Which portable drive do you recommend?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hajime, May 1, 2016.

  1. hajime macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
    Hello, I plan to buy two portable drives of at least 2TB. One to backup my Mac OS partition and the other to backup Windows. I have a Lacie Mobile Porsche 2TB USB 3.0 hard drive. It is very good. How is the Seagate 2TB Backup Plus Slim Portable HD and the Western Digital My Passport Ultra 2TB compared with the Lacie drive I have?

    It seems that there are two versions of Western Digital My Passport Ultra. One with this name and the other with a NEW in the title. Am I right?
  2. Nemic macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2012
    You should try and look at the specs and see if each company publish the drives rotation speed (rpm) and also the transfer speed. Some Seagate's transfer at 120 MB/s and others at 220 MB/S, but the 2TB versions seem to be the slower versions.

    Most bus powered drives will likely operate at similar speeds.

    A mains powered "desktop" hard drive will likely be larger and probably better value for money, and perhaps faster as well. However these are not portable in the same way that bus powered drives are.

    If speed is not a concern, then I would buy whatever fits your budget / size / style requirements.

    If you want a much much faster drive that is also bus powered, then go for an SSD. However anything with an SSD will cost a LOT more, and I don't think 2TB versions are readily (if at all) available yet.

    I have bought bare SSD drives and put them into cheap USB 3.0 enclosures, and they work very well.

    I have a number of portable (bus powered) drives, and they all work well for me. But for transferring large amounts of data quickly there is nothing to compare to the SSD's that I also have. Transfer times of minutes are literally reduced to seconds. However if you are happy with the speed of your Lacie, then stay with that.
  3. Failurbydesign macrumors regular


    Jan 17, 2011
    I picked up a WD Passport Pro, the 2tb version. I didn't go with the raid setup, just two separate drives. One drive has my iMac backup, the other is partitioned and has media and my MBP backup. Overall i'm happy with it.
  4. Murgatroyd macrumors member


    Feb 26, 2010
    Staten Island, New Yawk
    If ever the LaCie Porsche drive disengages without first unmounting the drive from the computer, chances are good-to-excellent the drive will still be functional afterwards. I have had many other drives that died after an accidental disengagement, and for this reason alone I will always purchase the Lacie Porsche brand for all time forward.

    Why in the year 2016 all drives aren't built to withstand accidental disengagements is an open question. Quality design isn't cost prohibitive with this problem.
  5. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
    Anybody tried the Western Digital My Passsport Ultra 3TB? It seems that Windows 7 cannot handle 2.5TB or more. One has to reformat the drive to use it. Not sure if things will go smoothly after that. Based on reviews at Amazon, looks like the LaCie drive I mentioned has the least issue.
  6. happyfrappy macrumors 6502

    Oct 14, 2007
    Location eh?
    I've used Western Digital 3TB MyBook & Passport drives on machines as old as Vista without problems, headache is some Windows Vista/7 computers need to install the updated WD USB driver to enable Large Disk support(3 & 4 TB support). Can't really recommend WD Passport as the USB port is part of the HDD controller board and if the connector gets worn out, you'll have to solder a new port onto it. WD is slightly more reliable than Seagate but the Passport USB port isn't reinforced like Seagate. (Seagate Portables use a foam/rubber gasket around the USB port as a stress relief)

    As far as the Seagate comments they no longer have 7200 RPM drives which makes the cache play a larger role, 500GB/1TB is a single platter(Seagate Thin HDD) and the 1.5/2TB are Spinpoint HDDs which are three platters... in my experience Spinpoint M9T based Backup Plus Portables perform on par with installing them internally due to 32MB cache allows up to 180 MB/s but the Seagate Thin 1TB suffers since it has less cache(16MB) which is slower and peaks at ~150 MB/s on USB 3.0. Random read/write speeds will vary but a single platter HDD is more ideal for a lower failure risk.
  7. AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
    Any thoughts on the fastest bus powered drive? Is it USB3 or TB? SSD or mechanical? probably SSD. I am looking for a fast drive about 500gb-1TB range not crazy expensive.
  8. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
    In another thread, I mentioned that I had problem in copying files from Windows/Linux due to very long filenames. Some of these files are rubbish probably generated by Windows but some of these files are ones of about 8-10 subfolders below. Thus, very long names. Somebody suggested me to format a drive to exFAT. I bought a LaCie 2TB Porsche Design mobile drive P'9223 and formatted it to exFAT. Then, copied. So far so good. That seems to have solved the problem.

    Here is a new problem. After trying to get rid of about 20 old hard drives, I now have one 2T external, one 3T external, two small internals drives (all four are Windows related ) and one 1T for Mac. When I got connected the Lacie drive yesterday the first time, there is a partition shared by both Windows and MAc. I used the utility which came with the drive to remove that partition. Then, formated to exFAT using Window's utility. The 2TB drive became 1.81TB. After copying the contents of two small internal drives to the new Lacie drive, I cannot copy the content of the 2T external to the new Lacie drive due to a lack of space.

    Here are some questions:

    1. Is the Western Digital MyPasssport ultra 3TB only have issue with Windows 7 if I use windows backup utility? If I just copy from one drive to it via drag and drag, will there be a issue?

    2. Apple Store is selling a LaCie 5TB Porsche Design P9223 desktop hard drive. Any experience with it? Will it have problems with Windows 7 since it is over 2.5TB? Will I have problem if I just drag and drop files from old drive into this one?

    3. What is the recommended purchase? I am moving country. I got two large and heavy luggages already. Need to reduce the size and space.
  9. Hellhammer Moderator emeritus


    Dec 10, 2008
    1. You need to use GUID partition table in order to create a partition larger than 2TB. OS X does this by default, but Windows still defaults to MBR but it can also create GUID volumes.


    2. Same as above. Use GUID partition table and exFAT and all OSs can access the drive just fine.

    Note that Windows and OS X use a different definition of a gigabyte. In Windows, GB is defined as 1024^3 bytes (so-called base 2), whereas OS X defines GB as 1000^3 (so-called base 10). Hence a 2TB drive shows up as 1.81TB in Windows and 2TB in OS X, even though the number of bytes (i.e. available space) is the same in both cases.

    3. You might as well get an 8TB HDD while you are at it. Should be better $/GB and that way you only need a single drive for all systems.
  10. adib, May 7, 2016
    Last edited: May 7, 2016

    adib macrumors regular


    Jun 11, 2010
    Frankly I recommend not to carry your backup drive to places – hence make it non-portable would be best. It won't be wise to have the backup drive in the same bag as the laptop as if you lose the bag, you'll lose both hence lose irreplaceable data.

    Therefore a mains-powered desktop drive would be best. Maybe a Thunderbolt RAID while you're at it – such as the Velociraptor Duo. Having a RAID setup allows your data to survive drive failures.

    You can partition the drive to have Mac and Windows filesystems to serve as each system's backup volumes. Better yet, if OS X is your primary OS, then just buy a HFS+ driver for Windows such as Paragon's which negates the need to partition it.
  11. MRxROBOT macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2016
    The OP is trying to limit size/weight as they are moving countries. Portable drives offer a smaller footprint hence the reason the OP is currently looking for portable drives.
  12. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
    I saw Western Digital My Passport Metal 3TB. I asked the sales person the differences between this one and the non-metal version. He said that the metal version is faster. Is this true? I also mentioned the on the net, some users complained about the need to reformat the drive to make it compatible with Windows 7. He said that for the metal version, there is no need to reformat. Windows 7 automatically recognizes the 3TB drive. Can anybody confirm that please?
  13. MRxROBOT macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2016
    The metal and non metal editions have no performance differences, however the metal edition is lighter and thinner which is a big bonus for those on the move with their drives.

Share This Page

12 May 1, 2016