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External Hard drive

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Certainly appreciate your complete response but think it's a bit mind boggling for this old lady. As my original post stated, just looking for a simple back up for my computer that doesn't require me to do anything. And, I should listen to you since we share the same last name!
 

krs


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I use WD all the time and have found them to be reliable. On the other hand, I would avoid Seagate.
Years ago, I used to buy WD and avoided Seagate because of a well publicized problem Seagate had with a specific model.
Then I found out that WD no longer used an internal drive with a standard SATA interface and a USB - SATA bridge to save some money.

Since in all my externals that failed over the years - and there were only three - it turned out that the bridge had actually failed, not the drive itself, I stopped using WD and switched to Seagate.
Also used the odd Toshiba external years ago.

But right now - for backup - I tend to go for a 2TB Seagate portable - portable for convenience.
I have a few Acomdata and similar 3.5" externals I bought years ago - they still work fine but having to use an external power brick is a bit of a pain.
 

chscag

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I'm trying to avoid spinning external hard drives if I can. I currently use two Samsung T5 SSDs for backup, however, as I stated to the OP, a large external SSD is expensive, more than I care to pay for right now.
 
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Certainly appreciate your complete response but think it's a bit mind boggling for this old lady. As my original post stated, just looking for a simple back up for my computer that doesn't require me to do anything. And, I should listen to you since we share the same last name!
My usual recommendation for those who want to keep it as simple as possible is:

- An Other World Computing Mercury Elite Pro external hard drive in a size appropriate to back up your entire internal hard drive
OWC Mercury Elite Pro

- A copy of SuperDuper!, which is a simple program that creates clone backups.

SuperDuper $28
SuperDuper!

And that's it.

Others will likely disagree, and they aren't wrong. But this is what I recommend. I can write you an entire article on why this is what I recommend, if you like. Of course, if your data is extra important, I'd recommend the above, and add more to it. But the above is good for most ordinary Mac users.
 
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My capacity is 250.79 GB and am currently using half that amount. My son says I need 1TB and suggests San Disk Extreme Portabl USB 3.1 Type C External SSD. I looked it up and it didn't mention Catalina OS but then I looked up reviews and found some that said it worked. Any opinions?
 
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A general rule of thumb is that the backup drive should be about twice as big as the data you need to back up. That rule of thumb is for Time Machine, but could apply to clone backups like SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner if you turn on the feature that preserves older version files just in case you need to go back in history. So in your case, if you are using half of a 250GB drive, then you would need about 250GB on the backup drive. But given the prices of drives today, I'd say get a 500 GB backup drive just to make sure that if your needs grow and that boot drive gets to, say 200GB used, your backup will be large enough for you.
 

krs


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But given the prices of drives today, I'd say get a 500 GB backup drive just to make sure that if your needs grow........
Seems that the 500 GB version of that San Disk portable is actually the "sweet spot".

I personally still use spinner drives for back up rather than the more expensive SSD's
Don't need the read/write speeds of an SSD, I just reviewed articles comparing reliability and that seems to be a wash especially if the drive is not subject to a shake, rattle and roll environment and spinner drives tend to give some warning before they fail whereas SSD's don't.

It all also depends on the back up strategy - I tend to back up only once a week or so using SD, so my backup drive is just sitting idle for the week.
Different story if one uses time machine or regular incremental back up.
 
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My capacity is 250.79 GB and am currently using half that amount. My son says I need 1TB and suggests San Disk Extreme Portabl USB 3.1 Type C External SSD. I looked it up and it didn't mention Catalina OS but then I looked up reviews and found some that said it worked. Any opinions?
If you are only doing a clone backup, you only need a backup drive equal to the total capacity of your internal hard drive. In this case a 250GB hard drive would be sufficient, more wouldn't hurt but would be superfluous.

A "portable" hard drive, as I've mentioned, I think, earlier in this very same thread, isn't ideal, as portable drives have compromises that give up reliability for their small size. Unless you really need that small form factor, a desktop hard drive would be preferable.

I have no comments about San Disk drives. Except that I don't rate them as highly as the two brands that I suggested previously (OWC if you want something reasonably priced, and Glyph if you want a superbly reliable drive).

There is no need to look up whether any drive is compatible with Catalina. Hard drives don't care which version of the Mac OS you are running.

It's rare to find any hard drive that isn't compatible with a Macintosh, though some come pre-formatted for Windows and need to be re-formatted (by you when you receive them) for the Macintosh. I prefer to go with drives from companies that cater to the Macintosh market, which usually means that their drives are plug-and-play and that the company will understand the Mac if you have any technical problems and need help from their support department.
 
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Completion. Installed San Disk Extreme Portable 1T and set up Time Machine. Thank you all for your input.
 
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It's rare to find any hard drive that isn't compatible with a Macintosh
It is not as uncommon as you'd like - quite a few drive controllers (especially the cheaper ones) don't stay reliably connected to the Mac's USB port. They'll drop out and re-connect at random, leaving a pop-up notice on the desktop about improperly disconnecting a mounted drive. This includes one of my Seagate portables, which I had to move into a different enclosure. A sudden disconnect at the wrong moment can make a mess of your Time Machine backup, so this is a serious problem. In my experience, WD, LaCie and G-Tech have been reliably Mac-friendly.

Almost all drives up to 2TB are portables these days, so you don't have a whole lot of choice. (I wonder if anybody is even making 3.5" drives that aren't at least 3 TB.) Today's 2.5" drives don't generate all that much heat, and the enclosures don't need to be vented, but you still can't beat the bigger drives for durability. My desktop box is a RAID array of bulletproof Hitachi drives, and if the house is on fire, that's what I'll grab on the way out the door. ;D
 

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It is not as uncommon as you'd like - quite a few drive controllers (especially the cheaper ones) don't stay reliably connected to the Mac's USB port. They'll drop out and re-connect at random, leaving a pop-up notice on the desktop about improperly disconnecting a mounted drive. This includes one of my Seagate portables, which I had to move into a different enclosure.
I'm surprised that you find this to be the case.

In the last 3 - 4 years I have only bought Seagate drives, several 8TB ones and at least six 2TB USB3 portables, and I have never had an improper disconnect.

Where I do get these disconnects every once in a while are with USB2 micro cables, but then it's the cable, not he device.
 
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Buy any SSD external even is so fast and reliable.
 
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This external is probably overkill for you but I had a lot of TV and Movies to put on it. 4TB and it connects via Thunderbolt3 so very fast. It also has a slot for a PCIe SSD which combined with the TB3 connector is very, very fast. But it's only a slot, you have to add the SSD. Also it has a TB3 pass thru port, 3 USB 3.0 ports, an RJ45 network port, and a Display Port 1.4. It's a Seagate Firecuda Gaming Dock and retails $300-$350.

For backups Paragon has free Mac backup software, no strings attached. Just search for "Paragon Backup and Recovery for Mac".
 
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It is not as uncommon as you'd like - quite a few drive controllers (especially the cheaper ones) don't stay reliably connected to the Mac's USB port. They'll drop out and re-connect at random, leaving a pop-up notice on the desktop about improperly disconnecting a mounted drive. This includes one of my Seagate portables, which I had to move into a different enclosure. A sudden disconnect at the wrong moment can make a mess of your Time Machine backup, so this is a serious problem.
What I have found is not so much a controller problem as it is that in an attempt to be less power hungry, spinner drives stop spinning when not called upon. But then when the OS does call on the drive for any reason, the drive takes too long to spin up and the OS reports it as "disconnected" when it's connected, just not responsive yet. That can happen when TM starts, but is unlikely when in the middle of a backup.
 
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Did you try logging in with Safe Mode and running Disk Utility? Try another cable. Is the power supply working?
 

krs


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Wow...just wow. I really don't know what universe you are living in, or even how to respond.
Just post a link with 1 and 2TB 3.5" drives.

Here is one from BestBuy.ca
Desktop Internal Hard Drives: 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB & 10TB | Best Buy Canada

Not the first time someone posted totally incorrect info on this forum.

PS: I think what jpdeemers meant to say is that there are hardly any 1 or 2TB portables with an internal 3.5" drive.

On second thought - maybe that's not what he/she meant.............
 
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Just post a link with 1 and 2TB 3.5" drives.
Why? They are like literally everywhere. You can throw a stone and hit one...

Not the first time someone posted totally incorrect info on this forum.
True. But I'm sometimes just gobsmacked when I see someone so self-assuredly post things that are quite clearly from right out of their derrière.

PS: I think what jpdeemers meant to say is that there are hardly any 1 or 2TB portables with an internal 3.5" drive.

On second thought - maybe that's not what he/she meant.............
No, that really wouldn't make sense. Portables almost never have 3.5-inch hard drive mechanisms. That's why 2.5-inch mechanisms exist.
 
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I've use WD exclusively for about 20 years for both internal and external drives without a single failure. I usually outgrow them first.

Seagate would be my 2nd choice. They had a bumpy run 10 years ago but they seem to have gotten back on track.

Remember all drives have a small risk of failure. Be prepared.
 

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Nobody has mentioned Transcend EHD's I have had one for nearly 8 years now, a 256 Gb which continues to function perfectly although I don't trust it for irreplaceable stuff and I have a 1Tb model which has been bullet proof so far. I use this now for Time Machine backups in conjunction with Time Machine Editor (also not mentioned) which turns off hourly snapshots and performs one backup per day at 0700. I have scheduled Energy Saver to Start or Wake my computer at 0645.

This means I can unplug my EHD during the day and if for some reason I forget to plug it in at the end of the day Time Machine Editor will backup to TM at the next opportunity ie as soon as I plug in my EHD.

I have purchased a Samsung 1Tb T5 SSD for Carbon Copy Cloner because Bombich does not advise APFS bootable clones on spinner 2.5" drives. See: Preparing your backup disk for a backup of macOS | Carbon Copy Cloner | Bombich Software

"
If your destination device is an HDD with a rotational speed of 5400RPM (or slower): (e.g. "Slim" backup devices, 2.5" disks) APFS is not a suitable format for these devices, the performance is unacceptable. Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for the format. If you are making a backup of a Catalina startup disk, you should create a Data-only backup to avoid the conversion of the destination filesystem to APFS.

This kinda defeats the point for me as I had always relied on a Bootable clone even if somewhat slower, to run our laptops in the case of internal drive failure/corruption for repair functions or for transfer to a new drive/device. I had been performing data only backups for a while which are fine after all and using a common garden variety 2.5" EHD for that purpose.

I think if one has two full system backups and checks them regularly, that is adequate insurance but although Time Machine is bootable I still prefer to have one bootable clone available as well.
 
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