External HD Recommendation

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

  1. Otto Pylot

    Lewis Guest

    Lewis, Dec 30, 2013
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  2. Otto Pylot

    Otto Pylot Guest

    Otto Pylot, Dec 30, 2013
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    Michael Vilain, Dec 30, 2013
  4. I've had less than optimal warranty experience with OWC as well.

    Might as well buy on the 'bay...
    Claude V. Lucas, Dec 30, 2013
  5. Otto Pylot

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    I guess I might be called a backup freak, but too many are the times
    I've heard people at the Genius Bar groaning when they are told it
    would cost as much as a couple grand to rescue *some* of their data
    from a failed but not backed up drive.

    In my case, call it overkill if you wish, I perform two nightly
    bootable clones to LaCie drives using SuperDuper!, a TimeMachine backup
    to a third LaCie drive, and a CrashPlan backup to the cloud which is
    updated at 15 minute intervals.

    I have, on a few instances, restored from a SuperDuper! clone, and
    have, also restored a prior version of a file using TimeMachine. I've
    yet to need to do a restore using CrashPlan.

    Perhaps a a bit of overkill, but the total cost is small when compared
    to the comfort it provides!
    TaliesinSoft, Dec 30, 2013
  6. Otto Pylot

    J Burns Guest

    J Burns, Dec 30, 2013
  7. Otto Pylot

    John Albert Guest

    That's a very good question.

    My take (and it could certainly be wrong):
    I'm thinking that 2.5" drives have come a long way, in that they've
    reached a point where they may actually be "more rugged" than 3.5"
    drives. My rationale is that 2.5" drives are designed to go into
    laptops, and designed to endure the jolts and bumps to which laptops are

    I've had 3.5" drives fail. But I haven't had a failed 2.5" drive yet.

    And the capacity of 2.5" drives has increased enough, to the point where
    they are now viable as "backup drives". And easily moved around and

    --- news://freenews.netfront.net/ - complaints: ---
    John Albert, Dec 30, 2013
  8. Otto Pylot

    Bread Guest

    Don't buy it. Hard drives are more reliable now than ever before. Heads don't
    crash, drivers and connectors are all standardized. Heat is less of a problem
    than ever before. The progress in hard drives may well be more impressive than
    the progress that's been made in solid state stuff like CPUs. It's *hard* to
    make devices with high-speed spinning parts so reliable and on such a massive
    scale. It's just astonishing.

    Compared to floopies, Zip drives, almost any other magnetic media, modern hard
    drives are, to borrow a phrase, insanely great.

    That all said, if your data is important to you, you need at least two backups.

    All of my machines get Time Machined to external drives, Crashplanned
    (only data
    files, not the entire drive - but the data is much bigger than things like apps
    and system stuff anyway) to two locations (not to the cloud), and, every once
    in a while, I make SuperDuper clones. But the clones really aren't
    very important.
    They'd get me up and running again immediately if necessary (just plug one in,
    boot up and be good to go, though some data would be stale).

    The thing is that the SuperDuper clones require more intervention on my
    part and
    the least reliable part of my backup system/workflow is *me*. Crashplan and
    Time Machine just happen. YMMV, of course.

    As for actual drives, I have a mix of things. The Drobo is full of WD
    Red drives.
    the various externals are a mix of seagate and WDs, most of them
    actually seagate
    or WD enclosures which came with the drives in them, though I do have two OWC
    enclosures that I stuck drives into myself.

    Most of the time, my drives get retired not because they died but because they
    were replaced with higher capacity ones. In all the years, across
    dozens of drives,
    I've only had a few (perhaps 4 or 5?) actually die on me. Two were
    internals on
    an old iMac which ran 24/7, and one was an internal on a MBP which also was run
    pretty constantly. Another was in the Drobo (simply swapped it out with a new
    drive, Drobo reconstructs, magic!). There had to be another one or two
    along the way, but that, again, is out of many many drives over decades.

    The point is that any given drive will eventually die. In my
    experience, the vast
    majority will be replaced due to capacity (or computer replacement) well before
    the drives fail. But at any point, you have to expect any drive to fail and be
    prepared for it. The odds that two or three critical drives will all
    fail at once,
    especially if they are not all running 24/7 are very small. So don't worry.

    The biggest cause of backup failures is human intervention (or lack thereof as
    necessary), not hard drive reliability, so I say to solve that problem first.
    Bread, Dec 30, 2013
  9. Otto Pylot

    Lewis Guest

    Lewis, Dec 30, 2013
  10. Otto Pylot

    Lewis Guest

    Simply not true. I still have a 100MB drive that works just fine in a
    Mac SE, and many drives in the under 100GB range all of which still
    work. The last time I booted my Apple //gs, the 20MB drive spun right up
    and loaded Prosel without a problem. In fact, I've never had a drive
    under 10GB fail. I've had many drives over 1TB fail, despite owning
    many more of the smaller drives.
    Lewis, Dec 30, 2013
  11. Otto Pylot

    Guest Guest

    a sample size of one is invalid.
    Guest, Dec 30, 2013
  12. Otto Pylot

    Bread Guest

    Anecdote. Not statistically significant.
    Bread, Dec 30, 2013
  13. Otto Pylot

    J Burns Guest

    According to the 2007 Google report, 70% of high-use disks and 86% of
    low-use disks still worked after 5 years. They didn't mention size but
    did say the vintage and the manufacturer were known to matter.

    Storage Reviews has some statistics on particular models.
    J Burns, Dec 30, 2013
  14. Otto Pylot

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    I'm puzzled by the statement that SuperDuper! clones require more
    intervention. I have two SuperDuper! clones produced automatically in
    the middle of the night and no intervention on my part is required.
    TaliesinSoft, Dec 30, 2013
  15. Otto Pylot

    Otto Pylot Guest

    Well thanks again everyone for contributing. This has certainly been
    more of an education than I had planned and why I still love Usenet.
    This is just for home use and I bi-annually burn to CD/DVD pics,
    important docs, etc. anyway. The upcoming jump from Snow Leopard to
    Mavericks made me start to think about cloning my Air just in case
    something bad happens or doesn't go right and I lose something and need
    to boot externally. The free WD Bookend (or what ever it's called)
    works perfectly and even booting via USB 2.0 only takes a bit over 60
    seconds so that's not bad. I'll just keep in safe in a drawer and just
    use it when I need it. Have a safe New Year's Eve everyone!
    Otto Pylot, Dec 30, 2013
  16. Otto Pylot

    Lewis Guest

    And a 30% failure rate at 5 years is rather high.
    Lewis, Dec 30, 2013
  17. Otto Pylot

    Bread Guest

    Inasmuch as I specifically want my clones *not* plugged in all the
    time, it requires me to pull out drives and swap them and such.

    And in the case of the laptop, as opposed to the desktop, such plugging
    and unplugging would not even be optional - it's the only way, whereas
    Time Machine and Crashplan both work all across the network entirely in
    the background.

    (And, yes, I'm aware that SD! can go to a network-mounted drive and/or
    disk image, but in practice, I've never found that to be successful or
    Bread, Dec 30, 2013
  18. Otto Pylot

    Guest Guest

    5 years is beyond the useful life of a drive. you'll outgrow its
    capacity by then.
    Guest, Dec 30, 2013
  19. Otto Pylot

    J Burns Guest

    I checked a couple of WD drives in the Storage Review Survey.

    The AC13200, 3.2GB came out in 1998. Of 29 reported, 9 (31%) failed
    within 6 years, 7 were taken out of service, and 13 evidently are still
    in use.

    The WD7406D came, 74GB, came out in 2003. Of 782 reported, 11 (1.4%)
    failed, 15 were taken out of service, and 756 are evidently still in use.

    I don't know if bigger, newer drives are made better. The Google report
    said reliability depends on the brand and the year. My next disk will
    be a WD7406D! An antique like that will probably set me back thousands
    of dollars, but reliability is priceless.
    J Burns, Dec 31, 2013
  20. We've had a few 2.5" drives fail in the last few months. We use them
    in mirror pairs to hold the OS on some of our fileservers, so we
    haven't lost any data since the failed ones were mirrored. They (or
    some of them anyway) may indeed be better at withstanding bumps such
    as those a laptop suffers, though I feel a whole lot safer with an SSD
    in my laptop.

    We have many more 3.5" drives, many hundreds of them, and over time
    we've had dozens of them fail as well, as you would expect.

    Martin Frost me at invalid stanford daht edu, Dec 31, 2013
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