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Recommendation for an External HD for Mac?


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I've had a Lacie Big Disk and it worked fine until a wonderful dog of mine decided it needed to fly off the desk (I love my dog). I also have Western Digital MyBook 500GB and it seems to be doing just fine as well (about 3 months in though so that's hardly a long time to judge).

But yeah go for the warranty and a second 500GB drive to backup your back ups. You won't want to lose all your data...that can be tough. O0

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I agree. Seagate has a 5 year warranty. Not sure if any of the others bumped up their warranties to match them.

Their externals don't have the 5 years the last time I checked. They could have changed it. I usually buy internals (Seagate; 5 year) and stick them in enclosures. It probably won't look as nice as something external you could buy off the shelf though.

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Their externals don't have the 5 years the last time I checked. They could have changed it. I usually buy internals (Seagate; 5 year) and stick them in enclosures. It probably won't look as nice as something external you could buy off the shelf though.

I agree. Most, if not all, externals right off the self are all 1 year warranties. Newegg.com has a shit load of externals cases to pic from and some look pretty nice.

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I've had a Lacie Big Disk and it worked fine until a wonderful dog of mine decided it needed to fly off the desk (I love my dog). I also have Western Digital MyBook 500GB and it seems to be doing just fine as well (about 3 months in though so that's hardly a long time to judge).

But yeah go for the warranty and a second 500GB drive to backup your back ups. You won't want to lose all your data...that can be tough. O0

I have two MyBooks (one USB for 6 months, one Firewire for about a year) and they're pretty good. Fairly silent, fast, good price, reliable and look ok.

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When you buy the pre-made external drives, 9 times out of 10 when they die the drive itself is actually fine it's usually just the crap ass electronics inside them that die and most of the companies make it fairly difficult to get the drives out when that happens.

For this reason I would go the route of buying an external hd case with whatever connections you want and sticking an internal drive in it. This way its much easier to remove the drive if something goes bad with the electronics in the case.

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Can't say I blame them. Canadians all want shippers to underdeclare, and canadian customs sucks.
Maybe through private sales, but through a company I think most people agree that paying duty is a given. There is nothing wrong with Canadian customs, there are things wrong with how UPS and FedEx deal with Canadian customs. This is why I always insist on USPS shipping, even if it does take a day or two longer.

Even with duty fees, things are cheaper in the US, and with our dollar being basically even at the moment it is definately attractive for us to do our shopping there. I went to Grove City last weekend and got some killer deals. :)

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What do you guys think about Network Accessible Storage devices?

NAS as a concept it's very useful in certain situations. I don't have a dedicated NAS device in the true sense of the term, but use one of my Macs as one and it's available on my network over gigabit and 802.11g. Lets me keep all my files ordered and available to anything I hook into the network and is great for when you just need to backup some data from a laptop or stream audio/video to a media playback device. The only downside for me is that I have to turn on a computer to make it available whereas a dedicated NAS device could use a small enough amount of power to be left on semi-permanently.

I really want a NAS device that no company currently makes, and I've been tempted to build it myself. It would have the following features:

* A decent ADSL2+ modem

* 4 port gigabit switch with 8Gbps fabric plane capability

* 802.11n wireless

* a 2.5" SATA bay for laptop style hard drives (the "S" in NAS)

* Support for scheduled downloading via HTTP, FTP, SFTP and Bittorrent.

* LAN access via SMB and Apple's AFP

* A USB printer share port

* Low power usage

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I think I may wait on the NAS device. I guess my ideal setup now is a 1TB external drive so I can backup using Time Machine and also expand my lossless storage. But I guess I'd also want to backup the external drive, so I would probably need to go with a second 1TB drive in a RAID 1 configuration? Is this easy to build myself?

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I think I may wait on the NAS device.

Nah, don't wait.

NAS is very easy to set up yourself. I use FreeNAS, but I'm not concerned about security, so the existing security is fine with me. There are other packages from small costs ($50) to very expensive enterprise level stuff. I'm thinking you don't need that.

Anyhow, as mentioned in another thread, I have a 2TB setup using 8 320GB drives. You can use a cron job to kick off daily sync, as FreeNAS supports that. http://www.freenas.org/ . The reason I chose FreeNAS is that it has a third party SlimNAS server that can be used to support slimdevices. The speed isn't great due to the FreeBSD backend and CIFS issues, but it's more than adequate for streaming. Also I'm using IDE instead of SATA for cost reasons as I built this over a year ago.

What you want to do is get a HARDWARE RAID controller. You will likely want something better than the integrated on board motherboard stuff. I would go for a RAID 5 configuration minimum, with 3 drives minimum. You can setup jobs to back up (actually just copy) from your main computer onto this drive and then do a tape backup every week or so if you need to.

I'm using a spare dual P3-500 I have lying around with about 512MB of memory. The footprint of FreeNAS is much smaller and is actually made to boot off a flash drive as well. The memory requirement is very small as well, but I don't have anything less than 256MB, so it doesn't really matter to me. I also used a SCSI boot drive, an old 4GB SCSI drive I had lying around.

here's the basic setup.

- Install drives for RAID array and a small drive for BOOT.

- Boot.

- Go to RAID controller firmware.

- Configure RAID array.

- Reboot.

- Boot FreeNAS CD.

- Install onto single BOOT HD.

- Reboot.

- Configure FreeNAS through HTTP interface or console.

- Setup share

- Start copying stuff

If that scares you, you can buy a pre-made NAS configuration from Buffalo, IOMega, etc.

If all you want to do is build an external HD, buy a case with a USB interface or firewire interface and an SATA drive interface internally, shove HD into case. Close it up, plug it in, and now you have an external drive.

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Oh also I think everyone should own one of these: http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16812232002

Best $20 I've ever spent.

What ports are on the iMac? Usually it's a Firewire400/800 and usb2.0. Wouldn't you be better off with either firewire 400/800 instead of the usb port?

I'm curious as to why you would want that newegg product. I bought a Rocstor enclosure and put in my Sata drive. Come out Firewire 800 to my macbook pro. What would be the motivation to buy that cable?

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What ports are on the iMac? Usually it's a Firewire400/800 and usb2.0. Wouldn't you be better off with either firewire 400/800 instead of the usb port?

I'm curious as to why you would want that newegg product. I bought a Rocstor enclosure and put in my Sata drive. Come out Firewire 800 to my macbook pro. What would be the motivation to buy that cable?

It's one of those things that if you don't see the motivation, you're not the target market :)

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