FireWire... 800 - external

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by godaz, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. godaz macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2009

    I'm in the market for a new external as my old USB 2.0 is running out of space quickly...

    I'm after a firewire 800 500gb but not sure what to go for.

    I've looked a G-Technology and LaCie, are there any others I should look at?

    Can anyone reccomend me one?
  2. GGJstudios, Oct 26, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting in HFS (Mac OS Extended) or FAT32 or NTFS-3G can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    • Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
    • To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
    • To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
    • To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB

    If you want more information, here are just a few of many threads on this topic, found by searching the forum with MRoogle:

    Mac Guide on External Hard Drives
    Mission impossible: Finding a good simple external hard drive for MAC
    Portable External Drive / Storage Recommendations
    What type of external hard drive is best?
    Can anyone Recommend a good 1tb External Hard Drive?
    looking for a 2 tb external Hard drive with firewire
    Suggestions on an External Hard Drive
    anyone could recommend a good external hard drive for the imac?
    Segate Expansion External Drive 1TB - Need Help!
    Which external hard drive should I buy - Seagate vs. LaCie vs ????
    Looking to purchase a 1TB external hard drive
    ... and many, many others.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
  4. godaz thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2009
    I understand the technology and how one works...

    I want a recomendation of which model/brand to go for based on other peoples experiences
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    One never knows how much the OP knows. Just disregard any information you don't need. The links will provide many recommendations based on experiences.
  6. Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    Western Digital's Elite passport has several connection options 800, 400, USB
    and is small and portable.

    Also good for interior

    Good pricing too.

    Have all Western's and all have been good to me:)

    LaCie have the better customer support (Had issues with Firewire drivers, which they couldn't fix, but they were good and got back quickly)

    All manufacturers hav eissues.

    Have OWC drives, also good.

    Take your pick
  7. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I just got a Seagate GoFlex. It comes out of the box with a USB2 connector, but you can pop the end off the drive (revealing an eSata connector, supposedly) and attach the GoFlex adapter for whatever port you need to connect to. I got the FW 800 end for my needs. The store also had a USB3 connector - not much use for us MacHeads, but it shows that the drive will be adaptable to new technologies. It's bus powered, and it's capable of being bootable. (Long story why I know that).
  8. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    Get your own external enclosure and fill it with your drive(s) of choice. That way, if your HDD fails or fills up, it's easily user upgradeable. I've been using for my media library an Icydock dual enclosure with FW800 and 2 Seagate 1 TB 7200 RPM HDDs and had zero problems in past year and a half. Once they're full, I'll just slide in a pair of 2 TB units and keep going.
  9. And1ss macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
  10. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    OWC uses the highest quality controllers and have wonderful tech support and customer service.
  11. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    I have several of their drives and they're solid. However had a customer service issue that I tried to rectify and they were horrible.
  12. shrakner macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2006
    My 500 GB LaCie Rugged has served me well for a couple years now. Worked quite well as a boot volume (over FW 800) too when I was testing Snow Leopard on my MBP. It does only use a 5400 RPM drive, so don't expect stellar performance, but the FW800 interface made it as fast as a 7200 rpm drive over USB2.

    Only caution- the FW 800 cables that come with it are crap. I mean, they work well enough, but then my sister got a Seagate desktop drive with a good cable.... the LaCie ones had the outermost part of the plug made from plastic, so it didn't fit nearly as securely as a USB or FW400 plug. Seagate? Metal sleeve on the plug- fits and holds tightly.
  13. hurricanekate2 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2007
    I have a whole bunch of externals and would recommend any of them:

    - LaCie Rugged. These are what the genius bar at the Apple Store uses, that's gotta say something right? ;) Not the most "sleek" looking but the rubber shock protector makes me feel more comfortable travelling with it or throwing it in my bag.

    - G-Tech Mini. I like the look of the drive a lot, but the one I have is slightly off-balance which drives me crazy. Don't know how pervasive of a problem that is. There is a bright white light on the front that is always on and flickers when the drive is being accessed. It doesn't bother me too much, but other people might be more sensitive. Though I have no complaints about the performance of this particular drive, I do have another external G-Tech (2 TB) that has given me a lot of problems with ejecting it.

    - OWC enclosures with separately purchased HDD. I love the look of these enclosures (they're clear, so you can see exactly what drive is in them), and you can swap disks in and out if you want to upgrade or a drive fails or something. There's a bright blue light on the front which does bother me, more than the light on the G-Tech at least.

    I also have some enclosures from MacAlly that have served me well. They're very compact. As long as you have multiple backups and the drive you decide on has a warranty, I wouldn't worry *too* much about other people's anecdotal experience. All drives are capable of failing.

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