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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:33 pm 
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I need to buy another small Seagate portable HD for the safe deposit box for the new systems to be installed this week.

I want to keep the backups of the iMac and MBPs already on a 2TB Seagate Slim.

I can get 2TB, or 4 or 5 - for the clones of the iMac and the 2 MBPs (plus yet another copy of all the millions of photos)
It's not that much more in terms of cash - I'm more concerned about reliability.

The bigger the drive, the more likely it is to fail???
These drives will rarely be used, just updated before each trip - otherwise they will live in the box.

It I bought a 5TB, I could put everything on one drive and free up the current 2TB one for home use - but then everything in the box is relying on one drive.

Am I needlessly causing myself another headache? Is it just easier to get another 2TB this time for El Cap (the other has Snow for the iMac and Mr H's MBP & Mavs for the travel MBP plus lots of photos)

Thoughts? Slim 2TB or Portable 4 or 5? (prices are much less on amazon)
http://www.seagate.com/consumer/backup/ ... comparison

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:54 pm 
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I may be a year or so out of date but my recollection is Seagate (who used to be #1 ten years ago) is near the bottom in terms of quality. You also need to decide what you really need. I have pretty much given up on buying complete external drives with enclosures and now go for bare drives with docking stations. Less space; you're not paying for an enclosure for each drive you own; you can have drives of different physical size. My go-to for archival purposes has been a Western Digital Green. Greens tend to rate the lowest of WDs (but are the least costly) but the main issues probably aren't a worry for archival (i.e., short, intense periods of copying data to a drive which is then put somewhere for storage) usage. I have about 7 drives I use for various purposes but only two docking stations (one in constant use for a Time Machine style backup). In particular if you buy a drive from a third party you may not know what is actually inside of it (though likely it has the cheapest junk). I can buy drives which are rated for drive performance alone.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:23 pm 
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I really don't want to jinx myself but I've had really good luck with my 2.5" Samsung 2TB HD, which is the same as the 2.5" Seagate 2TB mechanism they're selling now.

Those 3, 4, & 5TB 2.5" drives are double thickness drives that don't fit inside any laptop known to man, so I don't have any experience with them. Based on my experiences with WD's initial double-thickness drives they could be more trouble than they're worth. I also really recommend against buying an external HD from an HD manufacturer, they usually do weird cost-saving tricks that prevent you from recovering your data in the event the case fails (because instead of ending in a SATA port, inside the case, the HD's controller goes straight to the USB port).

I'd say if you want more than 2TB you're better off going with a larger 3.5" mechanism. Both Seagate & WD make reliable HDs in 2TB & 4TB sizes at 3.5". Above 4TB you get into shingle recording drives which aren't really intended for normal use (they're for enterprise backup systems, basically).


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:18 pm 
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Thanks both.
The drive is for a backup and would live in the safe deposit box. Never (hopefully!) to have to be used, except to do updates.

I have 2 seagates and 3 rikiki-go's (from LaCie)
I just need one more for the updates on the computers to El Cap.
I'm thinking to keep the 2TB backup in the safety dep box that now has Snow for the 3 machines and loads of photos that no longer fit on the computers.
I'm looking for another drive for the 3 machines for El Cap (or El Cap AND Snow) and loads of photos.

So - are you saying, MB - stick with 2TB - 2.5" item?
And seagate seems to be OK, rather than WD? They are both actually about the same price at amazon.
Or am I not understanding what you are saying. 3.5" doesn't seem necessary -
MB: "Those 3, 4, & 5TB 2.5" drives are double thickness drives that don't fit inside any laptop known to man," ??? I am not intending to put this into anything - just use it as an external backup to live off site, in the bank.

MB: "I also really recommend against buying an external HD from an HD manufacturer, " huh?

I'm lost here.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:28 pm 
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I've got that 2TB in my MacBook Pro that I use almost every day so its survived a couple years of me at this point.

I don't recommend buying a Seagate external HD. Getting a Seagate HD inside a case bought from someone else (e.g. LaCie) is OK, but getting a WD external HD or a Seagate external HD is a very dicey game.

Last time I had to recover one the guy had to call around to find a Best Buy with old stock on hand so I could crack open his old drive, crack open the new one, transplant parts from the new one onto the old one, all so I could get his data off the old drive. If it was a normal SATA drive I could just have popped it into a normal SATA to USB case you can get for $15 and everything would have been peachy. When you buy a drive from a third party the drive inside the case is just a normal SATA drive, so you have a lot more options to get your data back in the event of catastrophe.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:29 pm 
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Quote:
MB: "I also really recommend against buying an external HD from an HD manufacturer, " huh?

For instance... WD makers great drives, but their enclosures are the pits, as are all of the HDD Manufacturers enclosures.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:20 pm 
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FWIW:

https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-dri ... tats-2016/

https://www.backblaze.com/blog/what-har ... uld-i-buy/


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:28 pm 
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Backblaze doesn't buy 2.5" mechanisms though, just 3.5" mechanisms. They're more cost effective for BB.

It still represents a good view of failure rates across a variety of drives & manufacturers, though sadly there's only 3 left, and maybe, soon, 2 assuming Toshiba shutters or sells off its HD wing. Toshiba's nuclear division lost so much money it may take down the rest of the company.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:47 am 
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MonkeyBoy wrote:
I've got that 2TB in my MacBook Pro that I use almost every day so its survived a couple years of me at this point.

I don't recommend buying a Seagate external HD. Getting a Seagate HD inside a case bought from someone else (e.g. LaCie) is OK, but getting a WD external HD or a Seagate external HD is a very dicey game.....


Let me see if I understand. LaCie is recommended over Seagate and WD because of what you describe above.

How about this one? (LaCie no longer makes the portable rikiki-go 1TB of which I have a few.)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IRV005E/re ... UTF8&psc=1

Those links to blackblaze showing failure rate are scary - until I remind myself that the one in the safe deposit box is almost never used.
The one (seagate) we travel with is used maybe 80 days a year - and has only been used about 50 days thus far in its life.

Should I buy the 2TB LaCie (Am I right, you are showing that this is a safer bet???) and travel with it? And then make the Seagate be one used at home where it isn't a huge crisis if it fails (ie I have about 5 backups of the desktop computers, but the one MBP we travel with really needs a reliable backup.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:18 pm 
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They have a bunch of those LaCies at work, in six years only one has failed, and then I did the crack-it-open-and-put-it-in-another-case thing to make it work again w/o losing data. The older ones are USB 2/FW800 (some USB3/FW800), while the newer ones are USB3.

For drives that are traveling its hard to go wrong with a hardened case like that. You don't want to drop it while its plugged in, but the case can cushion any jostling while its turned off. LaCie isn't the only one, Silicon Power makes some hardened cases too, though I've only seen a couple of them in person... but to my knowledge none have failed.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:07 am 
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An external "drive" is two things. First there's the actual drive inside the enclosure. Then there's the enclosure (the box) which has a chipset with connector to attach to the actual drive, power source (possibly). When I use the terms "drive" I will be referring to the bare drive that you would see if you opened one of those enclosures.

My advice (and some of the advice from others -- the interface issue is new to me) is to avoid getting the classic external drive where you buy a complete setup -- enclosure with who knows what inside. If you get it from a third party they will likely try to cost cut and put the cheapest drive inside. Go to an Apple Store and ask them what is actually inside one of the externals they are selling and they can't tell you. Probably a cheap Toshiba which nobody rates well. This is why I use a docking station which will accept both 2.5" and 3.5" bare drives. It's a little less pretty than a sleek box on the desk but I know what actual drive I have and because I have 7 drives I am not paying for the 7 enclosures too.

Nobody makes really first class drives these days. I have not had any problems with the Western Digitals I have bought and on places like Amazon and Newegg they rate fairly well. (Realize any manufacturer will produce a certain amount of duds and it now seems easier dealing with these as customer returns than to do in-factory quality control, so you will see a number of unhappy ratings on any vendor's site.) Seagates used to rate well a decade ago and I have one in my G4 that has been running for almost that long. Going by rating on places such as Amazon and Newegg they do not rate as well. They are cheaper, and so are Toshiba, but that's probably a reflection of the ratings.

Western Digital has different performance classes going by color. Greens tend to be the cheapest and are designed to be power saving which can have wear and tear issues if used constantly (and you don't want to try firmware hacks -- another topic). I use two 4 TB green drives to archive video and pictures. I only attach them once a month for 10 minutes of non-stop copying so there's no on/off issues. Blues are the economical line for everyday use. I have 640GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB drives (some are older). I use one of the 1 TB drives for my biweekly backup and the 2 TB drive set up in a Time Machine mode for backup every 2 hours. Then there's also Reds which I believe are intended for NAS use and Blacks which are the top of the line "enterprise" and cost substantially more.

So my advice is buy a docking station (I use a Voyageur, about $30) and shop for bare drives. As for physical drive size, my inclination would be go for 3.5" drives. You may find there's a larger assortment of sizes available. I can't cite sources but my recollection is smaller drives don't last as long. On the other hand if you're only using it a few minutes per year I guess that isn't an issue. As for capacity, this is where I go by ratings. You find that with some of the larger drives the ratings start to fall off. Oh, and another thing (and others can probably give you better tech. support here), some older hardware won't boot off a partition larger than 2 TB. That's why I went with a 2 TB drive for my Time Machine (well, CarbonCopyCloner) backup.

Edit: I should note that my one other recent drive experience was putting a 2.5" 1 TB HGST drive in my now dead MacBook. The MacBook died of motherboard failure and the drive was still going strong after over a year of constant use (i.e. good for a 2.5" drive). So I'd say if you are determined to get a 2.5" drive you could look at HGST.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:28 pm 
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The HGST drives Apple uses inside their systems don't typically last longer than 3-4 years. Which is kind of sad since HGST made stellar drives in the past, mainly because they used those same drives in multi-million/-billion dollar SANs and didn't want a nickle-and-dime cost cutting by the drive division to cost millions by losing a SAN customer. Since Hitachi started spinning off businesses they've been hurting.

I do recommend getting a drive & case separately and merging them yourself but I thought that may be too much for Mrs. H which is why I steered her towards a third party. At least then she'd have a SATA disk inside the case and would have the option of a crash course in techie-ville.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:28 am 
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That's the nice thing about a dock versus an enclosure. I used to do the separate enclosure thing but then you spend an hour trying to figure out how to open it, etc. The dock is just a small box with a slot in the top. Plug the dock into a power strip and connect the USB cable. Select the drive you want, insert it so the SATA connector end is in the slot, press the dock's power button. A few seconds later the drive appears on the computer's desktop. When done, eject/unmount the drive from the desktop and a few seconds later push the eject button on the dock so you can put the bare drive in a box for storage. I leave my dock connected permanently so the slowest part of working with it is walking around to the other side of the desk to insert or remove the drive.

This manufacture spin off business seems to be the demise of the great brands. Didn't Seagate buy Maxell and farm out drive manufacture to those divisions which is why they are now horrible?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:39 am 
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Wish us luck.

The Mac house call guy is coming in 30 minutes to put additional RAM into the 3 working Macs and get me started on updating to El Cap!!!
Firefox left us in the lurch, so I felt we had to finally move into the newer world that Apple is taking us.

MonkeyBoy wrote:
...
I do recommend getting a drive & case separately and merging them yourself but I thought that may be too much for Mrs. H which is why I steered her towards a third party. At least then she'd have a SATA disk inside the case and would have the option of a crash course in techie-ville.


Thanks to all for you wise advice and information.

MB - you know me all too well and you are correct!
I am totally freaked by the smallest DIY on the computers (note my comment above about the RAM)

Will get the LaCie rugged orange ones you said you've seen lots of at work and that haven't failed.

FWIW we have 2 rikiki-gos from LaCie, an earlier? version of their portable HD without the orange protection, no longer made. We've used them for many many years without issues. (Now I'm worried about our 2 Seagates and will replace them with LaCies - one for the safe dep box and one for travel - but I'll take the Seagate with us as well, you can't have too many HDs whilst on the road - and we are going back to Japan soon)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:02 pm 
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The 2TB Seagate is essentially a Samsung drive and its (at least in my experience) proving to be very reliable. The stuff larger than 2TB are Seagate mechanisms that were developed after the Samsung/Seagate merger and, well, Seagate is hit or miss. They switched to 1 year warranties for a reason.

Seagate bought Maxtor.

Image

I miss Quantum. They made drives so damn reliable they put themselves out of business.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:28 pm 
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I have some Quantum drives in a box in the basement.

Maxtor, thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:18 pm 
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I think I still have a Quantum inside an old PC in my storage room. It still worked, I just couldn't use the system for much of anything anymore.


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