External Hard Drive Gurus?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by queshy, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005

    I have a few questions, if you have you have time :)

    Question #1

    So I have an HP Media Drive (160 GB) that I got with my old HP media center PC (hard drive pops in the front) but it can be used as an external hard drive. Recently, I have realized the need for very frequent backing up, so I've been using the hard drive with my Mac.

    That's all fine and dandy, but Leopard will be arriving next week, and I can't wait to use time machine so this all gets automated! Because I back up my school files (20 GB) every few days and I have to copy the ENTIRE 20 GB folder to the external drive because I'm not sure what in particular I changed since last time (I am always modifying/adding files). No problem with Time Machine, I am guessing. But the problem is this - the hard drive is so darn loud! It sounds louder than my iMac, MacBook Pro, and ventilation in my room. So there's no way I'll be able to keep it on 24/7 and I don't want to have to worry about turning it on and off every time I want to back up..I want it all to be automated. So I'm looking for a new external HD. Preferably a little bigger too because I have around 15 gb music, 15 gb of video, other stuff, and I know with time machine the space will go quickly...

    I found this HD at Future Shop. The price they're asking (319) is ridiculous but I always see it going on sale for around $120 every few weeks or so.


    (actually the price tomorrow of it will be 129 which is a good deal - keep in mind I'm in Canada)

    Does anyone have experience with this drive? Is it whisper quiet? Does a whisper quiet HD exist? I don't mind a tiny bit of noise while writing, but when my current external drive is just idle, it's sooo loud.

    Question #2

    I bring my laptop to school and take notes. At the end of the day when I come home, I like putting everything on my iMac. It gets veyr dangerous having half of my school stuff on one computer and half on the other (I have a macbook pro). So I keep everything in one spot. It's just annoying though because I transfer them over a network, then I have to go and resort and file them away on my iMac, it's quite time consuming sometimes. Then of course when I do stuff on my iMac I have to put it on the mbp and etc. Is there any way (with Tiger or Leopard) to set something up so that when I get home and "login" to my network (the 2 computers are networked wirelessly with an AEBS 802.11n) it will sync different files automatically? Or perhaps is there a way for time machine to do this? Or what if I attach my hard drive to the router? I just want to have the same thing on both machines at all times- that would be great. (when I bring the laptop home, of course, I don' expect to be syncing when away from my desk!) It's just a pain to constantly have to keep dealing with having hte same machines carry the same files.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who helps!!
  2. SpaceJello macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2006
    I would not suggest getting that drive from Future Shop. I know many members (including myself) having had bad experiences with LaCie. Actually come to think of it, I had the a porche drive but different capacity a while back, but I do have to warn you, USB is extremely slow.

    You have a MBP and an iMac both with with FW 400 and FW800 which I highly suggest over USB. But with that price, its pretty good. Have you checked out directdial.ca? Or other online stores in Canada, they may actually have cheaper or similar priced drives but with better capacity or connections.

    P.S. You do hear a buzzing sound from the LaCie. AND I have had many horror stories with LaCie drives dying. I suggest checking out MyBook from WD if the price is right.
  3. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    Thanks for the heads up. I won't buy the LaCie. Is Firewire 800 really much faster over USB? And also, I have other (non mac) computers in the house - i Know I will have to format the drive a certain way (forget how but after playing around with it I eventually got it to work on both computers..) - if I get a FW drive will it also have USB connections? And does the drive have to be 800 or as long as it's firewire it'll work with FW800? I am checking out that site now...is it reliable?
  4. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
  5. SpaceJello macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2006
    Firewire in general is faster. 800 is a lot faster than USB and 400 is theorectically slower than USB 2.0 but is faster in real life usage. If you want to know the actual difference, check out barefeats.com, they have some actual comparison.

    The mybook you chose has USB/Firewire 400 and Firewire 800. Note that firewire 400 is different than 800, they have different plugs. I have 3 of that drive and they come with all the necessary cables (some drives don't). As long as you pick a drive that has all the ports, you should be able to use them with PCs as well.

    Check out directdial.com (i have shopped from them before, I think they ships from Vancouver and Toronto area. As well, there is tigerdirect.ca
    but i have never had experiences with them.
  6. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    The silver one is so much nicer and it matches my setup more than the black..but the silver one isn't available on those sites you gave me :(
  7. SpaceJello macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2006
    Sorry :( I didn't know the silver one were available. Do note however that the black one don't come with FW 800 I believe. Another option is to get an internal drive and get a silver enclosure from OWC for example.
  8. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    Purchased the Mercury Elite pro (500GB eSATA/FW800/400/USB2.0) for a little over $200 and I could not be happier. The drive is quiet and matches my Macbook Pro.
  9. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    Know where I could get one shipped to Canada?
    Thanks for the heads up.

    oh and I found this ebay auction - http://cgi.ebay.com/WESTERN-DIGITAL...yZ116258QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    Problem is I might get slammed with duty fees...

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