External hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Dr. McKay, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. Dr. McKay macrumors 6502a

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    Belgium, Europe
    #1
    I'm looking for a new external HDD, nothing fance, just to backup my photos and music etc.
    Looking at the LaCie minimus and the WD My Book

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/LaCie-Minim...&qid=1366024999&sr=8-1&keywords=lacie+minimus

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Book-Essent...-1&keywords=western+digital+my+book+essential

    I know Western Digital make their own drives, LaCie just buys them (mostly Seagate I believe) and puts them in a nice case.
    WD has a very good reputation so I should go for that one. Only thing is, I had one in my hand this weekend and the plastic body felt like complete and cheap crap. The power button looked very fragile and the whole thing felt like a toy.
    On the other hand, I've been told that LaCie drives tend to fail quite often, especially the internal PSU.

    So, which one ?
     
  2. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #2
    I have just bought the 2TB USB 3 WD and I'm very impressed with it. The case is just black plastic, but its not nasty, and the performance is way better than I expected. I use it exclusively with my rMBP and it performs perfectly. One caveat though....don't use WD's custom format or their turbo drivers, they actually slow the drive down and cause erratic behaviour. I just formatted mine in the usual way via DU.

    You can save even more money buy purchasing the model that's Windows formatted...you don't need the junk that comes with it anyway, and it was £19 cheaper than the so called Mac version....they are identical, just format and partition in the normal way. I prefer the WD to LaCie.
     
  3. trustever macrumors 6502

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    Jan 14, 2013
    #3
    + 1 here for the WD, I never had issues with WD and purchased several.

    If you find the windows version cheaper go for it and you can reformat via DU as Macman45 suggested...
     
  4. Dr. McKay thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Just found the WD My Book Studio 2Tb with both USB 2 and FW800 for just 20 euros more than the My Book Elements 2Tb (only USB 2/3). Plus the Studio has a metal enclosure !
    Only, the studio has no power button, very annoying, and it seems WD puts some non-removable crapware on their drives that mounts on your desktop and cannot be unmounted...
     
  5. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #5
    Not if you format it. Via DU....that gets rid of the crap. As far as sleeping goes, I unstick the " put hard drives to sleep when possible " on my rMBP...it has a 512GB SSD anyway....that way, the drive stays active when I'm using it. Powering off the Mac shuts down the WD. Once formatted the DU way, all the junk and silly icons will vanish, and you just get the normal orange USB icon on your desktop.
     
  6. Dr. McKay thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I've read somewhere on this forum (can't remember where) that you have to update the firmware of the drive to get rid of it, apparently no mean feat with this drive. Even after reformatting, the disc image with the crapware keeps showing up on the desktop...

    So even when it stays connected to the mains, it won't turn on unless the Mac's on ?

    Or Firewire...
     
  7. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #7

    Nope. I plug it in and it will not power up until I boot my Mac...there was a firmware update, just one, then I ditched ALL the WD Bloatware and formatted the drive via DU. Shut down the Mac, the drive spins down. I've had no issues with it at all as long as you stay away from the WD garbage. On the desk top ( see image) it just shows up as and acts as a standard HDD.
     

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  8. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    "So, which one ?"

    I say, "neither".

    Instead, get yourself a USB3/SATA "docking station" and a "bare" hard drive.

    Not as snazzy-looking as a "pre-packaged" external drive, but the docking station gives you advantages the packaged external drive cannot, such as:
    - the ability to swap drives, and add storage, do a "second backup", etc.
    - makes it easy to diagnose a problem (if the dock fails, just get another dock, if the drive has problems, just substitute another drive)

    You can boot from these and they are as fast (or faster than) a prepackaged drive.

    Just my thoughts, different from most others….
     
  9. Dr. McKay thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Wouldn't be able to benefit from USB3, only have USB2, Thunderbolt and FW800 on my mac...
    Should be a FW800 docking station then, but I think those are quite expensive...
     
  10. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #10
    Might as well buy the USB 2 version of the WD....Going cheap since the release of USB3 models.
     
  11. irnchriz macrumors 65816

    irnchriz

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    Scotland
    #11
    Probably best to buy a drive that supports USB3 so that you can take advantage of it if you upgrade/replace your mac in future.

    WD seems to be the way to go these days, stay away from Seagate (they have been rubbish for years now).
     
  12. Dr. McKay, Apr 16, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013

    Dr. McKay thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    It's the FW800 that interests me. As it's going to be a TM disc, the fact that it hasn't got an on/off button isn't really a deal breaker as FW has its own controller which means it won't have an impact on the processor like USB2 does... or am I seeing this the wrong way ?
     
  13. Dr. McKay thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Are you sure you can use the full capacity of your drive ? The VCD can be disabled but apparently it takes up about 600Mb on your drive which can't be used for anything else. In other words, the virtual image doesn't show up anymore, but is NOT removed...
     
  14. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #14
    Well, without actually filling it up I can't test the theory, but I trust DU and it reports full capacity. I have also neglected to mention the power button at the rear of the unit....I don't use it, but you can. I'm confident that the full 2TB is available to me, but as I say....can't tell without filling it....all the utilities report full capacity is there.....best I can do I'm afraid.
     
  15. flowbie macrumors newbie

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    Mar 6, 2013
    #15
    I have a 3tb Minimus and so far it's been great. The USB3.0 is fast and whatever chipset they use in it has been stable on my 2012 Mini. I have another enclosure (Mediasonic) that uses the jmicron chipset and it always disconnects randomly. I just ordered a Plugable 3.0 dock off Amazon that is supposed to better with an ASmedia chipset. Hopefully that's better as it's to further back up about 20000 photos.

    The Minimus is quiet, dissipates heat well, and runs a Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm drive it it. It's easy to take apart as well unlike many plastic cases (like the Seagate external I have).
     
  16. Dr. McKay thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I like the Minimus as well, only, I have no USB3 on my Mac only USB2. The difference with the FW800 WD will be enormous... Plus, when a USB drive is copying to or from my Mac, it slows my Mac down. Never get this with FW devices.
     
  17. Dr. McKay thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Question : if you unmount your external drive with command-E, how do you remount it without turning the drive off and back on again, without deconnecting and reconnecting the cables, without rebooting your mac ?
     
  18. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #18
    Via Apples Disk Utility (GUI) or via diskutil (command line)?
     
  19. KatiesDream, Apr 20, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013

    KatiesDream macrumors newbie

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    NYC, KC, Dallas
    #19
    Looking for best and highest speed external hard drive for Mac

    I recently lost all of my data and I'm trying to restore from Carbonite. I was restoring to a 1 TB external hard drive. However, it is moving at a snails pace. I have been restoring for over a week and it hasn't even restored 1/2 GB. My files are 110 GB. At this rate it will be years before I'm able to restore much-needed files. Do you have any Suggestions for speeding up this process. I am happy to buy a high-speed external drive don't know which one would be fastest. Should I be looking for USB or FireWire? is there something specific I should be looking forward to determine the highest speed?

    A word of warning, Carbonite :mad::mad::mad: is impossible to deal with regarding this topic. They just say that it takes a long time to restore. No kidding! They refused to send me any disc even though that's what was promised when I signed up for this service over two years ago. They just say that this service is not available and that they are unable to do it. I don't believe this for one minute. What is the point of backing up data when you have no access to it and it could take years to get it back?

    I'm moving to a different service that offers a disk sent overnight with my content.
     
  20. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    I do not think an external HDD will help at all. Your performance problem is in the network connection. It it is mostly likely the speed of your WAN (provided by your ISP)... but you could have issues with your LAN as well.

    How are you connected to your router? Wired or wireless? I would definitely suggest you hard wire your computer directly to the router. Also, check you power management settings on your computer... and disable sleep etc (or install/activate Caffeine).

    Still, your restore speed seems to be way off.

    I've never used Carbonite... but I just checked their web site and they do not offer a seeded backup/restore service. Most companies do not. I use a different company (Crashplan) and I have used their seeding service with high success.

    /Jim
     
  21. KatiesDream macrumors newbie

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    Jan 26, 2012
    Location:
    NYC, KC, Dallas
    #21
    Re: carbonite restore on external hard drive

    Hi Jim,

    Thank you for responding. I am getting upgraded to U-verse 18 Mbps on Monday. That will speed that part of it. I am hardwired directly to the DSL modem. I had previously checked the management and suspended all other activity. I will download caffeine as I do not have that currently.

    Wish I could get Google speed. if I lived 10 miles north or south from here I would have that in my house.

    Thanks for recommending Crashplan. It was one of the providers that I was considering and leaning heavily toward. I appreciate your help.:)
     
  22. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    I use Caffeine all the time. It was either $0.99 or free (I can't remember which). You just click on the coffee cup in the menu bar and it disables your computer from going to sleep. You can do the same thing from system preferences... but with Caffeine just makes it simple.

    In your case... I think DSL is the culprit. Of all the high speed internet options, it is probably the slowest. I think you will get much better results when you change your provider next week.

    Another thing that you might consider is to prioritize your data recovery (if that is an option with Carbonite). I have never done a full recovery... but I did a similar thing back when I uploaded my data to the two services I have used over the years (Mozy first... Crashplan currently).

    What I did was prioritize what I wanted backed up... and only enabled partial data upload. for example:

    1) Documents (completed in a few hours)
    2) Photos (completed within a week)
    3) Home camcorder movies (completed within another week)
    4) Music (completed within another week)
    5) Videos (completed within a month)
    6) Everything else

    Back then... I had about 600GB of data. Now I have 1.5 TB... which is why I most recently used CP's seed service.

    In any case... by doing something like that in reverse (restore vs backup)... then you can probably get the most critical data restored first.

    BTW: Consider how pissed you might be if you never had the data backed up at all.

    /Jim
     
  23. Dr. McKay thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Belgium, Europe
    #23
    Right, still haven't decided.
    Either the WD My book studio with USB2/FW800 or the LaCie Minimus with USB2/3.
    The WD with FW800 will be faster now, the Lacie is more 'future proof' because it has USB3.
    The next Mac I'll be buying probably won't have Firewire anymore so perhaps I should go for the LaCie anyway.
    Tough call, the LaCie was my first choice anyway since I don't need the speed of FW. But then a little birdie told me that LaCie drives have very poor PSU's. And I have in fact had a 500Gb LaCie Porsche design die on me because of that.

    Whatever will I do ?
     
  24. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #24
    First, LaCie is now owned by Seagate.

    Second, you can buy a fanless aluminium enclosure like the inXtron SK-3500 Super S3 which has FW800, USB 3.0 and eSATA and supports drives bigger than 2TB. Then add the drive you like.

    inXtron was formerly called Macpower. This is my third different case. All good.
    It seems that besides the inXtron and Macpower names sometimes they can be found as Akitio.
     
  25. Dr. McKay thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I live in Belgium and you can only get a handful of enclosures over here, 90% of them only USB. Macally is one of them, but even the older enclosure with USB2 and FW800 (NO USB3) is still way more expensive when you add a 2Tb HD to it (the enclosure alone almost costs as much as the WD of Lacie drives)...
     

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