Whats your external HD top choice?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by danielpicasso, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. danielpicasso, Dec 22, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010

    danielpicasso macrumors member


    Jul 21, 2008
    Need your top choice external HD recommendation for back up for Macbook Pro 320 gb. I use the MBP at my desk and need a back up..... thinking about Iomega 1TB eGo Desktop Hard Drive, Mac Edition or LaCie 1TB Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive Thank you !
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    All HDs will fail... period

    But I use Western Digital
  3. brucem91 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2009
    Don't worry about getting a "mac-edition" external hdd. They are the EXACT same as their "PC" equivalent, and tend to be more expensive. If you only use it on your mac or are using it with time machine, the drive will need to be formatted to hfs+, which is easy to do with Disk Utility. That said, I am currently using a Western Digital MyBook from years ago, and it is still lasting. My one problem is that the usb plug broke, but it also has a firewire port, so that isn't an issue. HDD's do fail after a few years, but it tends to help if you don't move the HDD much(so the platter doesn't move around.


    I've seen these several times around school, and it tends to be a good external. Personally I prefer a powered external HDD, as it should be faster(that way the usb port only transfers data, not power and data).
  4. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    Build your own. Buy an enclosure and an internal hard drive and screw them together. It's not brain surgery.

    Pre-built external drives usually have a 1 year warranty. Build your own and the internal drive will have at least a 3 year warranty. Putting it together yourself may save you a few bucks, too.

    I like Seagates.
  5. Repo macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    I've never had a hard drive fail on me. All my externals are Seagates.
  6. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    I love my drobo and I use WD caviar Black drives. 2 TB!

    They are going very well. Never had a problem, even though drives will fail.
  7. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
  8. danielpicasso thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 21, 2008
    Whats your external HD top choice?

    Good input and thanx. Happy Holiday!
  9. BertyBoy macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2009
    Western Digital or Seagate. Mac or PC - the "Mac" ones tend to come pre-formatted with HFS+ and you pay the extra £10 for that.

    All external drives will tend to be of the "green" variety, which is perfect for what you've described as its intended use. The more robust drives (Blue / Black / Enterprise) will only cost twice as much and you'll see no benefit, and only an increased power bill if you leave them on all the time.

    Like brucem91 said, if it sits on your desk all the time, there's no reason for it to fail before you fill it up and go for a larger disk. I still have external drives at 250GB and 500GB - from when these were the largest capacities you could buy, they were for my MDD G4, which still runs as well as the day I bought it.
  10. Dalton63841, Dec 23, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010

    Dalton63841 macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2010
    I am also needing a good enclosure. I need a FW800 enclosure for 3.5" drives without the drive to go with my Mac mini. I have been looking at the miniStack v3, but I've read alot of, well, mixed reviews. Some swear by it, others hate it.

    Anything to add?
  11. mackeys macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2009
    Western Digital 1TB does the job for me. Super hard drive, never had any problems (using with Macbook, including iTunes on hard drive) attached to external keyboard along with iPhone dock etc. Highly recommended.
  12. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Jul 30, 2008
    I generally like Seagate hard drives but the best out there changes with time and it is always worth researching.

    Building your own can be great, but you need to make sure you buy a good enclosure. Too many enclosures on the market have inadequate cooling, do not sleep, or sleep poorly or unreliably, and that's a great way to destroy a hard drive unless you only turn it on occasionally for the occasional backup.

    I like LaCie products.
  13. MacSignal macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    For back-up, I would probably get a slower bus powered drive from OWC. This would work, although I would be tempted to get the nicer looking Mercury Elite-AL Pro Mini instead. Good luck!
  14. rye9 macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2005
    New York (not NYC)
    Hey, quick question. So I am considering getting myself an external HD soon because it's definitely a good idea to back up my computer in case anything happens... and I read above that there essentially is no difference between HD's that are "mac" or "pc" compatible other than the fact that ones for macs are formatted hfs+? I'm not too keen on what that means, and I see that someone said that any external HD will work for macs, but my question then is: what is the benefit of buying one that says it's for macs? I still don't know if I should consider one that is "made for macs" or just buy any old one.
  15. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
  16. SuperMatt macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2002
    Usually, drives made "for macs" include firewire connectivity... but not always. If you want a firewire drive, don't assume one that says it's "for macs" automatically has one.
  17. Nagasakiben macrumors newbie


    Dec 23, 2010

    So, over the past 4 years I've had two Western Digital Mybook Hard drives. They both have died after turning 2 years old. I feel like giving another company a go even though I know lifespans aren't very long on any hard drive.

    I've been looking at Lacie hard drives because they support firewire 800 but they are a tad bit more expensive. I don't mind paying the extra money if I can get more than two years out of it.

    I am looking for a 1TB hard drive with fire wire 800 connection. I'll be using it primarily as my time machine backup but with a 1TB I may partition it as well and store some other media on there. I don't need a very small drive, it can sit on my desk, no problem!

    Anyone have any experience with Lacie or can anyone recommend another manufacturer?

  18. Musocat macrumors member


    Sep 17, 2005
    I've been using G-Drives for a long time, and have one that's over five years old. They are very well made, by nerds who understand that the most important quality of an external drive is reliability. They also happen to look nice. I prefer them to LaCie.

    The WD internal drive in my iMac failed after two years, too. Two years is utterly unacceptable, and I was surprised since WD are usually good. I replaced it with a Hitachi Deskstar - I've found Hitachi drives to be very reliable. G-Drive uses (or at least used to use) Hitachi drives.

    Good luck.
  19. BertyBoy macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2009
    As said, you pay the extra £10 since someone has pre-formatted the drive for Mac files. You can do this yourself, very easily, with Disk Utility that came with your Mac OS - you click the new disk on the left, click the Erase tab, give the disk a name and click Erase button and 15 seconds later it's ready.

    I don't think there's many people on the planet can justify £10 for 15 seconds work, guessing that's about $6m/year for an 8 hour day.

    Sometimes the Mac editions come with some cheap backup software, but you have better already in the Mac OS.
    Sale season soon, if you have USB2 and are prepared to be tied in to using it, you can get a real bargain on the < 1TB capacities.
  20. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008

    Although building your own is not necessarily cheaper, you have far more options and way better warranty.

    A few years ago I bought two 1TB Iomega Ultramax drives for about 350€ a pop and after roughly a year both units failed (cheap power supply and failing Seagate drives). The drives didn't have warranty because they were OEM drives, and Iomega's warranty was only 1 year anyway. So 700€ for nothing.

    I can only recommend buying a decent external enclosure (ideally with multiple interfaces so that you can use it with more than only one generation of computers) and your own hard drive.
    That will be more expensive than pre-build external drives, worth it though.
    I prefer MacPower external enclosures (eSATA, FW800, USB for about 80€), plus WD Green drives (silent, fast enough for external storage and come with 3 year warranty).
  21. AF08 macrumors member


    Jun 20, 2010
    Huntington Beach
    Ext hd

    I have a 500GB WD.. been a champ since 2007.

    I bought a Hitachi 500GB drive in 08, and it failed this past summer, so I send it to Hitachi for a replacement, and they informed that they had no 500GB drives to replace mine. So I was forced to take a 1TB drive as a replacement. :D

    Recently just purchased a 1TB My Book World Edition, no problems so far.

    So, Id go with WD :apple:
  22. Nagasakiben macrumors newbie


    Dec 23, 2010
    Thanks, I'm living in Japan and the G-Drive, as good as it may be, is twice as expensive as the lacie for 1 TB and it has no other connection options other than firewire 800 (which isn't a terrible problem) I will keep the G-drive in mind but since it's 150USD vs 300USD on Amazon japan there really isn't much of a choice.
  23. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    WD green, as big as you can afford. Then put it in a case from OWC (macsales.com).

    I have two in an e-sata dual case. Works great.
  24. danielpicasso thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 21, 2008
    Whats your external HD top choice?

    it looks most of you prefer WD or Seagate and of the hardware. what about the software and its user friendliness? thanks and happy holiday
  25. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    Time machine or CCC

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