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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > What's the most reliable best external hard drive?

What's the most reliable best external hard drive?
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louh
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Jun 10, 2010, 08:52 AM
 
I have backups of my computer, an old core 2 duo tower, (on some older drives) but I now want to make copies on other external hard drives to keep off site. I need a couple of large external hard drives 1.5 to 2.0 Tb (2.0 would be best). Don't need speed USB 2.0 is fine. Just want something reliable that will last a long while. Raid devices also acceptable if you have one in mind but not necessary. Owc and new egg are the stores I usually use
Thanks,
Lou
First forum typing on iPad not to tedious
( Last edited by louh; Jun 10, 2010 at 10:43 PM. Reason: More info hopefully more clear)
     
jmiddel
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Jun 19, 2010, 05:56 PM
 
I use Acomodata or Macally for enclosures. Regarding the HD, it seems like a toss-up, with the exception of Western Digital which has crapped out on me twice. Samsung, Hitachi Toshiba seem good, but quality control just is not adequate. Seagate used to be the best, now reviews are very mixed. The fact is, they are all likely to fail, which is why I have 2 externals backed up every night.
     
AKcrab
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Jun 19, 2010, 06:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by jmiddel View Post
The fact is, they are all likely to fail.
What he said.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 19, 2010, 06:42 PM
 
I'm at the point where I couldn't care less.

Hard drives die.

Statistically, they may die less often than they used to, but back when I had one or two drives, things looked different from now, where I have around 15, and I can just assume that one or more of them is always at the verge of dying.

Unless you have specific needs for high-speed delivery (pro audio or video), buy whatever appeals to your sense of aesthetics and your budget, assume that everything you don't have two copies of is already gone and can't have been important (else you'd have a backup), and be on your merry way.
     
Tuoder
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Jun 24, 2010, 03:11 PM
 
I have learned to hate every brand over the years. They have all failed on me. At the end of my last semester at college, I had my internal die in my MacBook. No problemo, I thought. I'll just restore to a new drive from my backup. I got 2% into the restore before the backup drive failed as well. It just started clicking over and over (telltale failure sound).

I lost everything on two drives at the end of Finals week. I had to go tell a couple of professors a likely story (were the tables turned, I would not have believed this stupid kid). They were understanding. Moral of the story?

When it comes to data: "Two is one and one is none."

My new philosophy is that three is two.
     
tooki
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Jun 26, 2010, 06:14 AM
 
Each brand seems to go through phases of high and low quality. (I have seen no evidence that drives “die less than they used to”, though… if anything, I suspect the opposite.)

For example, WD’s quality hit a valley around the year 2000. So I bought Maxtor, Seagate, and IBM. Then IBM hit a snag, so I stuck with Maxtor and Seagate for a while. Now Seagate’s having some troubles with laptop drives, but WD has come back, so I’m using Seagate, Hitachi and WD on the desktop and WD on laptop.

Frankly, in the long term, it doesn’t make a damned bit of difference. Short-term, pick a drive with a long warranty. That, it seems to me, would be a good indicator of the manufacturer’s own reliability expectations.

If you really want higher reliability, buy server-grade drives.

Or do RAID 1 to protect against drive failure.
     
Tuoder
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Jun 27, 2010, 12:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by tooki View Post
Or do RAID 1 to protect against drive failure.
RAID 1 plus regular backups is ideal for mission critical data.
     
tooki
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Jun 27, 2010, 07:56 AM
 
Uhhh, did you read the original post? The inquiry is about backup drives.
     
Tuoder
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Jun 27, 2010, 07:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by tooki View Post
Uhhh, did you read the original post? The inquiry is about backup drives.
Yes. Did I miss something? RAID is not a backup.
     
tooki
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Jun 28, 2010, 05:18 PM
 


Yes, you missed something: the point is that RAID makes a great backup. As in, not RAID as the backup, but that the backup drive itself is RAIDed. Which is what the OP said would be fine.

I never said RAID is a backup. What I am saying is that a RAID (not counting “RAID” 0, which isn’t redundant) makes a great destination FOR your backups.
     
Veltliner
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Jul 9, 2010, 04:32 AM
 
I'm using a G-Tech as a main back-up drive.

Original started to click a month before the warranty expired, and I got the drive exchanged. Works well now.

G-Technology got bought by a larger company, though. Don't know what this will mean for quality.

It was generally regarded as a quality back-up drive. Lots of connections, too (including e-sata).
     
Dork.
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Dec 28, 2010, 05:34 PM
 
Any new thoughts on this? I got a OWC Guardian Maximus a few years ago, with RAID mirroring, for our backups. But it's dead now, and I think that the enclosure itself is fried, since it looks like the drives themselves can be mounted individually.

So, now I'm looking for a new enclosure, preferably with RAID mirroring. There are some cheap ones from places like Startech, there are kind of mid-range ones like the G-Tech, and of course, there's the Drobo. I'm not sure I like the Drobo, it's expensive and I'm not sure I would be able to mount the drives individually like I could with the OWC if something were to go wrong with it. Any suggestions? (I'm going to shy away from OWC unless someone can change my mind....)

Cheap is good, as long as it works. Does anyone have experience with Startech stuff like This?
     
   
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