pretty good? I'm about this close to purchasing the 500GB RAID1 external drive they have (Its called the Maximus) and am looking for feedback on the drives.
 

teflon

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2007
792
0
i always thought LaCies are unreliable and have high chance of failing :confused:. I seem to read many people having problems w/ their LaCies. Personally, i recommend the Western Digital MyBook or Seagate ones.
 

SMM

macrumors 65816
Sep 22, 2006
1,334
0
Tiger Mountain - WA State
I have an old iMac LCD (700 MHz G4) running OS 10.3.9 and my 40GB hard drive is almost full. Remember thinking that was huge and I'd never fill that sucker.:rolleyes:

I plan on keeping this baby as a web surfer and getting a laptop real soon. But I'm thinking it might be in my best interest to get an external hard drive in the meantime. For back-up and some extra space. I think photos, music, and Photoshop files make up the bulk of my current filled hard drive.

Anyway, been reading a bit on the forums and not sure how comfortable I am buying an enclosure and putting the hard drive in there myself. Any recommendations for me? Brand, size, type, etc?

Appreciate it if anyone can steer me straight because this is new territory for me.
There are literally volumes written on this already - more than you will get in a single thread. I recommend searching this site.
 

smartalic34

macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2006
947
6
USA
There are literally volumes written on this already - more than you will get in a single thread. I recommend searching this site.
oh yes... I remember asking whether to get a Seagate or Lacie and I got 10 responses in my little thread alone, with 5 for each one:p
 

maccompaq

macrumors 65816
Mar 6, 2007
1,152
3
Try these hard drives. I have heard that Maxtor drives are bad, but I cannot speak from experience.

clubmac.com
 

maccompaq

macrumors 65816
Mar 6, 2007
1,152
3
I forgot to add that I have a SCSI external LaCie HD that I bought more than 10 years ago, and it still works.

I had read that a Mac cannot boot from a USB 2.0 hard drive unless it is an Intel Mac thus requiring Firewire. Is that still a fact?
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
10,635
0
Working for MI-6
i always thought LaCies are unreliable and have high chance of failing :confused:. I seem to read many people having problems w/ their LaCies. Personally, i recommend the Western Digital MyBook or Seagate ones.
Well, I have a LaCie 160GB external FW800/400/USB 2.0 and so far I have not had any problems with it. :)
 

Kaiser Phoenix

macrumors 6502
May 12, 2005
359
0
London
Well, I have a LaCie 160GB external FW800/400/USB 2.0 and so far I have not had any problems with it. :)
I second that, I mean people will only report on these forums if there IS something wrong with it and you wont write if everything was ok if you get what i mean.

I use a 320G Triple interface D2 extreme or what it was called and it is built like a tank, PROPER aluminium metal which subdues the noise and is a natural heat dissipator.

I also bought a miniStack v3 and while it has loads of ports and everything overall I will prefer the Lacie as it looks, feels and till now is very reliable, I know many professional musicians using it to record, store samples on etc.
 

teflon

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2007
792
0
Well, I have a LaCie 160GB external FW800/400/USB 2.0 and so far I have not had any problems with it. :)
I second that, I mean people will only report on these forums if there IS something wrong with it and you wont write if everything was ok if you get what i mean.

I use a 320G Triple interface D2 extreme or what it was called and it is built like a tank, PROPER aluminium metal which subdues the noise and is a natural heat dissipator.

I also bought a miniStack v3 and while it has loads of ports and everything overall I will prefer the Lacie as it looks, feels and till now is very reliable, I know many professional musicians using it to record, store samples on etc.
Darn!! I passed on a 500gb LaCie that was on sale at my local BestBuy because of the bad reviews :(. Hopefully there'll be another sale for back to school.
 

weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
4,750
1,788
Darn!! I passed on a 500gb LaCie that was on sale at my local BestBuy because of the bad reviews :(. Hopefully there'll be another sale for back to school.
Count yourself lucky and steer clear. These are badly designed cases, despite their robust build. I had the triple interface 250GB which started having mounting problems and then died after less than six months. The drive was fine. The case was not. The internal controller chips were mounted on a plate pressed against the case wall and the the hard drive. All that heat dissipation just helped to cook the chips until all of the interfaces died.

Send your disk into LaCie and you lose your data, because they wipe it clean/discard the lot and send a replacement. Open the case to salvage your data and you void your warranty. Either way, you lose.

The drive inside was a Maxtor, by the way. It now resides in a third party case and is still going strong.
 

hologram

macrumors 6502
May 12, 2007
469
100
I bought a LaCie 80gb back in 2000 as a b/u drive and used it like that for 5 years. Then, at the end of 2005, my internal drive died so I started using the LaCie as my main boot drive, and bought an Iomega 250gb as a b/u for that. Apple was just about to switch over to Intel at the time, and my LaCie external was working so well as my main, I decided to keep using it as long as I could, at least until Intel was firmly established.

After a year and a half, the Iomega died (input/output errors, if anyone knows of a fix, please let me know!) and I was so impressed with the way the LaCie had been working I bought another one, a 250gb as my backup. It's still too new to say whether it will last or not, but it's so silent I don't even know it's there.

I've read bad reports about LaCie, but in my experience they're quiet, reliable, and built like a tank. Plus, you can use them horizontally or vertically, unlike the Iomega, which had to be horizontal.

Also, the Iomega only had a one year warranty, and died after 18 months, where the LaCie has a 2 year warranty. If a LaCie had died, at least I'd have a new one for free now.

edit: I just wanted to add that I'm STILL using that 80gb as my main boot drive, and it's chugging along day and night as my work/home computer. I'm finally going to give in and buy a new iMac after the redesign, but by then my 'ol 80 will have been working as my main drive for over 2 years.
 

Inkmonkey

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 2, 2003
435
1
Calgary
Hmmm. Thing is my current machine only has FW400. Plan on getting a MB Pro in the next month or so and would like the drive to work with it as well. The Lacie d2 seems like the best bet in those terms. But I am afraid of the bad reviews.

I just noticed you can purchase the Lacie enclosure on it's own and ad in a hard drive. Seems a bit cheaper to go that way. Is it fairly easy to do?

Of course if the enclosure is the problem that may not be the best way either.
 

GilGrissom

macrumors 65816
Mar 13, 2005
1,042
0
I have a WD 120Gb Passport USB portable drive. It died on me after 4 months. WD messed up getting me a replacement, they shipped an 80Gb 3.5" Internal drive to me by mistake, but eventually I got my replacement.

...3 days later, its doing the same thing my first one did.

It begins to click loudly inside and doesn't mount on any computer, Mac or Windows. Sometimes you can hear it spin up, click, and stop, then start the cycle again and it keeps doing it. It's a nice drive, but not very reliable at all unfortunately.

I have an older Buffalo 250Gb USB 3.5" drive...now this thing has been hard as nails...not let me down at all. (apart from the drive mounting problem in 10.4.10, but thats not the drives fault!)

I'm thinking about getting another drive, at least 500Gb, as all mine are full. I'm thinking of either going back to Buffalo or to do it myself with enclosures.

Interestingly enough the internal drive in my Buffalo is identical to the drive in my iMac, as System Profiler identifies.
 

seany916

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2006
470
0
Southern California
G-technology has been solidly reliable for us. Expensive, but after losing one archive drive, we decided to never go cheap again. We have over 3 TBs invested in G-tech, no failures or problems yet.
 

CrackedButter

macrumors 68040
Jan 15, 2003
3,221
0
51st State of America
i always thought LaCies are unreliable and have high chance of failing :confused:. I seem to read many people having problems w/ their LaCies. Personally, i recommend the Western Digital MyBook or Seagate ones.
I'm on my second Lacie, no problems here or on th last one, I sold that one on. Going to buy my third sometime this year.
 

G4-power

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2004
259
13
Vaasa, Finland
I have no experience of enclosures but Western Digital Caviars and Maxtor's DiamondMax series HD's have always worked fine in our computers. The G5 needed more space so I dared to add a 500GB Samsung drive, and it's worked fine at least 'till now, so I'd recommend that too. Price/capacity ratio is very good for the Samsung.

Btw, Apple goes with Maxtor on their desktops usually, so at least they've been happy with them.