new battery or external hard drive for christmas

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by furcalchick, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. furcalchick macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #1
    over the past few months, i have been thinking to buy a replacement macbook battery or a second external hard drive. the one i don't buy now, i'll probably buy next summer.

    battery story: a few months ago, the battery started to go wacky, in where sometimes the battery would go dead with 30% charge left, and varying battery life (sometimes less than a hour), but i think i can stretch out the life of the battery for another few months, and i don't think i need to buy a new one this second as i don't use it too much away from outlets as of recently. i've seen batteries for about 100 bucks, but i'll likely cough up the 130 for the battery.

    hard drive story: i have an external hard drive already where i partitioned it to clone my hard drive and store my important files, but i read that it's not effective in cloning the drive in that matter, and i will probably need the external hard drive to solely be a cloning drive (i will keep using my current one to store important files for me and some others, and they look to be begging for a new storage spot). i will probably get those portable external hard drives with at least 250 gb of space (for when i eventually get a new internal hard drive), and don't want to go over 100 bucks for this. i also know black friday and christmas shopping specials are right around the corner, so i could snag a deal there.

    so i'm asking which one i should buy first: a replacement battery or the second external and your reasoning behind it. thanks.
     
  2. Porco macrumors 68020

    Porco

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    #2
    Because you already have an external hard drive, I'd say get the battery sorted. Unless you know exactly why it's gone 'wacky' just living with the problems might be unwise.

    As far as the hard drive situation goes, I'm not sure about why it's not effective to clone it on a partitioned drive, other than putting all your eggs in one basket as it were. Certainly the more individual back-ups you have the better, and cloning to a partition on the same disk as a back-up is almost pointless, but to a different disk is still halving your risk.

    So seeing as you do already have the ability to clone your macbook, I would advise you keep doing so and get the battery first. If you didn't already have an external hard drive I'd say that should be the priority because to most people, their data is what is irreplaceable, but you don't want the battery cutting out on you.

    Have you tried calibrating the battery btw? Maybe get CoconutBattery and see what that says about your battery's charge levels - it might help you decide anyway.

    http://www.coconut-flavour.com/coconutbattery/
     
  3. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #3
    Battery of course, that affects the computers performance. And is "broken". the external HDD works and is fine. Battery ehh not so much.
     
  4. furcalchick thread starter macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #4
    i have calibrated it several times and the problems don't go away, or more often, stay normal for a few days, then act up again. the guy at the apple store says the battery i have pretty much has to get replaced soon. since then, problems are just getting worse. battery health is at a dismal 39%.

    but the reason i was asking about the new external was because i saw a thread some time ago on this site saying that putting your clone on a partition is a bad idea, as if the hard drive were to fail, i couldn't boot off the external because it's on a partition.
     
  5. Porco macrumors 68020

    Porco

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    #5
    Ok, one of us is confused.

    Cloning your internal disk to a separate, external disk is fine, whether that is to a partition on the external or not. The mac would simply see the partitions as separate volumes, and if one of them was bootable, you could boot from it. You should test to see if you can boot from it regardless, just so you know it works anyway, it'd only take a couple of minutes.

    Putting a clone on a partition of your internal disk, the one you use in your macbook as your main system disk is where it would be a bad idea, because as you say, if that internal disk fails you'll probably not be able to get the clone back. But as long as the system is bootable on two physically separate volumes, (i.e. volumes that are on two different physical disks) you are covered for one of them failing.

    If you mean you would like another, 3rd disc to have even more data security by having important files on a 3rd disc, that is true, and ideally desirable (although having 2 back-up copies of your files and 2 clones would be even better), but I would still say if you have one fully working clone right now the battery should be your priority.

    If your battery simply cuts out while the computer was writing a big file (rather than giving you a warning like it should do, depends how wacky it's getting!) you could conceivably damage your internal disk that way, so it might be a false economy to invest in a second back-up rather than avoid needing it, if you see what I mean.

    Others may disagree, just my opinion.
     
  6. furcalchick thread starter macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #6
    it can boot from the external hard drive, so i guess i'm fine there. i bet the person was probably trying to clone on the internal or something.
     
  7. furcalchick thread starter macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #7
    thanks guys for the replies, and after seeing the comments and thinking it over, i'll go with the battery. it's been acting strange for a while, and the second hard drive can wait for a bit since they are always getting bigger.

    do you think they will have the batteries on sale on black friday? any place i can get the battery for less? thanks again.
     
  8. arthursiew macrumors 6502

    arthursiew

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #8
    If you don't really leave the house with your laptop often, then you probably won't need the battery yet. If you can still hold onto your external, but need to leave the house often with your laptop, go for the battery. It's really up to you.
     

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