External Hard Drives

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by pfisher, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. pfisher macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #1
    I am a newbie to this forum. I have a question about external hard drives for the Mac.

    What is the best external hard drive to use with a Mac? Perferred a desktop model not a portable one.

    I am looking for an external hard drive with all the ports on it. Fireware 400/800, USB, eSata, etc.... to use with any Mac OS version 10.2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Also, I am looking at 1TB or 2TB. I would be using this external HD as backup of files and other software.

    I know Lacie makes an external HD with all the ports I am looking for but I think Lacie is not good cause they crap out after about 3 years.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Corndog5595 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #2
    Just in the interest of disproving your thought about Lacie drives:
    My dad has had the same Lacie drive for 8 years now. It is three times the size of a Mac Mini and requires its own power. It is also only 60 gigs, but it still works.
     
  3. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #3
    Honestly, I don't expect any drive...even internal ones...to be completely reliable after 3 years. I back-up my backups...as should you. Drives are cheap enough that you can pick up 2 1TB externals for about $150 if you know where to find the bargains.

    And even 3 years from now, even a 2TB one, will likely be too small for all of your files...AND you will likely pay LESS for a new, larger external in 2013 anyway. :) Never be too small you say? Just wait until you start owning HD movies, or super-HD...or Super-3D-HD!!! Or some filetypes that haven't been devised yet. LOL

    I guess what I am saying is La Cie, even with a 3 yr lifespan, is pretty darn good. Just keep transferring your data to the next drive every 2-3 years and you'll have no issues.

    I have personally had good luck with Western Digital drives and a La Cie...low cost and good performance. The only issues I had were with Maxtor FW drives in the late 90s/early 2000s.
     
  4. gorby macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #4
    I recently just bought my first external harddrive-- always thought I'd get a WD mybook of some sort but I ended up getting the OWC Mercury Elite 1TB.

    Thing with harddrives is for just about any make/brand you'll find folks who swear on their life that it sucks/failed on them/ate their baby etc.

    I don't know how anyone could form a decent opinion on them from online feedback. That said, OWC gets very good reviews, maybe because they aren't a huge brand and have significantly less customers. But I bought my memory from them so there is some form of existing trust there.

    For what I've done with it so far (make a clone of my Tiger drive before clean installing Snow Leopard) it's done what I want my Apple experience to be-- just work :D
     
  5. macnerdiac macrumors member

    macnerdiac

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    #5
    i had an external hard drive last year, got it for about 50$ from best buy and it worked awsome, and was portable! Dont have it anymore though, long story, actually i am on my way to purchase another as we speak :D:D:D
     
  6. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #6
    I'd recommend Western Digital. Best Buy always has a great selection of WDs on sale every week.
     
  7. Corndog5595 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
  8. M-B-P macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    #8
    I'm in the market for a 500gb portable external hard drive, could anyone help me find a bargin? ;)
     
  9. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #9
    www.buy.com never disappoints.
     
  10. mlblacy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    the REAL Jersey Shore
    #10
    Quad interface westerns....

    $389 on Amazon gets you a quad 4 tb. I think they have 2tb's as well...

    I have one hanging off my extreme base station for time machine via USB, and a new one waiting for my i7. That one will be plugged into the f800 port, and a few f400's will be daisy chained off the tail of it...

    They are quiet, cheap, and have been running well. Also there are actually two 2tb drives inside, and they are very easily accessible if needed...
    Michael
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    If you are interested in "desktop" more than "portability", have you considered something like this:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer+Technology/FWU2ES2HDK/

    With one of these, you aren't "locked into" the "drive inside". You can swap drives as needed. It's a good bet that -- over time -- you WILL aquire more than one drive!
     
  12. shareknowledge macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    #12
    How would you like to mount external HDD??
    Is there any possibility for it to work against these situations.??
     
  13. Argon21 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Алейск, RUSSIA
    #13
    Why bother with all the different interfaces? Firewire 800 is all you need. It's fast (2.5x faster than USB), it's bootable, and it's backwards compatible with Fw400. Fw800 is all I use for my external storage.
     
  14. harddriveowner macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #14
    LaCie Suckkk

    I have 5 count them 5 Lacie 1 or 2 TB external harddrives that all they can be used for are doorstops. Total junk. Their support is worthless. If I were a lawyer I'd sue them.
     
  15. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #15
    What's wrong with them?
     
  16. lil1998 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #16
    I currently have the WD My Book 500TB. Had it for a year, no issues. Although I previously had a Maxtor 160GB drive that was also just fine for 4 years...I didn't replace due to problems, only due to lack of space. I sometimes wish I had waited, because suddenly about 5 months later I decided it was finally time to replace my G4 with an iMac. And now my external drive has less space than my computer (1TB) and Firewire 800 ports instead of Firewire 400 (as on the G4--really didn't expect these to be different). So far, I'm very happy with the purchase and it was quite reasonable.

    I have a fear of drive crashes (not irrational--total wipe-outs happened to me twice) and there's something about the giant external drives that are available these days that make me nervous. Like ...too much dependence on them, I guess. I know people mention backing up backups, but I just have the one drive. I wonder if it's more or less reliable to get a second drive but to use the drives for separate things rather than backing up each other. I currently have my internal and external drives partitioned, but if I got a 1TB drive I could use that solely for photos/music/scratch disk and the 500GB one for everything else.
     
  17. mangrove macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    FL, USA
    #17
    I have used hard drives since the early 1980's.
    I have had them all go bad, WD, Seagate, (not Lacie yet), etc.etc. In that time span (OMG it's been 25 years), I have had more than 15 go bad. Always at the worst time too.

    Like someone said backup your backups. When buying a HD/SSD, get 3 of them and hope for the best-use one + backupA + backupB. If you can afford it also have a backupC.

    Sounds crazy? Every drive will go bad and somehow in my experiences they know when to go bad and cause you the highest of pain.

    My Lacie of choice right now--Quadra big 4- 8TB mirrored down to 4TB. All drives are swappable and therefore when one goes have a replacement (or2) ready to slip in where the bad one failed. Many others also sell this type of setup. It works. RAID 0 is for dreamers who sacrifice security for speed. Want speed get SSD's and a big a** RAM or hybrid drives in the least. Want security, use RAID 1.

    Why do all these companies market swappable drives? They know eventually drives fail, so to make a bad situation slightly better, they get you mentally prepared for drive failure by selling you boxes just for drive failures.
     
  18. QueenVictoria macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    #18
    LaCie Mac & PC not monunting

    I just shot a 30 minute movie (3 12 hour days) and backed up to a brand new LaCie Rugged Firewire 500GB HD. I watch a little footage on my G-4 then tried to mount on my associates PC so he could edit the footage. It never mounted and now I can't get it to mount on any of my Macs. It was connected via firewire without direct electricity and I tried the USB cable as well. My DP has it backed up on his Mac, but this is very inconvenient as he's in another city. Any advice? It does not show in disk utility.
     
  19. drgrafix macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    New England
    #19
    I've been running a Lacie 1TB FW/USB drive (using the FW800) in my iMac for 2+ years now and although the drive has been flawless, the PS died. To Lacie's credit, I called them and they sent me a complete new PS. Nice customer service, quick response, no questions.

    On my PC I have a Fantom 1TB Green Drive using USB for about 2 years... and the darn thing seems to be bulletproof. Absolutely no glitches. If you can live with USB... its a very inexpensive drive. I do believe they also make 1.5 & 2.0 TB drives, and also have FW800 drives.

    I would recommend either. Right now, I'm actually thinking about a Network drive setup as my next storage "adventure" LOL, either a DLink or Netgear where I can throw two drives in bays and hopefully use the full capacity (2 - 1.5 TB drives for 3.0 Gigs of storage) rather than RAID.
     
  20. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #20
    Was the hard drive formatted as FAT32? It needs to be FAT32 to be used with both Macs and PCs. According to this page at LaCie it requires 10.5 or higher on a Mac. When it's connected, if it has a power light, does it come on? Can you hear the drive spin up when it's connected? On the Mac does it show up under System Profiler?
     
  21. pfisher thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #21
    External Hard Drives

    Can we come back to my original question, please? I started this post to find out about other External Drives for the Mac other than Lacie.

    With that said, does anyone know about the G-Technology products? Has anyone used the G-Drive for the Mac? Does anyone have any experience using this type of drive or using products from this company?
     
  22. mac&cheesey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    #22
    G Drives

    I have 3 of these drives (2TB media, 1TB Time Machine and 500GB portable) and have no complaints with any of them. Very solid drives. They look great too.

    Mine are all triple interface (FW800, FW400 and USB). One of the drives showed up dead but that was not a huge issue as the place I bought it exchanged it no problem.

    I recommend these drives from my experience.

    m&c
     
  23. Greenjeens macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #23
    Seems that I only learn about electronics when I break or create catastrophic errors and I have had quite a bit of experience with hard drives. Perhaps I can save others from the frustration of making the same errors that I have made with hard drives...

    Here's some tips to prevent hard drive problems . I am currently using the Western Digital My Book Studio Drive, the one with all the permanently installed hardware on it for backing up. Apparently if one is clever enough there is an update procedure for the firmware that removes the offending software, but It doesn't bother me.

    Don't even think about getting a USB only Toaster drive for your Mac because of the wide availability and inexpensive price. The transfer speeds are ridiculously slow. Get fire wire 800 with 400 and likely E-sata to boot and pray that Apple or at least OWC keep offering an E-sata Mod on some of the new Imacs.

    The OWC Hard Drive Toaster, called the "VOYAGER" can play another bare hard drive faster than you can say "remove the jumper". That is, make sure and remove the adjustable jumper on the rear of the hard drive if any. I had a heck of a time to get any hard drives to mount from any of the several HD Docks, until I removed those jumpers!

    Cooling: I am a cooling nut and although fans are noisy I just don't trust hard drives that are not actively cooled over the long term. Sure modern components can handle a lot of heat, but at what cost A good heat sink is OK too. Extreme Heating and cooling cycles tend to stress electronic circuitry and cause weak parts or poor solders to fail more quickly, when it's easier to get a warranty replacement. I always try to heat stress any new electronics by alternatively leaving them on and then turning of for a quick cool down and then back up again for a prolonged heat cycle.

    As fond as I am of the OWC Voyager bare drive "toaster", I am just as unhappy with the REFURBISHED MERCURY PRO DUAL DRIVES. I bought three refurbs thinking that they had faults that now a human has repaired so they will be more reliable than a new drive. Well, 2 of the 3 dual drives failed within about 90 days and I just managed to not lose my 1 TB itunes library. Another setting I would not recommend the JBOD or concantnated discs if there is no way to recover the good drive if one of the pair should fail. If one of the hard drives in the pair fails then the other drive is lost without it, which really puts all of the data at risk if only one drive fails. Seems strange, but I couldn't find an easy way to extract my data from the one good drive when it was impossible to re -pair the second hard drive in the box. AS 2 TB HD came down in price I merely got a single 2 TB drive, so I could sxtore all my itunes files on one drive.

    Upon later investigation pair of 1 TB WD drives I bought may not have been the best choice for RAID pairing. Western Digital makes some drives that are made for Matched RAID configurations and some drives that are not designated, and this little fact may require some deeper digging into the documentation before purchase. use drives which should not be used as pairs and some made just for RAID pairing.

    However, I did send in one of the Mercury Elite Pro Aluminum dual drive cases back for repair, when trouble shooting appeared to indicate a bad controller, but only other cheaper parts were replaced but not the controller. The drive worked for about 5 minutes and then stopped. I have made some changes to my views of refurbs after having several refurbished products die very quickly. I believe refurbs are just patched so they can get sent out the door without repairing deeper problems within a unit and the onus is on the new owner to return the defective products. Bottom line, it appears companies can move out otherwise dead merchandise, move out flawed items and chances are that products will not come back, even if they break quickly, because many people are too busy.

    I keep the Voyager (AKA Hard drive Toaster) with mounted 1TB WD Black Label bare HD on my desk hooked by FW800, in front of a large air cleaner fan with the large fan moving at reduced speeds, especially when the ambient room temperature gets very hot. There are some good temperature monitoring applications to play with. "Temperature monitor" seems to work ok. Wish i had some other internal temps to compare my results to?
     
  24. Greenjeens macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #24
    Seems that I only learn about electronics when I break or create catastrophic errors and I have had quite a bit of experience with hard drives. Perhaps I can save others from the frustration of making the same errors that I have made with hard drives...

    Here's some tips to prevent hard drive problems . I am currently using the Western Digital My Book Studio Drive, the one with all the permanently installed hardware on it for backing up. Apparently if one is clever enough there is an update procedure for the firmware that removes the offending software, but It doesn't bother me.

    Don't even think about getting a USB only drive for your Mac because of the wide avaiabliity and inexpensive price. The transfer speeds are ridiculously slow. Get fire wire 800 with 400 and likely esata to boot and pray that Apple or at least OWC keep offering an Esata Mod on some of the new Imacs.

    THe OWC Hard Drive Toaster, called the "VOYAGER" can play another bare hard drive faster than you can say "remove the jumper". That is, make sure and remove the adjustable jumper on the rear of the hard drive if any. I had a heck of a time mounting any of the drives until I removed those jumpers!

    Cooling I am a cooling nut and fans are noisy but I just dont trust hard drives that are not actively cooled. Extreme Heating and cooling cycles tend to stress electronic circuitry more than circuitry that has a cooling system, active or passive. I always try to heat stress any new electronics so any faults will hopefully show up sooner. I alternate hot with cold by leaving gear on overnight and then allowing it to cool and then getting the gear as hot as possible again.

    AS fond as I am of the OWC Voyager bare drive toaster I am just as unhappy with the REFURBISHED MERCURY PRO DUAL DRIVES. I bought three refurbs thinking that they had faults that now a human has repaired so they will be more reliable than a new drive. Well, 2 of the 3 dual drives failed within about 90 days and I just managed to not lose my 1 TB itunes library. Another setting I would not recommend the JBOD or concantnated discs if there is no way to recover the good drive if one of the pair should fail. If one of the hard drives in the pair fails then the other drive is lost without it, which really puts all of the data at risk if only one drive fails. Seems strange, but I couldn't find an easy way to extract my data from the one good drive when it was impossible to re -pair the second hard drive in the box. AS 2 TB HD came down in price I merely got a single 2 TB drive, so I could sxtore all my itunes files on one drive.

    Upon later investigation pair of 1 TB WD drives I bought may not have been the best choice for RAID pairing. Western Digital makes some drives that are made for Matched RAID configurations and some drives that are not designated, and this little fact may require some deeper digging into the documentation before purchase. use drives which should not be used as pairs and some made just for RAID pairing.

    However, I did send in one of the Mercury Elite Pro Aluminum dual drive cases back for repair, when trouble shooting appeared to indicate a bad controller, but only other cheaper parts were replaced but not the controller. The drive worked for about 5 minutes and then stopped. I have made some changes to my views of refurbs after having several refurbished products die very quickly. I believe refurbs are just patched so they work for a little while and the onus is on the new owner to return the defective products. Botton line, it appears companies can move out otherwise dead merchandise, move out flawed items and chances are that proucts will not come back, even if they break quickly.

    I keep the Voyager with mounted hard drive on my desk, in front of a large air cleaner fan with the large fan moving at reduced speeds especially when the ambient room temperature gets very hot. There are some good temperature monitoring applications to play with. "Temperature monitor" seems to work ok. Wish i had some other internal temps to compare my results to?
     
  25. AnimaLeo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #25
    I own two 1TB Western Digital external hard drives and just love them. They're a tad slow, but they work great. You're at a really good point to be investing in external hard drives as well. I paid £200 for my hard drives, but 1TB hard drives have just gone down half price in the past few months. So you'll only have to pay £100 for two 1TB hard drives, or spend £200 and get 4TB of storage.
     

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