External Hard Drive reccomendation

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by NStocks, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. NStocks macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #1
    I currently have a PC, and it has around 95GB usage the rest is empty. I will need a external HD for Time Machine, because it's such a good feature and I don't see why I should'nt use it to my advantage. I have being looking for a External Hard Drive a little over 2 motns now ( I Know ! ), but I can't find the exact one to suite my needs., can anyone help.

    Here's a list of what it must/should have.

    Powered by USB only, this is because I don't want wires everywere, and to save elecetirity.

    Minimum space 320GB,the iMac I'm planning on getting is the top end (500GB)

    I would prefer it to be portable, not that I need it to be really, it just looks better, and I can't find any desktop ones powered by USB

    The maximum price I'm willing to pay £60, this may not be a lot but I don't want to pay over this simply because i know i can get a WD Mybook 500GB for less then this, although it dos'nt comply with the above details

    I would also prefer if it had some sort of light to say its on, a switch isn't essential.

    Any help is greatly Appreciated.

    Oh, it must be Mac and Pc compltiable too

    NStocks
     
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    1) In my professional opinion, a USB powered only drive is dangerous to use as a TM backup. Your backup should always have it's own dedicated power source.
    2) Your 'willing to pay' price is too low for a USB powered only device, particularly with such a large hard drive. USB powered devices are generally in the "portable" category, meaning they have laptop hard drives in them. The largest HD offered in a 2.5" form factor is 320GB, and will run you around $100+ minimum, which kind of blows your budget for the enclosure.
    3) Mac and PC compatible becomes a problem. You will have to partition the drive into 2 pieces, or you will have to purchase extra software for your PC. Why? Because (IIRC) TM is only going to work with an HFS+ formatted drive. Windows cannot read HFS+ formatted drive without the aid of 3rd party software.
    So, partitioned for usability on both systems, but reduced space for TM backups.
    Or, MacDrive to read/write from Windows. Which will add another $50 to your overhead.

    Personally, I think you should get over your aversion to wires and drive size and shoot less for the aesthetic aspect and more for the practical aspect. There are some really nice looking 3.5" HD enclosures out there and you can get yourself a very large disk to partition for use on both systems.

    Remember, your ultimate goal here should be for backup and data protection. Everything else should be secondary.
     
  3. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #3

    Fair points there. I only want Mac and Pc compatible, because whilst I'm selling my pc, all the data such as music documents pictures etc will be stored on the external HD. Once th files have being transferred to the iMac then they will be deleted from the HD, then I will format the hard drive?, making it clean for TM.

    I also like the point about the power source for the Hard Drive, I didn't think about that, because i never thought about my iMac crashing on me causing it to restart of whatever. Would USB be sufficient for TM though, I don't need it to be super fast, hence why I didn't opt for Firewire.

    I think my decision is going to be to go for the Western Digital 500GB MyBook, I know a lot of people use them with Mac's and they seem reliable.

    Can you suggest any other?

    Thank You

    NStocks
     
  4. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    USB should be fine. In the end, USB 2.0 and FW400 are nearly the same speed.
    For what you want, compatability shouldn't be an issue then. An HD is an HD. The only difference is how it's formatted, but there's no such thing (despite what sales people try to sell you) as a "mac" or "windows" hard drive. Just get what you want, format it as FAT32 (on the Mac, Windows will limit it to 32GB) and make sure you don't have an files over 4GB in size, otherwise you're going to have a problem getting them on there.

    I see a lot of problems with WD Passports. I don't have any experience with WD MyBooks. But given the high failure rate from Passports, I'd avoid WD products. But that's just me. In the world of HDs, there's always conflicting stories and experiences.

    I prefer to purchase separate units. Purchase an HD and purchase an enclosure. It's cheaper and I know exactly what I am getting.
     
  5. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    #5
  6. LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    ever thought about investing in the emerging market of SSD's (Solid State Drives) basically large flash drives, There is no moving parts so thee much more reliable and long lasting, More expensive, but in theory they should last forever and be a lot faster,
    Just a thought... :cool:
     
  7. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    Longer lasting? I'm not so sure about that, unless SSDs are massively different than flash drives. Flash drives have a limited lifespan of read & write. Depending on the quality of manufacture and luck, somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000 read/writes.
     
  8. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    #8
    He he... you gotta be kidding me....
    The guy wants 500gigs for below GBP60 and that too in a 2.5" avatar!
     
  9. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #9

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