Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Mobile External Hard Drive

Mobile External Hard Drive
Thread Tools
plamparello
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: New Jersey
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2006, 03:18 PM
 
I'm looking to get a portable external hard drive around 120 GB. Price isn't a huge issue because they are mostly relatively close to one another. I'm really interested in getting one that works easily and well. I will be using the hard drive between both a mac laptop and a windows desktop in different locations but will NOT be lugging around daily or maybe even weekly.

I have been reading some issues with laptops not providing enough power to run the drive with just a single USB 2.0 cable (not a Y-cable). Is this a big issue using USB 2.0? Does firewire tend to work a lot better than USB 2? Should I forget about the portability issue and just get a larger desktop type hard drive that plugs in?

The ones I have been looking at is the Western Digital Passport and the lacie rugged mobile (i know it is a higher price but the other model portable brick look and colors bothers me).

Thanks for the help and input.
plamparello
     
Cottonsworth
Forum Regular
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2006, 03:49 PM
 
I'm using a Rocstor portable hard drive and it works great. I was able to pick up a 30gb model for a sweet deal and swapped that hard drive with my 100gb seagate 7200rpm hard drive that I pulled out of my pb when I sold it. I'm able to power the drive through the firewire cable with no problems. I originally brought a vantec enclosure on newegg and it wasn't able to power the 100gb seagate without using an external power supply, although it didn't have any problems with an 80gb. I called their tech support and they told me that most 100gb, 7200rpm hard drives will need to be externally powered. But I think it is really an issue of the quality of the enclosure, you get what you pay and the RocStor one didn't have any problems at all. It is also extremely small and very portable.
     
mduell
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2006, 05:50 PM
 
USB can provide up to 2.5W per port; most 2.5" drives need 2-3W at most, so most manufacturers include the Y adapter. Firewire can provide up to 45W per port in the spec, but most implementations are much lower (Apple's range from 7 to 15W).
I'd get an enclosure with both USB2 and FW400; it's only a few dollars more than FW400 enclosure and provides you maximum compatibility and performance.

I'm not a fan of WD or, espically, LaCie, so I'd assemble the external drive yourself; it takes about 5 minutes and 2 screws.

I really like this enclosure ($31): macally PHR-250CC External Enclosure - Retail at Newegg.com
But I'd recommend any of the 4 or 5 "egg" rated enclosures on Newegg.com - Once You Know, You Newegg

Seagate's 120GB 5400RPM drive (with 5 year warranty) is $110: Seagate Momentus 5400.2 120GB 2.5" IDE Ultra ATA100 Notebook Hard Drive - OEM at Newegg.com
You can also get 160GB for $175: Seagate Momentus 5400.3 (Perpendicular Recording) 160GB 2.5" ATA-6 Notebook Hard Drive - OEM at Newegg.com
     
iDaver
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Colorado
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 14, 2006, 01:40 AM
 
Firewire is the best way to go for external mobile drives. As mentioned MacAlly makes a nice Firewire enclosure and you can pick from a number of 2.5" IDE drives.

I'm still waiting for MacAlly to do a SATA enclosure so I can use the drive I took out of my MacBook.
     
Macola
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 14, 2006, 11:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by iDaver View Post

I'm still waiting for MacAlly to do a SATA enclosure so I can use the drive I took out of my MacBook.
I've been pretty happy with this one from OWC.
I do not like those green links and spam.
I do not like them, Sam I am.
     
iDaver
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Colorado
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 14, 2006, 01:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Macola View Post
I've been pretty happy with this one from OWC.
Thanks Macola, I've seen that one but think it's a little pricey. I have an IDE version just like it and it works fine. I just prefer the MacAlly design for some reason.
     
Macola
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 14, 2006, 03:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by iDaver View Post
Thanks Macola, I've seen that one but think it's a little pricey. I have an IDE version just like it and it works fine. I just prefer the MacAlly design for some reason.
The OWC enclosure has FW800, which the MacAlly does not, so that accounts for some of the price difference.
I do not like those green links and spam.
I do not like them, Sam I am.
     
iDaver
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Colorado
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 14, 2006, 04:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Macola View Post
The OWC enclosure has FW800, which the MacAlly does not, so that accounts for some of the price difference.
Yes, and since there are very few SATA 2.5" enclosures on the market, they're at a premium. I might wind up with one of the OWC drives. FW800 would be a plus. I'm not really in any hurry so I'll wait and see what else becomes available.
     
plamparello  (op)
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: New Jersey
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 16, 2006, 01:03 PM
 
Thanks again for all your help!
plamparello
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:58 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,