External HDD: What brand and size + Time Machine Question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by capitanbuzo, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. capitanbuzo macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2007
    Here is my situation, I will be buying a MBP in January that will have a 200GB HDD in it. I already have bought an external HDD on Black Friday (250GB WD Passport) and I plan on putting some of my less important files on it. Mainly about 60GB+ of videos that are in iTunes so that my main HDD will run faster. I want to buy an external Time Machine HDD but do not no the size I should get or the brand. Size wise, I know 500GB minimum but was thinking 750-1000GB might be better. Brand wise, I am thinking Western Digital or Seagate. I curently have an iTunes Library of 75GB+ that will keep rising thanks to my Media Center computer. That is the bulk of my files but it will grow more and more.

    Now to the Time Machine question. Will Time Machine back up both my laptop HDD and my other 250GB Passport HDD automatically or would I need to partition whatever external I decide upon so that I can have Time Machine back up my Main HDD and have me manually update the back up of the other external HDD?
  2. Matiek macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2007
    I'm not experienced enough to help you with the rest of your questions;but,
    i would'nt recommend western digital for hard drives. I had one for about a year before it crashed at only 50% capacity. It's possible that it was just a fluke but still. Have you seen any of the OWC hard drives? They seem to have faster specs and larger capacities for close to the same price. I've heard good things about seagate, too
  3. BrittQ macrumors regular

    May 23, 2007
  4. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I got a Seagate Free Agent Pro for christmas, and based on a weeks' experience, I highly recommend it.
  5. Twiztedklown316 macrumors member


    Oct 31, 2004
    Spokane, Wa
    I dont know anything about Time Machine as I have not yet upgraded my computer, but I'll tell you that the only External HD I trust is a Lacie.

    I currently have 3 of them, a 160gb, a 250gb, and a Terabyte. Never once have I had a problem or issue. I highly recommend The Lacie external HD with the steel case - They are the only HD's I will buy.

  6. capitanbuzo thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2007
    Does anyone have and answer to the Time Machine question or the Size I should get?
  7. crazycat macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2005
    Time Machine is designed to backup everything, so if you have your WD passport connected it will backup it up. I have Time Machines set to backup everything except my external hard drive and my desktop, i do that for tow reasons. One my external hard drive is a superduper (backup software) clone on my main hard drive just in case Time Machine fails. Two i tend to transfer lots of large files to my desktop and keep them there for 1-2 days till i organize them.

    If Time Machine backs up my desktop every time i will have a full Time Machine drive very fast. You can set it up as you wish and it is very easy to do so, In system preferences you can select what "not" to backup otherwise it backups everthing.

    As you have said you computer is your media center (mine to) your library will only get larger. So getting the largest hard drive you can afford is the best option, once you start ripping your DVD's to your computer that space will get filled super fast. You can buy a 1k GB hard drive, the prices are coming down all the time, or you can build one. There are only two hard drives i trust, LaCie and Seagate, you have to note that LaCie just builds enclosures and they buy there hard drives from other places.

    If i was in your shoes i would find a good firewire 400 enclosure and stick in there either the Hitachi 1000 GB hard drive or a 750 GB Seagate and save a few bucks.
  8. capitanbuzo thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2007
    Thanks for the info. I am still debating what size HDD to go for because my media varries. An example of how my videos tend to run: A 1-hour TV show I record off of Media Center coded in PQ DVD is about 175MB, a 1:45 Movie runs in the 350MB range, a TV Episode from a dvd is about 67MB, a 30-min TV Show off of Media Center is about 77MB. I am thinking about getting a HDD that is in the 750GB range. I know I should get Firewire or eSATA but one you choose that over just USB the price raises exponentially. I normally would build my own external HDD but the problem is that the cost rises more than building it myself. Best Buy and others alike have sales that can lower the price dramatically and am thinking of waiting til then but less retailers have sales on just an HDD. I am hoping I can see Fry's giving a sale and I can get a 750GB there.

    If I choose the 500GB route, how fast do you think I will fill that up having Time Machine update my external and internal HDD (200GB internal, 250GB External)? I am planning on making my own external HDD and when I fill it up, just take out that drive, buy a 1k GB as the prices should be lower and pop it in to the enclosure and put that old 500GB into my Media Center Computer.
  9. capitanbuzo thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2007
    Forgot to ask, should I go USB, Firewire 400, 800, or eSATA? What would the time difference be maintaining Time Machine using USB vs. the others? I am trying to justify the extra cost for an encloure with Firewire ports or eSATA ports or an HDD with Firewire Ports or eSata ports. I know that the difference for transfering a 1GB on USB would be much slower than the rest but is it really necessary? The use for this drive is only for backup. I can stand a wait for the first backup which would be a 150GB+ transfer but after that I don't know how much It would be updating daily. I can get a 750GB HDD with USB only for $200 on a normal day at newegg vs. $225 for one with eSATA plus I would need to buy a card.

    I would also like to add, how reliable is ebay for buying external HDD's? I want to save as much cash as possible because I am already going to be spending $2500 for a MBP. Sorry for the long posts but thanks for the replys.
  10. chubad macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2004
    Frozen Wasteland
    A USB drive will work fine. The initial backup will take much longer and if you have to restore the entire drive it will take a long time. But for day to day use and grabbing a file to restore one in a while it's fine. Hitachi makes some of the best, reliable and fastest drives available but stay far away from their 1TB external drive. It's a turkey. They built some sort of "sleep" firmware into the enclosure that causes all sorts of problems. The drives constantly mount and unmount.
    I would go with an OWC drive or enclosure. They are fast , reliable and stylish to boot!:apple:
  11. absurdio macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2003
    RI, Chi, and/or NY.
    I've had a 160GB LaCie for about three years, and it's now my Time Machine drive. I recently got a second, 500GB LaCie to use as a media dump. So far, both have served me admirably, and neither has let me down.

    As far as what capacity drive you want to use for Time Machine...
    here's a thread I started that catalogs my mistakes on that front :eek: Seems likely to help.

    The long and the short of it: If you want to back up everything, get a drive for Time Machine that's bigger (superleccy recommends twice as big in that thread) than the disk you're backing up. Otherwise, omit from your Time Machine backups the big files/folders that have frequent changes made to 'em (I'm now omitting my iTunes library, for instance).
  12. capitanbuzo thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2007
    Thanks for the info. I am still debating as to what size HDD because I will be backing up 2 drives (200GB and 250GB) but neither will be filled up for quit some time. I would just use the 200GB internal drive, but I want to keep it clean so I have the 250GB external for all my videos.
  13. Batt macrumors 65816


    Dec 17, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    I have a 160GB drive in my MBP, Time-Macining to a 300GB Seagate. I only have something like 39GB on the internal, it's been backing up since 12/9, and the Seagate only shows somewhere in the neighborhood of 42GB on it. Obviously, TM is only writing the incremental changes each time, not the entire system. You don't need a huge drive. And get firewire, it's faster.

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