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zagu20 04-07-2011 07:26 AM

Fastest external drive for Macbook 2,1 (late 2006)? eSata possibilities??

Wondering if you guys can help.

I'm using a late 2006 MacBook 2,1 (white 13-inch, Intel Core Duo, 2GHz, 80GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA, bus speed 667MHz, memory speed 667 MHz, 4GB DDR2 SDRAM [recognizing 3GB]) with Mac OS X 10.4.11 and GarageBand 3.0.4, to record an album of music.

When recording, after a couple of minutes it stops and I get the error message: "CoreAudio: Disk is too slow. (Record) (-10004)"

This happens even though no other programs are open. And it doesn't just happen when saving/opening GarageBand projects from the internal HD (which currently has 28.56 out of 74.21GB memory available), but also when saving/opening them from my 5400-rpm external drive.

So I am guessing the problem might be solved by simply buying a 7200-rpm external drive and saving/opening GarageBand projects from that.

My question is what is the fastest external drive setup I can get, given that my MacBook only has a FireWire 400 port -- would eSata be possible somehow, or am I limited to FireWire 800, using a 400 to 800 adaptor?

I am also thinking, in terms of performance (and given the age of my MacBook) would it better to use this new faster drive just for working with GarageBand and a separate external drive for backing up all my files, or can I get away with using one external drive for both purposes ?

Any thoughts gratefully received.


mrplow 04-07-2011 07:50 AM

Firewire 400 is your fastest external interface on that model.

However, you shouldn't be encountering the errors you are. Even a 5400rpm should be able to handle the throughput. I suspect there are a few factors involved.

Personally, others may have further suggestions (there are many ways to go about this) This is what I'd do:
1. Get and install Onyx. Run all the cleanup scripts, permissions repairs etc.
2. Get yourself a new 2.5" sata 320/500mb hard disk. 7200rpm if you like, if not 5400
3. Get yourself a 2.5" USB sata enclosure.
4. Fit your new hard disk into your Mac
5. Fit your existing disk into the enclosure
6. Install a fresh version of OSX
7. get all the updates
8. Connect your old disk by USB
9. Use the OSX migration tool to copy all your info from your old disk to your new.

This way you'll have a fresh new install on a new, fast disk. And once your happy you have everything work etc you can format your old disk and you have an 80gb external for backups/file transfers etc.

zagu20 04-07-2011 08:57 AM

Thanks very much mplow, that sounds like a brilliant plan.

Just wondering are there any specific brands/features that you would recommend I look for when buying a new 7200-rpm 2.5" 500GB disk and 2.5" USB sata enclosure?

And when you mention a fresh version of OSX and all the updates, I assume Snow Leopard or even Lion would cover this?

mrplow 04-07-2011 09:05 AM

Personally I favour Western Digital or Seagate drives. Again, other opinion may vary.

I'd go for something like this:

You could just re-install tiger that came with your Mac. But I'd suggest going to Snow Leopard. The price of OSX is very reasonable so, personally, I wouldn't wait for Lion.

zagu20 04-07-2011 09:18 AM

Awesome advice, thanks so much. :)

mrplow 04-07-2011 09:19 AM

No problem, post back with how it goes.

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