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JVandy

Buyers tips for Hard Drives

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JVandy    0

I know this topic comes up from time to time, but I was wondering where people shop for Hard Drives, Internal and External, what brands you use and feel are the best for storage vs. video vs. backup. I am always looking to increase storage space for all of my various tasks and I am sure everyone can use a few buying suggestions as we add that 2nd, 3rd and sometimes 4th backups to the mix.

 

I currently have a couple USB WD External drives (250 and 500 GB) simply for backup and storage. I have heard mixed feelings about WD, but I have not had any problems with them so far. I also have a Firewire Maxtor External drive (250 GB) I use for storage, video, and anything else. I have had one Maxtor drive fail on me in the past, but no issues with the current drive.

 

Thanks for the suggestions!

 

Jason

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joshr    0

How a bout a drobo. Expensive but if you need a lot of storage and expect to continue adding drives it's probably worth the one time expensive of a drobo. As far as drives I buy whatever is a good deal. As long as it's name brand I don't think they are much different.

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Graham    1

Agreed. Get the cheapest drives you can find - providing it's a named brand.

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I think Omega ones are amazing! Never had trouble with any of them, if u wana know i'm using a 350GB I Omega parititioned.

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joshr    0
I think Omega ones are amazing! Never had trouble with any of them, if u wana know i'm using a 350GB I Omega parititioned.

Is that a drive manufacturer or an enclosure manufacturer. I have never heard of them and a couple quick google searches didn't yield anything.

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trucklover    0

I would suggest a few things myself:

 

1. a name brand that is known for its quality products

2. a hard drive that has a warranty that is 3 years or longer. (I personally opt for Hitachi server class drives with a 5 year warranty)

3. look for a drive that has a large MTBF (mean time before failure). this is the expected life span of the drive. It should last longer than this because the warranty typically ends before the company is responsible of replacing parts or the entire drive.

4. disk speed. a faster drive means improved performance when the demands of your applications are higher. 7200 rpm is typical for a 3.5 HD and some laptop drives as well. there are drives out there that can spin up to 15,000 rpm. do you need it? probably not unless you are working with uncompressed hi def video with final cut pro or something along those lines.

 

The pair hard drives that my Mac is installed on are spec'd out at 1.2 million hours of continual use. I have two 750 GB drives striped together using software RAID in disk utility to one, get increased speed out of the drives, and two, get increased capacity by allowing the two drives being added together to give me a "single" hard drive that is 1.5 TB. Because of my setup thats why I went with quality components. I should have years of trouble free operation. I also have 3 secondary set of 500 GB hard drives striped together to give me 1.5 TB of space for my Time Machine backup. This way I have all of my files backed up every hour to a backup volume that is internal to my G5 desktop machine.

 

I think the most popular drives are generally in this order but it really comes down to preference and the applications you will be using them for

 

Seagate

Hitachi

western digital

 

Hope this sheds some light on the subject

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Graham    1

Unless you really need it, I'd recommend against RAIDing your drives in this manner. There's a reason it's known as "scary RAID". If one drive goes down, the whole set is buggered.

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neil_jo    0

I just buy OEM drives usualy seegate and Vantech USB / Firewire enclosures from a local computer shop

and have never had a problem.

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ZBurn    17

I just bought a drive that I thought I was following Adam's suggestion to get Oxford chipsets in the Firewire drive. This was sold by a Mac supporting online place as "Time machine ready" and the chipset is Oxford 934. The drive works fine via firewire most of the time - but my G5 iMac iSight 20" can't boot with the drive plugged in... a blue screen just hangs there forever. As soon as I unplug it the machine, boots. The whole reason I bought this particular drive was so that I could use the firewire. Well it's got a good warranty, speed etc, but it is frustrating! Does anyone have any tips? Yes, this is a dual connection type but I've already got like 6 USB things plugged in here so I'd rather not do that if I don't have to.

 

Thanks

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Graham    1

Well your G5 won't boot from USB anyway. Only Intel macs can boot from USB. (You don't say what you're actually using the drive for, time machine or a bootable clone?)

 

A few things to try:

A different cable

Different computer

 

Do other firewire devices work with that port?

 

If you are using it for time machine (therefore not needing to be able to boot from it), you should try the USB port to see if that works.

 

Trying to see if the problem is with the drive or the FW port on your mac.

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ZBurn    17

I'm using this for TimeMachine... I was just trying to boot the machine from the internal drive and it would hang. But yes - After I wrote this I did remember that the other part of Adam's Maccast advice was that the long cables that come with Firewire drives are too long. I switched cables and it works great so far. I've had a mixture of Firewire problems but I've always used these long cables. Usually I figured that if a drive works at all, then there's nothing wrong with the port, but maybe during boot there's other types of communication going on or something.

 

So add this to the Buyers tips for Hard Drives - Buy a short Firewire cable at the same time as the drive!

 

Maybe the Firewire 800 ports on newer macs are more forgiving? This drive doesn't have 800 because 1) that was more money & 2) My next machine is probably a MacBook and that doesn't have 800 either. By then the drive will be old and I should replace it anyway!

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