Author Topic: Squeeeee! I'm finally getting a Mac - now what external hard drive should I get?  (Read 437 times)  

Offline Misty Archer

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Way back in April last year I posted on KBoards asking for advice on what Mac people would recommend. The response was fantastic and I got a lot of very helpful advice:

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,234030.msg3258710.html#msg3258710

I have finally ordered a Mac Mini after a lot of sweaty palmed stalking of nervous looking Apple people in shops within a 20 mile radius of my house, and pressing my nose up against the virtual shop windows of anywhere that sold Macs on the internet.

I settled on an upgraded 2012 Mac Mini with an i5 2.5GHz processor, 16GB RAM, and a 1 TB SSD  (edited to change it from 16 TB!! - it has been a long day) with Sierra. It gets here in a few days so I am busy getting my "office" ready - I just need to get a monitor (27-28") and some bookshelves for behind my tiny desk. When it is all plugged in I may take pictures with my phone so I can show my baby to people.

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

The machine it will replace is a beat up Windows laptop, with a keyboard with so many keys unresponsive that I have had to plug another keyboard in, and ominous grumbles from the hard drive. This has resulted in somewhat lowered productivity due to traumatic memories of the previous laptop catastrophically dying a couple of days before NaNoWriMo in 2015.

It didn't take me long to get over losing everything, and I am firmly looking forwards. Actually losing everything was a great experience - because I stopped being precious about my writing. It freed me up to look at my writing with a more objective eye.

I had become so disillusioned by my Windows experience that I have been working on a rented virtual Mac using Mac In Cloud, which just made my longing for a Mac so much worse.

Now I am about to fulfil my dreams of the last couple of years, I would love some advice on a Mac compatible external hard drive (1TB or bigger) that I can use to back up my beautiful Mac Mini using time machine. I am going to be taking a belt and braces (suspenders) approach to backing up my work.

What do you use - and have you any other suggestions for backing up your work?
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 03:59:31 PM by Misty Archer »

Offline Tulonsae

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I have an older Mac mini. I use a Lacie (spelling?) drive which I bought at the Apple Store.

Online Jim Johnson

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I used a Seagate GoFlex 1 TB drive to pull all the data off my PC before it died and I use that with my iMac. For some reason, I can pull the data off the drive and onto my mac, but I can't manipulate the data on the drive itself--no renaming or moving files, etc.

Works for what I needed it to do, though.

Offline Abalone

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OWc or LaCie get my vote. You're going to pay a high premium, but they're worth it and their customer support is unmatched.

Congrats, Misty! Don't forget to pick up a copy of Vellum!

Offline Tulonsae

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I used a Seagate GoFlex 1 TB drive to pull all the data off my PC before it died and I use that with my iMac. For some reason, I can pull the data off the drive and onto my mac, but I can't manipulate the data on the drive itself--no renaming or moving files, etc.

Works for what I needed it to do, though.

I had that problem with one of my Windows drives. I could read it with my Mac, but not write or change the data. It's something to do with the NTFS system on the windows drive. For awhile, I use the Paragon NTFS software that would let me write to the drive, but the software broke on every major OS release and they would take awhile to update. So, I finally bought another drive strictly for my Mac for backups.

Online Dan C. Rinnert

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I settled on an upgraded 2012 Mac Mini with an i5 2.5GHz processor, 16GB RAM, and a 16 TB SSD with Sierra.

Normally, the advice is to have an external hard drive for backup that is 3 times the capacity of what you're backing up so that you have space for different versions and deleted files to be stored on the backup in case you need to recover any of those but a 48 TB hard drive is going to be expensive and possibly hard to find.  You may need to set up a RAID or something to handle the backup.
       
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Online Allyson J.

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I've had this one for years: WD 1TB Black My Passport for Mac. No complaints.

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Offline Anarchist

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Now I am about to fulfill my dreams over the last couple of years, I would love some advice on a Mac compatible external hard drive (1TB or bigger) that I can use to do back up my beautiful Mac Mini using time machine.

I bought this in 2015 for $60...





It works like a charm.


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Offline Abalone

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Also, invest in either an Amazon premium storage account or DropBox. Backing up is ALWAYS smart, but you should always have an offsite backup, too.

Offline Misty Archer

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Normally, the advice is to have an external hard drive for backup that is 3 times the capacity of what you're backing up so that you have space for different versions and deleted files to be stored on the backup in case you need to recover any of those but a 48 TB hard drive is going to be expensive and possibly hard to find.  You may need to set up a RAID or something to handle the backup.

After reading your post I realised there was a serious typo in mine! It is a 1TB drive (a little smaller than my original post suggested!)

That sounds like I would be looking at a 3TB hard drive for backups then.

Online Dan C. Rinnert

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After reading your post I realised there was a serious typo in mine! It is a 1TB drive (a little smaller than my original post suggested!)

That sounds like I would be looking at a 3TB hard drive for backups then.

Yes.  Or more as the larger you go, the more deleted/changed files you'll be able to have backed-up just in case you ever need them.

You might consider a second backup drive as well.  Always good to have more than one backup where possible.
       
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Offline Misty Archer

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You might consider a second backup drive as well.  Always good to have more than one backup where possible.

Yes, having gone the catastrophic failure route with the laptop before the one I am using now, I am very keen to avoid the nightmare of nothing to show for so many nights spent frantically typing away because I had an idea as I was dropping off to sleep.

I will be using a couple of hard drives plus some kind of cloud storage.

You would think I would have learned after an experience in the early nineties with my Smith Corona Personal Word Processor. Many hours spent writing an essay (think pulling teeth) due in the next day and forgot to save it after I finished it around midnight. Nothing to do but to start again from the beginning. Cue frenzied vomiting of words onto paper (or tiny screen) for many more hours.  :'( Got it in on time though.

Offline Jerri Kay Lincoln

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Be sure to use Time Machine.  It backs up everything on your Mac, and in case of a disaster, it will replace everything just like it was.  I use that in conjunction with Carbonite.  On Carbonite, I used to have it back up most of my stuff, but now I'm just using it for my book files.
   

Offline Misty Archer

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Be sure to use Time Machine.  It backs up everything on your Mac, and in case of a disaster, it will replace everything just like it was.  I use that in conjunction with Carbonite.  On Carbonite, I used to have it back up most of my stuff, but now I'm just using it for my book files.

Yes - this is one of the things that swung me over to the Mac, alongside Scrivener, Vellum and my growing hatred for Windows laptops.

My catastrophic failure would not have been catastrophic if I had been able to roll it all back onto another machine. I love Macs.

Online anniejocoby

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I just put everything into Dropbox or on the cloud. For the cloud, I use Microsoft OneDrive because the Mac Cloud sucks (or it used to).

Congrats on the Mac! I've had one since 2014 and it's been the most trouble-free computer I've ever owned. Bar none. I love my Mac soooo much!

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Online Jim Johnson

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I echo the value of Dropbox. I use it all the time with one of the companies I freelance for as well as for my personal writing. I'm just enough of a tech noob to really appreciate the coolness and versatility of cloud-based storage.

Online Mark Gardner

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How about getting a used time capsule?

Offline Tulonsae

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You can also use Google drive to store stuff. It allows 15gig free whereas DropBox is 2gig free (well, that varies depending on stuff). I forget how much the other ones are.

I think Time Machine works well for most folks. Although I'd also put a copy of your writing folder somewhere in cloud storage.