External storage for iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by definitive, May 8, 2009.

  1. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    Can anyone suggest which would be my best option for external backup?

    Would a RAID setup be good? I have two exactly the same hard drives laying around collecting dust, and would like to put them to use for an iMac. Could someone recommend a good external enclosure for these two? Which would be better - FireWire or USB2.0?

    I'm also interested in mirroring since I'd store important data on them, and want both drives to have a copy of each. Is there a disadvantage to that in terms of system's performance?
  2. mstam macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Look at OWC and Icy Dock products. FW800 is over twice as fast as USB2.

    Keep in mind that for Time Machine backups you want about 1-1/2 times the capacity of your system and files. In your case I would go for a fresh new single drive. The chance that both the drive and your Mac fail at the same time is extremely small.

    Currently w/ MIR:
    Get a 640GB or 1TB Western Digital Green hard drive with it. I have the 1TB disk and it's super quiet.

    RAID solution:
  3. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    If you are that paranoid, then I suggest instead of using RAID you use two different backup methods. one for each disk, perhaps TM on one, and a scheduled backup via a utility to the other.

    My reasoning is that its far more likely that a software bug will cause a restore to fail when you need it (in which case the fact its RAID wont matter a jot) , than that at the exact same time your main HD fails, so does the backup HD.

    Of course, if the data is really important, you should also be using an offsite backup, perhaps one of the internet backup options, because keeping all your backups of valuable data within a few feet of each other isnt a good plan :)
  4. definitive thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    with time machine, could i use any external hd that's compatible with a mac?
  5. mstam macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2009
    You mean compatible w/ firewire or USB. Yes!
  6. definitive thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    what i meant was does any external hd that's mac compatible work with time machine. i guess it does though.

    thanks everyone for your input. i'll be looking into icy dock products when i'll be ordering an external enclosure. they seem to have a lot of good reviews at newegg, and support firewire 800.
  7. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    I picked up a 1TB WEstern Digital My Book external hard drive at STaples for $82 shipped after tax. :) Go to slickdeals and search for that deal. I think it is still going on.

    It's USb 2.0 only, but for backups I don't think it matters much. It hasn't bothered me yet even though my last backup drive was FW400.
  8. spencecb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2003
    Wow, that is an incredible deal!! I definitely need to get a 1 TB external drive. Just got an iMac with the 640 GB drive, and nothing to back it up with yet. I have an older external drive I used on my old iMac, but it is FW400 only, which won't work with the new iMacs, plus the drive just isn't big enough. I think it's like 120 GB or something.
  9. mstam macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2009
    It will. All you need is a FW800->400 (6-pins) cable ($6-$10). Still much faster than USB2. You could put a new HD in the enclosure. The $82 drive is USB2 only but that's sufficient if it's for backups only. For storing files I would suggest a new HD in your enclosure or a new enclosure. The Icy Dock now has a mail-in rebate and the WD Green drives are super quiet and fast enough for FW800 (max 85MBs practical speed).

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