Need your opinions on external HD's.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iEugene, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. iEugene macrumors regular


    Apr 18, 2006
    Hey folks it looks like I'm finally going to be needing an external drive, but now it comes down to which one.

    Originally I was going to buy the LaCie Porsche 250 GB FW-400 from, however after reading reviews (many from many sites) it seems that the design of this drive makes it too hot and ultimately crashes the drive. Most reviews have advised me not to buy this one which left me in a predicament because I wasn't sure what other external drive manufactuer to get...I'm looking for something that is within the price range of $100 or under, and the size of the drive at least be 100 GB. At first I wasn't sure I could find this demand AND find a reliable company. Basically I don't want to be drive-less in six months or so like the horror story reviews I am hearing.

    I stumbled upon this drive from (normally I don't order from amazon but this seemed too good to pass up).

    Western Digital WDXMS1200TN 120 GB Passport USB 2.0 Hard Drive

    For the price of $85.99 (around $100 after shipping, worst case scenario) this drive seemed exactly what I was looking for (after checking that it was Mac compatible of course).

    So I ask whoever reads this,

    1) What is your opinion (or experience) with this drive or it's manufactuer in terms of quality, durability and overall performance?

    2) Do you recomend anything else?

    All opinions welcome, I hope to hear from everyone, and thanks!
  2. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    What will you be using the drive for? Keep in mind that drive doesn't have firewire.
  3. iEugene thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 18, 2006
    Yes I know it does not have FW that is fine with me. I am primarily using it for basic media (pictures, movies, documents).
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    I'd say get an enclosure and hard drive separately, and get the most for your money.

    This enclosure is mac compatible and has both Firewire and USB 2.0 connectors. It has also has good customer reviews. Newegg has other colors of this case too. $29

    160 GB Hard Drive $52

    250 GB Hard Drive $60

    320 GB Hard Drive $80
  5. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    Buying from Dell, BestBuy, Amazon or Costco might be cheaper than Apple store.
  6. hologram macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
    And don't forget B&H. I just ordered a LaCie external from them because my Iomega died after 18 months.

    FW is important to me, though, because I'm using it as a mirrored backup and need to boot from it.

    You do know that you can't use USB 2.0 if you want to boot from it, right?
  7. drake macrumors 6502a


    Jul 5, 2005
    I have the 160gb ver. of the Passport, and had the 120gb. They're a nice, portable size and both make rather odd noises (that's why I returned the 120). You can pop the case open and put your existing drive into the Passport and put you're passport's drive into a Macbook (if that's what you have). Recommended.
  8. AZJayhawk macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2007
    I have the 160 gb Passport and am very happy with it. It is very small and easy to pack into my laptop bag when traveling. I primarily store ripped media files (movies and TV shows) that I transfer to my MacBook to keep me occupied since I spend a lot of time on airplanes.

    I back-up all of my personal files and iTunes music on a network storage drive in my home.
  9. manchild macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2007
    At home
    500 GB 3.5" internal HD is the best bang for your buck right now. I agree with buying the enclosure separately. I've actually been looking at the IDE/SATA to USB adapters because I'm approaching the likelyhood that I'll be buying a lot of hard drives in the long and near future and don't want a mass of external enclosures lurking around.

    If you need a portable external HD then buy the 2.5" variety.
  10. doug.hall macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2005
    I have a 1TB Lacie and it work ok but it's very noisey. I'm thinking about replacing it because of the sound of the fan.
  11. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    I have been using a 300Gb Maxtor for a year without any problems .. :)
  12. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    You don't say if portability is important. I'm considering this one for my wife's MacBook since it'll be light enough to carry in a laptop bag, but if it's just going to sit on your desk, you can get 500GB external drives for $150 now (believe me, you will use the space). If there's a Costco nearby, they have some pretty good deals now.

    Or build your own. I recently got a 500GB Seagate IDE drive for $120 and the NewerTech Ministack v2 for $80 - the enclosure has built in FW400 and USB2 hubs, and I'm using it under my Mini that's connected to the TV. I've only had it for a week so I can't comment on reliability, but it's amazingly clean looking without extra bits hanging off it. It's not a big issue with a techie like me, but my wife only allowed me to connect a computer to the TV "if there's no clutter".
  13. kinesin macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2006
    If your running a Intel based mac you can boot off USB. :D

    I've got the 160GB version WD Passport, and used superduper to clone my old Macbook's drive (now sold to folks). I've booted to it when attached externally by holding option/alt while powering on and selecting the USB drive. I've also taken it apart (the case just clicks together) and placed the sata drive inside the Macbook, as I plan on swapping old my new 80GB Macbook's drive and running this drive internally.

    Imo it' a great little drive, silent, large and runs without any external power :cool: Some people say the supplied case is too short (it's USB to Mini USB) at 11", but it's nice having less cable imo. I've loads of longer ones anyway.
  14. hologram macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
  15. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    I use that drive, about the last year or so.

    It's been fine, but make sure that you realize how it works. My drive has NO POWER CORD, it runs off the USB, but the USB cable cannot exceed 18 inches in length.

    So, my Passport has been great, but if this new model is like mine, just realize that about the USB cord.
  16. matperk macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2004
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    I have the same's very good and very durable. It's pretty quick for what I use it for, but it's nothing too speed sensitive. I have my aperture library on it, and I used to have my iTunes Library on it as well.

    No problems w/ it running off buspower or anything. It's nice to just throw in my bag with me.
  17. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    Get the biggest ext HD you can afford.

    You'll thank yourself in the long run!

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