need help buying external harddrive

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by yuck, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. yuck macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2005
    any recomendation?
    wants: 160gb, price range around $150
    i use pc at home, and mac at school, so the HDD has to be a good in cross platform. My PC onlyhas usb2.0 btw, is it better to get just UBS 2.0 HDD or get usb/firewire HDD?

    btw im taking class that are using FCP and DVD studio pro atm.

    thanks in advance
  2. 7254278 macrumors 68020

    Apr 11, 2004
    I use a LaCie Porsche 160GB 16mb buffer USB 2 drive, Its very fast, pretty small, quite and I love the silver coverig :D
    It cost me 149 Euros in spain, in USA it would be cheaper.
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    LaCie D2 Triple Interface (USB2, FW400, FW800) 160 Gb $ 179
    That way you're covered for all eventualities, and the quality is good. (I much prefer the D2 to the hotter and noisier Porsche case.)

    If you're more adventurous, you can buy a MacAlly 3.5" Combo case, and a Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 IDE drive and put it together yourself. Won't come with any instructions, backup software or PC drivers, but the drive mechanism will come with a 5 year warranty.

  4. yuck thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2005
    thx for the recomendation, i will take a good look at em
    i never use an ext HDD before, on Western Digital's Ext HDD, theres seems to be 3 buttons on the HDD, what do they do ?
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    The buttons on some hard drives are there to launch the (mostly Windows) backup software -- kinda like the "one touch scanning" buttons on scanners.

    Ignore them.

    Also, you'll have better luck with a company that knows Macs like Lacie, than a drive manufacturer like Western Digital or Maxtor.
  6. Mavimao macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2005
    Lyon, France
    I use a OWC mercury Firewire drive. I haven't experienced a single hitch. They're really high quality.

    Check it out.
  7. deebster macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2004
    Olde Englande
    As Trevor says, the more connection options the better. If you can get FW 800 alongside the FW 400 and USB 2.0 that you (really do) need for a decent price, then go for it.

    FW is much better than USB 2.0 on Macs, so when connected to your Mac you ought to be working this way.

    You can format the drive as FAT 32 for it to work with windows, and your Mac will be able to read and write to it, but to have it bootable in OS X it needs to be HFS+ formatted. I've never tried this but you may well be able to partition the drive and have 1 volume FAT and one HFS.

    All in one units are easy, but if you feel like making your own (buying a case and separate 'internal' HD) don't be afraid. There really isn't anything to it.
  8. yuck thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2005
    any suggestion where to buy lacie ?
    im interested in the 160gb triple interface D2
  9. R.Youden macrumors 68020


    Apr 1, 2005
    Does anyone know where I can get a HD case that has a firewire port on the back? 400 or 800. Thanks
  10. bdj33ranch macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2005
    External HD

    I have been very pleased with a Lacie factory reconditioned 250GB d2 (U2&FW&FW8) HD I got from the Lacie website. Their 160Gb version is listed for $135 as of this posting.

    Mine came with USB, FW and FW800 cables. Works perfectly and is quiet.

    Good luck shopping! :)
  11. yuck thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2005
    nice price
    how bout other brand like WD, maxtor and seagate ?

    is lacie reliable?, since i never heard of lacie brand before i joined this forum
    im a pc user btw future mac user
  12. MyLeftNut macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2002
    Melbourne, Australia
    Richard wrote:

    Have a look at the SOHO brand of firewire cases.

    Look pretty good. I dont know of a distributor in the UK though...


    PS Yuck: The LaCie brand have a very good reputation, service and have worked with Macs for years.
  13. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    This would kinda depend on where you're located (might want to add that to your profile)

    I reallly think LaCie is a better choice for Macs than Maxtor, WesternDigital or Seagate packaged external drives.

    I have a Maxtor Firewire exterhal here in front of me that's going back for the second time for warranty. Bye Bye data. If you open the case to try to recover the data from the mechanism, Maxtor voids the warranty :-(

  14. 604macguy macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2005
    Build your own.

    There has to be lots of computer shops that must sell external hard drive enclosures. If you go to a Mac store, it'll prolly cost you much more for the enclosure and HD. Much cheaper if you buy from a PC builder. But don't try to ask them too many questions, cuz most of them now jack about Macs.

    I've got a Bytecc external 3.5HDD U2F (USB2+Firewire400) enclosure with a Western Digital Caviar 200GB Special edition 7200 RPM 8MB cash HD. Work's great!

    If you want portable, you can also get 2.5" laptop HDD enclosures with a laptop HD. A little more expensive cuz the HD's are more expensive. I've got a Bytecc one of those too. Plus, it draws power from the bus so you dont' need a power supply. I used it when my G3 Powerbook died and I wanted to used the HD. Then the HD died...

    I got my 200GB HD a year ago for 289 + 50 for the enclosure (Canadian$$). Now it's only around 130 + 50 so about 180CAD you can get a 200GB firewire HD. But this is a 3.5" (normal HD) so it'll be big and hard to carry around back and forth.

    Lacie is good and has technical support but I don't think they have a good warranty on the HD. 1 year I think? correct me if I'm wrong. The enclosures usually come with 90 days warranty but the WD Caviar HD I got has 3 years warranty on it.

    For best bang for buck, shop around for the cheapest fastest HD and a external enclosure. You may even find a FW800 enclosure, but if you don't have FW800, it'll just cost more.

  15. yuck thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2005
    im live in US
    hows to durability for internal HDD+external closure ?
    i got the feeling that its more fragile than the external HDD
  16. Tuned MP5T macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2004
    New York City
    I just started in the Mac world and I would like to add a external HD. From what I read it seems LaCie is the way to go, but I've got some questions. I does the Mac recognize the external drive? Do I have to manual turn it on and off? I assume that FireWire is the best way to connect an external HD?
  17. bdj33ranch macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2005
    Referring to my post #10 above:
    My Lacie d2 came preformatted in Mac HFS+. All I had to do was plug it in via the provided firewire cable and it showed up on the desktop. I verified that it had the latest firmware update (available from the Lacie Support webpage). It did have the latest firmware - but it is good to verify this. I copied the two Lacie program files on the new drive (Silverkeeper and Silverlining) over to my my eMac.

    Although not necessary, as a personal preference I partitioned it using Apple Disk Utility (don't use Silverlining). But you don't have to partition - the pros and cons of that are a whole new subject area. I cloned my eMac back to the Lacie drive using Silverkeeper (similar to the Carbon Copier Clone program).

    I can now boot from the Lacie drive at startup by holding down the 'option' key (be patient). You must use a firewire connection if you want to be able to use it as a boot disk. It does have a manual off-on button. But mine goes to sleep when my emac does.

    Hope I haven't overwhelmed you with too much - too fast. :)
  18. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2003
    Have to agree with you, CanadaRAM. Have 2 LaCie D2s, no problems so far (read: months). Use a LaCie Porsche drive at work, it runs really hot sometimes, makes me worry. Still, it hasn't had any problems either for over a year...

    BTW, ordered my LaCies from Page Computers (here in US) without incident. Orders were not particularly well-packaged, one LaCie box was in the bottom corner of a larger shipping box with packing material on top and one side, but unit in LaCie box was OK. Other drive ordered more recently came still with the LaCie packaging on the bottom of a larger box, but with Kraft paper on top and other sides. (Of course the LaCie packaging puts foam around the enclosure as well.) Still, I have yet to receive what I would consider a well-packed electronics item from any Internet seller, so don't count this as a strike against Page.

    A few other places were cheaper than Page, but seemed to have a few troubling complaint reports... My 2 cents.
  19. mwatch macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2005
    Appleton, WI
    Will my new PowerBook recognize any external hard drive - formatted for Mac or not? Will it recognize a NTFS drive and allow me to reformat/partition it? I would like to use one hard drive for both Windows and Mac data storage.
  20. yuck thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Lacie doesnt have d2 recondition anymore at their site :(
    what do u guys think bout this one ?
    $130 AR
    Western Digital 160gb, usb 2.0 and firewire
    1 year warranty
  21. Ambrose Chapel macrumors 65816

    Ambrose Chapel

    Jul 24, 2002
    i have a lacie d2 160gb drive that i got at for a good price (it was $20 or so under retail). this is an older model (no usb 2.0) but i've been very happy with it. my gf got the triple interface d2 and also has had no problems.
  22. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    I've had every major brand and some of the one-hits on the market, and here's my 2 cents:
    I've had terrible "luck" with LaCie.. too many failures too soon. That being said, the 500GB drive they offer is solid... BUT I only have two.
    For static archiving the Maxtor brand fails the least of the mid-price brands. I have 15 of them hooked to a "non-critical" Retrospect backup station. One failure in 2 years. Not great, not too bad.
    The BEST portable I've ever seen without question is the SmartDisk (was VST) brand. I've purchased perhaps 2 dozen of them over the years, not once have they failed. I STILL use an old 3GB model for backing up some critical data. No power supply needed, fits in my pocket. I'll never buy another brand. Not only do I use them as storage, but several are used to do "emergency" restores Or disk repairs with a boot partition/image partition. SOLID little beasts.
  23. Inspector Lee macrumors 6502a

    Inspector Lee

    Jan 24, 2004
    East Lansing, MI
    How noisy are the Porsche-designed drives? I've been looking at lacie for a while and was thinking of going with the 250GB at $199 by Porsche because of the slickness factor. However, there is nothing slick about a hard drive droning like a colony (or pack or whatever) of locusts.
  24. yuck thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2005
    my LaCie d2 just arrived today, bought it from for about $160
    its a triple interface, 160gb

    im formatting to ntfs right now cos mainly/mostly im gonna use it with my PC

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