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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > recommend attractive bus-powered external HD enclosures for my MBP..?

recommend attractive bus-powered external HD enclosures for my MBP..?
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daiSho
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Aug 18, 2007, 12:52 AM
 
hi all, i am going to be living on the road soon and relying solely on my MBP (2.4 SR) for all my computing needs... i think bringing an external HD along would be a good idea and am trying to find attractive bus-powered 2.5inch sATA enclosures, can any recommend some nice ones to check out? so far all i have found is the 'miniXpress' enclosure from TransIntl so if any could point me towards other nice (and possibly cheaper) options that would be great, thx in advance friends..!

     
mduell
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Aug 18, 2007, 08:54 AM
 
Does it have to be SATA? Does it have to be Firewire?
Each of those limits choice a bit, but the combination really limits choice.

What color do you want? White, silver, black, etc.
     
daiSho  (op)
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Aug 18, 2007, 07:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Does it have to be SATA? Does it have to be Firewire?
Each of those limits choice a bit, but the combination really limits choice.

What color do you want? White, silver, black, etc.
thx for your reply friend, it doesn't need to be sATA, from what i've read some of the eSATA cards can have spotty performance and a firewire interface is good enough for me... i don't plan on booting from the drive.

not too worried about color, more interested in finding something w/ a nice "fit & finish"..!
     
daiSho  (op)
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Aug 18, 2007, 08:11 PM
 
ps: i have seen these newer Western Digital portable externals (the black shiny ones) and they all say they are bus-powered, even through they are USB2 and not the firewire i was wanting... i was under the impression that overall firewire drives offer better performance in some regard over USB2 drives, is this in fact correct or no..?
     
clarkgoble
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Aug 18, 2007, 11:09 PM
 
I recently got a little Maxtor bus powered USB hard drive. I love it except for one problem. The MBP doesn't put out enough power in a single USB port to power it consistently. Sometimes it'll work and sometimes it won't. Fortunately Maxtor anticipated this and has a second USB cable for those computers that don't put enough power out.

Here, however, we run into the limitation of the MBP. Only two USB ports.

I remember folks griping about this and I just couldn't figure out why. Now I guess I do. I have a wireless USB mouse I frequently use while in the car. (I hate the track ball for extended use) But that means I can't use the portable hard drive at the same time which sort of defeats the purpose of it all. Man, I wish I'd sprung the extra $20 for the bluetooth mouse now...

Anyway, consider the Maxtor 120 GB. It's only around $80 at CompUSA right now and is quite nice if you don't have mouse problems. Obviously it won't be as speedy as an eSata drive. But if you're considering bus powered HDs then speed isn't your primary concern anyway.
     
Tweak3D
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Aug 19, 2007, 02:02 AM
 
something to take into consideration, small portable drives are laptop drives. you will never max out a USB2 interface on a laptop drive in an enclosure in real world use so don't waste your time and money trying to get esata or firewire800 unless it is a desktop size drive.
     
daiSho  (op)
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Aug 19, 2007, 02:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Tweak3D View Post
something to take into consideration, small portable drives are laptop drives. you will never max out a USB2 interface on a laptop drive in an enclosure in real world use so don't waste your time and money trying to get esata or firewire800 unless it is a desktop size drive.
i guess i was somewhat under the impression that for it really to run bus-powered on a mac laptop it had to be firewire, that the USB ports didn't supply enough power? perhaps this is wrong altogether, or only applied to my older Powerbooks..?
     
Tweak3D
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Aug 19, 2007, 02:17 AM
 
I have a generic enclosure which isn't very nice looking but it works for now. I put my old 160gb 5400rpm HD from my MBP in it and it runs fine with no issues on 1 USB port. it may vary depending on what the MFG does with there drives. I am sure those big blinking blue lights on a lot of them don't help haha.
     
clarkgoble
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Aug 19, 2007, 10:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by daiSho View Post
i guess i was somewhat under the impression that for it really to run bus-powered on a mac laptop it had to be firewire, that the USB ports didn't supply enough power? perhaps this is wrong altogether, or only applied to my older Powerbooks..?
Yeah, that's wrong. Although as I said I find my MBP doesn't put out enough power to run the hard drive from a single USB port.
     
mduell
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Aug 19, 2007, 11:15 PM
 
The USB spec says each port needs to supply 2.5W, and I think the MBP does that; many 2.5" hard drives need 2.6-2.8W to start up, so you need the two plugs.
     
daiSho  (op)
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Aug 20, 2007, 12:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
The USB spec says each port needs to supply 2.5W, and I think the MBP does that; many 2.5" hard drives need 2.6-2.8W to start up, so you need the two plugs.
ah, ok... i definitely would not find having to plug the enclosure into two USB ports (which are on opposite sides of the machine!) very ergonomic... so, this does mean in fact that i am wanting something from the firewire camp then..?
     
clarkgoble
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Aug 20, 2007, 01:54 PM
 
Are there bus powered firewire drives?
     
tinkered
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Aug 21, 2007, 01:25 AM
 
There are many firewire drives that will suite your needs. The firewire bus has plenty of power and is ideal for this kind of application.

This is my favorite because it looks cool, is easy to replace the drive, and has model with FW 800 (a plus for PB and MBP owners). Unfortunately, it is not cheap.
-- WiebeTech Micro Storage Solutions - ComboGBâ„¢ - Notebook External FireWire USB drive enclosure for 2.5" IDE drives
-- WiebeTech Micro Storage Solutions - ToughTechâ„¢ mini - External FireWire and USB SATA hard drive Enclosure

Otherwise, here are some more options:
-- LaCie - Hard Drive, Design by F.A. Porsche - USB 2.0 and FireWire
-- LaCie - Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive - FireWire 800, FireWire 400 & Hi-Speed USB 2.0
-- SmartDisk Products
-- Apricorn Products
-- Apricorn Products
17" MBP C2D 2.33/3 GB RAM/500 GB 7200 rpm/Glossy Display|-|
17" iMac CD|-|15" PB G4 1.25 GHz|-|iBook g4 1Ghz|-|Pismo
     
   
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