suggestions for hard drive for external backups

February 22, 2019 at 06:47:08
Specs: Mac OS X, .../lots...
Hi chaps:

I run Mac systems mostly - these days; and they of course have Time machine for backups.

I have my Mac Mini using a former Free Agent 1TB for Time Machine; and it's getting a bit crowded these days (short of adequate space) as I have increased the onboard SSD in my MacMini to beyond 2Tb.

I'm looking to replace the current 1Tb external hard drive (which is in its own externally powered housing) with a 2Tb (possibly even 3Tb). Ideally I'd like something installed in a much smaller housing than the Free Agent drive - which is actually a third-party, externally powered case housing that Free Agent drive; the original Free Agent case died - the usb port died... Current Free Agent drive (Seagate?) is the 3.5inch format; hence the ginormous housing for it.

I use SSD, in a external housing, when on the road as Time Machine backups for my Macbook Pro.

I'm sticking with the older mechanical drive style for in-house; at least for now. I'd like to use a smaller format drive (2.5inch format) for Time Machine rather than the current 3.5inch format. Looking on the web it seems most of those 2.5 drives seem arrive with their own housing included. That doesn't fully attract me. I know there are 2.5 format drives around - without any case/housing; but but they seem to be less that 1Tb? Larger capacity seem a bit thin on the ground compared to SSD formats - which are now aplenty - bare drive - unhoused.

I have noted that some of these pre-assembled/pre-housed drives fail when the onboard electronics/interface dies. Often the usb port it self going down. I prefer to buy the drive separately and house it in an external enclosure of my choosing. This approach allowing ease of replacement of the drive if needs-be; even to increase the capacity of the drive in a current enclosure.and also to replace the enclosure should it fail for whatever reason. some of the current pre-housed drives are impossible to recover/repair or re-house if/when the built-in electronics, the usb port included, fail. That issue was in a fairly recent post here at CN.

Thus I'm looking for suggestions on which small(er) format - 2.5inch - drives to use? I have several SSD already and they're installed in housings/enclosures which I bought separately; from the "big rain forest" company... I'm very happy with those enclosures/housings; and with the SSDs - the latter all being Crucial's.

If I can find a 2Tb - or possibly larger - in 2.5 format I can search out a suitable enclosure for it; likely another of the two brands/models housing I already use for SSD.

I don't mind if the housing has to be externally powered in this situation; the SSD drives I have already of course are powered from the usb port to which they're connected.

So... Any thoughts, suggestions re' reliable and suitable 2.5inch format drives would be muchly appreciated.

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February 22, 2019 at 15:35:42
Please see:
I recommend Western Digital Drives and warn against Seagate Drives as all the drives I have seen fail, all have been Seagate. Basically you are purchasing a Laptop drive which follows the 2.5" format and putting it in a suitable case. Make sure that the case you get supports USB3.0 or 3.1 and you will get the fater data transfer and get enough power without an external power source or dual USB Y plug that the USB 2.0 ones require to power the drives.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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February 25, 2019 at 06:02:29
Thanks for the suggestion.

I'm in the UK at present and Egghead is not a viable option. However the big rain forest company is of course; as are one or three others..

Apart from the WD drive (blue version only it appears) what are your thoughts re' Toshiba 2.5 inch (laptop) drives?

Like you I have a less than favourable feelings re' Seagate.

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February 25, 2019 at 14:57:22
WD are the only ones I have purchased for new builds, repairs, and upgrades since Maxtor was purchased by Seagate and none have failed.
Seagate drives have come from factory on laptops my family has and in all-in-ones at work and the only failing ones have been Seagate drives. I do not have any experience with Toshiba or other brands good or bad.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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February 25, 2019 at 15:42:26
Thanks fingers. A google trawl re’ Toshiba isn’t exactly encouraging. And finding 2TB 2.5 drives is a limited selection, regardless of make.

Oddly some comparison sites rate Seagate over WD. But my own experience with Seagate hadn’t been as great as with WD; I use WD in my NAS (Qnaps) and generally n my earlier desktops.

I think I’ll go with the WD. Oddly they don’t do any in their red, black. colour range.

message edited by trvlr

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February 25, 2019 at 18:34:58
"WD are the only ones I have purchased for new builds, repairs, and upgrades..."

I concur....even back to the "sub 1GB-drive days", I always had more problems out of Seagate than WD drives...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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