08-26-2007, 03:45 PM
I've been reading these forums for a few days now, getting info from everyone else's posts about external hard drives. I have a few specific questions that I'm not sure I have a handle on, even after reading a lot, and was hoping someone could give me a little guidance. I just got a MacBook Pro with a 160GB hard drive. Rather than continuing with my old habit of backing my important files up to DVD, I decided it's time to get an external drive so that I can create a bootable copy of my entire system.
I am planning on using this drive for backup purposes only; I'm not planning on needing to launch any applications off of it, or on needing it for extra files that are too big for my HD. Given that, I'm confused about what kind of connection I need (USB, FW 400/800, eSATA) and a couple of other things. Based on other reviews and research, I've narrowed it down to the WD MyBooks, Seagate FreeAgent Pro, and OWC Mercury Elite Pro Aluminum models.
-Given the fact that I'm only using this for backup, what kind of connections do I really need? Based on what I've heard, I'm thinking I should at least get firewire 400 rather than only USB, but do I need to go for the FireWire 800? And given that Macs don't come with eSATA yet, is it worth it to pay extra for the eSATA connection in hopes of staving off obsolescence, or will having Firewire 800 cover me there?
-In order to make a bootable copy of my hard drive, do I need to partition the drive, or can I just make a bootable copy and then also back up additional folders and files? I'm a little confused about this part, so I'm not even sure I'm asking the question right...
-Which file format do I need to format the drive to: FAT or NTFS?
-Should I be leary about how any of these drives are going to interact with Leopard when it comes out, or should they all be fine?
-Finally, I'm going to need backup software; I've heard SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner are good; can these programs schedule automatic backups that overwrite only the things that have changed since the last backup, and then allow you to both a) boot from that backup and b) access individual files in that backup?
Thanks much, all.