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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

Which External Hard Drive should I buy/Do you suggest?


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Aphus

 
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I bought a Seagate Barracuda 1TB hard drive the other day which I put in a Rosewill external enclosure. It's being used for video archiving, and so far the drive has been quick, quiet, and doesn't get very hot - even after a full day of constant heavy data streams.


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Cartelero

 
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(quote abridged)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mac57 View Post
Both Mac and PC now support four common file systems:

1/ FAT32 - The older, lesser Windows standard file system
2/ NTFS - Win NT, 2000, XP and Vista all default to this
3/ ext2/3 - Mac, Win and Linux all share this format
4/ HFS+ - this is the native Mac OS X format.

Here is how to do each one:

1/ FAT32 - [too many drawbacks]

2/ NTFS - This has been supported by Windows for a long time, and has just very, very recently become available in full read/write mode for Macs. See the following thread, by Paragon Software, advertising beta availability of their NTFS for Mac:

Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X Public Beta Testing - Mac-Forums.com

[...]

NTFS does have a more mature permissions model than FAT32 and is generally more secure. This option is better than the first one.

3/ ext2/3 - this is the standard Linux file system. Both Windows and Mac have installable file system drivers for it. For the Mac, see this:

Mac OS X Ext2 Filesystem | Download Mac OS X Ext2 Filesystem software for free at SourceForge.net

and for the PC, see this:

Ext2 IFS For Windows

ext2/3 is an extremely mature, fast and very well regarded file system. It supports pretty much the same full file permissions model that HFS+ does (both, after all, are *nix based file systems), making it a recommended solution. Both the Mac and PC drivers are free, so that is attractive too.

4/ HFS+. This is the Mac standard system. To enable this for the PC, you need to get MacDrive. This mature and well regarded piece of software adds seamless support for HFS+ to your PC. If you are willing to spend the money, it may be the best solution of all.

I found this information on page 11 of this thread, but it's from 2007, so I was wondering if anything has changed substantially since then.

I have a Western Digital "My Passport Essential SE" 1TB. I definitely want to partition part of it for Time Machine and some part of the rest for file storage, probably a lot of music and video. The storage I also want to use with Windows occasionally, but mostly Mac.

I had video files saved in FAT32 via Mac and several of them were corrupted the very first time I tried to move them to a Windows HD, so that option is out.
If I use HFS+, the only option to read/write from Windows is to pay for MacDrive?
If I use ext2/3 then a Windows computer would need drivers, but they're free. But, Mac would also need drivers, which is also true for NTFS?

I'm leaning towards ext2/3, but is there anything else I should know that would convince me that NTFS is the better choice?
Have the different software options changed from the ones suggested above?
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I've spent most of today researching external hard drives - what a minefield! I was originally set on a LaCie but got put off by many users having problems with Lion incompatibility. Same with Seagate and the same with Western Digital. The latter not being compatible with Carbon Copy Clone.

I didn't want to be forced into purchasing an Apple Time Capsule (which is unnecessary for just one iMac) at an extortionate 230.

All I want is a 1-2tb external hard drive that is both compatible with Lion and Time Machine with compatibility with CCC a bonus.

Aside from TC they don't appear to exist.


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I don't buy the Lion incompatibility - and I'm not all that happy with Lion myself. Have never heard of a drive not being compatible with CCC or SD! - except a few drives that have hardware encryption and are only compatible with Windows. The only thing it takes to be compatible with CCC is to have the partition formatted as HFS+.

I've got over half a dozen spare drives here, some loose, some in enclosures... WD, Seagate and Hitachi... 2.5" and 3.5"... most of them with multiple partitions and formatted in combinations of HFS and NTFS and I've yet to have any issue with connecting to or using any of them from any of my machines with SL, Lion or Win 7 and using USB, FW400, FW800 and eSATA.

If you're all that worried about it, take a look at OWC - Mac specialists. I can personally recommend the Mercury Elite Pro and the NewerTech Guardian Maximus. I have one of the quad interface Mercury Elite Pros that's been keeping my SuperDuper bootable backups across 4 versions of OS X and two Macs now.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Green View Post
I've spent most of today researching external hard drives - what a minefield! I was originally set on a LaCie but got put off by many users having problems with Lion incompatibility.
What you're seeing is people pontificating about something they don't understand.

My only beef with LaCie is that it doesn't actually manufacture the hard drive inside of the case. What it makes is the case and the bus interface, which just about any 2-bit Chinese outfit can do for $5 or less in materials. LaCie literally built their business on aesthetics and matching up nicely to Macs... and that's about it. Anyone who says anything else is talking out of their hind-quarters.

I believe those that complain about LaCie are the unfortunate recipients of a beautiful LaCie case, with a craptastic Samsung or Toshiba HDD inside of it.

Quote:
Same with Seagate and the same with Western Digital. The latter not being compatible with Carbon Copy Clone.
Baloney - a hard drive is a hard drive. As long as it can be physically attached and formatted HFS+, it will be compatible across the board. Many will be pre-formatted for Windows, but that shouldn't deter you as formatting is a simple 5 minute procedure. The biggest thing you'd need to look out for is some kind of proprietary encryption or security mechanism, which the vast majority of externals don't have.

Quote:
I didn't want to be forced into purchasing an Apple Time Capsule (which is unnecessary for just one iMac) at an extortionate 230.
Although it's not all that competitively priced, the Time Capsule is not "extortionately" priced. It's a wireless router, print server and NAS in one, and compared to other solutions on the market, it's not all that badly priced.

Quote:
All I want is a 1-2tb external hard drive that is both compatible with Lion and Time Machine with compatibility with CCC a bonus.

Aside from TC they don't appear to exist.
Pretty much any external HDD will fit the bill. I recommend Seagate, Western Digital or Hitachi (aka G-Tech), only because you'll know what kind of drive is beneath the pretty case. Samsung, Fujitsu and Toshiba drives are to be avoided, but I think you'll find that the others will work fine from a compatibility standpoint.

The biggest thing you need to consider when choosing is the bus interface. USB 2.0 will be the most universally compatible, but also the slowest. Some externals offer E-SATA, which will be the fastest, but no Macs ship with an E-SATA port available, so it's really not of benefit for a drive to be equipped with one.

Some of the more Mac-friendly manufacturers offer Firewire 800 or 400 bus connections. Both will be faster than USB 2.0, but if it's just a backup drive, it's not a huge deal. Make sure your Mac (and I'm not sure what model Mac you have as I'm writing this) has a Firewire 800 or 400 port before you commit to one.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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I wish I could post links off this phone to show the many hundreds of posts I have read concerning the issues I stated above. Not one person on mac-rumours, apple discussions has been able to use the external hard drives they were using with Snow Leopard when upgrading to Lion. They all reverted back to Snow Leopard because there was no fix. Even on this site there are people who had the same problem.

If you Google "Lion, external hard drive, issues" you will see what has been doing my head in.

As for Time Capsule, it's too complex! I have a router from Virgin - why would I need two? I'm only getting one iMac and there will be no other wireless devices in my house. I don't know what a print server is, so will probably have no use for that either.

I'll Google "Western Digital, Lion" and come straight back...


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Then why do both my macs and around 10 total drives all work and I did nothing to them? Also I know many with Lion and externals and they all work.

I have Iomega, Hitachi, WD, Seagate, Radio Shack, Mad Dog and a couple of other brands of externals and external hard drive enclosures and all work.
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I am with dtravis7 on this my WD Studio was working fine on SL and now is working as good on Lion.
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Thanks for taking an interest in this - could you Google what I did above and confirm I'm not hallucinating? There is page after page of people tearing their hair out over this - from when Lion was released, right up to this month.


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I have seen the complaints both on Google and here at Mac Forums but can't duplicate any of them here.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Green View Post
Thanks for taking an interest in this - could you Google what I did above and confirm I'm not hallucinating? There is page after page of people tearing their hair out over this - from when Lion was released, right up to this month.
I have read a few some drives were not Lion compatible until new firmware
was introduced which makes me wonder how many people actually bothered
to update the firmware in their external drives and how many did it correctly. I also frequent the WD forum where people have loaded the wrong firmware for a specific drive and bricked the unit.
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The whole Lion compatible thing has me confused as some of my enclosures are 6-8 years old and all work. No updates to anything!
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David Green

 
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Ok, it's 3am here and my head is fried. Perhaps it's the same dozen idiots floating around all the forums and all making the same errors. I'll check in tomorrow. Thanks again for your time.


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David, I don't like to flaunt my credentials, but let's just say I've worked professionally in the industry for more than a decade. I hold major certifications in both hardware and software and administer a large network for a Fortune 500 company.

So, I can tell you I know what I'm talking about when it comes to computers in general, and Macs in particular. Trust me, you won't have any problems with most run-of-the-mill external hard drives and Lion. I have 5 of them of varying brands, configurations and sophistication. All of them work fine with my Mac. I backup daily to a Macally Firewire 400 enclosure with a 2.5" Western Digital 500GB drive. Furthermore, I bring my MacBook Pro to work daily, because often I find hard drives that can't be read by a Windows machine that will readily mount on my Mac.

I really don't think the problem is one of compatibility, but one of limited understanding across a relatively small cross-section of users.

I think what you're seeing is that people are far more vocal when they're having a problem than when they are not. They post in forums looking for help, or post reviews looking to gripe. They may represent just 1% of the total users of a particular product, but seem to be prevalent simply because that 1% is so much more vocal than the 99% that aren't having any problems.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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CWA, very well said and all very true. Forums like this and Apples and others are for people with issues. You see those people posting. Rarely do you see the ones with no issues complaining as they have no issues!
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