Your Favourite 2.5" External Hard Drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by rekhyt, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. rekhyt macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I'm planning on purchasing a new 2.5" external hard drive (Not 3.5" - Don't really like the power cords. Always have to set it up and 'take it apart' every time I use them.) soon to serve as a Media disk. My current 500GB is nearly full and I am using it as a Backup disk right now so I can't store the new media that I accumulate.

    What's your favourite 2.5" external hard drive? My current one is a Western Digital Elements Portable. While it's quite nice, I would like to see if there are any other preferred external hard drives.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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  3. kuebby macrumors 68000

    kuebby

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    #3
    I just bought a 1tb Western Digital My Passport Essential about a month ago and I've been very happy with it so far.

    Only thing I don't like so much is that the connector is micro-USB whereas my old Passport is mini-USB as are most of the other USB devices I have (until I got a Kindle) so the cord isn't as interchangeable as I'd like, but that's pretty minor.
     
  4. torbjoern macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

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    #4
    Me too :) I have had it for 6-7 months and I'm very happy with it. It's very reliable and it's self-powered via USB.
     
  5. rekhyt thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Ah... That's quite interesting. Usually the most cost-effective 1TB drives are 3.5" instead of 2.5". How is it? (I saw one 3.5" 1TB drive from Hitachi go for $57, new.)
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    #6
    "I'm planning on purchasing a new 2.5" external hard drive (Not 3.5" - Don't really like the power cords. Always have to set it up and 'take it apart' every time I use them.)"

    I notice by your signature that you are using a white MacBook. Does this have only USB, or does it have firewire as well?

    There's a potential problem here that you should be aware of when connecting portable drives to Macs with the intention to run them via "USB power only".

    That is -- sometimes the Mac's USB port does not provide enough "bus power" to get the drive spinning up properly.

    Sometimes it will work. Sometimes, it won't -- you may hear the portable drive start to "spin up" a little, then it will spin down, or won't mount on the desktop.

    The reason for this is that most Macs (not all) provide a lower amount of USB bus power than do PC's. And different portable drives seem to require different amounts of power. Thus, "what works" one time may not work the _next time_.

    This is a somewhat "murky issue" but you should be aware of it before you buy, so you can make an informed purchase.

    One "workaround" is to use a "two-headed" USB cable, that kind of looks like a "Y". One end has a single USB connector (that end goes to the drive). The _other end_ has dual USB connectors, and you have to plug BOTH of them into two of the Mac's USB ports to obtain sufficient bus power to get the drive up and running. Even with this, no guarantee that it will work.

    Of course, the other solution is to have a small external power supply that you can use with the USB drive. This eliminates the "bus power issue" and the drive should mount right up.

    Having written all that, you should also be aware that if you have firewire, the port power problem is a non-issue. A small 2.5" firewire drive should mount right up.

    But trying to get a small USB drive up and going with bus power only can sometimes present problems....

    So make sure that whatever portable drive you decide on -- that it comes with an external power supply as well, just to be sure. You may need it, then again, you may not. Caveat emptor.
     
  7. kuebby macrumors 68000

    kuebby

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    #7
    It's a great drive, and quite fast. Sometimes when accessing it after it's been idle for a while it takes a couple seconds to display the folder contents but I'd rather it save power than give me instant access (it only takes about 3 seconds to spin back up).

    I haven't had any of the problems Fishrrman mentioned with either this new WD drive or my old Passport.

    It was fairly cost effective too, though since this time around I was only looking for a 2.5" so I don't really know how much more it was but I got it on sale at Newegg for $95.
     
  8. fortunecookie macrumors regular

    fortunecookie

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    #8
    +1 on the WD passport essentialsusb 3.0 version. I have 3 of those and they are splendid. They easily scartch though.
     
  9. inscrewtable macrumors 65816

    inscrewtable

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    #9
    Convince me

    Can I have some opinions about my thoughts after reading this thread.

    I used to buy lacie drives when I knew nothing. When I lost some valuable data on my newest drive after it failed soon after purchase, I decided to learn a bit more. Thanks to an excellent article on the mactalk forum by clockwork I learned about why it's worth paying more for a drive that uses exactly the same components and another drive.

    I also formed the opinion that it was better to buy an enclosure and drive separately. Seemed to make sense especially when I pulled apart my dead lacie and took a chance on pulling the drive out and buying a new enclosure even though it had the clicking dead drive sound. I regained my data because it was in fact the lacie enclosure that failed.

    Recently a very new drive failed, I bought it complete but it was a drive and external enclosure prebuilt. I sent it back under warantee and asked them to put the drive in a new enclosure first as it did not sound like a drive problem as it simply dropped dead without any warnings. They did this and it was in fact the drive that died and not the enclosure.

    So I'm pretty convinced about the arguments for buying separate and building. Now I see this thread and I see lots of recommendations for the WD, precisely what I've been warned about as they make good drives but they farm out the enclosures to the cheapest chinese mass produced crap to bring the price down. However I'm prepared to be convinced that nevertheless this WD is a better bet or at least as good as a build your own.

    So convince me...
     
  10. rekhyt thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Haven't updated my signature in a long time. Got the MacBook Pro 15" already 2 years ago. :)

    About the USB - No wonder the external drive that I 'built' (Hard drive + enclosure) had a 2 prong USB cable. I only used one, but found that the drive kept 'crashing' and disconnecting when transferring a lot of files.

    Now I know why with your explanation-Lack of power.

    (Updated sig now)

    Macs don't have USB 3.0 though...
     
  11. kuebby macrumors 68000

    kuebby

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    #11
    They might someday! (hopefully)

    ..And since WD doesn't charge any more for the 2/3 drive as compared to just USB2 (at least by Amazon prices) if you're getting it there or somewhere similar why not go futureproof?

    I didn't get the 2/3 because I bought it at Newegg on sale and it was the 2 only but if I'd gone the Amazon route I would have bought the 2/3.
     

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