Looking for a External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jimbob 2705, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Jimbob 2705 macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2013
    Herefordshire, UK
    Just copied this from the 'Mac Basics' Section, as it is more suited here I think.

    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


    2) Seagate Backup Plus 3TB


    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,

  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    The Seagate one has decent reviews in the U.S.

    Windows may have problems with drives over 2TB, but Macs are fine with the 3TB drive.
  3. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    By personal.....

    preference, I will go with the WD. But based in the recent reports with data loss and Mavericks, take my liking with care. Seagate do good hard drives, but from time to time, news surface about faulty drives.....:confused:....:eek:....

    No doubt about going Firewire plus USB, if there are not budget constraints. In that way you can have flexibility and speed....

  4. joeray macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2011
    External Drives

    I would not recommend Western Digital.. I do a lot of HD Video and studio 24 bit 192 sampling audio for artists and I prefer Glyph Technology or G-Technology Drives. Have never had one fail and the companies are great on maintenance. You will not be disappointed... JoeRay
  5. Sym0 macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2013
    Looking for a External Hard Drive

    I have the 2TB seagate and it works brilliantly and transfers 190MBs over USB 3 with large files. The mac versions just come formatted for Mac and loaded with mac software that can be downloaded from the net. I bought the windows one and formatted it in osx because it was heaps cheaper.

    It also comes with a upgradable connection to TB if you need too and also FireWire but they cost extra.
  6. Jimbob 2705 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2013
    Herefordshire, UK
    Thanks everyone for all the help!

    I'm leaning towards the Seagate, especially after reading about the WD and Mavericks.

    Sym0, thanks for that! Might as well get the cheaper (non-mac) version if I just have to reformat it for a Mac.

    Does it work with Time Machine fine?

    Also, will the drive still work with the Windows computers when formatted for a Mac? I doubt it, but just wondered.


  7. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    There is nothing at all wrong with WD drives and Mavericks. It was the WD software that came with the WD drives that was incompatible with Mavericks, so don't let that turn you off the WD drive if it interests you.

    Whatever brand drive you get the first thing you want to do is attach it to your Mac and use Disk Utility to format the drive to Mac OS Extended format. This wipes any vendor software that came on the drive, since you should not use it anyway.

    If you format the drive for a Mac it will not work in Windows. What you can do is make two partitions on the drive and format one to Mac OS Extended so you can use it with Time Machine, then format the second partition to exFAT. You can read/write exFAT from a Mac or Windows machine.
  8. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    The data loss with Mavericks was due to the WD crapware. I never install the add on software that comes with devices if I can avoid it. WD has since released new versions of their software. Unfortunately that doesn't help the people whose data was corrupted.

    Any HDD can fail at some point, no matter who makes it. WD, Seagate, etc..they are all mechanical and can fail. I make sure I have multiple copies of data. I have a mix of different drives and only one has failed.

    Some people swear by Seagate, others by WD. I still have some Iomega drives from before the company dropped out of the consumer HDD business.

    I still use firewire since it's faster than USB 2.0. I have a thunderbolt to firewire adapter for the newer Macs so they can access my older firewire drives. New ones are usb cause it's cheaper.

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