External Hard Drive Recommendations Please!

MyMadness

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 22, 2006
3
0
Dallas
I am in need of a new External Hard Drive, I have a Western Digital with Retrospect Express 6.0 and the thing and software are peices of garbage, can someone recommend a good one to get, where I can back up about once a week very easily. Much Thanks.
 

nate13

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2004
292
80
Fargo, ND

Biker21098

macrumors member
Aug 13, 2002
74
0
CA
I work at my university helping as post production system administration assistant. (FCP and Avid editing systems) I'm an undergrad film production major. For years our school recommended the Lacie d2 drives to people, also helped that Apple sold them at the local Apple store. But recently we have had a high percentage of drive failures, all Lacie d2's Upon more research it looked like the drives weren't failing but that their drive structure was being corrupt. Our guess is that the chipset/board is messing the drive up. Usually after a repair/restructure the drive is fine, sometimes it takes a reformat and then they are fine, but we are no longer telling students to buy Lacie d2 drives. I recommend building your own, get a case for cheap, and a drive for cheap and just assemble it yourself.
Hope that helped.
oh lastly look for an enclosure with a small fan, helps keep the drive cool (less likely to fail)
 

Icewind

macrumors regular
May 23, 2006
166
13
Scotland
Talking of full backups... can anyone shed some light on how to actually do a FULL backup of a Powerbook G4 hard drive? (It's only 70Gb), so the contents should fit on a large external drive no problem. What I don't know is how to actually do the backup. Is it just a case of copying your full Macintosh HD to the backup drive, or is there a utility in Tiger that will do this?

Thanks in advance guys...
 

thworple

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2005
349
0
Sussex, England
Like Biker21098, I too have experienced problems with the Lacie d2 drives. The one I was using at work died over a period of 3-4 months in several different stages. First the Firewire interface died, then it wouldn't mount without a system reboot, then it crashed every half an hour, then it wouldn't mount at all.

In short, it went from being an important storage device to being a rather dull looking paperweight!! A lot of my colleagues also have these drives, and have gone through the same problems.

At home I use a Lacie Porsche drive, and I experienced major problems after just 3 weeks of use when the power cable broke. The connector that plugs into the drive fell apart, the pins litteraly falling out! After 2 months of constant emailing, Lacie finally sent me a replacement cable, and its worked fine ever since, but the powercable still does not sit right in the back of the drive, and is a constant source of worry to me.

In short, I won't be buying another Lacie. I would have suggested a Western Digital Drive, but you say yours has been a bit rubbish to say the least. I use one as a transfer drive for work and home, and over the last year its travelled litterally hundreds of miles, and has never failed on me. Its robust to say the least.

But if you really dislike them, then try a Maxtor, haven't used them so much, but I know others who do and swear by them.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,269
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Like I've said in other discussions on this same topic-

IT IS CHEAPER TO BUY AN INTERNAL 3.5'' DRIVE AND AN ENCLOSURE than it is to buy a pre-made external hard drive.

My advice on brand is to NOT buy LaCie or Maxtor (recently bought out by Seagate). Avoid Western Digital if possible. Seagate's have been consistently reliable for me for years.
 

biozombie

macrumors newbie
Jun 29, 2005
28
0
I have a 250GB Seagate in an enclosure I bought from newegg. It has it's own fan built in and works wonderfully. I back up 3 times a week with a scheduled back up scheme via SuperDuper!

www.shirtpocket.com
 

slackersonly

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2006
525
0
we have got to get a sticky on external drives.
it is very popular and it seems that a consensus has been reached.

1. It is cheaper and still very easy to buy a HD and an enclosure separately.
2. Segate offers the longest (5 year) warranty and is seen by most as the best option.
3. Dont bother with anything smaller than 150gb as it is not cost effective.
4. USB is fine for strict backup drives. FW400 is preferred for constant data access like games, photos, songs, videos, and even an OS. FW800 has not been proven to be significantly faster than FW400.
5. Make sure to match drive and enclosure types (ide&ide, sata&sata, pata&pata)
6. Enclosure chipset does matter but you will pay for it. MacSales.com sells enclosures with the Oxford chipset starting at $60. Enclosures with 'slower' chipsets can be found as low as $20.
7. Look at Newegg.com, Outpost.com, CircuitCity.com, and others for constant Seagate drive deals. Look at CircuitCity.com, BestBuy.com, CompUSA.com, and even the office superstores around holidays for deals as well.
8. Avoid TigerDirect.com rebates.

I just did this on the fly so I apologize if it jumps around a bit. Please add any other general advice.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,269
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
slackersonly said:
we have got to get a sticky on external drives.
it is very popular and it seems that a consensus has been reached.

1. It is cheaper and still very easy to buy a HD and an enclosure separately.
2. Segate offers the longest (5 year) warranty and is seen by most as the best option.
3. Dont bother with anything smaller than 150gb as it is not cost effective.
4. USB is fine for strict backup drives. FW400 is preferred for constant data access like games, photos, songs, videos, and even an OS. FW800 has not been proven to be significantly faster than FW400.
5. Make sure to match drive and enclosure types (ide&ide, sata&sata, pata&pata)
6. Enclosure chipset does matter but you will pay for it. MacSales.com sells enclosures with the Oxford chipset starting at $60. Enclosures with 'slower' chipsets can be found as low as $20.
7. Look at Newegg.com, Outpost.com, CircuitCity.com, and others for Seagate drive deals.
8. Avoid TigerDirect.com rebates.

I just did this on the fly so I apologize if it jumps around a bit. Please add any other general advice.
This is a very good set of guidelines to go by. Perhaps you can make a new post about it and we can all reply with "please sticky" so the mods will notice?

The one thing that I might add is to wait for major holidays to look for deals. Labor Day, Fourth of July, Christmas (duh) President's Day, St. Patrick's Day, etc. all usually find the dealers (I might also add BestBuy and CompUSA) having big sales and promotions. For example, last year around Labor Day I got a 300 GB Seagate for $160 (prices at the time were around $220).
 

ieani

macrumors 6502a
Jan 3, 2006
827
0
the states for now
crazycat said:
Why not? i like LaCie, been using them for a long time without any problems.
Any company that makes a drive that fails as much as that one does cannot be trusted.

BTW, it might not really matter but I added an external hdd question and answer to the FAQ im trying to do.
 

Le Big Mac

macrumors 68030
Jan 7, 2003
2,590
166
Washington, DC
odedia said:
Does anyone have this external drive from OWC? How is it?

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/1394/USB/EliteAL/

I was quite impressed by the connections it has: USB 1.1/2.0, Firewire 400, Firewire 800 AND eSATA 3.0. It also looks really good, especially next to a Macbook Pro or a Mac Pro.

Thanks.

I have the previous version of that one. The Mercury Elite Pro in the plastic enclosure. It looks like this is the "new" version, but so far as I can tell is the same drive, with a different enclosure, and a few dollars less. No problems; seems fine with me. But I'm hardly a heavy user who tests it to the limits.
 

slackersonly

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2006
525
0
crazycat said:
Why not? i like LaCie, been using them for a long time without any problems.

I dont own LaCie but more and more problem posts are showing up over the last 3-4 months. LaCie is still recommended more often then Western Digital and way more often than Maxtor but a trend seems to be developing.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,269
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
slackersonly said:
LaCie is still recommended more often then Western Digital and way more often than Maxtor but a trend seems to be developing.
Maxtor was bought out by Seagate (hopefully none of Maxtor's crappy construction will carry over). LaCie is probably the most 'visible' manufacturer of external drives- they advertise external models almost exclusively.

Everyone even a little tech-savvy, however, knows that Seagate is the way to go :)
 

Mhaddy

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2005
445
1
Canada
Just adding my two cents to the mix...

I will never, ever, ever ever ever... ever buy anything other than Seagate. I have had one too many Maxtor / Western Digital drives fail on me to ever trust them again. Backed up with the 3 (or 5?) year warranty that Seagate offers and it's ridiculous to choose otherwise ;).

As for external drives... I have two for my PowerMac (thanks to the less-than-stellar internal drive bays). Both are no-name enclosures with regular drives that I put together - one is USB and another is FireWire (way faster in the real world).

My question is what separates a good enclosure from a bad? Other than aesthetics (which I don't care about), if I'm in the market for another FireWire enclosure, what would I look for?
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,269
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Mhaddy said:
Backed up with the 3 (or 5?) year warranty that Seagate offers and it's ridiculous to choose otherwise ;).
It's 5 years on all of their drives.

My question is what separates a good enclosure from a bad? Other than aesthetics (which I don't care about), if I'm in the market for another FireWire enclosure, what would I look for?
I'm not aware of any be-all end-all condition for being a great enclosure. I usually look for ones with good ventilation (preferably small fans) that keep the drive relatively cool. Most of the time I just read the customer reviews.
 

9Charms

macrumors regular
May 19, 2006
206
0
Vancouver, BC
Get a ministack with a 500GB HD. It's a great deal right now at Macsales.com. The ministack is also a USB 2.0 and Firewire hub. There is also a fan inside (that you can adjust), as well as a rather large heat sync.
 

Locatel

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2006
120
0
Lacie x Seagate

If you open up a Lacie d2 you'll find a Seagate drive inside it!!! If you build your own external drive with a Seagate drive, the advantage is that it has a 5 year warranty X 1 year Lacie warranty. A 250GB Seagate + good enclosure does not cost much less than a Lacie d2 triple interface 250GB, $155 at www.bhphotovideo.com. The savings will be around $20 the most.
Seagate lovers beware!!! Inside a Lacie beats a Seagate hart!!!:D
 

Locatel

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2006
120
0
9Charms said:
Get a ministack with a 500GB HD. It's a great deal right now at Macsales.com. The ministack is also a USB 2.0 and Firewire hub. There is also a fan inside (that you can adjust), as well as a rather large heat sync.
The cost per GB (60 cents) is the same as in the Lacie d2 Triple interface 320GB ($190 at bhphotovideo.com). The ministack case material is "High quality aluminum colored plastic" X Lacie's alluminum enclosure. This doesn't sound like a great deal to me, unless you own a mini Mac.:)
 

slackersonly

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2006
525
0
your link is bad. take out the ')' at the end.
is this one of those long island new your electronics stores that quotes low prices and never honors them?