Do you Recommend This External Drive for Transferring Files & Backups

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iRobby, May 19, 2011.

  1. iRobby, May 19, 2011
    Last edited: May 19, 2011

    iRobby macrumors 6502a

    iRobby

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL USA
    #1
    I'm buying a 27"iMac this summer and need to transfer music and other files from my Dell Dimension E510. I been looking at External Drives. I found and like this one:

    OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro Bus-Powered FireWire 800/400, USB 2.0 and 2.5" SATA Portable Hard Drive & SSD Solution

    However, I wasn't sure if this is the one best for my needs. My #1 reason for getting an external drive is for transferring files from the PC to the iMac. Second, to use it to back up my iMac.

    I see many options. My iMac will have 1TB+ 256GB SSD

    They have 2 models
    one with USB 3.0 alone
    another with USB 2.0 & FireWire 800/400. (Based on the iMac ports don't get the USB 3.0)

    I see 3 speeds:
    5400RPM 8MB Cache
    7200RPM 16MB Cache (believe this is the speed to get) like the iMac
    SSD

    My dilemma is the size I think 500GB is enough despite the 1TB HDD on the iMac even possibly the 320GB but there is only a 10 dollar difference $127.99 vs $117.99

    So my final question is:

    Is this the right drive for my needs? and if so which size? Or is there another one altogether you recommend?
     
  2. archangel37 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    #2
    Were I you, I'd be tempted to get this: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer Technology/FWU3ES2HDK/

    It's an empty hard drive dock, where you can fit either 2.5" or 3.5" hard drives. It's pricer than the one you're looking at, but it will give you more flexibility. You can throw any old SATA hard drive you want in there, or buy one from NewEgg or Amazon, or even get the bundle that includes a drive from OWC that will have more space and likely be faster.

    The general rule with hard drives: Always get the biggest one you can afford. Whether it's for data use you can quite imagine a year or two from now, or Time Machine backups that stretch back longer, the extra hard drive will be worth it, I think.

    Good luck!

     
  3. iRobby, May 19, 2011
    Last edited: May 19, 2011

    iRobby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iRobby

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL USA
    #3

    You brought up a good point as a new mac OS X user to be I didn't think of :

    Time Machine Backups.

    Are they different than regular data backups or can they be used instead?


    Your recommendation:
    That is just the dock for a hard drive in an enclosure yes? vs the one I found being a hard drive in an enclosure already with the ports the dock has and its PORTABLE yes? what is the difference?

    I'm sorry I known NOTHING about external drives. never used any external storage before.
     
  4. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #4
    You dont need anything that fancy or expensive or portable.

    How much data is on your Dell? If its not a lot, you could easily transfer via a thumb drive.

    Or you could easily setup a network between the two machines if they are connected to the same router/switch.

    You *DO* need a drive for backup. Even though you bought more iMac than you will ever need, and Im guessing you will never use more than a few hundred gigabytes ever, the best bang for buck is a 2TB USB 2 drive.

    This is a decent deal: http://www.officedepot.com/a/produc...l-Hard/?cm_mmc=Shoplocal-_-Circular-_-NA-_-NA

    transfer your files one of those other ways and use this drive as a Time Machine backup. The first time you plug it into your Mac, Time machine will prompt you with the appropriate questions.
     
  5. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #5
    I think you can easily get an inexpensive 2 or 3 TB unit. I would highly recommend this, because you can easily back up all of your information with Time Machine (it keeps past copies of files, so it is better to have a drive larger than the one in your computer to get the most out of it).

    Speed doesn't matter. Plug it in at night the first time you use Time Machine, and when you wake up in the morning, it will be done. Subsequent backups only take a few seconds or so, because Time Machine only has to deal with the files you changed. For most of us, this is a tiny amount.

    There is one problem. Having your original and backup in the same location is a recipe for disaster. If you have important data (by this I mean stuff that is irreplaceable AND you would be distressed to lose it) I highly recommend either: 1) bringing that backup to work with you every day (put it in the car overnight before bed when you go out to walk the dog), or if that is too laborious, 2) making a second backup drive that you bring home every week or two from work to backup your files.

    Here is a sad story. Some colleagues spent a considerable amount of time digitizing historical archives in northeastern japan last year. the data was stored on hard drives in city hall and the originals were stored in individual homes by the owners. in the tsunami last march all of the originals were destroyed along with the digital records (city hall is gone). Although this is an extreme case, one lesson to take away from this is that we have to be careful not to store backups and originals in the same physical location.

    I have three backups for my files: 1) online service, 2) external HDD at home, 3) external HDD at work.
     
  6. iRobby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iRobby

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL USA
    #6
    The Thumb drive is what I wanted but the biggest I can find is 16GB my iTunes is 47GB setting up a network can work before I disconnect the Dell. Windows will let me do a network with a Mac? I did not know that But YES I do need a drive anyway. So that why i thought get the whole drive and transfer with it as well.

    WOW despite the huge size and space it would take up you get 2TB vs the 500GB with he one
    i found.

    I wish the Time Capsule from Apple was a better product I'd just get that
     
  7. bpeeps macrumors 68020

    bpeeps

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #7
    Time Machine is an automated backup system. You can of course, manually copy the files as well. Many people do, but Time Machine will work just as well.

    Since you're a newbie, I would pass on the internal hard-drive dock, just go for a simple external hard-drive. It'll make your life easier.

    Personally, I prefer Iomega or Lacie drives (they're decently hardy), 1TB will usually run $80 and up on Amazon. Though I don't see a problem with the drive you selected, OWC has some good products.
     
  8. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #8
    Mac have been able to network with PCs for many, many, many years.

    One issue with an external drive is making sure both machines care read it. FAT32 is usually how it comes, and OS X can read FAT 32 drives -- thats up to you.

    Simple networks seems faster.

    Theres nothing wrong with a Time Capsule -- IF you need all the features it offers. But odds are you dont.
     
  9. iRobby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iRobby

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL USA
    #9
    I liked my selection because it seemed like a mini drive so it seemed like a thumb drive sorta convenience wise for the size but with the storage of a larger drive but I'm seeing that if I go larger in size I get more storage for my money.
     
  10. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #10
    True. and correct. But since you are only going to do the transfer once, kinda overkill.

    And I would never buy a Lacie or Iomega drive. You have *no* clue what kind of drive is in the case. Could be the cheapest POS drive they could get for a deal to slam in there.

    Seagate, Hitachi, WD all make their own drives -- and usually offer longer warranties. I have no issue with OWC, since right on their site they mention sht kind of drives they use. Peace of mind.

    You can watch this site everyday for drive deals:
     
  11. Hibernia macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #11
    When buying a back up drive does it matter if it's usb powered or the mains powered variety?

    I myself was edging toward a usb powered one that can be plugged in all the time and negates another power cable running up to my IMac but like the OP i'm both new to Macs and drive back ups.
     
  12. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #12
    USB powered = smaller and slower 2.5" drive and more money. Max size is 1TB.

    If all of those things are OK for you, sure, then USB powered is fine.
     
  13. archangel37 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    #13
    For pure transfer/backup purposes, a simple Western Digital 1TB external USB drive from Amazon.com would be a good choice. http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digit...ref=sr_1_3?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1305917768&sr=1-3

    This one is 70 bucks. It'd work perfectly for Time Machine, which is Apple's version of a daily/weekly/monthly back up system. Over USB, the first backup might take some time, but backups after that shouldn't take too long.

    http://www.apple.com/macosx/what-is-macosx/time-machine.html

    That's a great explanation of what Time Machine is.

    I've used two different Time Capsules and both have worked great. In my case, I'm a big fan of Apple wireless routers and found them to be an elegant solution for backing up the connected computers. But if you don't need a new wireless router, I think that'd be overkill for you.
     

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