external hd help for backup

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by turnstylez18, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. turnstylez18 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #1
    well ive been thinking of getting an external hard drive for backing up my music collection only...so i wont necessarily need a big harddrive...
    i want to be as cheap as possible...so i dont want to over do it in terms of size of the hd...

    i dont know nething when it comes to external hds...will i have problems since im connecting it to a macbook? and would i have to reformat it etc...or simple plug n play...

    what would u recommend? most i would pay is 100canadian dollars...

    if not, then i would have to go through the dvd route...which mite be a pain
     
  2. neven macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    I don't know anything about Canadian retailers, but this HDD is always very cheap, and I've never had problems with mine:

    http://www.maxstore.com/product.asp?sku=3086099

    It comes in size from 160 GB to 500 GB, I think. At this point, it'll almost be impossible to find an external drive smaller than 160 GB. If you see 60 or 80 GB ones, they're probably in the ultra-portable category (very small and sturdy) so they'll be even pricier.

    Look for a USB 2.0 drive. Nevermind the manufacturers' and stores' labels about how it's only "Windows-compatible". If it's a regular USB drive, it'll work with your Mac.

    There should be no "setup" to it. Plug in the drive into an outlet and turn it on if it has an on button (many don't, they turn on as soon as they're plugged in). Always do this step first, then connect the USB cable to your Mac.

    The first time you do it, it might take a minute for the disk to mount. You'll see it as an orange icon on your desktop.

    Run Disk Utility (in Applications/Utility). Select the new drive from the list on the left. You'll have two entries for it; one for the disk, one for the "volume". Select the disk (it has its capacity next to the name).

    If you'll only be using this drive with your Mac, you should format it as "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". This will give you the greatest speed and all the features. Format it by selecting the drive, then clicking the Erase tab. Select the format I mentioned and erase it. This should take no longer than a minute or two.

    And that's it! When disconnecting the drive, always eject it first (Ctrl-click it and choose Eject or drag its icon to the Trash... or click its Eject icon in the Finder).

    I hope that helps!
     
  3. turnstylez18 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #3
    thanks a lot...so would ne external hd would work on a mac? ive read somewhere that ppl have had problems...

    is there nething i shoudl avoid..

    and is there nething i should avoid? brands or specs?
     
  4. neven macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Avoid cheapo brands; stick to Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor, LaCie... I know people have had had bad experiences with all of these, but getting a $50 "KrazyDrive" is just asking for trouble.

    I've had five different external drives from different manufacturers - they all worked on my Macs without any glitches.

    I would avoid FireWire (it's on its way out) and skip all the "diagnostic software" they include with the drive.

    P.S. And avoid childish spelling like "ne" and "nething". It doesn't save you much time over "any" and "anything", and it makes you look... not smart.
     
  5. turnstylez18 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #5
    haha...i can't avoid it....its a habit due to msn....
    but doesnt seem to be a problem when typing essays...my typing is totally different...

    so i should stick to an external hd that uses usb 2.0 and does not need the use for software?
     
  6. Gandhi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #6
    Whoa there. USB 2.0 does not even come close to FW 400, much less than FW 800. And FW is pretty much the standard right now for digital video equipment. I have the WD MyBook Pro triple interface, and I do not bother with the USB port on it. Also keep in mind, FW interface means you can make that a bootable drive for your Mac. Good luck trying to do that with USB, cuz it won't work.
     
  7. neven macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    Oh boy, I knew we'd get one of these...

    He never said anything about digital video. He never said anything about making a bootable drive.

    He wants a simple solution; USB 2.0 is far more popular, the cables are cheaper, and it's less likely to be not included on current and future computers.
     
  8. Gandhi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #8
    I know the OP was looking for something simple and low cost. But how does that translate in to saying FW is on its way out? :confused:

    Also keep in mind that needs change over time. OP may not need it right now, but may do so in the future. Owning Macs kinda does that to a person - expand their horizons, that is - since Macs (and OS X) make it so much easier to do more on a computer than Windows PCs.

    Before owning my Mac, I never thought I would need an external HDD. But now I do for Time Machine. Before Time Machine I never felt the need to back up my data (personal photos and home movies). But that was before iLife and how easy those tools make it for me to do my own multimedia work. So now I do work on photos and home movies, which precious memories I would like backed up and available for easy access, which Time machine allows, for which an external drive would be great since I have a MBP, and for which a FW port on said external would be best to take advantage of the kind of work I plan on doing and backing up.

    Who is to say the OP may discover the iLife suite and may want to do more than just back up his music collection (hell, he can burn his MP3 files on CDs/DVDs for that). Now that dinky USB external HDD is not as good is it?

    When people ask for advice, I like to inform them of all their options and let them make their own decisions. And I tend not to dismiss some superior technology outright just because it is not popular. By your logic, Macintosh's are on their way out ;)
     
  9. devman macrumors 65816

    devman

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    AU
    #9
    Airport Extreme Base station has a USB port - not a FW port. Airport Disk is USB only. Apple TV has a USB port - not a FW port.
     

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