What kind of external hard drive do you use for MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mars2010, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. Mars2010 macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2010
    I imagine most people have a portable hard drive, rather than an external one that has its own power supply, for their laptop. My iMac has a 1 TB drive specifically for Time Machine, but I was thinking of getting a 320-500 GB portable drive for my MBP. Can I partition part of it for TM and use the rest for storage?

    I was looking at the WD Passport drives and also a portable Hitachi one. Anyone have these external drives, and are they compatible with Macs ? Do portables fail more often than external drives that don't get moved around a lot?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Some of us have both bus-powered drives and those requiring a power supply.
    All hard drives are compatible with Macs. It depends on how you choose to format it.
    It depends on the drive and how you handle it.

    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.

    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    • No individual file larger than 4GB.
    • Read/Write HFS from native Mac OS X
    • To Read/Write HFS from Windows, Install MacDrive
    • To Read HFS (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer

    Searching the forum with MRoogle will usually find answers to most of your questions:

    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.
  3. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I use a WD Passport for Time Machine (which I don't take with me all at) and an LaCie Rugged for other data.
  4. Mac-key macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
    I use a large G-technology external drive (the plug-in for power kind) for my editing scratch disk.

    then i have a portable iomega (no plug in needed) i use for my time machine
  5. ArmCortexA8 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010
    Terra Australis
  6. Mars2010 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2010
    Thanks for all the replies, and especially GGJ for the thorough explanation.

    I have LaCie and Hitachi externals on my desktops, and WD internals. I haven't had any problems with any except for one internal (WD) failure several years ago. As I read about other peoples' experiences, I guess I've been relatively lucky in that respect. Are there any brand names I should steer clear of in terms of high failure-rate?
  7. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Stuck my stock drive in an off the shelf case
  8. DanMacApple macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2010
    I dont know from personal experience but I have heard alot of bad reports on the Iomega Drives. Myself I have had good luck with Western Digital and believe Seagate should be another good option.
  9. Heavenly macrumors member


    Sep 16, 2009
    Northwestern University
    320GB 7200rpm Western Digital Scorpio Black for Time Machine and 2TB G Technology G-RAID(0) for FCS stuff.

    The G-RAID is super durable too; I accidentally dropped it twice(on carpet) and it still works like new with the same read/write speeds.

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