Want a TB external drive w/FW 800.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by msw123307, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. msw123307 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    #1
    I'm looking for a drive to keep hooked up to my iMac for use with Time Machine. I have looked around for awhile now, and would like some help. I want Firewire 800, and need a TB just so I have a decent amount of extra space.

    I would also like a drive that is bootable, in case of an emergency. Also a drive that can be formatted to work with both Mac and PC. (I would maybe partition just 120 GB over to FAT or a system that will work with both. I have read that some of these drives aren't able to do that. Not sure if that's true or not..)

    I've also seen other options, raid 0, etc and I'm just not sure what will be the best option. Primarily I just want this to stay plugged in to my iMac to use w/time machine. What are you guys' experiences? Here is the list of brands I have checked out.


    Lacie
    Iomega
    Seagate
    OWC
    WD (Not inclined to purchase this brand, just because of all the crap they've put on my external drives in the past)
     
  2. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    #2
    I use the Lacie d2 Quadra for that. It also has e-SATA connector.

    Any drive should be able to support FAT or NTFS, but the question is what partition map format you will use. If you need bootable Mac, you might be constrained. Can Mac boot off MBR? Most PPC Mac can only boot off APM. Intel Mac prefer GUID/GPT; Will Windows read that? (I think so.)
     
  3. rick3000 macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Coast
    #3
    I have two Seagate drives and they have given me nothing but trouble, they work, but are full of quirks (unmounting, unable to be recognized, etc.) I have decided to go with the WD Studio 1TB for my next drive, it has FW800, 5 year warranty, and I have read great things about them. There about $160.

    OWC doesn't make drives, so the drive you buy from OWC will be one of the other brands drive in the OWC case. I have heard good things about LaCie but there warranties are not as long as I like.
     
  4. msw123307 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 25, 2007
    #4
    I should note I'd really prefer not to go over $199. I think all these drives fall within that range though.

    As for needing it to be bootable. I really am not familiar with a lot of the specifics of this - I just figured it may be necessary in an emergency?

    Primarily I just wanted to have it for TM, with a little left over so that if necessary I can use w/windows.

    Does an iMac 24" Alum even use Esata? Is this faster than FW800?
     
  5. The SpinDoctor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #6
    I'd go with this Rosewill aluminum enclosure (includes FW800, FW800 and USB2 cables) and this Samsung drive. That'll cost you $155 before shipping. I have both, and they have worked perfectly well for a year. The enclosure runs my Apple TV by eSATA (with a 750 gb Samsung drive) and the 1 TB Samsung drive is my boot drive. I do not buy WD drives because of their high failure rate for me, and I have lost confidence with Seagate's latest debacle affecting their current drives.

    For your purposes, you will want to initialize the drive with two partitions - one for booting and one for Time Machine. When you initialize the drive, it is essential that you choose GUID Partition Table from the Partition tab of Disk Utility (from the Options button) if your iMac is Intel-based, otherwise it will not boot. You should also select two partitions - the boot partition only needs to be 15 gb for a base install. Use the remainder of the drive for your Time Machine volume. Then initialize as HFS+ with Journaling enabled and you're set.
     
  7. Horst Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #7
    I'm using the exact same combination for my external TM/SuperDuper clone/ emergency system setup.

    The enclosure is actually made by Macpower, and used by several manufacturers.
    The Samsung HDD is quiet and reliable.

    As for the other choices:

    Lacie : love and use their portables a lot, will never get a desktop model again.

    Iomega : sucks. Really, lowest bidder components . If they made a USB stick, they'd mess that up, too.

    Seagate : see above

    OWC : not a brand, just some components thrown together, considered decent.

    WD : see Iomega and Seagate. Funny how they can make great HDDs and the worst enclosures and interfaces at the same time.
     
  8. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #8
    I recently bought the Icy Dock MB559UEB1-S and it is awesome. It is $99 from this vendor and I think there is a $15 manufacturer's rebate as well. It is quiet, cool and looks great next to an aluminum iMac. It comes with all cables and uses swappable trays for easy HD switching (but only ships with one tray). It uses the Oxford 924 chipset for Firewire 800 and is blazingly fast.

    I put in a new Seagate 1.5TB with the latest firmware and it has worked perfectly. I think the problems on the Seagate drives are with earlier revisions.
     
  9. maestrokev macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    The WD MyBook series all use 5400RPM hard drives unless you're buying a dual drive model. This saves on power but is slower for transfer.

    The OWC Mercury Elite FW800 models aren't bad but they are louder enclosures, even the fanless single-drive enclosures don't shield noise as well as the LaCie or WD single-drive models.

    Also keep in mind that the OWC FireWire 800 ports will not pass power to the next bus connected device unless it is powered on. The WD FW800 models will pass bus power even when powered off - very handy if you want to save energy/noise and keep certain devices powered off until you need to use.
     
  10. macrumorino macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #10
    These puppies are fairly quiet (they could be quieter, though), but their best quality is performance and lowering the drive temperatures,

    http://www.datoptic.com/cgi-bin/web.cgi?product=qBOX-SF&detail=yes

    Performance-wise, they have yet to fail at mounting one of my drives, going on two years now. I think their construction is top-notch, specially at that cost.
     
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #11
  12. macrumorino macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #12
    Yeah, well, he's getting a slot for four drives, not just one.

    You think he's going to stop at 1 TB? :D
     
  13. msw123307 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    #13
    I'm considering that Samsung drive posted..thanks for all the advice. I've never pieced a drive together like that, although I can only infer from the comments that they run smoother than many of the more popular, prepackaged external drives. And I assume it isn't much of a process to do.

    After seeing some good comments on the WD, I'm considering it as well..because I know I can get it for $155 on amazon.
     
  14. maestrokev macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    Apr 23, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #14
    Good comments on WD? I don't know about that. WD has had their forum under "maintenance" for a while now. Previously it was littered with complaints from Mac users. Only the My Studio Mac version is certified to work properly. A common complaint is the MyBook Home/Essential won't work on FW400 with the iMac Al - I have to daisychain through another FW400 device to get my WD MyBook to mount.
     
  15. maestrokev macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #15
    If you're mainly using for Time Machine I'd consider getting a more efficient and less power hungry drive since most of the time it will be idling. The Samsung Spinpoint F1 isn't bad but the newer Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B is better rated.
     
  16. msw123307 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 25, 2007
    #16
    Yeah the WD I would get would be the Studio Mac version. It seems to be rated ok.
     
  17. mjones185 macrumors regular

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    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    Warner Robins,GA
    #17
    Hello,

    This is the first I've heard of FW800 HDs passing power without being turned on. I have four G-DriveQ's daisy chained and for example I have to turn on all of them to use the fourth one. Are there other FW800 HDs that support this feature other than WDs?

    Thanks, Mike
     
  18. rick3000 macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Coast
    #18
    I can use one of my daisy chained FW400 drives without turing them all on. I think it is just the way Firewire works.
     
  19. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #19
    It would seem that is a really an issue with the individual brand of enclosure, as in the past I have had some that pass the signal fine through the chain with the earlier in the chain drives off, and others in which they will not. Makes it interesting when setting up chains of enclosures from multiple manufacturers! ;)
     
  20. maestrokev macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    Apr 23, 2007
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    Canada
    #20
    Yes, the WD MyBook FW800 and Maxtor OneTouch FW800 work fine. My OWC Mercury Elite-AL do not. It's annoying that enclosure manufacturers don't mention this as it makes a difference in how you connect your devices - I have 8 external hard drives.
     
  21. maestrokev macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #21
    Keep in my that most of these fluffy reviews don't mention that WD external drives all use 5400RPM models and it is only their dual drive models that still use 7200RPM. Anytime the word "Green" power (or more efficient) is mentioned, WD is using a 5400RPM drive.

    Edit: just checked and all their external drives single and dual use 5400RPM now
     
  22. mjones185 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    Warner Robins,GA
    #22

    How do you have your 8 hard drives setup? Are they all daisy chained? If so is it a pain dealing with turning them on/off or do you keep them on all the time. I've been searching for a long term storage solution for a long time for my iMac. I have:

    500GB G-DriveQ (iTunes)
    500GB G-DriveQ (Photos)
    750GB Seagate (Movies)
    750GB Seagate (Files)

    All are full and only connected to my imac and I have no backups. I want some kind of storage with access by my Macbook and macbook Pro.

    Mike
     
  23. maestrokev macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #23
    Yes they're all daisy chained. I've read that a lot of the FW800 and FW400 hubs don't work - probably explains why they're hard to find.

    The drives that connect first in the daisy chain are my most used drives, the ones in the end are only turned on when I do a sync - usually before I rotate offsite or into a safe.

    Sounds like you're in the same position as myself. I've considered the Drobo FW800 but the reviews have been mixed. Looking at NAS but most have poor transfer rates even on Gigabit ethernet.
     
  24. gordyc44 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    #24
    Rocstor HDDs

    Hey guys,

    Anyone here use Rocstor products? I've got a couple of the desktop external drives (great enclosures with Seagate/Hitachi/nearly whatever you want, inside them) and just bought a Rocport SB 500GB FW800 drive. The portable is FW800 bus-powered and the bigger desktop drives have built-in power supplies. That's the main reason I bought them - can't stand having an extra box and cable when they really don't need to.

    Would like to hear anyone else's thoughts if you use Rocstor stuff.

    G.
     
  25. Horst Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #25
    I'm using a couple of Belkin FW 400 hubs (6 ports each), works very well.
     

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