So which external drive for this mid-2010 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ssledoux, May 5, 2019.

  1. ssledoux macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

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    Sep 16, 2006
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    Down south
    #1
    At this point, I just need to get about 300 gb worth of photos/videos moved off. I asked in another thread about the best way to move/store them.

    I don't know if I'm gonna get a new iMac right now, or give it a few months to see how much I'm actually gonna use a desktop, but I don't want to keep using this 9yo hard drive without backing all this stuff up.

    Not looking to spend a ton - just a decent hard drive big enough to store this stuff.
     
  2. ScreenSavers macrumors 6502

    ScreenSavers

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    Bloomingdale, GA
    #2
    The seagate portable 1TB drives are nice and cheap. The Samsung external SSDs are very fast but not as cheap. I have 8 TB of WD my cloud storage, which has been good over several years.
     
  3. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

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    #3
    Definitely considering an external SSD if I get a new iMac that has a fusion or smaller SSD, but for this I'm thinking just a basic external drive that will hold all this stuff.
     
  4. AlaskaMoose, May 5, 2019
    Last edited: May 5, 2019

    AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

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    #4
    As ScreenSavers mentioned above the, "the seagate portable 1TB drives are nice and cheap." Buy two of them :)

    I have a 2019 iMac, and migrated all my files and apps from a 2011 iMac using a USB 4TB Seagate portable hard drive. My new iMac has a 2TB Fusion drive, is plenty fast for the photo-editing I do, and all my photos are save to SATA external hard drives that don't have enclosures. I plug the drives to a "Pluggable" USB-3/SATA dock.

    To me it makes no sense to buy an iMac with a small SSD that is still overpriced. If I were to by an iMac with a SSD, the minimum size would be 1TB, but Apple wants too much for it. For that reason alone I bought one with a Fusion drive, and maybe three years from now I will replace the drive with a SSD. That's what I did with my older iMac, and cheaply.
     
  5. iSearch macrumors member

    iSearch

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    Dec 27, 2015
    #5
    Speaking of Seagate, are they still known for being less reliable than WD?
     
  6. AlaskaMoose, May 5, 2019
    Last edited: May 5, 2019

    AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

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    #6
    I have several of both, Seagate and WD "My Book," and haven't had any problems with them. The only issue I have had with the My Book WD external hard drives is the WD pre-installed utilities. There was a problem with these utilities a few years back where "supposedly" files were being erased during backups, but when I read the news I downloaded and installed a new WD firmware that supposedly took care of the problem.
     
  7. NoBoMac, May 5, 2019
    Last edited: May 5, 2019

    NoBoMac macrumors 68020

    NoBoMac

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    Jul 1, 2014
    #7
    Will echo that I too have both Seagate and WD and both have worked well for years. Now, I don't keep them plugged in 24/7, so not getting the wear/tear that others might put theirs through.

    And will echo to get two drives and copy to both. If one drive fails, at least have the other.

    Keep an eye on Best Buy Sunday paper ads (or online), Amazon, Fry's if in your part of the country (and sign-up for their promo code emails): they all have external drives on sale every week.
     
  8. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    Oct 14, 2018
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    #8
    Don’t.

    A 2TB SSD mounted internally sets you back $260–$300 in parts — 1TB is $125 or so less. I can do one in about 15 minutes and did so just last week.

    Get a $23 USB dock and drop the old HDD in it. If you really feel that you can’t go inside, get that same $23 dock and drop any drive you want in it.

    Despite the iFixIt and OWC videos, removing the screen is never necessary unless also replacing the NV RAM battery as it’s on the back of the motherboard. I suppose that I should write out a real world tutorial on these.

    The result will be a 2010 that runs a lot faster and much cooler. I replaced mine last week because one of my core apps requires Mojave and I make my living on an iMac.

    Ok, I’ve done quite a few of these but I have only one working arm. It’s just not that hard and the results are well worth the effort. If you don’t want to do the work yourself, shop the job out to a tech.
     
  9. AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Good point about not having them connected to the computer. I connect them only to save files and photos, then eject and put them away.
     
  10. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    #10
  11. AlaskaMoose, May 5, 2019
    Last edited: May 5, 2019

    AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

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    #11
    I have similar docks, but the lay down type. One of the two incorporates a cooling fan. I used one of these docks to migrate all my files and apps from the 2011 to my new iMac. Migrated a little less than 1TB of files and apps from the external Seagate hard drive to the 2TB fusion drive in the new iMac in a tad over two hours.

    I replaced the hard drive of a 2011 iMac with a 1TB SSD. I also had a screen removal (rubber plungers or cups?) kit, screw drivers, and a hard drive temperature sensor kit.

    Before removing the hard drive I removed all the unnecessary files, folders, and so on, cleared the trashcan, and then checked the drive with Disk Utility to make sure everything was fine with it. The next step was to clone the hard drive to the new and freshly formatted SSD plugged externally to the iMac's USB port. I made sure that the clone was fine by starting the iMac from it and then using CS6 and other apps.

    Then I opened the iMac, removed the hard drive, mounted the SSD on a bracket, installed the SSD plus the new temperature sensor kit, installed the screen, and powered the iMac. Have been using this iMac for photo-editing since 2011. The SSD makes it quite fast, just a very few seconds on start-ups, and also saving large photos to folders in the desktop, or to external hard drives.
    --- Post Merged, May 5, 2019 ---
    By the way, a couple of friends of mine make a living repairing computers and their respective OS's, both Mac and PC. They introduced me to the USB docks we have been talking about, years ago. They have new SSD's and hard drives of numerous kinds and sizes ready for new installations using self-powered docks.
     
  12. chrfr macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #12
    A 2010 iMac has only USB 2.0, so trying to copy anything to an external drive via USB will take an extremely long time. FireWire options are relatively rare these days but will be much faster, although still not as fast as USB 2.0. An SSD will offer no performance advantage over a regular hard drive on a USB 2.0 connection– both are limited to the speed of the USB connection.
     
  13. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #13
    I fully agree, good results from a relatively simple job, and the drop-in type of drive dock that you mentioned later is a real time (and space) saver.
    I do have two questions:
    When you say "screen", are you referring to the LCD (display) panel?
    This thread is about a 2010 iMac, so how do you get at the hard drive without removing that LCD panel?
     
  14. AlaskaMoose, May 5, 2019
    Last edited: May 5, 2019

    AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Choose your iMac model/year, and watch the video:
    https://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/

    This is one of the videos for one of the 2009 iMac's hard drive replacement, which should be the same if replacing the hard drive with the correct SSD:
    https://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/imac_24_0708e09_hd/iMac9-1-24/

    On my 2011 iMac the new SSD replacing the hard drive didn't have a connection for a temperature sensor. In this case I only had two options to control the cooling fan speed: 1. using a temperature sensor kit (a harness to connect to the iMac, with a sensor to be attached to the SSD), or 2, a fan speed control app. I chose the first, of course. Since the new SSD operates at a lower temperature than the hard drive, the cooling fan seldom spins up from low RPM.
     
  15. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Longer than USB 3 which isn't an option here, yes but extremely long? Nonsense.

    I can only assume that you've not done much of that lately—but why would you unless you don't have a 2012 or later Mac? Yes, it takes awhile but Firewire isn't much faster — really, I have old FW 800/USB 2 housings still and have timed it.

    Enough of opinions. Let's get to facts. I was planning to test USB 3 vs USB-C on my iMac Pro today but my 2010 is still on the desk so it was very easy to add USB 2.

    I used the same 25.57GB test file and two drives: a 2TB Crucial MX300 SSD and a 10 year old WD Black 500GB 7200 rpm system pull from an early 2009 iMac 24". Out of the hundreds I've replaced, not one OE HDD from a late 2009–2012 has ever tested good. Even if they still worked, all had serious SMART errors.

    I used 3 docks, the USB 3 I referred to earlier, an 9 year old eSATA/USB 2 and a new USB3/USB-C I got last week — I needed another anyway and was curious to see if USB-C made a difference.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01E80N2E8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I ran 12 tests but I'll spare you the blow-by-blow. The conclusions were few and explanations simple.

    USB 2: transfer time 9 minutes =/- 4 seconds. The drive didn't matter nor the dock if I was using a USB 2 cable. The limitation was clearly USB 2.

    USB 3: HDD: 3 minutes 56 seconds; SSD: 1 minute 10 seconds +/- 3 seconds. Now we hit the platter speed of the HDD and that explains the difference.

    USB-C: Identical to USB 3. The reason is that SATA III is the limiting factor, slower than either USB 3 or USB-C.

    eSTA (2010 iMac only) HDD: 3 minutes 56 seconds. SSD: 1 minutes 55 seconds. The platter speed is still the limit on the HDD but SATA II is now the limit for the SSD. If my 2010 had an HDD instead, the transfer time would likely be around 4 minutes.

    BTW, this does not mean that an SSD is only twice the speed of an HDD inside a 2010, not at all. Bus speed does not affect the internal workings of the SSD. Boot times are seconds instead of minutes. Track bouncing in my DAW can take less than a second on small files instead of minutes on the HDD. 3 years with an HDD and 6 years with an SSD in the same iMac... Thanks to eSATA, I was able to compare both (a 1T 845 EVO) in the same machine simply by deciding which one to boot from. It wasn't till 2015 when Samsung released the 2TB 850 EVO that I finally installed it internally and dramatically lowered the temperature in my office. The reduction in my A/C bill during the summer paid for it over time. A week later, I installed the 845 into my wife's 2011 iMac.

    You can still do eSATA on the 2010–2011 27" iMacs only. The drop-in docks are really inexpensive but the cost for conversion is $159 incl. return shipping from OWC plus shipping to them. When I had that done to mine in 2010, it made a lot of sense. Nowadays? Oh gosh no.
    https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/turnkey/iMac_2010_27/add_eSATA

    By comparison, one of the files that made up the test file is a 7.15GB restore DVD image file for the 2010–2011 iMac. I sent that file to someone's GoogleDrive account a few months ago. The upload took over 7 hours for that one file.
     
  16. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Location:
    Down south
    #16
    Thanks for the info. *I* won't be trying to do anything inside this iMac. I just want a way to back up photos and videos before this hard drive goes out.

    If a USB flash drive will do the trick, that would be just fine. I didn't realize they made those that big.
     
  17. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    The Sillie Con Valley
    #17
    No. Apple's back to using them again.

    They were horrible for many years, however. So much that I stopped sending HDDs in for warranty as the replacements would be as bad or worse.

    Still, I use only WD Red HDDs in Time Machine drives. They run cool and have xtra duty bearings. Never had one break down. It was a Seagate engineer who gave me the heads-up on these, BTW. These are designed for RAID/NAS/Backup/Enterprise storage etc. where speed is not a priority. One of the reasons they run cool and are so reliable is that they are slower than 7200rpm drives.
    --- Post Merged, May 5, 2019 ---
    Sure.

    The only reason to sink a dime into this iMac is if you plan to keep it around.
     
  18. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Location:
    Down south
    #18
    Well, it's my daughter's, and I don't think she really cares to have it or use it, other than for this photo storage. I mainly set it up to see how much I'd use a desktop because it's been a few years since I've had an iMac (been all in on iPP). I would just like to store her photos and videos, so that if anything happens to the hard drive while I'm using it, I have her stuff backed up!

    Honestly, I think her ultimate goal is to upload it all into something like Shutterfly, so maybe I should just be trying to do that with it instead of buying storage since IDK what storage I'd be able to save to that I could then hook up to a new iMac and access the photos from.

    This is just all so over my head. I'm so basic when it comes to how I use my computers/iPads...
     

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17 May 5, 2019