Which external hard drive should I buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mindlogo, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. mindlogo macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2010
    I am in the process of converting my business over to my new Mac. Which external (portable) hard drive should I purchase?
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    What is it going to be used for? What capacity do you need? It's impossible to say because you did not specify its purpose.
  3. mindlogo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2010
    Backing up less than 500 GB of documents, PST files, music, and photos.
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
  5. racketeer71 macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2010
    Buy whatever drive, that suits your size/cost needs.

    You'll probably get a number of replies along the lines of "Buy a LaCie/WD/Seagate/Drobo" and then a few "Never buy a LaCie/WD/Seagate/Drobo" replies. People have different experiences with different brands, and there's little to no reason whatsoever of listening to this kind of experience. They often have no statistical data to backup their claims anyway, and often people still remember that one bad drive from 5 years ago and wish to mourn it every time the opportunity comes up.

    If the data is important to you, though, I would probably look for a solution with RAID-1, where one drive can fail without you losing any data. Of course that means you'll have to buy ie. a 2TB disk and only have 1TB available, but that's security for you.
  6. JustsomedudeIRL macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2010
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "I am in the process of converting my business over to my new Mac. Which external (portable) hard drive should I purchase?"

    Then you need TWO backup drives, since you're backing up business files.

    One drive will remain "at your place of business" -- that is, where the computer you are backing up is located.

    The OTHER drive should be stored somewhere "offsite" -- AWAY from where the computer is (in case the computer and backup drive gets stolen, your office burns down, etc.).

    I also recommend that you DO NOT use Time Machine for your backups. Instead, use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper. These will produce for you "bootable backups" in "plain old finder format".

    You can't boot from a TM backup, and I believe the files created in TM backups are in something other than "POFF" (plain old finder format).

    In a moment of dire need, you need a backup that you can reach for, simply copy whatever file you need, or boot from if necessary.

    Others will say no, but that's my recommendation.
  8. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    This is true, but you can RESTORE the OS from a specific date from a TM backup. All you need is the OS startup disk to boot from.
  9. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    I got this drive last month and I love it. Its silent, quick and looks good too. No problems so far. And reviews in amazon say the same. This is the best drive in this price range.

    If you want faster backups, then buy a firewire drive (that is only possible if your computer has a firewire port.

    You can also hook up a drive to your wireless router so that you can backup from multiple computers without the hassle of cables.

  10. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I agree with this 100%. Two backups should be made. An alternative is to use a paid online backup service, which have gotten quite affordable recently.

    Can't agree with this, though. While keeping a bootable copy of your OS is a good idea, those types of backups, or POFF backups aren't great for day in and day out backups, because it is too difficult to keep a revision history of your files. This is one of the most important parts of a backup scheme. The most common types of recovery in my experience are files that were accidentally deleted or corrupted some time ago, and you have to go back and find the point where the file still exists or is functional. It may be days weeks or months before you realize you need that file and can't access it. With clone or POFF backups, you tend to only have a single point in time from which to work from - and if your POFF backup was made yesterday, but that file corrupted last month - you are SOL.

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