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  1. #16
    External back-up drive for MacBook Pro
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RadDave View Post
    Hello Randy - thanks for your two excellent, thorough, and enlightening posts (just partially quoted above) - of my 6+ external HDs, 3 are OWC Mercury On-The-Go HDs, 2 USB & 1 TB - the USB ones are labeled HGST (one made in Taiwan & one in China); the TB drive is a 'WD Blue' made in Malaysia - so I'm assuming the HD component of each is a WD product, but all of the testing and other electronics associated w/ these HDs are controlled by OWC? Thanks again for your outstanding contributions - Dave
    The case, power supply, and electronics are made by one of OWC's suppliers. Unlike many other companies that sell external hard drives, OWC has been good about making sure that the power demands of recent large internal mechanisms are met. Their cases are of a good quality. However, they don't go as far as Glyph with regard to cooling. There are no fans in OWC hard drives. They rely on using their case as a big heat sink. OWC drives are reasonably reliable, but they aren't premium drives.

    There is no way to know what the specs were on the drives that OWC ordered from WD (for instance, the "Blue" mechanism inside your OWC drive may be quite a bit unlike a "Blue" drive that a consumer could purchase), or who did what testing. You just have to rely on OWC's reputation for reliable external hard drives to guess that a good level of testing was done.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance • http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  2. #17
    External back-up drive for MacBook Pro
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Someone asked me what happened to "X" brand of hard drive mechanisms. Here is how the hard drive industry has shaken out:

    Western Digital purchased Hitachi which had previously purchased IBM's hard drive division
    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/wd...d-the-bad/1309

    Western Digital retained Hitachi’s 2.5” and SSD businesses, but Hitachi’s 3.5” business was sold to Toshiba
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5635/w...hitachi-buyout

    Seagate purchased Samsung's hard drive division
    http://blogs.forbes.com/briancaulfie...-billion-deal/

    Seagate purchased Maxtor which had previously purchased Quantum
    http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/05/12/21/1311235/Seagate-buys-Maxtor-for-19B>
    http://articles.sfgate.com/2000-10-0...brown-net-loss

    LaCie was also acquired by Seagate, though LaCie was never a manufacturer of internal hard drive mechanisms.
    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...6_million.html
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8117619.stm

    Toshiba purchased Fujitsu's hard drive division
    http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...hdd-division/1

    WesternDigital acquired SanDisk
    http://petapixel.com/2015/10/21/sand...or-19-billion/

    Basically there are now only three players in the rotating disk hard drive mechanism field, no matter what the name on the product: Seagate, Western Digital, and Toshiba.

    To make things more complicated, all of the big three now farm out a lot of (all?) their manufacturing to various contractors in southeast Asia. I'm told that you can purchase several examples of a particular model of WD internal mechanism, with very similar serial numbers, open them up, and find that they are not identical and that parts don't necessarily interchange. That's because they were made by different manufacturers.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance • http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  3. #18
    External back-up drive for MacBook Pro
    chscag's Avatar
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    @Randy:

    Do you have a run down on solid state drives like that of the above info regarding spinning drives?

  4. #19
    External back-up drive for MacBook Pro
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    @Randy:

    Do you have a run down on solid state drives like that of the above info regarding spinning drives?
    I'll tell you what I know off the top of my head.

    SSD's are coming down in price, but as they do so they are also drastically diminishing in reliability and theoretical lifespan. As with RDHD's, the more reliable SSD's are noticeably more expensive. There are a number of "gotcha's" when shopping for SSD's, especially when pairing a third party SSD with a Macintosh.

    By far the most reliable SSD's are made by Intel, but they are also among the most expensive SSD's on the market.
    The SSD's with the most bang-for-your-buck tend to come from Samsung. But many (all?) Samsung SSD's don't offer over-provisioning.
    http://www.myce.com/review/what-a-di...ntroduction-1/
    http://www.samsung.com/global/busine...tepaper05.html
    OWC offers some of the fastest SSD's:
    http://barefeats.com/hard130.html
    http://barefeats.com/ssd6g.html

    There have been problems with third party SSD's and Macs because, until recently, Macs didn't support TRIM for third party SSD's.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trim_(computing)
    Some third party hard drives have claimed to handle TRIM without software support from the host OS, but what is offered isn't always as good as a full implementation of TRIM. And there have been third party kludges to make the Mac OS's TRIM work with third party hard drives, but the results haven't always been ideal:

    Angelbird makes SSD's specifically for Macs, so you know that TRIM will work properly, and while they are more expensive than, for instance, a Samsung 850 EVO, they are said to be significantly faster.
    http://www.angelbird.com/en/prod/ssd-wrk-for-mac-929/
    http://barefeats.com/hard213.html

    Good SSD review sites:
    http://www.anandtech.com/tag/ssd
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...mark,3269.html
    http://www.barefeats.com
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance • http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  5. #20
    External back-up drive for MacBook Pro
    chscag's Avatar
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    Thanks Randy. Real good info as usual.

  6. #21
    External back-up drive for MacBook Pro
    davowolf's Avatar
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    Thanks again RB... v useful. I do want this as a desktop fixture backup system to replace the LaCie so I'll discount the Toshiba on your advice.. From what you say its likely the Lacie failed because of heat. The Glyph sounds like the business but Amazon UK is saying its currently unavailable this side of the Atlantic.

  7. #22
    External back-up drive for MacBook Pro
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davowolf View Post
    From what you say its likely the Lacie failed because of heat.
    Your LaCie likely failed because the case and electronics weren't up to the demands of the internal hard drive mechanism.

    LaCie has been notorious for having horrible cases for the past few years, and for their drives regularly failing. (So have Seagate and WD external hard drives.) The thing is, around about when 1TB drive mechanisms were released, they had higher current demands and also ran hotter than previous (smaller) hard drive mechanisms. Many manufacturers of external hard drives, instead of updating their cases to suit these new drives, just slapped the new mechanisms into their existing cases, and the results weren't pretty.

    LaCie went from being the premier provider of external hard drives for the Macintosh, to a product that it is very wise to avoid. The frustrating part is that many long-time Mac users still go around recommending LaCie hard drives because they don't realize that things have changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by davowolf View Post
    The Glyph sounds like the business but Amazon UK is saying its currently unavailable this side of the Atlantic.
    Glyph hard drives are in very high demand because of their newly found notoriety. Anyone who has one will tell you that they are built like a tank. Even here in the U.S., Amazon gets them in batches and then they are quickly sold out. There are multiple sources for them in the U.S., but I don't know where to send you for one outside of the U.S.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance • http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  8. #23
    External back-up drive for MacBook Pro
    davowolf's Avatar
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    Your Mac's Specs
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    I have a Glyph Studio 1TB en route from a supplier in London. I'll report later. In the meantime however, I've experienced three kernel panics, 6 months after a fix by an eBay trader. A different topic so perhaps best a new thread.

  9. #24
    External back-up drive for MacBook Pro
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davowolf View Post
    I have a Glyph Studio 1TB en route from a supplier in London. I'll report later.
    It will be interesting to hear your feedback. Most users say something to the effect of "Holy cow! This thing is built like a tank!"
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance • http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  10. #25
    External back-up drive for MacBook Pro
    davowolf's Avatar
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    Here's the 'tank' and my little system. The Glyph (Studio 1TB), sourced from Protape (London), working well so far. Notice the useful multi-adaptor.

    Glyph.jpg

  11. #26
    External back-up drive for MacBook Pro

    Member Since
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    The best tool I have used to backup my entire Hard Drive is Carbon Copy Cloner. It has worked like a champ for me from day one! I would give it a go and see how you like it!

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