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Most Reliable Brand of External Hard Drive/Mac compatible

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Initial post: Jan 11, 2009 1:09:21 PM PST
M. Browne says:
I want to buy an external hard drive that is compatible with my Mac..... I am a cautious buyer who spends a lot of time researching products and customer reviews.... I have read so many mixed reviews of brands and products that I am at a loss over which brand to buy. I suppose that one always takes a gamble when purchasing electronics, but I would LOVE to get some recent opinions on which brand is RELIABLE, AFFORDABLE and MAC compatible. Any opinions? Any recommendations? Any advice on what to stay away from? Anyone had a drive for a long time with no problems? Thanks!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2009 2:49:39 PM PST
R. M. Aarons says:
When you talk about compatibility with your Mac, you should specify whether it's a PowerPC (G5, G4, etc.) Mac or an Intel Mac. The main compatibility problems are with PowerPC Macs. In that case, if you want the external drive to also be usable as a boot drive, it must be connected via FireWire and many external drives that even claim to be formatted for the Mac (such as the Western Digital My Book Studio Edition) won't work! However, if the external drive is only for data, it can be almost anything, including USB and FireWire connections, although you may have to reformat it for the Mac.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2009 2:39:07 AM PST
Epictetus says:
I have a Mac and have the same needs, i.e. reliability and affordability. Over the past ten years I have tried: Lacie, Maxtor, Western Digital, Iomega and Crossfire. I have tried several Lacie drives, each time hoping that they will be more reliable than last time, but each time they fail catastrophically. I understand from salespeople at stores that it has a reputation for doing so. I tried contacting Lacie but that company seems completely uninterested in talking to customers. I am never ever buying Lacie again. I've had only one Maxtor drive, can't recall how it was. I have had one Western Digital drive, which worked properly for a few weeks and then failed. This is consistent with other reviews of Western Digital. The brand that over the years I have come to rely on is Iomega. Whereas every single Lacie drive I have bought has failed v early in its life, I have had very few Iomega failures - I cannot remember any, I think I have moved on to bigger Iomega drives as my needs have grown before the drives have failed. Once I had a small problem with the external power adapter for an Iomega drive, and I was not getting the help I wanted from customer services. I wrote to the CEO of Iomega, and by return, free of charge, I had two new power supplies. I have also found Crossfire and Smartdisk to be highly reliable. The fact is that any brand of disk can fail. What I suggest is getting four disks, one pair of identical disks and another identical pair of a different brand. Sometimes a disk will fail because of a design flaw, as happened a few years ago because of a firmware problem in some brands relating to the Firewire connection. Two pairs of disks gives you good protection against both (a) normal failure of a disk, and (b) design failure. What I do is use two of the disks, one from each pair, for backups on odd days of the month, and the other for backups on even days. Then every week I encrypt data to a DVD and mail it to a family member in another country, so that in case of fire in my house I have an offsite backup. Hope this helps. -- EPICTTETUS

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2009 2:57:29 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 19, 2009 3:00:14 AM PST
Zetau says:
To answer your question directly, I've been purchasing Seagate drives for 20 years, including hundreds for companies I serviced. Always double-check specific models, but Seagate drives come with a 5-year warranty, when most others have a year, sometimes three years.

I would suggest not buying a drive already in an external enclosure. Often, they will install a drive with 3-5 years of warranty coverage, but only offer you one year. You didn't mention any details about the Mac you have and what you want to get. If it's an iMac or portable, you'll be limited to USB 2, Firewire 400, and possibly Firewire 800.

My suggestion to you is buy an internal drive (such as a Seagate 1.5TB 32MB SATA Bulk/OEM Hard Drive) and an external enclosure (such as the Thermaltake BlacX eSATA Hard Drive USB Docking Station). The enclosure provides USB so it will be compatible with every Mac and Windows model purchased within the past 6-7 years. It also has eSATA (along with the USB) which is by far the fastest option available.

So, for about $170 you can get 1.5 TB (1,500 GB) of additional storage, plus a docking station you can use for multiple drives by simply sliding one out, and sliding another in. If you buy an external drive already in an enclosure, you'll pay more, or get less storage for the same amount of money.

One last thing: the cool thing about that Thermaltake BlacX eSATA enclosure is that you can have other drives, for back-ups, etc., and just use the one Thermaltake docking station. The drive simply slides in and it's ready to go - when it slides in, it also plugs in. Even you can do it . . . ; )

BTW: Mac OS, Windows OS, Linux OS, and on and on all use the same drives and enclosures. The only limitation is how they connect to the computer, and virtually all have USB, as do all Macs. But few, if any (some Sony PCs do) come with Firewire, so Windows users need to be a little more careful. A hard-drive may come formatted for Windows, but that's no big deal. Just launch the application Disk Utility and re-format it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2009 3:58:33 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 20, 2009 3:58:54 PM PST
Galley says:
I've always had the best luck with Maxtor for desktop drives and SimpleTech for portable drives. My main drive now is a 1TB G-Technology G-Drive Q. They aren't cheap, though. It was pre-formatted for the Mac.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2009 4:53:37 PM PST
Zetau says:
Maxtor drives are Seagate drives. "Maxtor" is just one of their trademarks.

There's NO real benefit to having a drive come pre-formatted. I just purchased another 1.5TB Seagate Barracuda (from Amazon), which came un-formatted. It only takes seconds to format a drive, since all you're doing is creating the directory. But on a Mac, there are at least four or five format options, not including the options for partitioning. So even if a drive comes pre-formatted, you really should open Apple's Disk Utility to see which format was used, or you may be very surprised later.

If the drive was formatted one way, and you have an Intel Mac, it will work just fine until you attempt to boot from it. Vice versa if you have a G5, and it's formatted one of the other ways, it will work great storing all your G5 or Intel files, but it will not boot from your G5.

Either way, you should know what you are loading files on, so you really should be visiting Apple's Disk Utility anyway. And if you knew more about best practices on large drives, you'd know why partitioning should be considered.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2009 11:25:38 AM PDT
Can you explain why (or link to a page that explains why) it is important to partition large drives?

I'd like to get a 2TB drive for my Mac, and from your advice, I'm considering getting a Seagate 3.5" internal drive and putting it in an enclosure.

If I partition it into four partitions, will that increase its reliability? If one partition fails, will the whole drive fail? Thanks - I don't know about best practices on large drives, so your help is much appreciated.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2009 8:28:57 AM PDT
L. Valencia says:
You've gota be kidding....You are kidding, right? That last bit about sending DVD backups to a family member in a different country had me chuckling until I realized that there might be some sincerity behind it. There must be some point where you realize that the cost of being this paranoid about data loss simply outweighs the damage that could ensue from having such a catastrophic and unprobabable event such as a house fire occurring.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 8:54:20 AM PDT
I'm standing about where Jayson is but what I want is to hook it to my router so I can access it from my macbook pro but then also hard wire it to my PC and iMac. Would I need a server for this or would the "Verbatim 96742 2TB USB/eSATA 2-Disk RAID Desktop Hard Drive" do the trick? The other thing I had in mind was the HP Media Smart Home Server (1.5 TB).

Can someone make a recommendation of what would work best for me and also what is the most reliable? Thanks!

Posted on Apr 25, 2009 12:18:12 AM PDT
PT Cruiser says:
I have a LaCie 250 GB Rugged Hard Disk with FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and USB2.0 that I really like.
I posted a review of it here:

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 6:45:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 27, 2009 8:00:13 AM PDT
H. Berman says:
Unfortunately this kind of anecdotal reviewing is not particularly helpful because invariably someone is going to be unsatisfied with something they have purchased -- and any hard drive could have manufacturing issues.

For what it's worth, I have been using La Cie hard drives since internal hard drives were considered HUGE with a 2 gig capacity and have never had a failure -- which is not to say that one or more of my hard drives which are now in use might die at any moment moment which is why I back up with redundancy. It is the nature of hard drives to die -- generally without notice.

I have 3 La Cie drives and I can't remember when I purchased them -- well over four years I think since they are predate my current computer which is almost 3 years old. Prior to that I had La Cie drives but they had a SCSCI interface which became obsolete with Firewire ports.

I am sure there are other reliable hard drives but I might as well stick with a brand that has been completely reliable for me and seems fast enough -- I run my itunes library from an external hard drive.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 8:13:43 PM PDT
PT Cruiser says:
H. Berman, I never thought to do that, to run my iTunes library from an external drive. Do you have iTunes on the drive too?

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 6:27:29 AM PDT
M. Browne says:
After researching, I ended up buying a 500 GB LaCie for my G5 Mac. It has been working fine for a couple of months now, I just make sure to unplug it after I finish using it (to avoid any problems due to power outages/surges....even with a surge protector I have read stories about people loosing a hard drive after a storm...and I live in an older apartment where the power does go out occasionally). I successfully formatted the drive for my Mac and stored all my data before upgrading from panther to leopard. Data transfer was fast with the firewire 400 connection and so far I have not encountered any problems!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2009 6:33:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 27, 2009 6:38:00 AM PDT
H. Berman says:
I use a MAC but I assume theoretically it is the same for Windows.

By default, everything relating to iTUNES lives inside the Music Folder. I am simplifying but there are data bases which keep track of your library as well as a folder that holds the actual music files - mp3, AAC or whatever they are). This folder is what I refer to as "my music library" and it can be located anywhere. The other files which keep iTunes organized MUST be kept where they are so that iTunes operates properly but you can "point" them to whatever physical location you have placed actual music files in.

In an Apple OS, the location can be found in the Advanced Tab of iTunes preferences so you would change the location within this preference window to point to the new location (i.e. by default it is pointed to the music files inside the Music Folder on your computer but you would change to the correct location on an external). The actual files need to be moved as well obviously.

It is CRITICAL that the music library be moved using iTunes so that it is properly organized. It's relatively simple to do and the instructions are on the Apple support pages or you can ask someone at the Genius bar how to move it. I have no idea how one would do this with a Windows system.

If you are a casual music user, using the internal hard drive probably is simpler. If you have a very large library or a computer with a relatively small hard drive, it is an excellent option.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2009 8:17:11 AM PDT
M. Browne
I have used a Lacie d2 quadra 500GB for a few years without any fail, that was until last week. I have been researching a new raid1 external configuration for a month or so and have come to the conclusion that the G-Technology G-Safe is the way to go. I am buying the 1TB G-Safe for around $560 shipped to the house. It is a full 1TB storage with a mirrored hard drive in case the other goes down. If that happens, you can purchase another 1TB cartrige, swap out the bad one, and it will be mirrored with the remaining one. It looks to be the best protection out there for the money.
By the way, do not keep your I-Tunes library stored on your external drives, for it will keep the discs spinning while you are listening. This will burn out the drive quickly. My guess is that happens to many of those who are replacing their backups often.
Good luck with your purchase.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2009 8:33:37 AM PDT
H. Berman says:
Hard drives fail for inscrutable reasons.

FWIW, I would rather have an external hard drive fail rather than my internal -- since the HD spins whenever accessing the library, it would create the same wear patterns on the internal drive and that is MUCH more of a hassle than an external failing. It's considerably easier to swap one external for a new external.

The 1T La Cie I just bought cost $175 -- My older La Cie Drives cost less but are smaller since storage was more expensive per megabyte when I bought them.

Again, I have no particular reason to push La Cie. My La Cie drives have been dependable so I don't see a need to change. If one reads reviews of ANY brand, there are always some unlucky/unhappy people who had early failures. My initial comment was just pointing out the problem with these kinds of consumer reviews especially when they relate to reliability since there isn't a large pool of data nor are multiple units tested by the same standards the way a service such as CR does. I think these kinds of consumer opinions are most helpful in terms of "features" or "functionality" rather than reliability since every unit provides the same user experience in terms of functionality -- noise, ease of use etc.

I am not understanding the benefit of spending almost 600 dollars for a HD. I can buy almost four hard drives of the same size for that amount from any manufacturer.

Since everything is backed up, the failure of one hard drive is not a big deal to me -- La Cie warrants their drive for 3 years which I think is a pretty respectable time. I wouldn't lose any data and economically even if it failed after 4 years, I would still be ahead.

I would assume that computing had moved ahead in 3 years so I would be able to buy the latest technology that suited my needs at that point. For example, I had considered Time Capsule but ultimately decided since I didn't need a wireless hard drive, I would wait and see what kind of technology I might actually *need* when I bought my next computer and/or my next external storage device.

Again, I have no vested interest in La Cie -- I just think that it is probably as reliable as any of the other top brands and is a relatively inexpensive.

Anyone who is NOT backing up with redundancy and is relying on a single storage unit --whether that be an internal, external or even on-line server is playing with fire since hard drives will fail.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2009 6:33:24 PM PDT
fturner says:
This is an outstanding idea, but I'd love to know more about the eSATA connection on Macs -- this is something I'd never heard of, but a quick search shows that this connection is available on a Mac Pro, but definitely not on my iMac.

My iMac is further cramped by having too few USB ports, so I try to avoid USB connectors if possible. Is there something like this for Firewire?

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2009 7:17:24 PM PDT
H. Berman says:

I'm not sure what your question is.

iMAC's have two Firewire ports generally. Firewire devices can be daisy chained -- i.e. plug one device into the other so that several devices can share the same port. I have three Firewire hard drives daisy chained to my Firewire 400 port and I will be using the Firewire 800 port for my new drive.

Firewire is faster than USB 2.0 so there is no particular reason to buy a USB external hard drive.

Posted on May 2, 2009 11:13:27 PM PDT
Zetau says:
@Jayson Elliot: "Can you explain why it is important to partition large drives?"

It's not. There's no specific rules (i.e., the right or wrong way) as for partitioning a drive into one or multiple volumes. It depends on your needs, and how to get the most from a drive. I answer this is more detail at the end.

@Jayson Elliot: "I'd like to get a 2TB drive for my Mac, and from your advice, I'm considering getting a Seagate 3.5" internal drive and putting it in an enclosure."

I'm addressing this with some uncertainty, but before you invest in a 2TB drive, make sure there will be no issues with your specific Mac model.

@Jayson Elliot: "If I partition it into four partitions, will that increase its reliability? If one partition fails, will the whole drive fail?"

Reliability is not directly a reason for partitioning into multiple volumes.

Failure comes in multiple flavors, but for simplicity, they fall into two categories: hardware or software.

Hardware failures means the drive is toast, and if it's still under warranty, you'll get a new, replacement drive ... of course without any of your lost data. Always back up (yes, you can say you heard it here first ; ).

Software is a different story entirely. If one volume will not mount, it will, most likely, not affect your other volumes (i.e., partitions) on the same drive. Usually, all your data is exactly where you last saw it, but it's the volume's directory which got corrupted. Each volume has its own directory, and again for simplicity, think of the directory as the index used by the computer to locate everything. Fixing the directory can usually be accomplished without much trauma, but it's a warning, and often it means you overlooked less obvious warnings before it got that bad.

Maintenance is key: once a week or so, run Apple's Disk Utility (it's in your Utility folder) on each volume. Repair permissions on your boot volume, too. The best utility (as considered by many) for your Mac's health is DiskWarrior from Alsoft dot com. It's indispensable. Run it once a month for maintenance, and you'll probably never need to use it bring back a volume from the dead ... though it's your only real option if the need arises. It's the only software I would trust.

@H. Berman: "... I have been using La Cie hard drives ..."

LaCie is a company that takes hard drives and packages them into a variety of external enclosures. Do you know what brand of hard drive is in your external enclosure?

@H. Berman: "... they had a SCSCI [sic] interface which became obsolete with Firewire ..."

That's incorrect. SCSI is not obsolete at all. It's still the technology of choice where only the fastest throughput will do, especially in striped RAID configurations. Firewire offered plug-n-play simplicity, and is virtually idiot-proof ... SCSI is much less forgiving, and not plug-n-play. For example, unplug a SCSI drive while its powered up, even if it's not mounted, and you probably just fried that drive.

@PT Cruiser: "... I never thought to ... run my iTunes library from an external drive ..."

The primary reason to that is based on the size of your 'music' library. If you open iTunes preferences, and click the "Advanced" tab, the first option is: "iTunes Music folder location" ... you can place the folder on any drive, because for some, that becomes an enormous folder. Mine is over 20GB. H. Berman answers the question in more detail (I just noticed).

@Andrew Isbell: "... I am buying the 1TB G-Safe for around $560 ..."

That's the premium you pay when someone else does the work. I just set up a 4.5TB RAID for about $450 running on eSATA 3GB.

@Andrew Isbell: "... it will keep the discs spinning while you are listening ... this will burn out the drive quickly."

That's what drives do ... spin. What is your source that the drives would burn out "quickly"? Spinning is what drives love to do. One of the things that kills drives (as well as computers, displays, etc.) is turning them on and off.

@H. Berman: "... La Cie warrants their drive for 3 years which I think is a pretty respectable time ..."

Once again, LaCie packages the drives. I believe they use Quantum drives, and may potentially have purchased part or all of Quantum. Is 3 years respectable? I've used Seagate drives for the past 20 years, and they have always warranteed their drives for 5 years. More than once, I've discovered a company (i.e., a drive packager, similar to LaCie) who included a 2-3 year warranty on their packaged product, when the drive hardware itself included a 4-5 year warranty ... which they were not passing on to the end-user. So, if there was a failure at year 3.5, they would tell the customer that it was out of warranty, and they'd need to buy a new drive. Yet, they were able to get the replacement drive for free, since the hard drive manufacturer included a 5-year warranty.

@fturner: "... but a quick search shows that [eSATA] is available on a Mac Pro, but definitely not on my iMac."

You are probably correct about your iMac, but eSATA does not require an Intel-Mac ... my G5 dual core uses eSATA for its internal bus, and I've added another PCI-e eSATA card for a RAID.

@H. Berman: "... Firewire is faster than USB 2.0 so there is no particular reason to buy a USB external hard drive."

Not exactly ... twice. 1) Firewire 400 is so aptly named because it transfers data at 400-Mb/ps ... USB 2.0 transfers data at 480-Mb/ps. 2) USB 2.0 is a standard on cross-platforms, and will be around for a while. If compatibility with future hardware is important, so is an external drive with USB 2.0 as an option.

Side note: Firewire is already being fazed out ... its days are numbered. When digital camera companies adopted Firewire, it was their only "high-speed" option, and that what gave Firewire life. But Firewire 400 was never universally adopted by Windows-based PC makers, nor was Firewire 800. Even the digital camera makers did not go with FW 800, but instead, are moving to USB 2.0. Firewire 800 was never even universally adopted by Apple. Even the iPod switched from Firewire to USB. So, buying any device relying solely on Firewire is taking a risk.

For external drives, the best option currently is the combination of USB 2.0 and eSATA. USB plugs into anything providing the compatibly, and eSATA is the preferred bus for its plug-n-play along with performance.

Firewire 400 . . . 400-Mb/ps
USB 2.0 . . . 480-Mb/ps
Firewire 800 . . . 800-Mb/ps
eSATA . . . 3000-Mb/ps

Theoretically, setting up a 3-drive, striped RAID (for performance) based on Firewire 800, would still not offer the throughput as a single eSATA drive.

@Jayson Elliot: I wanted to provide more helpful information to your question regarding partitioning, and the best way I can do that is to share my schema. As I said, there are no rules, though one can make many mistakes in setting up drives without knowing what they are doing.

My primary workstation uses a G5 Dual Core (2 x 2GHz) with 12GB memory. It came with an 250GB drive (actually about 235GB), which I partitioned into two volumes: 75GB and 160GB. The 160 is my actual boot volume, though I rarely boot from it. That's because I set up the 75 as a sandbox boot volume, and that's what I boot from. A sandbox boot volume includes only the files needed to boot from, meaning it has no user home folders and no applications other than Apple's apps. It "thinks" it has all that because of aliases.

Why? (you ask) It's the best first-level protection. If anything happens to that sandbox volume, such as a corrupted directory caused by an OS upgrade, etc., and it will not boot any longer, I simply boot from the 160 (which the sandbox was created from and aliased to), and I'm right back in business. Then all I need to do is run that miracle, little-known app which created the sandbox (as well as manages my back-ups), tell it to re-create the sandbox, and take a short break (lunch would be longer than needed). When I return, everything's back as it was, and whatever I did to cause the corruption, I don't do again. It's called "SuperDuper!" and can be found at shirt-pocket dot com. I have no relationship whatsoever with the company, other than I'm a damn-happy customer. I store very little in my actual home folder, since I like to keep my OS volumes as clean as possible.

For storage, I have three Seagate Barracudas, each 1.5TB, mounted internally, striped together (for performance) on an eSATA bus, and hence appearing on the desktop as a single 4.5TB (actually 4.2TB) volume. I set them up with a 256KB block size, since I work with very large files (up to 2GB per file). The default block size on a Mac is 32KB (though 16KB is also available), and that's what I meant about knowing what you're doing: I would not have gained all the performance available if I left it at 32KB. On the other hand, if someone works primarily with large databases, and used the 256KB block size, they would not have seen any difference in speed than the 32KB block size (theoretically), but they'd waste an enormous amount of disk space, thus filling the drives long before they should be.

I've got other drives for back-ups and redundancy, but I think I've covered enough.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2009 3:03:11 PM PDT
zutty says:
I have a Lacie D2 1TB that I use with my new iMac. Works perfectly with Time Machine and I partitioned it for other data as well. Highly recommended!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2009 12:28:19 AM PDT
IA says:
You recommend the 1.5TB Seagate to people when it is the worst HD released in a decade. What gives?? I am supposing you work for Seagate.

Be warned people, just google Seagate 1.5TB problems and you'll see what I mean. I guess Seagate are really desperate to restore confidence in their crappy drives.

I recover HDs, WD is currently the best brand. But it changes from year to year. Seagate used to be the best, now they are nowhere near the best. WD used to be near the worst, now they are the best. Stick with WD or Hitachi and simply avoid the rest.

Posted on Jul 3, 2009 12:39:29 AM PDT
IA says:
Looking over Zetu's posts, it's clear he's dangerous. You know, how a person knows enough to be dangerous, but not enough that they know what they are talking about. Take all his advice with a very large grain of salt. Things he says, like saying USB 2.0 is faster than FireWire because the spec of USB 2.0 is 480Mbs wheres FireWire is "only" 400Mbs show real-world ignorance. FireWire 400 trumps USB 2.0 in every single situation. It is considerably faster, and ANY real-world usage of the two protocols would show you that. Specs are not everything. And since FireWire is now at 800 Mbs and fully backwards-compatible with FW400, it's the best way for most people to connect a drive. Just be careful of what else he says, and avoid the Seagate drives he's so heavily promoting. Seagate is going downhill fast. He even says Seagate offers 5 yr warrantee, yet they are reducing that to 3 years on all but there most expensive drives. Stick to Western Digital if you want the best drives with the best longevity.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2009 11:04:15 PM PDT
Zetau says:
Welcome IA-BOY (I just thought *IA* was too short, and *IA-BOY* sounded better),

Thanks for taking the time to review my comments. Not only did you provide hearsay to support your rant, but you attacked me personally ... hey, you chose the right guy. Ready? ; )


I always like to know who has taken such interest in my comments. So, I swung on over to your profile. I pulled up your list of reviews (sorted by most recent comments), and seemed to notice a pattern ... a very familiar pattern.

On your contributions in evaluating products these were the STAR ratings you gave out ...

ONE - 17
TWO - 0
FOUR - 3
FIVE - 1

So, IA-BOY, based on your STAR ratings alone, it sure would appear that you must struggle through life, as there's very little that lives up to your high expectations. But, that's not all. Most of your product evaluations drew comments from other forum users ... ire, even. And the few I read weren't very complimentary to YOU at all. Issues?

Here's is a few random responses to your product evaluations ...

1) You received enough abuse reports from one of your own *ia-jesus* reply comments that it was psuedo-censored, hidden, as not contributing to the discussion. Which most of us know means it was rude, uncalled-for, nasty, childish, or maybe just immature.
2) The next commenter said, "Wow. That's really mean..."
3) And the following commenter asked, "...and what is your professional background?" Why was it you never answered?





*** So, IA-BOY, do you profess to have any credibility? ***

(oh, I'm not finished ; )

Posted on Jul 4, 2009 3:03:47 AM PDT
Zetau says:
>> "Looking over Zetu's posts, it's clear he's dangerous."

Pretty strong accusation, IA-BOY. Now, back up your "clear" accusation.

>> "You know, how a person knows enough to be dangerous, but not enough that they know what they are talking about."

Let me guess now ... YOU?

>> "Take all his advice with a very large grain of salt."

Based on your profound credibility and direct instructions, I just bet everyone will do exactly what you say.

>> "Things he says, like saying USB 2.0 is faster than FireWire because the spec of USB 2.0 is 480Mbs wheres FireWire is "only" 400Mbs show real-world ignorance."

You took my words out of context. I was responding to a comment made by H.Berman. FireWire 400 is going away, and has never successfully been adopted by Windows. USB has. Even Apple is not including FireWire 400 on their new machines.

My MacBook Pro has one FireWire 800 port, and three (3) USB 2.0 ports ... and NO FireWire 400. Yes, there's much more than bit-rate, but this is not a technical journal. I quoted the standardized IEEE specs, and had no reason to go into it any further. Most people would never know the difference, because if speed was important, they would not be looking at USB 2.0 and FW 400, the two slowest protocols in wide use. What is it you are trying to prove?

>> "FireWire 400 trumps USB 2.0 in every single situation."

You just made a direct, statement of authority, describing something that's never been done, nor could ever be proven. Let's clarify that your statement is only your personal opinion of questionable value. But thanks for sharing.

>> "It is considerably faster, and ANY real-world usage of the two protocols would show you that."

How come you did not mention here that FireWire runs slower on Windows than on Macs? How much do you actually know?

>> "Specs are not everything."

Yes, I did quote the actual, technical specs as established by IEEE. I can prove that, since they are industry standards. What will you be able to prove?

>> "And since FireWire is now at 800 Mbs and fully backwards-compatible with FW400, it's the best way for most people to connect a drive."

WHAT? "... since FireWire is *now* at 800 Mbs ..." "NOW"? FireWire 800 came out in 2002. Where have you been?

"... it's the best way for most people to connect a drive"? Once again, you stated a very personal opinion as fact. What's your definition of someone who is dangerous?

Have you heard of eSATA 3.0? What about FireWire S800T, FireWire S1600 or FireWire S3200 ... or even USB 3.0? Why didn't you mention those?

>> "Seagate is going downhill fast."

Why do you continue to make unsubstantiated claims? Seagate is traded on NASDAQ and virtually matches the average.

>> "He even says Seagate offers 5 yr warrantee, yet they are reducing that to 3 years on all but there most expensive drives."

I like this little bait-and-switch of yours. First, you imply Seagate does not offer five-year warranties, but then you say they do. All my Seagate Barracudas have a five-year warranty.

>> "Stick to Western Digital if you want the best drives with the best longevity."

Ahh, you slipped in your "heavy promotion" of WD.

>> "Just be careful of what else he says, and avoid the Seagate drives he's so heavily promoting."

Another accusation. Prove it.

Here's my review of the 1.5-TB Seagate Barracuda ...
Four of those drives are currently running on this very machine, and this Mac never gets turned off ... just sleep.

And lastly, the Amazon's STAR ratings for the 1.5-TB Seagate Barracudas speak for themselves ...

FIVE ... 87
FOUR ... 27
THREE ... 9
TWO ... 6
ONE ... 51

STAR ratings FOUR + FIVE = 114 <- those who liked or loved
STAR ratings of ONE + TWO = 57 <- those who disliked or hated
(I tossed the middle ratings)

Since the drive problem seemed to be more of a Windows-only problem, how can you catagorically blame Seagate. They did provide the firmware fix, but that certainly does not indicate it was their problem to begin with.

Remember, FireWire runs slower on Windows ... is that Apple's problem?

**IA-BOY, I believe you owe me an apology for your libelous comments ... as well as substantiation for all your claims**

Posted on Jul 5, 2009 4:45:47 PM PDT
Zetau says:
*** NOTE: THIS POST IS OFF-TOPIC, as are the previous ones. ***

I regret this, but I need to respond in the same forum I was attacked in ... and for that, I apologize to the others.

I have *never* had any contact with IA, whatsoever, prior to this.

Most everyone uses these forums for what they are meant for: looking for advice or sharing knowledge ... or both, as I do. But as with the Internet in general, Web-users represent a complete cross-section of society.


To me, IA (i.e., IA-BOY) is a classic bully - like those in middle school. They need attention, and often have inferiority complexes. In psychological studies, people fall into one of three categories in virtually *all* bully cases: the bully, the victim, and the bystanders.

The bully and the victim have their roles pre-defined ... it's the bystanders who hold the critical decisions, which is usually just one-of-two: 1) defend the victim and risk becoming a victim themselves; or 2) join the bully, avoid becoming a victim, and learn how to be a hotshot. It's how gangs are formed, too.

In nationwide studies, the sad truth is that virtually *all* bystanders (teen years) joined the bullies, even when the victim had been a good friend. Imagine if all the bystanders simply walked over and stood alongside the victim ... that bully would not be back.

That's why I opened my first reply with, "... hey, you chose the right guy. Ready?" Because although he chose me as his next victim, he chose very poorly.


Since this was the forum that IA chose for his unwarranted personal attacks, baseless claims, and twisted information directed at me, it must also be the same forum that I respond. Unfortunately, I also expect that some other forum-users will even blast me for responding, but that's another commonality in society: blaming the victim.


First off, I do not consider myself a technical expert ... frankly, I do not consider myself an expert at anything (hey, even after all these years, I still occasionally miss and hit the floor). I've been fortunate to have had very diverse professional experiences over the decades, so I guess I can say I know a little about a lot. But there are some areas I am considered an expert by others. But if I am not sure about something, I will say so.

EXAMPLE: my response above to J. Elliot (May 2)...

@Jayson Elliot: "I'd like to get a 2TB drive for my Mac, and from your advice, I'm considering getting a Seagate 3.5" internal drive and putting it in an enclosure."

(Me) I'm addressing this with some uncertainty, but before you invest in a 2TB drive, make sure there will be no issues with your specific Mac model.


My earliest computer experience goes way back to IBM System 3 mainframes, when punch-cards were used to store data, followed by 1" tape, and lastly by very expensive, slow, and small hard drives (in capacity, not physical size) ... and, get this: those mainframes had NO memory (no RAM). Speed? It's all relative ... seemed fast at the time. Those IBMs literally filled a room, but would be blown away by a typical desktop from the late 90s.

I've been using Macs since 1984 and Windows since the late 80s. Bill Gates loved the Mac, and it was actually Apple who had an enormous impact in building MS to what it is today ... MS Word and Excel were both developed, per Steve Jobs' request, for the Mac, and later, ported to Windows. Gates wanted to go from his MS-DOS (MicroSoft-Disk Operating System) to a graphical user interface (GUI or just UI) just like the Mac. After years of trying, Gates made a deal with Jobs to copy the Mac's GUI onto Windows. And that's what Windows has been ever since.


Beginning in the early 90s, I designed the advertising production systems (all Mac-based, some with SUN or IBM servers, with budgets up to, and over $1MM) for many newspapers, ad agencies and in-house design departments, as well as the divisions of Federated Department Stores, including Macy*s. Federated took the production system architecture I designed and made it the standard for all their divisions. I have also consulted with the Federal Government and many Fortune 500 Companies, those able to pay my $350 hourly rate.

Surprisingly, I would get job offers over the phone, by people I didn't know, from companies who only knew of my reputation, and hire me without ever seeing my resume. And when I would accept a new position, my staff would follow me ... I considered that the biggest compliment a director could ever have, and I was quite humbled by it. My staff knew they were more important to me then my bosses were, and I'd always stick my neck out for them.

So, IA-BOY, what's your experience?
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Discussion in:  External Hard Drive forum
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Initial post:  Jan 11, 2009
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