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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Best Laptop Hard Drive

Best Laptop Hard Drive
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mackandproud
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Aug 1, 2009, 01:15 AM
 
My macbook hard drive is just about tapped out. I know in the future I'll be adding movies and a bunch of tunes as well.

Question: What is the best 500 GB internal drive I can get? Right now, I'm spoiled with a ridiculously quiet, although not super fast fujitsu internal drive. Recommend me a drive! Hitachi, Western Digital, Samsung, whoever.

I'm looking for the best combination of low noise, speed and reliability. All are equally important. Thanks!
     
Simon
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Aug 1, 2009, 02:29 AM
 
As of last week, you can get 1 GB and 750 GB 'notebook' drives. Unfortunately they have 12.5 mm height so they won't fit a MB or 13"/15" MBP.

If you have one of those you need a 9.5 mm height drive. Maximum capacity there is 500 GB. IMHO the best you can buy is the Seagate Momentus 7200.4. It's the only 500 GB notebook drive that offers 7200 rpm. It's no doubt the fastest 500 GB notebook drive money can buy. At the same time it draws only little power (no more than some 5400 rpm drives), IOW you won't be looking at heat or battery life problems. It's also fairly quiet.

Newegg has it for $120 shipped.

There are cheaper 500 GB drives (Newegg has the Momentus 5400.6 for $80 shipped), but they'll all be 5400 rpm and slower. Not theoretically slower in some artificial setting, but actually slower in real-world situations. There's a whole thread on the Momentus 7200.4 here. You'll find plenty comments and links to benchmarks there.
     
mackandproud  (op)
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Aug 1, 2009, 04:02 AM
 
Thanks for the recs.

I want to create a clone of my internal drive using an external enclosure first. Then, I plan on simply installing the cloned drive in my computer after it's cloned. Can I actually do this? I think installing the drive, then installing the os, then installing programs and files would be rather tedious, so I'd rather clone first using an external enclosure.

Can I do this with a usb 2 external enclosure? That is all I have.
     
Simon
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Aug 1, 2009, 07:12 AM
 
Yeah, that should work.

Install the new drive in the USB enclosure, format it and clone the internal drive to it. Then swap the two drives. Boot from the new (now internal) drive. The old drive will still be available as a backup in the external USB 2 case.

And when you clone: DO NOT SCREW AROUND and risk integrity of the clone. Don't even think about bothering with CCC or SuperDuper. Cloning is built right into every OS X installation. OS X's built-in cloning tool is rock solid, it's very fast and it's of course free. You'll find it on every OS X installer DVD and on every OS X installation.

/Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility > Restore.

Select erase destination to get a bootable clone in block-copy mode (fast!).
     
Jasoco
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Aug 4, 2009, 01:03 AM
 
I will disagree. Carbon Copy Cloner uses the same methods behind the curtain as OS X does but easier. And has options to update the clone by copying only changed and new files rather than copy everything every time.
     
Nodnarb
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Aug 4, 2009, 01:37 AM
 
For what it's worth, I've also had good results with CCC.
     
Simon
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Aug 4, 2009, 03:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by Jasoco View Post
I will disagree. Carbon Copy Cloner uses the same methods behind the curtain as OS X does but easier.
Actually it only uses asr when you chose the regular full clone which incidentally is what Disk Utility does. If you chose CCC's partial 'cloning' you will be using another tool (ditto or psync depending on version IIRC). In other words, you only use the same underlying methos when you use the "donationware" to mimic what Apple's built-in tool does for free already.

And has options to update the clone by copying only changed and new files rather than copy everything every time.
That's fine if you're talking about making a couple of file copies. You could do that by hand too.

But if you're talking about actual real cloning (which we are since the OP wants to swap disks) it's a terrible idea. A clone should be an exact carbon copy of a partition. Screwing around with those files post-clone and trying to incrementally update it, opens your "clone" up to all kinds of potential corruption and jeopardizes it's very essence, namely being an exact clone.

That's precisely the reason people have complained on this board but also elsewhere on the internet about running into issues with CCC or SD clones.
( Last edited by Simon; Aug 4, 2009 at 09:49 AM. Reason: typo)
     
Simon
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Aug 4, 2009, 03:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by Nodnarb View Post
For what it's worth, I've also had good results with CCC.
Sure you have. So have I...

Until you don't. And on that very day when you lose a whole bunch of stuff, you try to recover with your botched CCC clone, and you suddenly realize it doesn't work as you expected, that's when you will regret having put your "clone" in jeopardy.

This is not some kind of doomsday nonsense. The internet is full of reports about CCC and SD clones failing to behave as proper clones. There were similar reports even on this board.

There's just no point in taking risks when you're talking about a clone. A true clone takes some time. Take that time, it's worth it. If you need something faster, consider backing up using Finder copying, rsync/ditto or better yet TM. Clones and backups aren't the same thing and they don't work the same way. They shouldn't be used the same way either. It's good to keep that in mind.
( Last edited by Simon; Aug 4, 2009 at 03:44 AM. )
     
gooser
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Aug 4, 2009, 07:48 AM
 
simon, as far as cloning the drives would a firewire enclosure work just as well. i know the original poster said he didn't have one.
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Simon
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Aug 4, 2009, 09:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by gooser View Post
simon, as far as cloning the drives would a firewire enclosure work just as well. i know the original poster said he didn't have one.
Yes, a FW enclosure will work just fine.

Pretty much any enclosure (USB, FW, SATA dock, etc.) will work. If you can mount your partition in the Finder, Disk Utility should be able to clone to it.
     
macfix
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Aug 9, 2009, 02:58 PM
 
I have the Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500 gig in my black macbook.
Fast and quiet.
Highly recommended.
     
Zeeb
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Aug 11, 2009, 03:15 PM
 
Another good experience with the Seagate Momentus. Get the version without G-force shock protection.
     
Wayland
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Aug 13, 2009, 11:10 AM
 
I have a stupid question on a very related topic. When I clone using disk utility, how are the different partition sizes handled? The new hard drive is bigger than the old one. I don't see how this works into things. Thanks in advance.
     
Simon
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Aug 13, 2009, 12:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wayland View Post
I have a stupid question on a very related topic. When I clone using disk utility, how are the different partition sizes handled? The new hard drive is bigger than the old one.
This is actually the situation you'd prefer. IIRC the fast block-copy mode only works if the destination is the same capacity or larger than the source. If the source has a higher capacity than the destination, you'll be forced to use the slower file copy mode.

That said, cloning by itself works fine for different drive sizes. Obviously you can't clone more data than you have space on the destination partition, but apart from that, the capacity of the involved partitions don't matter.
     
SSharon
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Aug 14, 2009, 09:36 AM
 
I'm not sure when it expires, but the promo code hddsale15 will save you a few bucks if you shop at newegg.
I think it takes 15% off 3.5" drives and 10% off 2.5" drives.
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israces
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Aug 22, 2009, 12:48 PM
 
I installed a WD Scorpio Blue 500GB a couple of weeks ago. I've been pretty happy with it. It is a little louder than the Hitachi 250GB that shipped with my Mid-2009 MBP, but not so much as to be annoying. No vibration.

After looking at a lot of drive options, for me, this one was a good mix of speed, size, power consumption, and price.
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B Gallagher
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Aug 22, 2009, 06:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Zeeb View Post
Get the version without G-force shock protection.
Really? I was looking at paying the extra $10 or so to get the version with G-force shock protection when I upgrade. Any particular reason why you'd recommend against this?
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Simon
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Aug 23, 2009, 02:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by B Gallagher View Post
Really? I was looking at paying the extra $10 or so to get the version with G-force shock protection when I upgrade. Any particular reason why you'd recommend against this?
MBPs already have a built-in shock protection. There's a possibility of conflict between that mechanism and the protection certain disks come with. The current 15" MBP with 7200.11 BTO option was suffering exactly from this conflict (hence the software update from Apple a few days ago).

And obviously there's no reason to pay extra for something your MBP already has.
     
   
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