External HD for use with time machine recommendations

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by iproductsuser, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. iproductsuser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    #1
    I am in the market for a 2TB external to use with my brand new MacBook Pro running mountain lion. I've been led in circles reading reviews about many brands and their mixed reviews to the point that nothing stands out from the rest. Can anybody speak from experience and point me in the direction of something in the $200 price range?

    As mentioned, I will be using this with my MBP, so I was wondering, am I able to hook this up, and run backups a couple times per week versus leaving it plugged in all the time for scheduled hourly time machine back ups? I don't want to have to lug around a plugged in external when i'm mobile with my MBP which is often. For MBP users out there on this forum, how do you go about using Time machine w/o leaving it plugged in 24/7?
     
  2. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #2
    I use a 2 TB Western Digital My Book Live, connected to the router by an ethernet cable. Haven't had any problems with Time Machine backups, and I don't need to worry about dis/connecting it back and forth.
     
  3. iproductsuser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    #3
    I read hundreds of reviews and most point to the negative side as did reviews for most of WD's products unfortunately.
     
  4. Risco macrumors 68000

    Risco

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #4
    I do exactly this, using the drive I reviewed here http://youtu.be/tnUtiUqsAb4

    The beauty of it is that the drive is usb 3.0 so runs off the usb bus. I plug it in a couple of times week to backup. Mine is the 1tb version, but you can pick up bigger.
     
  5. iproductsuser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    #5
    That one gets a lot of negative reviews via amazon as well. Seems like western digital has a bad reputation. Any other recommendations?
     
  6. Risco macrumors 68000

    Risco

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #6
  7. iproductsuser, Sep 4, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012

    iproductsuser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    #7
    I was looking at the elements 2TB, it may or may not be a different product (besides the size). WD has a ton of variations.

    Edit: Looks like the elements is only available up to 1TB.
     
  8. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #8
    I've read all of these negative reviews as well, but the thing is there isn't a drive out there that doesn't have these. And it seems like a whole lot of them are from people who really should read the manual before writing reviews. Things like "the drive stopped working, I threw it out" isn't too uncommon, and the professional reviews are very, very positive. Plus, the latest firmware really have seem to made the drive A LOT more stable than it was before.

    I mean, I'm not really trying to win you over, but I reckon the reviews on Amazon (which include really old reviews, reviews regarding problem stemming from old firmware, reviews talking about the 1 TB (which as far as I know don't have the same components as the new 2 TB) and so on really give an unfair image of the drive. Or maybe I'm just very lucky ;)

    Either way, there are other options for cheaper, one drive NAS solutions out there. Maybe the GoFlex would suite you better?

    Or, you could just buy a docking station with ethernet connectivity and get any drive you want to.
     
  9. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #9
    I've had some bad experience with some older WD drives; bug in the firmware that I could never get sorted despite Herculean effort (you've gotta use some ancient DOS utilities to try to mend it...unfun). But it's also true that there are negative reviews of most all of the drives out there.

    Enterprise quality drives are gonna be more reliable, but more costly. You can save some money by buying an internal and putting in the external case of your choice. I just plug my external in from time to time and run TM on it. For daily backups of critical stuff I use Dropbox, SkyDrive and others since I'm often using the laptop away from home and office.
     
  10. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #10
    The most obvious answer is a Time Capsule. If you want a non-Apple solution, buy any affordable NAS drive and implement the work around to force Time Machine to work with any network share. I did that for awhile w/o difficulty before buying a Time Capsule.

    Or Buy a NAS of your choice and use something other than Time Machine to do backups. Chronosync, for example, will do scheduled backups as often (hourly or less frequent) as you want to a network share.
     
  11. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    www.emiliana.cl/en
    #11
  12. iproductsuser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    #12
    I'm all ears to recommendations you may have. I sorted amazon reviews for newest first to weed out ancient ones.
     
  13. iproductsuser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    #13
    Where did you buy it from? Looks like they are not easy to come by online. Staples has them and so does B&H but they are out of stock.
     
  14. Risco macrumors 68000

    Risco

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #14
    Currys in the UK, however you can source it from Amazon. I linked it above in reply to OP. The model number is the exact same one as mine.
     
  15. carestudio macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #15
    2TB and under $200
    What about a USB3 and FireWire drive from caldigit?
    http://www.CalDigit.com/store.asp

    AV Drive 2TB, special price 299 and free shipping
    I have very good experience with their drives.
     
  16. mawyatt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #16
    I use a Hitachi 7200rpm USB 3 powered HD for Time Machine on my MBPr. I use the another Hitachi HD (same type) for my image storage, so far everything seems to be working OK.
     
  17. iproductsuser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    #17
    Link?
     
  18. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #18
    To really answer your question, the ONLY truly supported solutions for networked, wireless Time Machine backups are a Time Capsule or a shared drive on another Mac on the network. There are lots of other options that can be made to work, but none of them, including a USB drive connected to an Airport Extreme, are officially supported. Third party NAS devices often provide support, but each time Apple updates OSX, that solution is broken, and you are left waiting for a firmware update to restore functionality. The same thing with unsupported NAS'es. I used Time Machine to a home-made NAS for 5 years, and it worked fine when it was working, but at each OS upgrade, I had to wait for a work-around, which often involved disposing of my current history of backups. I eventually gave that up and now my iMac functions as the home server, including Time Machine backups.

    I don't want to tell you not to use any of these 'unsupported' solutions, just want to make sure you are aware that they might not always be 100% straightforward.
     
  19. iproductsuser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    #19
    I ended up buying an OWC Mercury on the go 1TB
     
  20. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #20
    You should try Seagate GoFlex ultraportable HD. I am very pleased with it. :apple:
     
  21. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #21
    Apple supports Time Machine backups to NAS' and external USB drives connected to any router with AFP, except for the AEBS.

    I think the key word here is "home made". My netbook running FreeNAS handled the transition from Lion to Mountain Lion without any problems, my WD MBL's TM backups didn't even flinch during the latest OS upgrade.
     

Share This Page