Looking for a External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Jimbob 2705, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Jimbob 2705 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Location:
    Herefordshire, UK
    #1
    Hi All,

    New member here, so apologies if this is in the wrong section!

    I'm looking for an External Hard Drive for my iMac (Mid 2011) which has a 1TB Sata Disk.

    I would like to use Time Machine.

    I have read that you should get twice your Storage, so that means I should get 2TB. (Although I have only currently used 200GB)

    I'm thinking of going for a 3TB Hard Drive, as I would also like to back up another Mac in the future (Hopefully a Mac Book Pro), and possibly a Windows Computer (although this isn't that important).

    I have narrowed it down to 2 choices :

    1) Western Digital My Book Studio 3TB

    http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=200

    2) Seagate Backup Plus 3TB

    http://www.seagate.com/gb/en/external-hard-drives/desktop-hard-drives/backup-plus-desk-mac/

    Which would you choose? :)

    I do have a couple of questions regarding the Seagate though :

    They do another version, which isn't advertised as the 'Mac' Version, but it will work on a Mac (http://www.seagate.com/gb/en/external-hard-drives/desktop-hard-drives/backup-plus-desk/). What is the difference between this and the 'Mac' Version?

    Also, would I want the USB 3.0 Version or the Firewire 800 & USB 2.0 Version? Only the 'Mac' Version gives the option of either.

    Many Thanks,

    James
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #2
    I'd avoid WD as there have been some issues with Mavericks (which even if you aren't using now you probably will be at some point). Have you looked at Buffalo or LaCie? Both good makes IMO. I use a time capsule with my iMac and its been floor less.
     
  3. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    B'more or Less
    #3
    You won't get USB 3 speeds with your 2011 iMac, it's only USB 2. The FireWire 800 is faster than USB 2. ---But the USB 3 is future proofing for other Macs you may get.
     
  4. mtngoatjoe macrumors regular

    mtngoatjoe

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #4
    Keep in mind that a single backup connected to your Mac will be useless if your home burns down or you are robbed. Get two external drives, use both with Time Machine, and store one drive off-site.

    Think of the off-site drive as a "periodic backup". Bring it home once a month or so, plug it in, let Time Machine do its thing overnight, and take the drive off-site the next day.

    If you want to be truly cautious, never have both backup drives and your computer in the same place at the same time.
     
  5. LaidBack macrumors member

    LaidBack

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    Mississippi
    #5
    I was thinking the issues WD drives have had with mavericks was related to the automatic backup software that comes on the drive. If you just delete all the pre-installed software and use it as a regular hard drive I think you should be fine. Correct me if you've heard anything different.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    You are correct. There is no hardware incompatibility between Mavs and WD drives. It was an issue with the WD software WD supplied with the drives. If you just erase the WD drive when you get it and don't use there software, you will be fine.
     
  7. Lebthree macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    #7
    I am not a computer guru so take what I say with that in mind.

    I went with two of the seagate drives. The reason I chose them is because the bottom of the seagate unit seperates from the drive itself. You can buy one seagate now with USB3 bottom connector. If your computer supports thunderbolt or if you upgrade to a computer with thunderbolt, you can get a bottom portion with the thunderbolt connector. I have thunderbolt on my imac and bought two of these drives. One came with the thunderbolt connector, which was more expensive, and the other came with a standard usb3 connector. I just use the bottom thunderbolt unit and leave the usb3 connector which came on the bottom of the other seagate I purchased in my desk. I weekly swap out the drives on the thunderbolt bottom unit having one offsite at all times. I also have a Pegasus raid drive which contains the bulk of my data.

    I have the computer backup to both the Pegasus and the Seagates using time machine. I then have the Pegasus back up to the Seagates using Carbon Copy Cloner. So far it seems to work great, but I have not had the need to recover data.

    With regard to the difference in the two Seagate drives and their compatability with mac and pc, it is my understanding that the only difference is how the drive is formatted. I don't use any of the software that comes on any external drive (it is my understanding that it is this software that caused the western digital drives problems with mavericks). As a result of not using the proprietary software on the drive, I am free to format the drive to any format. For example, if I want the drive to be usable for both a mac and a pc I format it to MS DOS FAT (there may be issues with this if drive is over 2TB). If I just want to use it for my mac, I format it Mac OS Extended (there are also options between journaled and not journaled and your choice may depend on whether you also wish to boot from the external drive)

    I don't worry about the formating options in the drives and just go with the less expensive model and if needed reformat it. I often see ones formatted for mac being more expensive than the pc models when it is the same drive.
     
  8. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #8
    Yeah that sounds familiar.
     
  9. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #9
    I think there is very little point in taking two Time Machine backups or copying a TM backup to another drive. If there is a bug or config issue with TM, then both backups will be hosed. I can think of at least two different TM bugs over the past few years.

    If you have two disks, would strongly advise different methods to each, say one TM, one CCC.

    This is in addition to a third backup kept offsite either by cloud backup or just leaving the CCC disk at your office or wherever.

    I do weekly CCC backups and keep that drive switched off when not backing up so that in the event of some catastrophe, might be user error or ransom malware or whatever, as its not physically connected to the computer it cant be wiped or corrupted.
     
  10. Jimbob 2705 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Location:
    Herefordshire, UK
    #10
    Thanks again everyone for all the help!

    I've narrowed it down to the following two I think :

    Seagate Backup Plus 3TB :

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Seagate-STC...386353742&sr=8-3&keywords=seagate+backup+plus

    £80

    or the

    LaCie Porsche Design P'9233 3TB:

    http://store.apple.com/uk/product/H...esign-p9233-usb-3-desktop-hard-drive?fnode=5f

    £140


    The question is whether the LaCie is worth an extra £60?
    I know it looks better, and is Aluminium which should be better protected - But is that really worth the extra money.

    Is there any other differences I should be aware of? (Such a spec, etc)

    Thanks,

    James
     
  11. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #11
    I know I would not pay the extra £60 just for an aluminum cover. Just my opinion.

    Just a point... Lacie does not actually make disk drives, so it is very likely that Lacie has either a Seagate or Western Digital drive in it anyway. I would be more inclined to go with an enclosure made by the drive manufacturer.
     
  12. Jimbob 2705 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Location:
    Herefordshire, UK
    #12
    Thanks WeaselBoy! :)

    That's just made my mind up for me…I think :D
     
  13. bobr1952 macrumors 68020

    bobr1952

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #13
    I have used Seagate, Western Digital, iOmega (firewire), SimpleTech--and probably a few others I can't remember. Those I listed are the ones I currently have in use. Personally, I have no real favorite since all have worked flawlessly with my iMac and my rMBP--all have been reliable and the ones I retired were just no longer needed.

    I suppose my current favorite is the WD My Passport since that has been my last two purchases--the 1TB model. As long as you avoid software bundled with the drive, you should not have any problems with any drive you purchase.
     

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