How many hard drives do you use ?

How many hard drives do you use?

  • 1 (Internal)

    Votes: 3 4.3%
  • 2

    Votes: 10 14.3%
  • 3

    Votes: 14 20.0%
  • 4 or more

    Votes: 43 61.4%

  • Total voters


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 7, 2009
Paris, France
Including internal and external hard drives, do you prefer to change for larger ones or do you keep multiple small ones ?

PS: 4 is 4 or more...


macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2008
Three. The internal. a 320gb for movies/tv shows and Time Machine, and a separate 80gb that is just a backup of my iTunes library.

I'm assuming iPhones and thumb drives don't count, right? ;)

The ones I don't use, but have because I'm a packrat-

A 40gb from an old Acer laptop in a firewire enclosure, an 80gb from my old G4 iMac. Has a bunch of files I have a feeling I'll want someday. I should probably buy an enclosure to get to them while I can.

Oh, and an 80gb in a Sony Vaio that was Hackintoshed, and is now bricked. Should part it out and dump it on eBay.


macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
Seattle, WA
I've got six external hard drives (One is not working currently, so I did not include it) and two internal hard drives spread across two computers.


macrumors 65816
May 20, 2004
Four inside my mac pro:
  • Boot 1TB: partitioned to leopard and snow leopard
  • 500 gig (half of raid 1) for video scratch
  • 500 gig (other half of raid 1) for video scratch
  • 640 gig clone drive: nightly clone of snow leopard startup
External drive for time machine.

Home server:
two 1tb (raid 1) drives for content
1.5 tb TimeMachine drive
1.5 tb Time Machine drive (the two TimeMachine drives are rotated offsite)


macrumors 65816
Oct 21, 2009
Among the starlings
3. 160GB internal. 250GB on USB with photos, videos, and archived client data on it (I keep music and current client files on the internal so the external doesn't have to be running constantly). 500GB on Firewire partitioned into a) backup of internal drive, b) backup of external drive, c) Photoshop scratch.


Moderator emeritus
Oct 13, 2007
You need to ask a moderator to change it for you.
or sometimes they just come across it accidentally ;)

On topic: I have my little 120 GB internal drive, a 320 GB external (for movies and TV shows) and a 1 TB external for Time Machine and other stuff.


macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2004
Saint Charles, MO
I have 6 HDDs:
160 GB internal (MacBook)
320 GB external FW (General scratch disk, downloads, and TM backup)
500 GB external FW (Backup disk image, Leopard install, HD Movies)
500 GB external FW (Tiger boot, non-HD Movies)
500 GB internal bare USB (TV shows)
1.5 TB internal bare USB (Consolidation of HD Movies, Movies, and random funny clips/commercials)

The 1.5 is redundant to the other two drives that have my movies, as it is new I don't trust it enough to use the other two drives for other things. All except the MacBook drive are 3.5" and the two bare drives are connected using a USB to SATA cable and dock.


Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
New Zealand
I have two internals (750 GB for OS X and 500 GB for Windows), and a 750 GB FireWire for Time Machine.

I also have a 250 GB FireWire but I use it so rarely that I only picked "3" in the poll. I'm also not counting the 120 GB one in my MBP.


macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
My desktop is a single 740gb internal drive, with a 320gb external for movies and such.

My laptop is a 120gb internal, with a 40gb external for moving video files from computer to computer.

Ideally, both external drives would be larger so I could use them for backup as well.


macrumors 68000
May 1, 2006
Fury 161
1x320 in my MBP.

1x320 FW for backup.
1x250 USB for ripped movies and series.

2x120 (FW-RAID) as a mobile Aperture library. Still have them. Sitting empty now.
2x250 (FW-RAID) as a mobile Aperture library.

In a Voyager Dock:
1x1TB as a main Aperture library
2x500 as Aperture backups

1x320 FW/USB (the Lacie with the nifty built-in USB cable) as a portable storage.
1x80 USB Collecting dust.

I'll reorganize everything soon in my hopefully soon-to-be Mac Pro.


macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
Redondo Beach, California
Another question: What is the minimum number of drives to own if you intend to keep data backed of and safe "forever"?

I'd argue the answer is "four"
A widly accepted rule of thumb for data is that
1) The data must always exist on three different physical media and
2) The data must always exist in at least two different geographical locations
"Always" means even durring a backup operation. So four is the smallest number. But many of us have more data than will fit on one drive so we'd need many more drives.

Hardly anyone actually does this so I've many this prediction many times: "in 100 years there will be very, very few 100 year old photos."


macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2008
The hub of stupidity
I currently have 3x 1 TB drives and a single 2 TB drive in the Mac Pro, but I'm planning on getting rid of some. It's setup like this

2 1 TB drives in fake RAID 0 for storage
2 TB drive used for backup
1 TB drive used for system and user files


macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
17 total.

8x SATA in a RAID 5 via ARC-1231ML (Windows OS & data)
4x SAS in a RAID 5 via ARC-1680ix12 (applications)
4x SATA for backups
1x Velociraptor for OS X


macrumors 601
Aug 14, 2008
Dallas, Texas
I, like everyone else, have a primary internal drive in every computer you can see in my signature. Beyond that I have three externals and the MDD home server/storage is loaded up with four 1tb drives for various storage and backup options. I also have a portable 60gb drive from where I upgraded the stock drive in my iBook. So, lets see, if you include all the internals then there's a total of 13 hard drives in my house. Wait, I forgot iPods. With three iPods in the home that brings the drive total to 16. Drat! forgot about my DVR and PS3. Okay, 18, yep that's it. There are 18 hard drives used regularly in my home.

I must have been on crack


macrumors 6502
Feb 1, 2009
1 internal
24 external

I've "only" got
15 internals (in 3 desktop macs and 3 powerbooks),
4 permanent externals (FW), and
4 removables.

Oops, and the 35MB Quantum in my SE FD/HD (so 4 desktop macs).

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