Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Help! I need to copy important data off a slow and failing portable external hard drive

ght56

macrumors 6502
Aug 31, 2020
466
312
SSDs would be ideal IMO provided you have a system in place to back them up. If you go SSD, then I dont think it makes a difference. If you go 2.5-inch HDD, then I would recommend buying your own enclosures for each drive or purchasing pre-assembled externals where the port and PCB are not integrated and prioritize an enclosure that provides shock resistance.
 
Comment

Poncho

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2007
442
164
Holland
You're looking at around $280 for a 2TB Samsung T5. It's the sort of thing that gets heavily discounted come Black Friday.
 
Comment

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,436
7,248
These days, I buy ONLY SSDs when I need a drive.
But my storage needs aren't as "huge" as they are for some folks.

OP:
Could you tell us what you storage needs are?
Such as:
Music -- 56gb
Photos - 500gb
(etc.)
???

SSDs come in 500g, 1tb, 2tb, and now perhaps even larger sizes.

BUT...
Something you MUST UNDERSTAND about SSDs...
When an SSD "fails", it will often give no "warning" whatsoever.
That is, it will just "go dark", never to be accessible again. I've had this happen to me.
That's why for each SSD you buy, you must also buy one (or two) "backup" drives.

If you buy a 1tb SSD for photos and perhaps a 500gb SSD for music, you could then buy a 2tb platter based 2.5" drive to backup both of them (partition the backup drive).

I ALWAYS recommend either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper for backup.
I would never use time machine (never have, never will).
 
Comment

Sossity

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 12, 2010
1,081
12
I have between 700GB-1.5 TB range for my different contents that I listed; about 1TB and growing for digital photos and videos from my cameras, about just under a 1TB for my music, which is mostly ripped CD's in Flac and other formats, and about a little over 1TB for my movies, which are mostly ripped DVDs, and about 700 GB to 1TB for my documents data.

The one that I might have the fastest growing amount of data would be my photos and videos, raw content from my digital cameras, and my documents.

On a side note, I also manage digital content for my aging parents, so I have had raw camera content from my mom and dad's digital cameras, they are not as tech savvy, so I do this for them.

Should I have separate hard drives for their stuff?

If I go to 2.5 inch form factor for my HDD's any brands or models recommended? if I buy bare for enclosures,

or which pre fab ones with better enclosures?

Any recommendations on bare SSD drives? I do see alot of Samsung EVOs, and I have one, as a startup in my mid 2010 mac pro, I swapped out the spinning drive for it.
 
Comment

Poncho

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2007
442
164
Holland
I use two of these:


Both 4TB, both silent in operation and both lightweight so and easy to pick up and carry in an emergency.
 
Comment

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,436
7,248
"I also manage digital content for my aging parents, so I have had raw camera content from my mom and dad's digital cameras, they are not as tech savvy, so I do this for them.
Should I have separate hard drives for their stuff?"


Yes, absolutely.
Don't mix "their stuff" with "your stuff".

As for drive manufacturer suggestions...
I'd stay away from both Seagate and WD.
I'd consider Toshiba and Hitachi (HGST).

For SSDs, I like Crucial and Sandisk.
But I've also used cheapo SSDs as well.
The most important thing with an SSD is "keep it backed up".

I'm gonna ask a question you'll laugh at:
Do you really NEED to save all the things you're saving?
Or, could you "cull some of it out...?"
 
Comment

Sossity

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 12, 2010
1,081
12
"I also manage digital content for my aging parents, so I have had raw camera content from my mom and dad's digital cameras, they are not as tech savvy, so I do this for them.
Should I have separate hard drives for their stuff?"


Yes, absolutely.
Don't mix "their stuff" with "your stuff".

As for drive manufacturer suggestions...
I'd stay away from both Seagate and WD.
I'd consider Toshiba and Hitachi (HGST).

For SSDs, I like Crucial and Sandisk.
But I've also used cheapo SSDs as well.
The most important thing with an SSD is "keep it backed up".

I'm gonna ask a question you'll laugh at:
Do you really NEED to save all the things you're saving?
Or, could you "cull some of it out...?"

Thanks for the suggestions, what do you think of samsung ssds? I also notice ssds come in many form factors; sata III 2.5 inch like platter drives, and nvand and other smaller formats, which would be best?

and by need to save and cull, what do you suggest to cull?

in general photos and videos from cameras are valuable in my family, so we do save most of them, and going through thousands of photos to delete ones that might not be as good would be way too tedious right now.

Anyway, in my case, it looks like the failing hard drive will be doing some culling for me.

And I have signed paperwork and other material related to my art that is important to me that I may need when it is sold.
 
Comment

Poncho

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2007
442
164
Holland
what do you think of samsung ssds?

I can only comment on Samsung SSDs as they are the only ones I own. I have an internal Samsung 860 QVO (SATA) that I used to replace the spinning HDD in my 2017 Fusion iMac. Read and write speeds are about 500/500. I have a Samsung T5 (SATA) with similar read and write speeds, a Samsung T7 (PCIe NVMe) with about 700 read and write speeds, and a Samsung X5 (NVMe Interface) which I now use as my boot drive with reads and write of about 2500/1700. But the T7 and X5 are connected to my iMac via its two Thunderbolt 3 ports. So, SATA gives you about 500/500 read/write while NVMe can give you up to around 2500/1700 read/write. But it also depends on what drive you have in your Mac as you won't get the high write speeds to the external SSD if your Mac's internal disc can't server up the data fast enough. That will be the bottleneck. IMHO you're better off with Samsung T5s or T7s to begin with as these are more flexible in that they can be switched between machines having USB inputs as well as those with USB C.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.