Cheap 1TB external HDD choices

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by zen, May 18, 2009.

  1. zen macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #1
    Ok, there are gazillion threads about external hard drives, but I've hit a buying dilemma and am after some advice.

    This week I'm planning on picking up a cheap 1TB external hard drive. Here in the UK, I was recommended a Toshiba, which looks nice, is quiet, and has a cool aluminium enclosure. The price is £74.95, which is about US$114.

    However, I've just browsed on Amazon, and there are a whole bunch of 1TB hard drives for about the same amount of money:

    - Western Digital Elements

    - Western Digital My Book

    - Maxtor

    - Buffalo drivestation

    Now I've heard things about Western Digital (good and bad), and Maxtor, and Toshiba is a well-known brand. Never heard of Buffalo. Notably the My Book is currently 43% off, although I don't know whether the higher RRP indicates it's a better drive or not.

    So before I pull the trigger, anybody got any recommendations? All are USB 2.0. I plan on using it as a Time Machine back-up for one computer (with a 500GB internal drive), and will probably divide it into two partitions so I've got another 500GB to use as a regular external drive as needed (I assume I can partition a disk and set Time Machine to use just one partition?).
     
  2. lucamacis macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #2
    I've personally got the Western Digital My Book which runs excellently. It's quiet, fast and looks good.

    And partitioning it is no problem. You just have to use disk utility to do it as the software provided from WD is not compatible. (pretty sure anyways)
     
  3. zen thread starter macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #3
    Yeah I was planning on reformatting first with Disk Utility anyway.

    Is a firmware update needed for the My Book? I've read a whole lot of reviews that say the drive is prone to failure after a few months, which may or may not be due to a firmware problem?
     
  4. lucamacis macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #4
    I can't say i know im afraid. I can't remember ever upgrading my firmware and i haven't had any problems. Definitely worth checking when you buy the drive though. I think it's too late for me!

    I would presume though if you purchased a drive from Amazon now the latest firmware would be preinstalled on it anyways.... ?
     
  5. zen thread starter macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #5
    I think I'm aiming for the Western Digital Elements drive, as it looks slim and stackable, which is good. However, while it obviously has its own power source, it does not have a power switch. Instead, it powers up and down with the computer.

    Is this an issue if I want to use it as a bootable drive? I assume not, because even if the drive was always on when the computer restarted, it would still need to be mounted and read anyway during the start-up process. The only difference with the Elements drive is that it also powers-up.
     
  6. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    Mainland Europe
    #6
    +1, I have nothing but good experiences with the WD MyBook series, have a 1TB WD MyBook & a 250GB external from them. Know others who use it, and they haven't had any issues with it yet thusfar.
     

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