Hard Drive: internal or external

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Hi

I bought a Macbook a couple of weeks ago, love it. I'm looking to expand the hard drive, as it's only 120 gig.

I'm torn between getting a large one and replace my internal drive, or just get a large external one.

Are there any disadvantages to using an external vs internal? By the way, I was looking at Firewire models, because the smaller external one i currently have is USB and feels very slow

It's mostly going to be to keep my files on it, itunes library, photos, downloads, etc.

Thanks!
 
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Well I'm guessing as you have a laptop you'll not want to be lugging an external drive around.
You can get fairly large internal drives relatively cheap.
 

cwa107


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...and just to add to the last comment, even on Firewire 800, an external hard drive will not be as fast as an internal one. The only caveat to that would be if you have an ESATA adapter and use that interface.

Personally, I'd just go with an upgraded internal drive. You should be able to pick up a 320GB for less than $200.
 
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Well, I would say that it depends on how large you expect your iTunes library to grow. I have several external hard drives. One is for iTunes music and movies. It's 1TB and getting close to full. Another 1TB for videos that I shoot with the camcorder and all my owner's manuals, receipts and documents. Then the last one is for my Time Machine back ups. There is no way I put all that stuff on an internal. It works great. The only major downside to this system is not being able to use iTunes away from the house but that's why there are iPods. For important docs I back them up online so I can access them from anywhere.
 
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320 gb seems to be the largest laptop hard drive currently available?

Other question, if I buy an external enclosure, can i just use the old laptop drive in it? Would i have to reformat it, or i could just get rid of the OS X files?

Thanks for your replies by the way! :)
 

cwa107


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320 gb seems to be the largest laptop hard drive currently available?

I believe Samsung has a 500GB 2.5" drive. But I wouldn't personally store any data I actually care about on a Samsung drive (just a personal preference, based on personal experience).

Other question, if I buy an external enclosure, can i just use the old laptop drive in it? Would i have to reformat it, or i could just get rid of the OS X files?

Thanks for your replies by the way! :)

Yes. You can do that, just make sure the enclosure supports 2.5" SATA drives.
 
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Superb! Thanks cwa107 :)

I'm looking at 2 models, Seagate Momentus 320GB 7200 RPM & Western Digital Scorpio Black 320GB 7200 RPM ... I know the 7200 rpm might not be needed for what I do, but I figure the price difference isnt that much, so worth it.

PS as a rule, I generally avoid most Samsung products, the only Samsung product I might consider getting is a Monitor or TV, their colors are really nice (but I'd research quality before hehe)
 

cwa107


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PS as a rule, I generally avoid most Samsung products, the only Samsung product I might consider getting is a Monitor or TV, their colors are really nice (but I'd research quality before hehe)

I actually don't have a problem with most Samsung products. I just see a horrific failure rate in their hard drives at work. They're second only to Hitachi/IBM.
 
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I've tried several different Samsung products, last one 7-8 years ago. They were all poor quality, so I just stopped buying.

Hey here's yet another question, I just saw the Lacie Rugged hard drives. They're external, but could one just remove it from the enclosure and use the drive in a laptop?

The Lacie drives go up to 500 gb ... and I think Lacie has a fairly good reputation among Mac users?
 

cwa107


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I've tried several different Samsung products, last one 7-8 years ago. They were all poor quality, so I just stopped buying.

Hey here's yet another question, I just saw the Lacie Rugged hard drives. They're external, but could one just remove it from the enclosure and use the drive in a laptop?

Yes, but there are plenty of companies that just sell the enclosure. If you go that route, you have no control over what kind of drive you're getting. Also, you may invalidate the warranty by opening it.

The Lacie drives go up to 500 gb ... and I think Lacie has a fairly good reputation among Mac users?

Lacie just makes the enclosure. The drive mechanisms themselves are made by the usual suspects (i.e. Seagate, WD, Samsung, Fujitsu, Hitachi, etc). The warranty is provided by Lacie instead of the mechanism manufacturer.
 
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I see. Well it's always better to know exactly what you're buying instead of hoping you'll get something.

I'll go with a real internal HD then

Thanks! :)
 
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...and just to add to the last comment, even on Firewire 800, an external hard drive will not be as fast as an internal one. The only caveat to that would be if you have an ESATA adapter and use that interface.

Personally, I'd just go with an upgraded internal drive. You should be able to pick up a 320GB for less than $200.

Do you have any sugestions where I can buy a cheap 320 gb hd and what brand? Can I install it myself? Thanks!
 

cwa107


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Do you have any sugestions where I can buy a cheap 320 gb hd and what brand? Can I install it myself? Thanks!

I would recommend Seagate since they have the longest warranty. Here in the US, I recommend NewEgg.com or ZipZoomFly.com. If you have a Macbook (not the MacBook Pro), it's a pretty straightforward process, although you will need to find a way to clone the original drive to the replacement.
 
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My internal has all my applications, music, and my finished photography work.

My external has (obviously) the TimeMachine back up of the computer, all of my raw photography stuff, and non-essential documents.
 

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