How Can You Protect an External Hard Drive?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mrjaja, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. mrjaja macrumors newbie

    mrjaja

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Glasgow
    #1
    With Mac OS X Leopard just released, almost everyone has bought an external hard drive so they can use Time Machine.

    I plan to do the same thing, however I'm concerned about hard drives failing, crashing and dying after some time. Obviously, hard drives are made up of moving parts which make them vunerable to damage.

    Are there are tips, in terms of locating my hard drive, using it, using partitions and so on, which can help protect my external hard drive. I'd rather not have to back up my back ups.

    Thanks very much! :)
     
  2. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #2
    Using two hard drives in mirrored RAID is what you want to do. Then if one hard drive fails the other one still had the data and you're fine. Only if both of them fail at the same time are you screwed which is less likely to happen.
     
  3. Roy Hobbs macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    #3
    Just curious, how would a partion help you protect your hard drive?? The only way to protect a backup is to have more than 1. I keep my internal iMac drive backed up to 2 external drives (one which is off site). The odds of 3 drives failing at the same time is very high
     
  4. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #4
    It wouldn't. Unless maybe you formatted one as NTFS and the other as HFS+ and the HFS+ part got a virus that couldn't write to NTFS or something. But that'd be such a remote shot it wouldn't be worth it.
     
  5. greta77 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    #5
    Leopard and external hard drive

    With Mac OS X Leopard just released, almost everyone has bought an external hard drive so they can use Time Machine.[/B]

    My Lacie Silverkeeper hard drive just died after a mere two years, and I was naively hoping that upgrading to Leopard would eliminate my need for a replacement. Does using Time Machine actually require an external hard drive?

    Sorry if this is a head-slappingly dumb question, and thanks for any advice.
    While I'm at it, what would you all consider the normal life span of an external hard drive, and can you recommend another model/make?
     
  6. Magnus Reftel macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #6
    Yes.
     
  7. odinsride macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #7
    I think as long as you have your important stuff on 2 physical drives (i.e., your Mac's internal drive, and your Time Machine external drive), you should be fine. If you want more data security, you could also create DVD backups of your stuff every month or so, depending on the importance of the data.
     
  8. VforVelveta macrumors regular

    VforVelveta

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    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #8
  9. Erendiox macrumors 6502a

    Erendiox

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    #9
    If your external hard drive is a backup for your internal, then you should be fine. The odds of two drives failing at the same time is ridiculously low. IF, however, your external holds files that your internal does not, and you're worried about losing data, then mirrored raid is probably the best option for you. Burning DVDs can be very tedious. I wouldn't recommend it from a simplicity standpoint.

    Also, if you want my advice as far as model/make, get a Seagate drive. The tend to be a bit more expensive but they come with a 5 year warranty and they're whisper quiet. Well worth a few more bucks. I have two of them and they're great drives.
     
  10. greta77 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    #10
    Thanks so much for your explanations and advice.
     
  11. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #11
    Very low.;)
     
  12. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #12
    At this time, 7 years after OS X was introduced. There are no HFS+ virus or worms on OS X. NONE.
     
  13. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #13
    The most important thing, is a UPS (uninterrupted power supply). Nothing messes with Harddrives more than sudden lose of power, power surges, etc.

    Always eject the HD, and wait a 10 seconds or so before powering down, so that HD has the chance to spin down normally (instead of powering down right after ejecting).

    Ideally your timemachine archive would sit on a external RAID 5 (or better), but that costs a ton of money.
     
  14. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816

    Sweetfeld28

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    #14
    You can use an extra internal drive as a backup too. My friend used one of his Mac Pros extra bays to install an extra drive, and it worked fine.
     
  15. bluemouse71152 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #15
    TimeMachine not compatible with my new Seagate FreeAgent 250 GB USB2.0 drive.

    I bought a new drive to work w/TimeMachine. TimeMachine is not compatible at this time ... will not provide auto backup. Seagate info is that they are "working on compatibility issue". Does anyone have an ext, drive that is CURRENTLY COMPATIBLE?
     
  16. hddad8080 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    #16
    [The UltraMax by Iomega is pre formatted to HFS+ for Mac use. I purchased the 640GB dual disk unit for my iMac (which is presently on an FEDEX truck) on it's way to my place
    Check them out on their website.:)
     

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