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> Need recommendations for external HD & enclosure, My current (old) one is showing signs of going belly up
Sooz
post Feb 13 2018, 05:06 PM
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This is a followup (yet new post) related to my earlier posts on this forum.

I switched ports and the icon still disappears after I make my computer sleep, and disappears if the computer shuts down with Energy Saver, and I do have it on a 'schedule' too... and it's making little noises that remind me of my next door neighbor's chickens when they're out in the backyard--they make happy clucking noises, the Ext HD, not so much with happy noises. The icon *Sooz TM External Hard Drive* does eventually show up on my desktop. (it does not have an on/off switch)

If someone could just tell me *exactly* what to get and where to get it, and/or give me some options and recommendations to consider, I'll get on it! ...and I'll probably have more questions, too, so I thank you good folks in advance!

I don't know if the new drive would fit the old enclosure (NexStar CX) but I'm pretty handy with a screwdriver--- I'm also handy with a hammer & nails, and spackle is my friend. biggrin.gif

Thanks!
Sooz
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jchuzi
post Feb 13 2018, 05:23 PM
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If you buy an external that is already set up, you don't have any control over the brand of drive that is in the enclosure. It would be best to buy the enclosure and the drive separately for that reason. If your current enclosure seems to be OK and you are comfortable opening it, that's a good way to go. You might want to consult the people at Other World Computing for advice. I have dealt with them many times and can vouch for their accuracy and customer service. Also, if your budget permits, get an SSD rather than an HDD. You'll be amazed at the difference in speed.

FWIW, my enclosures are by OWC. One has two Hitachi HDDs, and the other has two OWC SSDs.


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jwboyd
post Feb 13 2018, 05:26 PM
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Jon has made the same recommendations I would have made. Other World Computing (OWC, aka MacSales.com) is the place to go.

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Paddy
post Feb 13 2018, 07:59 PM
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Of course, if you just want to order an assembled drive, I've had very good luck with the Seagate portables - I have at least 4 of them.

https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Backup-Porta...p+plus+slim+2tb

I used to just buy drives and separate enclosures, but that was pre-USB 3, when Firewire was the way to go and the cost of a drive + enclosure wasn't far off the cost of an assembled drive. If buying separately now, you're going to end up spending almost twice as much as you will on one of those little Seagates, and the reliability isn't going to be any better judging by the reviews. So my recommendations have changed.


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RNKIII
post Feb 13 2018, 08:54 PM
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My only recommendation is that IF you buy drive & enclosure separately, BE SURE they are compatible. By that I mean that some enclosures will work with drives upto 1tb but not beyond an some will only work with drives above 1tb. (Expensive personal experience w(OWC). Buying complete enclosure/drive puts that situation out of your hands and back on the seller... Has to do with chip set internal to case.
YMMV....

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Sooz
post Feb 14 2018, 03:37 PM
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Thank you all for your input and recommendations and links! It's probably a good idea to start from scratch and not reuse the NexStar enclosure that I have, but of course, that's me talking from a place where I have *not* checked the costs of things! whistling.gif

Any idea how to 'wipe' the external HD clean (I think this probably needs to be done, yes?), or how to recycle it once it's been "wiped" of data? Thanks!

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jchuzi
post Feb 14 2018, 04:46 PM
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QUOTE(Sooz @ Feb 14 2018, 03:37 PM) *
Any idea how to 'wipe' the external HD clean (I think this probably needs to be done, yes?), or how to recycle it once it's been "wiped" of data? Thanks!
I can't say anything about recycling, but the best way to wipe the drive clean is to make it unusable. That means that you should open it and smash the disk with a hammer so that it breaks into smithereens. (BTW, I'm deadly serious about this. This is the only foolproof method of trashing all your data.)


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Xairbusdriver
post Feb 14 2018, 05:41 PM
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QUOTE
It's probably a good idea to start from scratch and not reuse the NexStar enclosure that I have
I think Sooz is referring to the possibility that the enclosures hardware may be part of the problem with its unreliability. I would agree, no matter if she buys a new enclosure or a pre-installed drive. I have also only bought separate enclosures and drives. Mainly because you seldom know exactly what model (and sometimes even the brand) drive is in the box. One way to help decide whether to go with the single-source or not is lo compare the warranty. Even though no drive will last forever, a longer warranty is better. Of course, the longer the warranty, the higher the cost... rolleyes.gif

Reviews can also be helpful, but take the glowing ones with a couple of grains of salt. whistling.gif
QUOTE
... smash the disk with a hammer so that it breaks into smithereens ... This is the only foolproof method of trashing all your data.
That assumes you don't have ready access to the core of a nuclear reactor, of course.

Disk Utility can 'erase' a drive. The default really doesn't do much besides erase the index or directory of where things are on the drive, that actually leaves all the data/files on the drive and would be very easy for any 'geek' to restore. There are a couple of more effective choices depending on how difficult you want to make it for the CIA. The most effective choice, in DU, will completely eliminate the data/files, but it can take hours! Short of taking the drive apart, just remove the drive from the enclosure and give it a few heavy blows with a hammer. That should be enough to render the mechanics of the drive unusable. deadhorse.gif BTW, it would be wise to wear some safety glasses! And avoid letting any children watch the process. nono.gif noevil.gif

Do some searching, make a list of several choices (with links, if possible). Post your results and we can then tell you why all of them are rong! scram.gif


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kimmer
post Feb 14 2018, 05:51 PM
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QUOTE(jchuzi @ Feb 14 2018, 02:46 PM) *
QUOTE(Sooz @ Feb 14 2018, 03:37 PM) *
Any idea how to 'wipe' the external HD clean (I think this probably needs to be done, yes?), or how to recycle it once it's been "wiped" of data? Thanks!
I can't say anything about recycling, but the best way to wipe the drive clean is to make it unusable. That means that you should open it and smash the disk with a hammer so that it breaks into smithereens. (BTW, I'm deadly serious about this. This is the only foolproof method of trashing all your data.)

Personally, since I now know how to use a drill, I like drilling holes into it. rofl.gif


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jwboyd
post Feb 14 2018, 09:20 PM
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Members of my family own a metals/welding/fabrication business. They have offered to use a cutting torch, a brake press, or a shear on my old drives. Any of those would totally render a drive unreadable by anyone including the CIA.


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jchuzi
post Feb 15 2018, 07:26 AM
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Expanding on Jim's advice about warrantees: Assume that an enclosure that includes a drive has a specific brand of drive. The warranty may be, say, three years. On the other hand, if you bought the enclosure and the same drive separately, you might be able to get a five-year warranty on the drive. The drive will likely fail before the enclosure.


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Sooz
post Feb 15 2018, 02:35 PM
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Right now, I'm leaning toward Paddy's recommendation... it just seems easier for me. biggrin.gif

Thanks for the suggestions of how to make my old external HD useless. Nope, I don't have access to a nuclear reactor, but I can do pretty well with an electric drill ... and a big ol' ball peen hammer too! *Smithereens* is a good word, isn't it?!

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kimmer
post Feb 15 2018, 03:17 PM
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QUOTE(Paddy @ Feb 13 2018, 05:59 PM) *
Of course, if you just want to order an assembled drive, I've had very good luck with the Seagate portables - I have at least 4 of them.

https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Backup-Porta...p+plus+slim+2tb

I'll second the recommendation for this drive. I have 3 of them, and now that I see they come in color I'll be ordering a couple more. tongue.gif


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Xairbusdriver
post Feb 15 2018, 05:02 PM
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Why have colored disks?! You do know that won't be able to see them inside the metal, hermetically sealed covers! tease.gif OTOH, it might be fun to watch the arm mechanism moving to each track. Perhaps the edge of the disk has contrasting color bands and a strobe light inside that would tell you if it was spinning at the correct speed like those fancy turntables! scram.gif

Just make sure the pre-asymboled units state the brand of drive and, more importantly the model. Simply saying "Seagate" or "Toshiba" is not enough. That's why the warranty length will help.

Also consider the connection method. If you have USB 3 on your Mac, don't be tricked into buying a USB 2 only drive unless you can live with a very slow speed. Slow speed may be OK if the drive only creates small backups while you do other things, but frequent access (reads/writes) while working with graphics may not be much fun!

Lastly, if you can afford two drives, get one for TM and one for a cloning (bootable) backup. 2TB minimum, 7200rpm, 3-5 yr warranty, largest cache you can get, USB3 at least (it will work on your Mac, even if it has USB2).

Enclosures seem to have increased in price. OTOH, there are now dual, drop-in "enclosures" for <$32. Those drop-in boxes make rotating backups extremely easy, but I fear the cheap ones are Asian knock-offs. Buyers beware. yes.gif

Does anyone have warranty info on the Seagate portable drives mentioned further up this thread? Only info I could find with a minimal search was for bare drives.


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Sooz
post Feb 15 2018, 05:31 PM
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I only have one empty port once I remove the ext HD.

USB3 ?? USB2???
Connection method? (ummm, cox cable with a cable?)

EGADS!!!! huh.gif

Just tell me what to buy--that's the easiest for me!

Oh, and yes, I did notice the colors--so pretty!!!!!! I can pick a color all by myself...as for the other stuff, it's worse than Greek to me because I took Latin <yeah, that kinda made sense>.

Smiles,
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Xairbusdriver
post Feb 15 2018, 05:59 PM
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USB has ~three flavors, The first was USB 1, now pretty much no longer considered a 'feature'. USB 2, still in use. USB 3,a newer version in most new devices, it approaches the speed of FW800. It can still be used when connected to a USB 2 device. Like most "backwards-compatible" systems, it simply slows down to the previous version's speeds. Same thing happens with FireWire, Ethernet, Bluetooth, Thunderboom (or whatever it's called). Note: USB is not actually a "networking" technology. That's why the "B" is there, that stands for "buss" which is usually just a way to connect something to the computer. It relies on the computer to do any connecting between/among the individual devices. Thus it is simpler and therefore cheaper, traits always favored by Windows PC makers. wink.gif There actually is a newer USB version, cleverly called USB-C. Why "C" instead of "D", since it's the fourth (USB 4?!) standard version is beyond my pay grade... whoosh.gif

QUOTE
only have one empty port
That's thanks to Apple's money saving methods. Most (all?) of heir laptops have only one USB port now. Of course, the iPads don't even have that many! laughhard.gif Most of us get around that limitation by buying a multi-outlet hub. That let's the computer 'see' up to eight USB devices (the original limit for a USB "chain" of devices). These hubs are rather inexpensive but be sure to get one that has its own power supply. Do Not but one that includes the words "Buss Powered".
Examples:


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Paddy
post Feb 15 2018, 07:32 PM
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QUOTE(Xairbusdriver @ Feb 15 2018, 06:02 PM) *
Why have colored disks?! You do know that won't be able to see them inside the metal, hermetically sealed covers! tease.gif OTOH, it might be fun to watch the arm mechanism moving to each track. Perhaps the edge of the disk has contrasting color bands and a strobe light inside that would tell you if it was spinning at the correct speed like those fancy turntables! scram.gif

Just make sure the pre-asymboled units state the brand of drive and, more importantly the model. Simply saying "Seagate" or "Toshiba" is not enough. That's why the warranty length will help.

Also consider the connection method. If you have USB 3 on your Mac, don't be tricked into buying a USB 2 only drive unless you can live with a very slow speed. Slow speed may be OK if the drive only creates small backups while you do other things, but frequent access (reads/writes) while working with graphics may not be much fun!

Lastly, if you can afford two drives, get one for TM and one for a cloning (bootable) backup. 2TB minimum, 7200rpm, 3-5 yr warranty, largest cache you can get, USB3 at least (it will work on your Mac, even if it has USB2).

Enclosures seem to have increased in price. OTOH, there are now dual, drop-in "enclosures" for <$32. Those drop-in boxes make rotating backups extremely easy, but I fear the cheap ones are Asian knock-offs. Buyers beware. yes.gif

Does anyone have warranty info on the Seagate portable drives mentioned further up this thread? Only info I could find with a minimal search was for bare drives.


Um...Jim, if the external drive is a Seagate, the drive in the enclosure will be a Seagate. The issue of what drive might be inside only exists where the external drive is made by a company that doesn't also make hard drives. IE: LaCie. There aren't actually that many companies in business any more that assemble external hard drives (as opposed to manufacturing them) - in fact, right now, LaCie is the only major one I can find. I wouldn't recommend one - overpriced and no idea what's in it. There are a few other minor ones offering super-rugged enclosures with things like 80GB drives in them (!!) Not exactly a thriving market, by the looks of it.

The Seagate drives I linked to are USB 3 - I wouldn't suggest anything else at the moment.

The warranty on the Seagates is 2 years (it's in the PDF on the linked page) - which is about par for the course at the moment, unless you buy Western Digital Caviar Blacks, or WD Enterprise Golds, which are internal full-size drives and almost twice the price and require an enclosure on top of that. Both of those models have 5 year warranties. I have owned a number of full-size WD Caviar Blacks over the years and put a few in laptops - but 2.5" WD Blacks top out at 1TB. Given that these drives are intended for backup, you certainly don't need an Enterprise drive (which is designed for a heavy workload) and personally, I'm finding the portable backups much easier to use and very reliable. No messing around with power adapters either. smile.gif I can take them with me easily too - and I can get two of them for what I'd pay for equivalent WD 3.5" Caviar Blacks and external cases.

There are hybrid SSHDs and SSDs available too, of course, but they remain more expensive than HDs and for backup, the extra speed isn't really warranted. I did treat myself to a spectacularly small Samsung T3 a while ago, but that's for my Lightroom photo library and speed does matter there. (Plus it's ridiculously portable, of course!) They typically have longer warranties than traditional HDs with moving parts.


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jchuzi
post Feb 15 2018, 07:41 PM
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QUOTE(Sooz @ Feb 15 2018, 05:31 PM) *
I only have one empty port once I remove the ext HD.

USB3 ?? USB2???
Connection method? (ummm, cox cable with a cable?)

EGADS!!!! huh.gif Smiles,Sooz

To find your USB flavor, go to the Apple menu and click About This Mac. Then, click System Report. Expand the Hardware triangle, if necessary, and then click USB.


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Paddy
post Feb 15 2018, 07:49 PM
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Sooz, your iMac has USB 3.0. Here are the full specs (you helpfully have your info in your profile, so it was easy to find): https://everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/spe...2013-specs.html

This hub would do the job:

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Port-2-...in%3A6801586011

I have this one on my iMac, and believe it or not, regularly have all 7 ports AND the ports on the iMac itself in use: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IU6R2AW/ref=pe...1528420_TE_dp_5



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kimmer
post Feb 15 2018, 10:44 PM
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QUOTE(Xairbusdriver @ Feb 15 2018, 03:02 PM) *
Why have colored disks?!

Not that this adds to the conversation, but ...

Silly man, harhar.gif it's the OUTER CASE that comes in black, blue, red, or silver.


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Sooz
post Feb 16 2018, 03:02 AM
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Thanks, everyone, for your patience and guidance! ... and humor, too! biggrin.gif

Paddy, special thanks for the links and recommendations. I'll be ordering the Seagate (https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Backup-Porta...p+plus+slim+2tb) and also the hub (https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Port-2-...in%3A6801586011).

Once they arrive, I'm pretty sure I'll be back here asking how to set up the External HD - unless it's as simple as plug it in and let it do it's thing.

Smiles,
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(Edited because autocorrect makes "Sooz" into "Soon" and that's just not right.
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jchuzi
post Feb 16 2018, 07:20 AM
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You will probably have to format the drive, which is the same as using Disk Utility to erase it. You did this before with the old drive, so follow exactly the same procedure. It only takes a few seconds, and then you can set up Time Machine or a clone.


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Sooz
post Feb 17 2018, 04:33 AM
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QUOTE(jchuzi @ Feb 16 2018, 12:20 PM) *
You will probably have to format the drive, which is the same as using Disk Utility to erase it. You did this before with the old drive, so follow exactly the same procedure. It only takes a few seconds, and then you can set up Time Machine or a clone.

Thanks, Jon!
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post Feb 20 2018, 11:50 AM
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QUOTE(RNKIII @ Feb 14 2018, 01:54 AM) *
My only recommendation is that IF you buy drive & enclosure separately, BE SURE they are compatible. By that I mean that some enclosures will work with drives upto 1tb but not beyond an some will only work with drives above 1tb. (Expensive personal experience w(OWC). Buying complete enclosure/drive puts that situation out of your hands and back on the seller... Has to do with chip set internal to case.
YMMV....

Bob K. rnkiii


I would totally agree. I just bought (2) 4TB drives and none of them are seen as such in my OWC Mercury Elite AL Pro enclosure. I’m speaking with support at OWC and they’re hinting my chipset May be the older one and won’t allow me to see 4TB. All I can see is 2TB. Bummer. At least I have a USB HD caddy that is able to work with one of the drives.
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