Quality External Backup.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Dark Void, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011

    So I will be purchasing some sort of external hard drive soon (be it a regular external or an enclosure & separate drive), and I was looking for suggestions. I realize that there are a lot of these threads but I was hoping to get some personal suggestions or recommendations, plus I have a couple of important questions. I was originally set on a Western Digital Elements SE (500 GB) but I realized that it only has a 1 year warranty, which doesn't seem too good. Also, I was wondering something that may be quite important...

    What does Time Machine actually do? I intend to use it to back up my MacBook Pro. The reason I am asking is I am trying to figure out whether it is wishful thinking or not to get an external back up that is equal in size to my internal hard drive. Should I be shooting for a 750 GB or 1 TB external drive, given that I have a 500 GB internal? Granted, I will only let the internal get to around 80% full (400/500 GB), so would I be alright with a 500 GB external? Will Time Machine be creating some sort of excess amount of storage space to do whatever it does?

    Would it be ideal to go for an enclosure & separate drive over a regular external hard drive, or should I just get the latter with a solid 3-year+ warranty?

    This is confusing because when I looked up preferences towards externals, a majority of the replies were concerned with getting a drive with a solid warranty (3-5+ years). However, most of these best selling Seagate and Western Digital Drives on Newegg have a 1 year warranty. Any insight?

    Thank you.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Drives with 1-year warranties are usually the external, pre-packaged models. The best thing to do is to buy an external enclosure and an internal hard drive and then just assemble it yourself. The drive will more than likely have the industry-standard 5-year warranty, which is (aside from how much you're willing to spend and your desired capacity) the only important factor in which drive to purchase.
  3. Dark Void thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    Alright, I will start looking at enclosures and separate drives on Newegg.

    Any info on Time Machine? Is a 500 GB external alright for me if I have a 500 GB internal?
  4. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    A good rule of thumb is to go for 2X the capacity of what you're backing up.

    So I'd look for a 1 TB drive -- they are not expensive these days, and because it's only your backup, you don't need a 7200 rpm drive.

    You probably know that 3.5" drives are less expensive than 2.5" ones. I haven't looked at high-capacity 2.5" drives lately, but there must be one or two 1 TB models.

    One big advantage of 2.5" drives is that they can be bus-powered -- so you don't need a wallwart.
  5. Dark Void, Jun 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2011

    Dark Void thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    i think i am going to use a regular external with a 3yr warranty rather than mess with enclosures and the like. just seems easier, and 3 years is plenty for me.

    @monokakata: i suppose i should be looking at 1tb drives then. thanks for your post.

    anyone have any suggestions for 1tb external drive with at least a 3yr warranty?

    edit: this is looking just fine: TOSHIBA 1TB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive - $99.00 and free shipping with a 3 year warranty. thoughts?
  6. 100Teraflops macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Elyria, Ohio
    Checkout the WD My Book Studio II external series, as they have a limited 5 year warranty. :)
  7. Cynicalone macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2008
    Okie land
  8. Dark Void, Jun 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2011

    Dark Void thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    hmmm, do they have any 1tb usb 2.0 ones with a 5yr? i searched them on amazon and i only see this as a 1tb one (or the aluminum), and it has firewire which adds to the price and i really don't need it. also has a 3yr warranty. i know it's faster but i just want a simple usb 2.0 drive with a good warranty.

    i found this though, but it has some bad reviews.

    is it really important that i double my internal space in external space? i'm trying not to get close to $100 really, and 500gb drives are about $65.

    edit: @Cynicalone: weird, i was just looking at that exact product on newegg. it seems nice, and a 2 year warranty is decent. i may just go with this as it is cheaper. thanks for your reply.

    edit2: after sleeping on it i have decided to go with a wd. i am going to be searching for one with a solid warranty and somewhat low price. thanks everyone.

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