View Full Version : Computers Anybody have recommendations for portable 500 GB hard drives?

05-30-2012, 08:56 PM
I have a MacBook that's about three years old. I've gotten it loaded up with gobs and gobs of pdf files (mostly photocopy scans) hundreds of pages of word documents of notes and papers, and then a few music files. The laptop works great, but it's starting to slow down.

That, and as my machine gets older I want to be extra secure in terms of file backup. I have time machine working in the background, but I would like the extra security. Plus, I want to free up my computer's hard drive a bit more.

I'm looking at something at least 500 GB, but I wouldn't object to anything larger. It's a pretty big deal for me to not spend more than $100.

And yeah, i've googled products and looked at reviews. Everything has mixed reviews, both extremely positive and extremely negative. I'm wondering if there's a go-to product out there any of you could recommend.


05-30-2012, 09:32 PM
Is this what you're after? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136469

05-30-2012, 09:53 PM
Might be. What does it mean when it says, "can be easily reformatted for use with Macs." It's not just a plug-and-go kind of thing for Macs? What does it mean to reformat the hard drive for Mac?

Baby Lee
05-30-2012, 11:02 PM
There's tons of 1TB mybooks out there for $100



05-30-2012, 11:47 PM
My passport. With USB 3.0, and powered by usb, no extra power source needed.


05-31-2012, 07:36 AM
With your Macbook, I'd really recommend one that has Firewire. It's much faster than normal USB. We have really good luck with LaCie externals at work. I'd recommend this:


It has Firewire 400 and 800, eSATA, and USB.

Remember that externals by their very nature are not as dependable as normal drives. Just having them jostle around during transportation, even when you're careful, is enough to reduce the life of the drive. So the more you transport it, the less you should trust it long term.

Also, regarding your question about the drive that "can be easily reformatted for use with Macs." Any hard drive can be easily reformatted for use with Macs.

Macs and Windows machines use the exact same types/brands of hard drives. But they format the drives in different ways. Windows machines use NTFS formatted drives. Mac machines use Mac OS Extended formatted drives. And without additional installation of third party software, the OSes can't read and write to the other format. So if you attach a Mac OS formatted drive to a Windows machine, it won't recognize it.

But both Windows and OS X have very simple methods of formatting the drive for use with the OS. And you can also split the drive in to 2 partitions, and format one partition with Mac OS and the other with NTFS. Then you'd have one drive that could be read by both. There's also another older format that can be read by both Windows and Mac, called FAT32. Both OSes can read and write to that. But there's a limitation on individual file size in OS X though. You can't copy/save/access a file >4GB in OS X with a FAT32 formatted drive.

05-31-2012, 07:53 AM
I've got two of these SeaGate Goflex drives and have been extremely pleased -- USB 3.0 speeds are fantastic..

With your macbook being 3 years old, I don't think that Apple had integrated intel's Ivy Bridge platform yet (I believe you're still stuck with USB 2.0).. Firewire 800 will be your best option for right now. I'd honestly pick up one that has Firewire and USB 3.0 support.