need help buying external HD and backing up

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by swingerofbirch, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America

    OK here's the 411: I have an eMac and also an eMachines. Both are having problems. And both need to go in for servicing, and both will likely need to have clean installs.

    Before hand, I need to back up all my data.

    So, I am looking to buy a big external hard disk. I am willing to buy a bigger hard disk than I need (maybe 200-300 gigs so I can continue to use it in the future).

    My eMachines has USB 2 and my eMac has Firewire (it's an older one without USB 2). So I'll be buying one with both so I can back up to one drive.

    Now, I am I right in that I'll need to format the drive (or more likely leave it) in FAT 32 in order to use it with both computers?

    From what I have read on these boards, that format is less reliable than the Mac ones. Is it possible to partition it into two parts, one FAT 32 and one for the Mac? Is that advisable?
    What brand should I get?
    And finally where are the great deals? I don't want to pay retail!

    THANKS!!!!! :) :) :)
  2. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    I'm pretty sure you can format two partitions into separate systems. You might as well try in Disk Utility. Just remember that you can't format disks back into FAT32 from a mac. Also, if you want to have a bootable exact copy of your mac HD, use Carbon Copy Cloner
  3. kwajaln macrumors 6502


    Sep 18, 2004
    Do like I did - buy a 500 GB LaCie Big Disk Extreme external HD!!!!!
  4. jamesi macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2005
    Davis CA
    the Lacie drive mentioned above is a good option but it doesnt come cheap. If you are looking to save some serious dough then go on to, buy a large hard drive that is serial ATA (yes a hard drive that would normally be bought to be put inside a computer) and then buy an external hard drive enclosure case. sure you have to do a lil DIY but you will definately save alot of money
  5. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    Good advice above. I just bought an ATA-100 hard drive - 300GB EIDE Seagate 7200RPM w/ 8MB cache from Tigerdirect for $99.00 (with a $40 rebate), and a combo drive enclosure - Metal Gear by i.Connect w/ one USB 2.0 and two 1394A Firewire ports for $39.99 also from Tigerdirect. USB and firewire cables included plus a stand to put the drive vertically (if you wish). So, total on this was $140 plus the dreadful shipping and handling... like $12 for a 7 day UPS ground shipping (bit of a ripoff there), but no tax... so grand total $151 after the $40 rebate. I think $150.00 for a 300GB Seagate HDD dual (USB/Firewire) is not a bad price.

    I installed the HDD inside the enclosure, initialized, formatted with Disk Utility, and it works perfectly. I used CCC to immediately clone my iBook HDD, hopefully I have a bootable drive now, with firewire.

    Seagate drives have a very good reputation, and a 5 year warranty, so that should give you some peace of mind.
  6. iEdd macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2005
    Anyone heard of the MacPower M9? It is stackable with a macmini, but I am considering purchasing for the fact it has a usb and FW400 hub built in and is bootable off either.

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