Hard Drive Transfering and Formatting.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by andrewbring, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. andrewbring macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2010
    I have a few questions about hard drive formatting and transferring.


    I currently have an imac i7 running snow leopard.

    I want to set up a workflow for archiving my personal files as well as client files.
    I do a lot of video work and I really like to save my stuff.

    I currently have a raw 1tb 7200rpm samsung running with a harddrive thermaltake reader. I would like to use the samsung 1 tb as an archiving disk.
    I have looked into drobo and those nice arrays, but I cannot afford it currently.

    What format should I format the 1tb?
    I want it as safe as can be. I plan to just store things. So I assume it will only need to be mac accessible, since I understand fat 32 only allows 4 gb transfers.

    Should I format my storage drive to Mac os extended (journaled)?

    And that leads me to my second question.
    Naively i had already copied a bunch of my stuff to the 1tb harddrive when i first got it because my pc laptop was dying. So it is now a Fat format with stuff on it.
    I let the harddrive copy onto my desktop overnight in preparation of reformatting the drive.
    I hit get info on the folder on my desktop and compare to get info of the drive itself.
    There is about a 3 gb discrepancy between the folders.

    Where did the 3 gb go? And why?
    And HOW should I transfer files to make sure ALL of the documents are transferred?

    I greatly appreciate your help!

  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Mac OS Extended (HFS+, Not-Journaled) is an okay file system when working with external HDDs in Mac OS X.

    The 3GB difference might be due to block size, but it can be, that there are files on the external HDD, which are hidden due to being still in the Trash, as it has not been emptied yet. It is best to compare folders with folders, and not a folder with the volume it came from, as volumes often include hidden data not visible in Finder as standard, but they are still being counted.

    And a normal method to transfer files is the simple "drag and drop" process. If you want to use a backup service like Time Machine or CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper, there are more steps involved. Though the simple "drag and drop" process might be sufficient.

    Btw, if those files are important for you, think about getting another external HDD you can make copies to, thus you have two or three copies of the important files. Also think about using an off-site location for storing the other external HDD and keeping it in a simple rotation scheme.
  3. andrewbring thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2010

    Great advice.

    Would you say, since I just dragged and dropped it onto the desktop, that all my files are there?
    I did not interrupt the cycle whatsoever and no error messages.

    And to verify, you suggest "Mac OS Extended"
    Not journaled.

    Also, is there something I can do to have a hard drive mirror a hard drive. So that I can have two 1 tb's and have the info automatically copied onto both?

    Is this what RAID essentially does?

    Again, thanks for the advice.
  4. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Use GET INFO on both folders (the one on the Desktop and the one on the external HDD) and see if the byte size is the same and if the file count is the same, though you may have to use PathFinder to get the file/folder count, as Finder does not offer that for some reason on folders with folders.​

    Yes, Mac OS Extended, Not-Journaled, though that might be only helpful for HDDs which get accessed a lot, for example video scratch drives. Maybe this can give you a better understanding, as I just discovered, that I kept my archival HDDs Journaled, only my scratch drives are Not-Journaled.​

    CarbonCopyCloner and SuperDuper can do that.​

    RAID 1 does mirror one HDD onto another. More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID#Standard_levels
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    My advice is that you should ALWAYS format a drive that's going to be used with the Mac for the Mac OS (HFS+).

    The ONLY drives that should be "dual-formatted" (that is, initialized so that they can be read by Windows) are those that absolutely MUST be used "cross-platform".

    But for your critical Mac data -- it should always reside on a Mac-formatted drive. If you ever have problems, it will make correcting those problems MUCH easier.

    The Thermaltake setup should work fine. I use a USB/SATA dock myself and it's the handiest "peripheral tool" I have around.

    The advantage of using a "dock" and a "bare drive" instead of an "external drive" (hard drive in an enclosure) is that you can easily swap drives without having to buy another enclosure. If a drive gives you problems, just get another and use the same enclosure. If the enclosure gives you trouble, just get another and keep using the same drives.

    Of course, the DISadvantages are that the dock isn't as "readily portable" as is a small external drive (but you can put one of those together, too, if you wish). Also, I have heard that it's not good to use a dock for "always-online running" -- that is, turned on and left on for long periods of time. That's because there is no fan to "force circulate" air around the drive. Having said that, I've used mine for a few hours at a time, without problems.

    I recommend CarbonCopyCloner for doing dupes and incremental backups. The interface is much-improved from its earliest incarnations, and the price is right.

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