Which external hard drive for Time Machine?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by cheeseadiddle, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. cheeseadiddle macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2007
    I'm new to macs, having just bought a 24" iMac on the 2nd. So I qualify for the Leopard upgrade. The Time Machine feature really sounds cool, and I'd like to use it. 'Cept I haven't a clue about which external hard drives are the best, or in particular... which one is the best.

    I'm assuming firewire is the way to go for speed, but I have no idea how large a drive I'd need. My internal drive is 500GB. Anyone have any suggestions for a durable, quiet external drive? What can I expect to pay?

    We also have a second 20" 2.4 Ghz iMac in the house that has the 320GB drive in it. It will be getting the Leopard upgrade as well, so I could use a suggestion for an external drive for Time Machine for that iMac too.

  2. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    You have an airport extreme so you could have a drive(s) connected to that to act as a Time Machine for both computers. Just a thought.
  3. lancestraz macrumors 6502a


    Nov 27, 2005
    You could, but it would be slow.

    LaCie makes excellent hard drives.
    If you want cheaper ones, check out Western Digital's My Book hard drives.
  4. macpro2000 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2005
  5. Word Warrior macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2007
    Bromsgrove, Worcestershire UK
    Just about to upgrade

    I'm soon to be getting an imac with Leopard 10.5 but was wondering what to do regarding time machine. I already have a 500GB Lacie firewire 'bigger disc' which is currently partitioned with a backup space of 80GB to cover the internal drive in my current iMac and the rest is for other stuff. Is there a way I can adapt this without having to dump stuff onto DVD's etc then reformatting the drive or should I just buy another drive the same size (or bigger) than the internal drive on the new imac and start over?:confused:
  6. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    use ipartition to make your first partition bigger than 80gb without reformating it.
    you shouldnt need that much more space than whats on your macs hard drive for time machine. if your macs hard drive and time machine partition are almost full, time machine keeps on making backups until its full and it then starts deleting the oldest backup to make space.
  7. Word Warrior macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2007
    Bromsgrove, Worcestershire UK
    Brilliant, that'll save me a bundle of cash, cheers. Will purchase it after purchase of iMac 20" Aluminum (aluminium if you speak English :D ) and of course only when 10.5 is packaged with it!

  8. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    Arg shipping to canada on those things is so $
  9. numbersyx macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2006
    I'm interested in the Lacie HD but how noisy is it? I have the WD MyBook Pro and it sounds like a noisy dishwasher when it's spinning around. Quite annoying using Time Machine....
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The new Leopard version of "Disk Utility" can do this. No need for third party software.
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    No, I think this used to work but the feature was removed from the shipping version of Leopard. You can only back up to drives that are physically conneced to a Mac. But of course you can share that drive over the (possibly wireless) network

    Actually there is a workaround but I'd not recommend this for importent data.
  12. PupnTaco macrumors regular


    May 29, 2007
    I picked up the Western Digital MyBook 1TB FireWire 800 for $230 at Best Buy, doing my first full backup now...
  13. cuanurse macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    I just bought a Lacie D2 on saturday and I am still deciding whether or not I like it or not. It is a bit noisy (like an old computer thinking). It isn't all of the time but occasionally. Like I said.. I am still debating. I am giving it a few more days until I decide whether it is too noisy or not.
  14. safetyobc macrumors 6502


    Sep 6, 2007
  15. wattage macrumors 6502


    Oct 14, 2005
    How?? I opened Disk Utility and did not see any repartition option other than to erase and reformat.
  16. xrayvision macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2007
    I picked up a 300Gb Maxtor One Touch III with Firewire800 for about 100$ (USD) at outpost.com. They're currently backordered for 2 weeks, but it seems to be a decent drive. It's not fancy, but easy to install and functional. It's worked flawlessly with Backup, but I don't have Leopard so I can't vouch for TimeMachine.

    For installation, I just used the Apple iDisk utility to make a couple partitions. Supposedly you can boot from the drive (by making a partition bootable), but I'm not sure how to actually make my mac go the firewire first upon booting (ie: look for the external drive, if it's not there continue with the internal drive). If anybody can steer me in the right direction (how to boot off a FW800 external drive) it would be much appreciated!
  17. afultz075 macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I have two MyBooks with Firewire 400 that have been very reliable.

    I do plan on upgrading one of them to an OWC Aluminum Mercury Pro with Firewire 800 for Time Machine use.
  18. scottbricker macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2009
    Best external HD for backing up 3+ computers

    Hi kind macforums folks. I don't have an answer for the question and I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I have a pretty similar question so I thought it would be redundant to start a new thread. I'm pretty new to networking, HD backups, etc. I run a small nonprofit and have 3 macbooks all running OS X with Timemachine. What type of affordable external HD would you recommend for 3 computers running Timemachine? I'm guessing we need a 1T HD. I'd prefer for all of us to be able to backup wirelessly. We have an Airport at the office, but it's probably 5+ years old. Do I also need to purchase an updated Airport?

    Thanks for your help!
  19. ChrisRadford macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2009
    Old post and external hard drives


    You may want to check the last post date of a thread before posting on them in future, unless someone is searching for the same problem they might not see your question, just a thought.

    In answer to your question your best bet may be a Time Capsule from Apple, it incorporates both wireless time machine backups and wifi into one device and can back up multiple macs.

    Hope that helps!
  20. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    scottbricker, you my friend get a sticker or a cookie. Thank you for doing the right thing and searching, realizing that creating a new thread is redundant, do not become dissuaded by the poster below - if you search, you will be loved on these forums.

    As for how big the drive should be, I'd say 1.5 times your current storage options at a minimum.

    As to the drives themselves, see if this is helpful.

    My last advice is:
    As much as I was happy buying a G-Tech, I bought my G-Raid was the assumption that one of my other drives would fail like I read about online, every drive I have owned has worked flawlessly, so for me the G-Tech was not really completely worth it.

    But everyone has their own experiences, but I imagine that most of them are positive. Sure, there are these threads about how person x's drive failed and person y wouldn't buy anything but them. I own three drives that there are plenty of horror stories about.

    For the most part no one is going to post "I Love My _____ Drive" unless two things occur. Either: A. They just purchased the drive – hard drives fail, if it worked out of the box, that's a good thing; but, to give a positive rating takes at a bare minimum six months, if not a year in my book. B. Someone said that _____ Drive is bad. Remember these companies ship millions of drives. Western Digital, Seagate and Hitatchi all make tons of drives internal and external; a couple of users are going to have some problems, but for the most part – most customers drives probably work.

    The best advice is to find one that has a good warranty and excellent customer service. And then avoid reading these threads so you don't lose any sleep.​

    First of all, that makes no sense. Every time someone posts in a thread it gets placed to the top of the section of the forum. Secondly, the OP searched, in case you haven't realized that is a good thing. Giving people advice to make new threads every time is the wrong advice and will quickly get chastised.
  21. harperjones99 macrumors 6502

    Nov 3, 2009
    You recommended a product that has had an abysmal failure rate. I got one dead out of the box and my searching showed me tons of people are having them fail in months or a year max.
  22. alyson87 macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2010
    OK...at my wit's end.

    I purchased an external harddrive to back up my entire student drive. The drive had to be formatted to be compatible with a Mac, and I did this with the customer support over the phone. Used basic copy and paste methods to put my information on the ehd. I triple checked to make sure it stayed there, by properly ejecting drive and plugging it back in.
    Had my mbPro wiped clean entirely, reloaded Leopard, and am now left with just basic applications and files.
    Plug in the ehd, and it shares the exact same information as my current wiped-clean drive. I made it as an exact replica of my information filled mac, and it is now an exact replica of my empty mac. All documents, music, photos, applications, etc. GONE. This information was valuable to me beyond words, and I need it back.
    Does TimeMachine have anything to do with this? I have never used this application, but upon plugging in my ehd, it asked for SOMETHING (which I don't remember).
    I will answer any questions to the best of my abilities, but it is my first year owning this hardware, and I fell in love with it until now.
  23. photogy macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2010
    i am a photographer (NOT tech savvy) so need to store/back up lots of files. Just got a WD My Book Studio 2tb drive (other size avail) and set up time machine for very first time recently.

    TM is great but if you are changing, adding, editing files like me a lot and let WD back up whilst you are working it does slow things down a bit (You can run it when idle) especially if you are also using other apps..I run lightroom 3 etc. (mbp 2.8ghz 4gb)

    The great thing about the 2TB drive is that it can make up multiple copies (you chose) of your system so whilst 2TB's sounds a lot..if you back up last 5 copies say it eats into it...

    The WD drive features usb, Firewire 400 & 800..FW800 is great as a full back up for me is around 250 GB's..it also looks great in silver...all runs smoothly!
  24. HeartFixr macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2010
    Hickory, NC
    LaCie HDD are not compatible with Time Machine when using Snow Leopard. I have had no success in making it work and no useful support from LaCie (or Apple). The firmware for their products has NOT been updated for Snow Leopard.
    IMO, false advertising by LaCie to state otherwise.
  25. sunnychotai macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2010
    Buffalo NAS

    Buffalo have a good suite of NAS drives that all work with Time Machine... Connect through a Gigabit switch and you won't have a problem with speed\performance.



    I have the Linkstation Live (XHL)

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