External HD Recommendation

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Otto Pylot, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. Otto Pylot

    Otto Pylot Guest

    Ok, it's a new subject related to my previous question about backing up
    to a bootable external. With the exception of the WD My Passport Slim,
    what would you all recommend for an external HD? Needs are simple, just
    backing up my HD before installation of Mavericks, probably backed up
    with CCC, and then the occasional back up. The drive needs to be
    bootable and the capacity could be as low as 500GB. I'd also like to
    keep the cost at $100 or lower. The primary laptop is a mid-2011
    MacBook Air. Thanks.
    Otto Pylot, Dec 28, 2013
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  2. i've had good luck with Seagate drives.

    it will be easy finding 1 TB drives for $100.

    i just bought four 4 TB Seagate Backup Plus HDs for $150 each, to
    replace all the 1 and 2 TB HDs cluttering up my desk.
    William Hanna, Dec 28, 2013
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  3. Otto Pylot

    billy Guest

    I really like these (just bought my 7th one) -


    They have a large heatsink (hard to see in the photos) for the drive
    that works very well. These used to be supplied with Seagate drives
    but now come mostly with Hitachi drives, which also seem to be ok,
    but it'll be a while longer before I can say that for sure.

    Billy Y..
    billy, Dec 28, 2013
  4. Otto Pylot

    J Burns Guest

    I don't know enough to make a recommendation, but I bought a USB 3.0 WD
    Elements drive in 2012 for Time Machine. It's bootable in that it has a
    Recovery volume.

    I don't know the difference between Elements and Passport Slim.
    J Burns, Dec 28, 2013
  5. Seagates and Western Digital drives have caused me nothing but trouble.
    I bought a 1GB Seagate and it died within a week of doing a full clone
    backup. Took it back to Frys and they wouldn't take it back because I
    didn't buy their extended warrantee. I had to send it back to Seagate.
    6 weeks later after dealing with UPS, I get the replacement that had the
    same problem. I tossed the drive and won't buy Seagate ever again.

    3 WDs were DOA on getting them home from Frys and I won't ever get
    something from them again either.

    Hitachi or Toshiba drives seem OK. You missed all the Christmas disk
    drive deals on Lifehacker, but you can still keep an eye out


    Meanwhile, Toshiba's Canvio USB3 drive is self-powered. $60 for 1GB.

    Michael Vilain, Dec 28, 2013
  6. Otto Pylot

    Otto Pylot Guest

    According to the Amazon page you can't back up the OS (I'm assuming it
    is Mac compatible) so using it as an emergency boot drive for my
    MacBook Air won't work.
    Otto Pylot, Dec 28, 2013
  7. Otto Pylot

    Guest Guest

    of course you can back up the os and you definitely can use it to boot.

    maybe whatever piece of shit backup software is included can't backup
    the os, but if that's the case, then it's even more of a piece of shit
    than i thought.

    all mass storage compliant usb/firewire hard drives (i.e., all of them)
    are mac compatible. plug them in and they work.

    where the 'compatibility' comes in is with the crappy bundled software
    and whatever disk format it has out of the box. don't bother with the
    bundled software and reformat it however you want.

    as for which hard drive to buy, it makes almost no difference. everyone
    will have a horror story about every hard drive maker, while others
    will praise the very same ones. like everything, nothing is perfect and
    it's possible whatever you get will fail prematurely, but chances are
    it won't. the drive companies would not be in business for very long if
    they shipped crap. there are bad batches every so often, but that's
    what the warranties are for.

    since it's a backup drive, you have the original data on another drive.
    what you need to protect against is *both* the backup *and* the main
    drive failing at the same time. that means having more than one backup,
    with one offsite. the chances of that are low, but it can still happen.
    Guest, Dec 29, 2013
  8. I don't know where you read that, but it's not true for this drive. I
    did it on my MacBook Pro before I found the 3TB model for less money.
    It's your call on if you want to trust that statement, but the drive was
    visible from the available boot devices after I cloned my 10.8 system to
    it with SuperDuper.


    Why don't you continue your search on your own and let us know what you
    end up with?
    Michael Vilain, Dec 29, 2013
  9. Otto Pylot

    Guest Guest

    it was one of the questions/answers on the linked page.
    it's not true for any drive.

    it's possible that the included software might not support it (and a
    ridiculous limitation if true), but the included software can (and
    should) be discarded.
    Guest, Dec 29, 2013
  10. Otto Pylot

    George Kerby Guest

    Let me just say "Dittos" to the above two testimonies. Haven't found
    anything more versatile.
    George Kerby, Dec 29, 2013
  11. Otto Pylot

    Earl Grey Guest

    These days, hard drives-- like most computer components, are essentially
    commodities. The major brands are all fine. Even the worst of them are
    very good. You can't go wrong.

    Buy by price-- unless you like to throw money away. One TB models are
    routinely on sale at Newegg, etc., for $59 with free shipping, no tax.
    "Regular" prices are usually around $70.

    Oh, and don't be fooled by the "Formatted for Mac" sales pitch in some
    HD ads. 30 seconds using Disk Utility will reformat most any drive for a
    Earl Grey, Dec 29, 2013
  12. Otto Pylot

    yellow label Guest

    Remember that USB2 ain't as fast as USB3 that's slower than Thunderbolt.
    If you wanna reuse it 4 TimeMachine or something...
    yellow label, Dec 29, 2013
  13. Otto Pylot

    Ant Guest

    You missed USB3 external 1 TB Seagate HDDs for $59.00 yesterday in Fry's
    Electronic stores yesterday. :(
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    Ant, Dec 29, 2013
  14. Otto Pylot

    Otto Pylot Guest

    Thanks for all of your input. Didn't realize that HD choice could be
    such a touchy subject. Yes, I know not to use any bundled software that
    comes with the drives and to reformat it with Disk Utility I was just
    looking for recommendations based on experience (certainly got those).

    I was going to go to Fry's yesterday but got off track. Buying at Fry's
    is always a carp shoot unless you know how to buy at Fry's. Once
    burned, twice shy. Found out yesterday that my bro-in-law has a couple
    of WD "book end" drives. That's the wrong term I know but they do look
    like books so he may wipe one and give it to me. We'll see.
    Otto Pylot, Dec 29, 2013
  15. Otto Pylot

    android Guest

    I'f you only need it for that upgrade then you don't need to own it do
    you? Your bro can lend it to you and get it back!
    android, Dec 29, 2013
  16. Otto Pylot

    John Albert Guest

    My recommendations will be different that most others.

    I would suggest you buy a USB3/SATA docking station and one or more
    "bare drives" to use with it.

    If you're unsure of what a USB3/SATA dock is, go to amazon and enter
    "usb3 sata dock" into the search box, and you'll see MANY choices.

    I happen to like the products from plugable.com. A few samples:
    (above accepts either 2.5" or 3.5" drives)
    (above accepts TWO 2.5" drives)

    (Disclaimer: I've no financial interest in plugable other than being a
    satisfied, paying customer)

    The advantages of a dock are:
    - easy to install and remove a drive, and swap drives if necessary
    - bootable, behave same as would an "externally-enclosed" drive

    If there are disadvantages, I guess they would be:
    - not as easily portable as an externally-enclosed drive
    - don't appear as elegant "on the desk" as does an enclosed drive

    If you're not open to the idea of a "docked drive", you might also
    consider buying this enclosure:
    ..... and putting the bare drive of your choice into it.

    --- news://freenews.netfront.net/ - complaints: ---
    John Albert, Dec 29, 2013
  17. Otto Pylot

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    I've had extremely good lluck with SuperDuper! backing up to a LaCie
    Porsche Design hard drive. As an amusing aside, on those occasions
    where I've saught advice from the Genius Bar at the Apple store I've
    taken the LaCie drive instead of my iMac, booting onto an iMac already
    in the store. If any changes are made it is easy to boot from the LaCie
    drive when I'm home, using SuperDuper! to update the internal drive on
    my iMac.
    TaliesinSoft, Dec 29, 2013
  18. Otto Pylot

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    Actually I've received remarks from a Genius such as "That's certainly
    the way to let us address a problem!"
    TaliesinSoft, Dec 29, 2013
  19. Otto Pylot

    Otto Pylot Guest

    Thanks again everyone for the input. My bro-in-law just dropped off a
    500GB WD (model WD500H1U-00) USB2.0 Bookend drive. He gave it to me so
    that should get me where I want to go at zero cost, for now. It uses a
    power adapter but that's not a big deal. I'll just reformat it with
    Disk Utility now and then use CCC to clone the Air tomorrow.
    Otto Pylot, Dec 29, 2013
  20. Otto Pylot

    J Burns Guest

    I like your approach. A few years ago, I bought a disk from OWC
    (Macsales). I could have bought the enclosure and disk separately, but
    I bought them together. One morning the enclosure failed to light.
    That's when I discovered the mistake of buying them together. I thought
    the disk was okay, but opening the enclosure would void the warranty.

    If I mailed the whole thing back and my internal drive crashed while it
    was gone, I might never get my backup files. Besides, I'd be putting my
    personal data in the hands of strangers.

    The wall wart had failed. Tech support wouldn't tell me if wall-wart
    failures could usually be fixed with a new wall wart. To avoid sending
    off my backup files, I bought another wall wart from them. In a few
    hours of use, the enclosure failed although the wall wart was still good.

    So I sent the whole thing back under warranty. It came back with a
    checklist saying everything worked. Without even connecting it to my
    computer, I plugged in the wall wart and turned on the enclosure. It
    was still dead. I contacted tech support. They said if I sent it back,
    the result would be the same. They would not stand behind their warranty.

    So I bought an enclosure and a disk. Not from OWC, of course. If the
    enclosure fails, my disk will remain safe. If the disk fails, I'll
    quickly replace it.

    A dock would be even better, making it easy to keep a backup away from
    the computer.

    I've come to like 2.5" disks. Are there advantages to 3.5" disks?
    J Burns, Dec 30, 2013
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