What are the best external hard drives for Macs?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mariobros27772, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. mariobros27772 macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2011
    Hey, i am very interested in buying a Mac. But I need an external hard drive for my stuff.

    What are the best 1TB or higher external hard drives for a Mac Book Pro?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    There is no "best" external hard drive. All platter-based hard drives will fail. You should get the drive with the best warranty and backup accordingly.
  3. bmcgonag macrumors 65816


    Mar 20, 2007
    I"d say check out NewEgg.com and see what their's are running, compare it to the cost of buying a drive and enclosure separately, and also check for deals locally at Wal-mart, Best-Buy, Fry's, Staples, Office-Max, etc.

    Any drive could be a dud, regardless of the maker, but on NewEgg they have user reviews and ratings that may at least help you thin out the crowd.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting in HFS (Mac OS Extended) or FAT32 or NTFS-3G can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    • Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
    • To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
    • To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
    • To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • exFAT partitions created with OS X 10.6.5 are inaccessible from Windows 7
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB

    If you want more information, here are just a few of many threads on this topic, found by searching the forum with MRoogle:

    Mac Guide on External Hard Drives
    Mission impossible: Finding a good simple external hard drive for MAC
    Portable External Drive / Storage Recommendations
    What type of external hard drive is best?
    Can anyone Recommend a good 1tb External Hard Drive?
    looking for a 2 tb external Hard drive with firewire
    Suggestions on an External Hard Drive
    anyone could recommend a good external hard drive for the imac?
    Segate Expansion External Drive 1TB - Need Help!
    Which external hard drive should I buy - Seagate vs. LaCie vs ????
    Looking to purchase a 1TB external hard drive
    ... and many, many others.
  5. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    I've always had good luck with Wester Digital products, but I know many would refute that claim.

    That said, I have had three WD drives and none have failed, at least not yet.
  6. cafemoka macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2011
    LaCie Big Disk Extreme 1TB

    I am extremely disapponted in this drive which has corrupted twice and caused much lost time in retrieval of info. Colleague also bought at the same time and the same thing happened:mad:
  7. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    I have a 640 GB WD my passport. Does the job well.
  8. ThaDoggg macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2010
    Peterborough, Canada
    I have a 500GB Verbatim SureFire and it has been excellent. I believe it comes with a Scorpio Blue HD inside so a bonus.
  9. Andeavor macrumors 6502

    Aug 19, 2010
    I actually agree with that statement, I have three as well, and despite planning on replacing the first (1TB) with the second one (2TB) I kept it as it's still in great shape, even though it's almost twice the size.

    The third one is a passport by WD with 500GB capacity... I used to have two older HDs 10 and 20 times the size of it. :eek:

    LaCie sucks, tbh. I had a very big one that fell on its side after bumping into the desk a bit too harshly and ever since it was a paperweight.

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