External Hard Drives

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by One Love 1867, May 3, 2009.

  1. One Love 1867 macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2009
    Sheffield, UK
    I'm going to be using my Mac Mini as a HTPC setup, and am looking into getting an external Hard Drive (or two depending on demand obviously!), but as i know little about them i'm wondering if anyone can hand down any advice.

    I've read alot about the Drobo, but at around £400 just for the unit (without any actual storage drives) it's abit out of my price range. I've been looking around and the WD Mybook 1TB drives seem to be quite popular, aswell as looking nice, and Apple stock them themselves on their online store. Does anyone have any experience with these, and are they worth buying? Is there any way of safeguarding against drive failure and losing all your data if it breaks?

    The one aspect that had me originally interested in the Drobo was the protection of your data if one of the drives died. Are there any other multiple-drive storage systems like the Drobo that do this aswell?

    Any help appreciated :)
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    I no longer buy canned hard drives because they've often been problematic for me. I only buy aluminum enclosures (fanless), and I'm a big fan of Rosewill and Macalley enclosures with internal SATA interfaces and then putting Samsung (first) or Seagate (second) drives in them.
  3. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    The Drobo is the least-expensive four-bay RAID-ish enclosure that I know of. Otherworldcomputing just announced their QX2, but that is looking to be more expensive (empty enclosure pricing not yet available).

    You can always plug in multiple drives and create RAID mirrors in OS X, but I'd recommend making a backup onto a second drive instead.

    At one point I had six external enclosures. I eventually got tired of the mess and the noise and bought a Drobo. I'm mostly content but I wish it were a bit faster.

    Unlike many, I believe that heat = death to hard drives, I only buy enclosures with fans, and when the fans eventually fail I replace them. It's a pain, but no drives have died yet.

  4. eisnach41 macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2007
    I have had a few of the MyBooks and after the first one failed and I lost 70gb of music and about 200 movies I learned a tough lesson. If you expect that this will be the way you keep your movies, etc for the foreseeable future, do yourself the favor and get a Drobo. There is nothing like losing all that work (ripping, encoding, tagging, etc); losing hundreds of hours is worth the Drobo.

    I stock my Drobo with the same MyBook drives, but now I know that if one goes down it is not a big deal. I have always had my drives fail within the warranty period too, which makes replacement easy. Convenience has a price and there is no better more convenient way to back things up than Drobo.

    Now if you want to live dangerously, I would get a 2tb WD drive, but know that all drives will someday fail. This is the reality of the situation and because of this some people are still more comfortable with physical media. However, if you take the time and money to back your media up, having that much media at your instant disposal is pretty awesome.

    just my .02.
  5. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Like all things, we live by experience. I am staring at 6 wd mybooks ( 2 on atv's via the atv eSata mod) and have had 0 issues. In the past, seagate was largely believed to be the gold standard for consumer drives. Then the huge firmware bug that rendered them useless.... point being use what works for you. 2 1TB atv's and another 3+TB of remote storage on wd mybooks and still going strong. Drobo is certainly a nice solution, but a touch spendy imo. Just my .02.
  6. Advance The Man macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2005
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

    I have a 2TB WD raided with an actual 1TB of area to use. Why would this be a 'dangerous' setup? If a drive fails, it's a matter of dropping in a replacement drive and it copies the data automatically (according to WD MyDrive). I have considered buying another MyBook and simply backing up all data just in case iTunes deletes my data (this has happened to individual shows, songs, etc).

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