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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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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyspeed View Post
I have a Lacie d2Quadra that has the 4 choices of connections plus uses an external power supply. Have I used more than one of those choices? No. I didn't even know hard drives were now mostly USB powered until 3 days ago. My iMac and macbook are early 2008 and I really don't want to buy another one yet. I'm replacing the hard drive and adding memory on the macbook and need something to back up. The Lacie is over 3 now and I need to go ahead and look at something to replace it.

I suppose I am afraid to try something new. I read the long sticky and noticed problems with USB powered hard drives and problems with the WD software that people couldn't get rid of and problems with Toshiba in general. I was looking at OWC and thought about the Mercury Elite Pro and then the Mini Stack Classic (due to the age of my macbook) and saw that all of those had Toshiba drives.
I don't think you can go wrong with OWC's drive enclosures. I find it quite surprising that they use Toshiba drive mechanisms, as they are a little low rent in my opinion, while the enclosures are certainly high end. Personally, I'd buy the enclosure without the drives (I believe OWC usually has a '0GB' option) and then pick out whichever drive mechanisms I feel most confident in. For me, those would be Hitachi or WD drives.

As to your comment regarding WD's software... no software is actually needed for these drives - everything you need to format / backup or otherwise manipulate the drives is built right into OS X.

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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bobtomay

 
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Agree with the above - the lower end drive sizes - looks like they're saying either Toshiba or HGST (which is owned by WD) - they must be having some issue getting the same drive in all the time - usually they are very specific about what drive will be in their enclosures. The higher end are listed as HGST drives.

I have both the single drive and dual drive RAID Mercury Elite Pro quad enclosures - both over 6 years old and bought both of them enclosure only and put my own drives in them.

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Agreed with CWA and Bobtomay. Their enclosures are first rate. Agree on hard drive brands also.
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nancyspeed

 
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I asked OWC why they used Toshiba and they replied it fit well in their container and there was a 3 year warranty.

About WD's software--are you saying it isn't automatically downloaded onto my Mac? If I use Time Machine can I just forget all the software? I really am confused about it. I saw several comments about how unhappy people were with it. This is the unit I am leaning toward:

WD My Book Studio 1 TB USB 2.0/FireWire 800/400, Desktop External Hard Drive
by Western Digital
Customizable e-label
Automatic, continuous backup
Password protection and 256-bit encryption

WD SmartWare™ - A control center for your drive that gives you the power to:

-- Protect your data automatically - Relax, your data is secure. Automatic, continuous backup will instantly make a second copy whenever you add or change a file.

-- See your backup as it happens - Seeing is believing. Visual backup displays your content in categories and shows the progress of your backup.

-- Bring back lost files effortlessly - Retrieve your valuable data to its original location whether you've lost all your data or just overwritten an important file.

-- Take control - Customize your backup, set drive security, run diagnostics, manage the power settings, and more from the WD SmartWare control center.


Backup software you'll really use - WD SmartWare

Five great reasons to love it:
1. It's easy - Data backup can be a chore, but it's your family photos, your movies, your music - your life - and it's important to protect it. So we made this software extra easy because we really want you to use it.

2. You can see your life safe in one place -
See your content displayed in easy to understand categories like movies and photos. Watch the progress of your backup as it happens with the instant-feedback color bars. Now you can truly be sure that all your stuff is backed up.

A unique visual interface lets you see the drives connected to your computer.
WD SmartWare will automatically scan your computer and find all of your personal files, including e-mail.
Content category gauges show how much information you have to be backed up in each category. You can even mouse over a category to see a file count.
Simply click Run Backup and WD SmartWare will automatically start backing up your files.
As your backup is running the category gauges will change color showing you the backup as it happens.
When finished, you'll see a status screen and information about your backup. You only have to do this once. After the first backup your files will be backed up automatically every time you change or add a file.

3. It's always on the job - WD SmartWare is always watching your computer, so when you change a file and save it, create new files, add new pictures, movies, or songs, WD SmartWare will instantly back them up.

4. You can bring back lost files effortlessly - If you ever accidentally delete an important file, or need to get an earlier version of a file, you can find and retrieve it in seconds with this easy-to-use interface.

Restore files and folders by categories – photos, music, video, for example.
Find a lost file with the search function.
Go back in time to retrieve an older version of a file.

5. You're in control - WD SmartWare software is also a control center for your external drives. From it you can:

Customize your backup
Set drive security
Run diagnostics
Manage the power settings, and more...


Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
I don't think you can go wrong with OWC's drive enclosures. I find it quite surprising that they use Toshiba drive mechanisms, as they are a little low rent in my opinion, while the enclosures are certainly high end. Personally, I'd buy the enclosure without the drives (I believe OWC usually has a '0GB' option) and then pick out whichever drive mechanisms I feel most confident in. For me, those would be Hitachi or WD drives.

As to your comment regarding WD's software... no software is actually needed for these drives - everything you need to format / backup or otherwise manipulate the drives is built right into OS X.
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyspeed View Post
I asked OWC why they used Toshiba and they replied it fit well in their container and there was a 3 year warranty.
They were probably just the cheapest to buy in bulk, wholesale. All drives use standard physical form factors and the enclosures are designed to suit the form factor, not a particular manufacturer.

Oh, and having a 3 year warranty is great from the standpoint that if the drive fails, you'll get a (refurbished) replacement. But what about the data that is on it? Do they warrant that?

That last question was rhetorical.... they don't.

Quote:
About WD's software--are you saying it isn't automatically downloaded onto my Mac? If I use Time Machine can I just forget all the software? I really am confused about it. I saw several comments about how unhappy people were with it. This is the unit I am leaning toward:
You don't need their software to use the drive. I'm sure their software is wonderful and does all sorts of proprietary encryption and automated backups.... but all of that stuff is built right into OS X and is likely far less persnickety than theirs. Buy the drive, plug it in and go right to Disk Utility (located in Applications >> Utilities). Format the drive and you'll be ready to rock and roll. That's really all there is to it unless you want to enable encryption, which is pretty easy too.


Quote:
WD My Book Studio 1 TB USB 2.0/FireWire 800/400, Desktop External Hard Drive
by Western Digital
Customizable e-label
Automatic, continuous backup
Password protection and 256-bit encryption
That drive should be fine. Though I would sooner go with OWC's enclosure and add my own drives to it.

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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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyspeed View Post
I asked OWC why they used Toshiba and they replied it fit well in their container and there was a 3 year warranty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
They were probably just the cheapest to buy in bulk, wholesale. All drives use standard physical form factors and the enclosures are designed to suit the form factor, not a particular manufacturer.
Exactly Chris. What a bunch of BS from OWC (or at least from the one customer service person)!

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RavingMac

 
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First thing I do with any HD, WD, Seagate, whatever, is to reformat it and get rid of the software. That way I get to use all the bytes I purchased and don't have to fiddle with unnecessary software.

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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bobtomay

 
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If you can find one of those WD My Books with FW still sitting on the shelf, you should be able to get it at a discount. They're last years models and WD is not making those with FW any longer. I picked up one with the 3TB drive a few months ago at Fry's at too good a price to pass up when they were unloading their stock of them. Using it with my MBA via thunderbolt to FW and gives me a large part of my iTunes library local instead of on the network.

As advised by others - just format any drive you get and don't use any drive manufacturers software. WD in particular has just recently had a problem resulting in data loss related to their software and it wasn't the first time it happened over the years and I am a fan of WD drives in general.

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nancyspeed

 
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How about this brand? It appears to have no included software. Most reviews said it is Hitachi but another guy says Toshiba.


Fantom Drives Gforce/3 1TB USB 3.0 3.5" USB 3.0 External Hard Drive GF3B1000U Black



USB 3.0 Interface options
PC + Mac compatible
Quiet fan-free design
Easy Installation
Stylish brushed black aluminum enclosure
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FWIW I have several of these that I use for backup and media files.

Amazon.com: WD My Passport for Mac 1TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0 (WDBLUZ0010BSL-NESN): Computers & Accessories

I also bought these to keep them in

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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nancyspeed

 
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That is exactly what I finally purchased today! My last question on them I hope is--I plugged it in and time machine started backing up. But nothing ever came up on the screen (as indicated it would in the 3 step directions) to install the "drive utilities and security." That is just fine with me but now I wonder why it didn't show up. I only have 41 GB total to back up. I hope it is backing up my email too.

Now to put in my new WD hard drive and extra memory! But I think that means I am going to lose office for mac since I gave my third license to the preacher.

Thank you!



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RavingMac

 
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Use Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) or Super Duper to clone your old HD to your new one before install and that shouldn't be an issue.

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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Nancyspeed, I too buy an awful lot from OWC, call them and talk to them tell them your concern about Toshiba. The Tech guys at OWC are very friendly and helpful, the number is 800-275-4576. Your concern about Toshiba can also be applied to Seagate drives. I use nothing but Western Digital and I bet there is someone out there who will say WD should be avoided also. It's a vicious circle! LOL

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