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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 11, 2011
I'm looking for someone that's Mac friendly to help out with little things here and there. I need my own personal "genius" without having to go to the genius bar.

I'm currently researching external hard drives and I'm not sure which brand, how many TB's, etc. I just bought a few different drives from Seagate (desktop 5TB, portable 2, 3, & 4TB) and trying to decide which one to keep - if any. I have read different reviews regarding Seagate - some good - some not so good regarding reliability.

I'm only using 304.95GB of space of my mid 2011 imacs 1TB computer so I don't really even know why I'm considering a 2,3,4, or 5TB external hard drive to begin with. I don't know if bigger is better. And do I want a big clunky desktop drive or a smaller portable cute one on my desk?

In the past I've used WD my passport portable drives. Don't know if they've ever really worked because thankfully I haven't been in a situation where I've needed to restore.


macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2014
Lots of choices and most are individual preference. I see no need to over buy if you see no future need for large storage devices. I use Lacie Porsche Design external hard drives. I have 2ea 2TB. One for Carbon Copy Cloner and one partitioned for Time Machine and drag and drop back ups. Both have plenty of free space. Using a Sabrent hub. Never had any issues with Lacies. If i had unlimited cash would get SSD externals. Too pricey atm.


macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
Based on failure rates, I'd avoid both WD and Seagate, and consider HTSC (Hitachi) or Toshiba as an OEM drive supplier.

If you'd really like to boost the speed of the iMac, you might consider getting a thunderbolt-based SSD, and setting that up to be "your external booter".

You will LIKE the performance increase you get from doing it this way.

I would set the SSD up with
- OS
- Applications
- Accounts (see below).

Keep using the internal HDD for large libraries, such as movies, photos, and music.
This keeps enough free space on the SSD to yield maximum performance from it.

You will have to manage "what goes where" with two drive icons on the desktop instead of one, but it's easy once you're used to it.

The 2011 iMac limits you to Thunderbolt as the only "fast connection".
The USB2 ports are usable, but too slow to really enjoy the benefits of an SSD ...


macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
Always a day away
If you're not sure why you need the drive in the first place, then I'm not sure how you can really get any reasonably good advice here, but...since you asked -

As far as manufacturers go, I've used scores of drives over the years and the only drive I've ever had fail on me was a Seagate. And I've used enough of them that it wouldn't necessarily prevent me from buying another one.

Depending on how you want to use the drive, you could go USB (more than adequate for simple backups), or if you want a speed/performance boost and have some extra money to burn you could go Thunderbolt.
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