External Hard Drive Recommendation??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mac2004, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Mac2004 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    #1
    I have a Mac Mini and my hard drive is almost used up so I need to purchase an external hard drive.

    I have been considering 2 models:

    The Western Digital MyBook an the Iomega 500GB Mini Max.

    The QUALITY of a product is very important especially since it's a hard drive.

    Which external hard drive model should I get that will work with my Mac Mini. Should I get one with FireWire or USB?

    Also, should I order from the Apple Store, Mac Connection, or Amazon?
     
  2. bzollinger macrumors 6502a

    bzollinger

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    #2
    I'd suggest building your own. I've done it many times with great results. It's less expensive, easy and you know exactly what drive is inside. It takes about 5 minutes to put one together.

    Go here for tests on the best drives: www.storagereview.com

    NewEgg.com has tons of choices for external enclosures, they don't cost much and you could easily find one that supports both USB and firewire.

    For quality purposes look at the MTF (Mean time to failure), if this spec is high, then the manufacturer is confident in the quality of the drive. Also look for a drive w/ a five year warranty.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Mac2004 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 17, 2004
    #3
    There is no way I will build my own external hard drive. They really aren't that expensive anyway and cost isn't important to me. I just want to get one shipped to me and plug it in. Thanks for your advice however.
     
  4. Sweetbike40 macrumors 65816

    Sweetbike40

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    #4

    LOL i don't blame you.
     
  5. tMac85 macrumors 65816

    tMac85

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    #5
    I'm going to tag along to your post as I am looking for an external harddrive aswell. I'm not looking for the most expensive nor the largest. I would just like some nice recomendations. Thanks!
     
  6. smogsy macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 8, 2008
    #6
    WD 500GB MyBook very good im getting one on saturday but the ethernet version :)
     
  7. tMac85 macrumors 65816

    tMac85

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    #7
    what are the chances of external hard drives crashing?

    There are a lot of reviews saying thw WB mybook is not a good buy. its almost 50-50 hate- love.

    thoughts?
     
  8. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

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    #8
    If you are looking for an external drive for the Mac Mini, I would get one of the ones that fits right underneath it - like the ones from Newertech (sold by OWC):

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ministack/

    Then again, you might look at the new TimeCapsule from Apple with the 802.11n router built in:

    http://www.apple.com/timecapsule/

    500G external WITH a 802.11n router is a steal for $299...

    If you want the ultimate in performance with your Mini, get a Firewire drive, but if you want to share it on your network, go with the TimeCapsule...
     
  9. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

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    #9
    An external drive is really just an internal drive in a different box. Some have full size 3.5" drives, and some have smaller 2.5" laptop drives. Heat could be a problem with the smaller enclosures, but I don't think you have to worry about drive crashes with an external drive, unless you are being really rough with it...

    You can get the external enclosure and put any type of drive into it. I recently upgraded the drive on a MacBook, and put the old 60G drive into a $30 enclosure from OWC (http://www.macsales.com). It works like a champ...
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #10
    Hi,

    If I'm aiming for a super-reliable drive, and am happy with only "decent" speed performance, which brand should I be looking at?

    Seagate was king a few years ago, but I'm a bit out of touch with which brands are the most reliable.

    Also, does anyone know what sort of drive is in Apple's Time Capsule?
     
  11. a1016neo macrumors regular

    a1016neo

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    Nov 10, 2006
    #11
    I'm dumping my WD 500gb for a 1Tb Time Capsule.
     
  12. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #12
    I would get the Ministack v2 or v3. They come with the drive preinstalled in various sizes. Check them out at macsales.com
     
  13. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

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    #13
    OWC. Get the Mercury Elite Pro and put a Seagate drive in there. Looks great and works well.
     
  14. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #14
    I actually like the Cooldrives.com cases better than the Mercury Elite, however, the OP stated not wanting to do a self build, though both OWCs ME line and CoolDrives both offer preinstalled options, with the OWC being slightly cheaper, I think the MiniStack really is the best solution here.
     
  15. MarlboroLite macrumors 6502a

    MarlboroLite

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    #15
    Time Capsule question:

    Can this thing also be used wired? I'm not sure I trust using it wireless for everything...and I bet it's super slow too!

    Like if I want to boot through it and Time Machine if my HD melts down, can I do it wirelessly? Something is fishy to me about this wireless backup....$299 also seems quite pricy for 500 GB...though maybe not? Is it competitive?
     
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #16
    It's pricey, but it comes with a wireless modem, so you get wireless in your home and a wireless HD.

    The only reason I haven't pulled the trigger is because I don't know what type of drive is in the Time Capsule. If I knew it was a 3.5" drive and came from a reliable company, I'd consider it.
     
  17. tjohanne macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    #17
    My Book

    I am currently using two WD My Books Essential ed. and I am very happy with both of them (USB connection). No troubles at all so far after one year of use. They also fit very well in my bookshelf in a standing position. I have all my USB equipment far away from the computer through a 5 meter extension cable and USB-hub, to avoid cable cluttering. Great solution :)

    Next HD I buy will also be a My Book, so I strongly recommend them!
     
  18. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

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    #18
    I simply believe that no drive is reliable. That means you need at least two drives. I like to buy drives with 5 year warranties.

    I just bought a 750G Maxtor with enclosure (Firewire & USB) for $190 from Fry's. So thats now 5 drives on my PowerMac (2 internal, 1 FW800, 2 FW400).

    Firewire vs USB. Go Firewire.

    If you want something stylish, get one of those "under the mini" drives.
    If you don't want to see it, get a long firewire cable. I have a 15 footer.
     
  19. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #19
    I have an older g Airport, and the only thing that bums me out about the n Airport and now Time Capsule is that they are not wall mountable like mine. Maybe it is better for the 5 antennas to be flat rather than vertical, but it saves space having it on the wall behind my desk.
     
  20. JSchwage macrumors 6502a

    JSchwage

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    #20
    I'd recommend buying an external hdd enclosure and a hard drive instead of a "pre-built" one. That way you can easily swap out hard drives if you ever need to. Those pre-built ones can be pretty time-consuming when you have to open them. :D
     
  21. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #21
    1) Wired to a network, but not directly to the computer. It's not a bootable disk.

    2) It's pricey because you also get a $179 Airport Extreme Base Station included. If you have that (or similar) already, then the value declines.
     
  22. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

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    #22
    Just to throw in another brand - I've always used LaCie drives and I love them. I'd recommend Firewire as its slightly faster with large file transfers. I have 2 of those LaCie drives that fits under the Mac Mini (500GB and 250GB) and they are fantastic. They really suit the mini, and are reasonably quiet. The fans come on if you've been hammering the harddrive, but thats less than once a month for me.

    Plus you get a USB/Firewire hub which is worth its weight in gold. I couldn't be happier with my hard-drives.
    [​IMG]
     
  23. Mac In School macrumors 65816

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    Jun 21, 2007
    #23
    Seagate Freeagent 500 GB (I'm guessing on the capacity you need)

    4/5 stars on Amazon.

    4/5 stars on NewEgg.

    5 year warranty

    Price $124.99 at NewEgg.

    LaCie is one of the brands I do not consider. They make the enclosures, not the drives. What drive is inside is a crapshoot. Could be a great one, could be a lemon. Mine turned out to be a lemon. Sweet enclosures, though. I'll give them that.
     
  24. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

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    #24
    I purchased a G-drive with my iMac.
    Seems to work very well, and the aluminum enclosure is a perfect match for Apple computers.
     

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  25. Dave00 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 2, 2003
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    Pittsburgh
    #25
    I have a Buffalo 500mb USB2 hard drive, and it works great, is silent when not being used and fairly quiet when in use. The advantage of USB drives is they tend to be a little less expensive. You only notice the speed difference from Firewire (which in real world use is actually significant) if you're using it all the time for large transfers. For backup and small file retrieval, it's trivial. But the real advantage of firewire drives is that you can boot from them (which you can't with usb.) So you can partition or repair your internal hard drive without a problem (otherwise you have to boot from DVD).

    There are going to be good and bad reviews of about every drive, because every company makes a few clunkers. From what I've seen, the 500mb drives seem to be the sweet spot; higher capacity tend to suffer from the old "airplane taking off" sound whenever you access them.

    Dave
     

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