suggestions for a back up hard drive for my macbook pro drive

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Sossity, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Sossity macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    I will probably be getting one as a back up of my 2010 macbook pro hard drive through time machine or some other app. Should I get a bare drive & enclosure & put it together myself? or just look out for a deal on a pre ready hard drive?

    my mac's hard drive is 500gb, should I stick with this size for a backup? or get something bigger?

    what would be the best app for this backup? time machine? I have never used time machine, & also how would I format the drive? I would want it so if I had to go to a new mac, I could just copy the backup hard drive contents, with all my apps without having to go through all my software to reinstall.

    also, would this backup have to be plugged in all the time & running? or just when I do back ups?
  2. flynz4, Feb 17, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I have read that your backup size should ideally be about 3X the size of your actual data. I think that is overkill if a lot of your data is static. For example: My 2TB iMac is showing 1.15 TB available, and my 2TB TC is still showing almost the exact same space available. This particular iMac/TC combo has been backing up hourly since Oct '10. TM/TC does automatically exclude some OS data, which is fine.

    I would look for some way to either have a true NAS, or a USB drive attached to your home network. That way TM will run automatically whenever you are in your house. Office Depot was running a special for a 2TB USB2 drive for $75. I thought that was a killer deal. Your backup drive does not need to be high performance. The hourly backups are very quick.

  3. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    could you link me to the office depot drive? is it still on sale?

    so the drive does not need to be firewire? just usb will do?

    what about rpm? my macbook pro drive is 72rpm, does the backup have to be?

    I have a wired Ethernet network at home, does the drive have to be on & running all the time while I am running my mac? or can I turn it on when I am ready to do a backup?
  4. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium


    Feb 20, 2009
    Have you considered a "dock" style setup?

    For about $20-30, you can get one of these:
    (many items shown, pick the one you like)

    ... and then pick up one or more "bare drives" from the vendor of your choice. I like and Seagate drives.

    I put the bare drives back into the anti-static bags in which they came when I'm not using them.

    If you want more connection options than just USB2, you might consider one of these: Technology/FWU2ESHDK/
    (a little more $$, though).

    The advantages of choosing a dock/drive setup for backup are:
    - drive and enclosure aren't "married" to one another. If you have a problem with the dock (but drive seems ok), just get another dock. If you are having a problem with a drive (but dock is ok), just get another drive.
    - you can add additional drives (say, to create a second backup), but all you need is the one dock.

    The DISadvantage of the dock/drive setup is that (at least in my opinion) it's not designed for "continuous usage" -- that is, a setup where you turn the drive on and leave it running ALL THE TIME. I wonder if there would be enough "air movement" around the drive, without "forced ventilation" such as a fan. Having said that, I've used my drives in a dock for a few hours at a time, and they just get warm to the touch, and not hot.

    But if you're going to use it on and off for backups and "secondary online storage" that you access now-and-then, it makes a great solution.
  5. flynz4, Feb 18, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Here is where I learned about it... the deal ends tomorrow.

    Your backup disk does not need to be matched in speed to your MacBook. The performance of your backup drive is not very critical at all. After your first Time Machine backup... the hourly backups will generally be very quick. Attaching the drive to your network (probably through your router) makes backup easy and transparent... with no human intervention. That should be your goal.

    I also suggest that you sign up for cloud based backup as well. That way your data is backed up twice... and one of them is offsite. I use Crashplan+ as it is works perfectly, and is very inexpensive to operate.


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