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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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silentownage001

 
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so i currently have a hp pavilion dv6. ill be getting a MBP in a year or so and was looking at some hard drives that i can use now on windows and later for os x. i originally was interested in the seagate freeagent go but upon learning it uses usb 2.0 i decided to look at some other options.

i need at least 320 GB as i want to back stuff up and put movies on it.

so one is the goflex slim for mac peformace drive by seagate.

Slim Mac Hard Drive | GoFlex Slim for Mac Performance Drive | Seagate

another is the freeagent goflex by seagate

Portable hard drive | USB hard Drive | FreeAgent | GoFlex Ultra Portable Drive | Seagate

this is my preferred option for a reasons; i can pick color ill probably get blue. another is i can pick the capacity. probably 500 gb as if i get blue its that or 1 TB. 14.5mm since i dont see a point in the 22mm unless your going with 1 TB or 1.5 TB. lastly i can get usb 3.0.

i travel at least once a year to visit my brother. so i feel that with the slim hard drive it might snap in my backpack. hopefully not but the thicker hard drive should be a bit stronger. hopefully.

any suggestions/opinions are most welcome

almost forgot one question i had. if i back everything up using windows, then switch to a mac will it need to be deleted to format it or will it format with all my stuff on it?
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osxx

 
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Currently Mac does not support USB 3.0 but 2.0 ,FW800 and Thunder Port which the latter is way faster.
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silentownage001

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osxx View Post
Currently Mac does not support USB 3.0 but 2.0 ,FW800 and Thunder Port which the latter is way faster.
im gonna go with the freeagent goflex ultra portable. i can upgrade to 3.0, firewire 800 or eSATA.

with usb, does the cord matter or is it the port in the computer that matters?
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drtbk4ever

 
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All I can say is holy cow batman.... I didn't realize there were sooo many external HD choices out there.

So finally, after reading this thread for the last 2 hours, I am leaning towards one of these two external drives:

G-Tech 750 mb: G-Technology 750GB G-DRIVE mobile Portable Hard Drive - Apple Store (Canada)

Iomega 1 Tb eGo: Iomega 1TB eGo Desktop Hard Drive, Mac Edition - Apple Store (Canada)

Both available in Canada without brokerage issues.

Any comments appreciated.

Mac Newbie Bill
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cwa107

 
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Iomega is a crap shoot - G-Tech will score you a Hitachi drive, which I am a big fan of (recently).

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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drtbk4ever

 
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Glad to hear that feedback CWA. I will go with the G-tech.

I wonder if the Apple.ca store will have any boxing day/week sales?

Mac Newbie Bill
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HappyGirl

 
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I'm a bit of a novice at this. I just had my iMac HD die yesterday and am functioning at the moment off a 2 year old SimpleTech-Simple Drive back-up External HD that I had last backed up on Dec 12 with SuperDuper. I am running Tiger and am in no position to get a whole new system forcing an upgrade to Lion (and thus all my other software, plus learning curve for everything new!)

I'm thinking that rather than spring for a new iMac and have to upgrade all my software, that it would be cheaper and just as well for now to get 2 new Western Digital MyBook for Mac External HDs, copy over all my data from the current SimpleTech and use one as a new Back-Up and use the other as my actual "new HD."

Is this possible? What is the difference between a HD that is being used as an "external back-up" and an internal one? I had this same HD failure happen 2 years ago, and the only Mac guy we have in my small town installed an internal Seagate 500MB HD (which cost $100), while he charged me $500-600 to do this and transfer the data. Then he had me go to Best Buy and get the SimpleTech $100 external 500MB HD to use as the backup (which is what I'm running off of this moment.)

In speaking with him yesterday, he wants me to buy a new iMac and pay him to transfer all my stuff into the upgraded Lion (plus I'd of course have to buy all new software, etc.)

I do not see what the difference is between a $100 internal and a $100 external - it just seems like a racket to scare me into paying unnecessarily for all this work to have the HD sitting inside my iMac.

I realize eventually I will have to upgrade, but I'm in no position to do that this moment and need to understand if I can indeed just use a new WesternDigital External HD as my "main" HD while backing up to another one as a safety.

Am I wrong? Can my idea work?

Thanks in advance for your input & advice!
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cwa107

 
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After reading your post, all I can say is "WOW!". Where to start... well, I guess I'll address each one of my concerns below...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyGirl View Post
I'm a bit of a novice at this. I just had my iMac HD die yesterday and am functioning at the moment off a 2 year old SimpleTech-Simple Drive back-up External HD that I had last backed up on Dec 12 with SuperDuper. I am running Tiger and am in no position to get a whole new system forcing an upgrade to Lion (and thus all my other software, plus learning curve for everything new!)
How do you know the drive is dead? Just because the machine doesn't boot from the drive doesn't mean that it's failed (physically). A Seagate drive from 2 years ago should have a 3-5 year warranty. So, you definitely don't need to buy a new one.

And if it hasn't truly failed, there may be some simple processes you can run to recover your data and/or repair the issue.

Quote:
I'm thinking that rather than spring for a new iMac and have to upgrade all my software, that it would be cheaper and just as well for now to get 2 new Western Digital MyBook for Mac External HDs, copy over all my data from the current SimpleTech and use one as a new Back-Up and use the other as my actual "new HD."

Is this possible? What is the difference between a HD that is being used as an "external back-up" and an internal one?
The difference is that the external drive is in a plastic box with a USB-to-SATA adapter built into it. Otherwise, the two drives are mostly the same.

Quote:
I had this same HD failure happen 2 years ago, and the only Mac guy we have in my small town installed an internal Seagate 500MB HD (which cost $100), while he charged me $500-600 to do this and transfer the data.
Still trying to stop choking over this. He charged you HOW much?

He is unquestionably fleecing you. For half of what he charged you, you could have packed it up and shipped it to a repair company and had it back to your doorstep in a couple of days.

This is a 1 hour job for someone who isn't particularly handy. If he truly is a "Mac guy", then it should have been 30 minutes, tops. The drive costs between $50-75 from most online retailers (at the time). So, if you paid $500, then $425 was for an hour's worth of his time (max). The cost for the data transfer should have been nominal since all he needed to do was run the right tool and watched it do its thing.

Quote:
Then he had me go to Best Buy and get the SimpleTech $100 external 500MB HD to use as the backup (which is what I'm running off of this moment.)
So, he couldn't even bundle a $100 external hard drive in at his rate of $500-600? And he sent you to (gulp) Best Buy so that you could pay FULL RETAIL for what you could have gotten anywhere else on the web at 50% of the cost.

I know it seems harsh, but this guy saw you coming and took FULL advantage.

Quote:
In speaking with him yesterday, he wants me to buy a new iMac and pay him to transfer all my stuff into the upgraded Lion (plus I'd of course have to buy all new software, etc.)
Please, if you take nothing else away from this post, PLEASE just don't ever speak to this thief again. And make sure that all of your friends and family know that this guy is a complete con artist.

Guys like this make those of us who are true professionals look bad.

Quote:
I do not see what the difference is between a $100 internal and a $100 external - it just seems like a racket to scare me into paying unnecessarily for all this work to have the HD sitting inside my iMac.
Although they are just hard drives, one being inside of a plastic box and the other being inside your Mac, there is a functional difference. Because the speed of the connection is much slower connected via USB, you're going to take a huge performance hit overall on your iMac.

Quote:
I realize eventually I will have to upgrade, but I'm in no position to do that this moment and need to understand if I can indeed just use a new WesternDigital External HD as my "main" HD while backing up to another one as a safety.

Am I wrong? Can my idea work?

Thanks in advance for your input & advice!
It can, but I wouldn't be so quick to write off the internal drive. Run this tool:

Volitans Software- Makers of SMART Utility for the Mac

...to get an accurate assessment of what's going on with the drive. If it has truly failed, you should be able to file a warranty claim with Seagate and get it replaced. But don't be so quick to write it off.

As far as cracking open the iMac to swap it, that's going to be more complicated since you don't have someone you can trust.

How handy are you with a screw driver?

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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dtravis7

 
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I 100000% agree with CWA. That person is a THIEF and Crook and even Liar. DO NOT every call them for service again!

If you try to install the drive yourself and need help just let us know. I can link you to a take apart site.
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HappyGirl

 
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CWA & dtravis - Men (I presume) after my own heart! LOL!

Welcome to what happens for 99% of us who live in small towns and/or do not have access to IT folks who you can ask questions of (esp Mac people!) If it were not for the Mac online community I could not function!

Firstly I feel validated by your comments that I'm not crazy and that this is massively overpriced "help," taking advantage of those who are not tech savvy enough to understand what we can or cannot do. I understand enough to be annoying -

I am also EXTREMELY handy with a screwdriver (I live on a farm, rebuilt my 200 year old farmhouse myself, have a workshop, make my own ceramic tiles, cups, bowls, and stained glass, yadda yadda yadda.)

Here's what happened yesterday with (I assume) the HD:

Note - since he replaced it 2 years ago, it has always made all sorts of annoying noise, clicks and whatnot that I've never experienced with any of my other older Macs. The first one he replaced it with was supposedly a Seagate and it made so much noise I could hear it all over the house! So I made him replace it with a quieter one and always assumed he replaced it with the same brand. It still was annoyingly noisy but less so. So I've always been suspicious of this HD because of noise and wouldn't be surprised if it had some issue. In looking at the MAC info it is NOT a Seagate but Hitachi Deskstar HDP725050GLA360.

Got up yesterday morning screen saver on, went to wake the Mac and screen saver froze. I shut down, booted and it made totally weird successive clicking noises that sound like a ratchet. Sounds like its "trying" - but the screen remains gray. At one point I got the blinking "?"

I got the original start-up CD and held down the D and ran the simple Hardware test: no trouble found; the Extended Test: no trouble found. Ran DiskUtility FirstAid Repair Disk: IHFS volume checked - no repairs necessary.

I shut down, unplugged and tried again - same ratchet.

This time when you go to look for the HD to tell the Utility to choose to boot up from it is not there - only my SuperDuper HD (the backup), the internal DVD drive, the inserted Apple CD and something else that I have no idea what it is - it just shows a serial number which is whatever is listed as my "Serial-ATA" (clueless as to what that is).

Ergo, I chose to run from my SuperDuper to get up and running and called our trusty "only Mac person known in our town" to do this. Being a college town, I have no doubt there must be zillions of Mac people somewhere but none in our phonebook and we have no Mac Store and our local stores do not carry ANY Mac products or Mac versions. People have to drive to the "big city" for that.

But I digress....

I will run the Smart Utility from the link you provided and report back in a bit.

THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME!!!!!!

xxx
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Do report back with your findings.

A brand new Seagate clicking like that? Makes me wonder if he sold you a used drive!
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HappyGirl

 
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My thoughts exactly - I always felt this was a used or damaged HD - it was truly so loud you could hear it down the hall....

The only gift so far in this current episode is that my backup HD is quiet! LOL!!!!
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HappyGirl

 
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Even more confusing:

Smart Utility ran, HD made same ratcheting sound, SU says PASSED and show the drive model as the same serial that is listed in my Serial ATA. It says 'capacity: not found" and everything else is blank. If I click on the triangle in the left hand corner next to the words "/dev/disk1 [PASSED]" nothing appears. In other words there is nothing inside it. I wish I could attach an MP3 so you could hear the noise!

When I look on the details, this says its a Seagate Barracuda so I am assuming this is my SimpleTech BackUp HD which is nice to know has no problems. But apparently there is no other item found.... my main HD has disappeared.... how do I find it to test it?
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cwa107

 
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Not good. What this means is that the drive has a severe failure and isn't being recognized on the bus.

You're pretty much going to need to pull that drive and get the serial number. Once you have it, you should be able to file a warranty claim, assuming it was new when installed. You should be able to find the manufacturer's date on the drive's own label. From that, you should be able to determine whether it was new when it was installed.

And if it wasn't... well, I would personally be filing something in small claims court.

Can you tell me the specific model of your iMac? You should be able to get specifics in Apple Menu => About this Mac.

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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