External drive

Started May 4, 2013 | Discussions
Christopher D Mann
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External drive
May 4, 2013

I have a mid 2011 27in  iMac and I am wanting to get a external hard drive for it. I have one firewire port and two thunderbolt ports. I want to use the thunderbolt ports if possible. I am using Lightroom 4 and I have been storing photos on a time capsule but very slow to bring photos into Lightroom from it and now realizing that is not Time capsules intended purpose. I have looked at the 2TB LaCie thunderbolt units but they seem to get mixed reviews. Just wondering if anyone has a good suggestion. Thanks

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Nikko aus London
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Re: External drive
In reply to Christopher D Mann, May 4, 2013

I bought the LaCie 1TB Thunderbolt SSD Little Big Disk which I use in RAID0.  It contains all my user folders including my Aperture database.  Performance is astonishing!

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CameraCarl
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Re: External drive
In reply to Nikko aus London, May 4, 2013

Several years ago I bought a USB powered LaCie hard drive. It failed under warranty and I sent it back. The remanufactured replacement started making grinding noises within a few months so I sent it back. The second refurb seems to be working ... for now.  You might consider OWC external hard drives.  I've seen lots of good reports on here about them; do a search and you'll find many, many more discussions about external drives.

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Erik Ohlson
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Re: External drive - Stupid Question.
In reply to CameraCarl, May 5, 2013

CameraCarl wrote:

Several years ago I bought a USB powered LaCie hard drive. It failed under warranty and I sent it back. The remanufactured replacement started making grinding noises within a few months so I sent it back. The second refurb seems to be working ... for now.  You might consider OWC external hard drives.  I've seen lots of good reports on here about them; do a search and you'll find many, many more discussions about external drives.

I've had an OWC drive for over a year, now, no problems whatsoever.........except I'm not really sure how to best use it.

I am, as you can tell form that, not particularly "computer literate", I've just been using my iMac and slowly coming to terms with it, but I have no idea if I'm doing things "right".

A couple of weeks ago, my sister's newer iMac just quit and the Mac store says they can't access her photos and such from the dead harddrive, and I'd like to protect myself from that and have been dragging photo files to the backup but don't know where they all are.

STUPID QUESTION:

Could I just drag my hard drive Icon to the backup disk?

Thanks - and yes, you may berate me for my stupidity, I deserve it!

-Erik

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Peter Berglund
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Re: External drive - Stupid Question.
In reply to Erik Ohlson, May 6, 2013

Eric,
Really, I don't recommend you doing backups manually like that. Instead, get a cheap external drive that is at least 50% larger than your HDD and set up Time Machine. If your internal drive fails you will have your entire system up and running again in no time.

If you absolutely need to know your images are in the iPhoto library bundle (looks like a file) in you Pictures folder. I assume you're using iphoto...

But you will find it a total mess to browse that library in Finder with a myriad of thumbnail image files etc. stay away would be anybody's strong advise.

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Tom_N
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Re: External drive - Stupid Question.
In reply to Erik Ohlson, May 6, 2013

Erik Ohlson wrote:

STUPID QUESTION:

Could I just drag my hard drive Icon to the backup disk?

You'd be better off to buy a copy of Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper to do the backup.  Either of these can be used to do incremental backups – so that the second, third, etc. time that you do your backup, you only have to wait for the machine to find and copy the files that have changed.

You can also make backups to multiple drives, so that you can keep one off-site (just in case fire, flood, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. get the computer equipment inside your house).

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Howard Moftich
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Re: External drive - Stupid Question.
In reply to Tom_N, May 6, 2013

I just want to clarify what was said.  CCC or SuperDuper! will do a *smart copy* which means it will find new/changed files (since the last copy) and copy only those new/changed files to the 'master' backup.  What it will NOT do is keep a series of copies over time (ala Time Machine).  Each technique has it's own advantages and disadvantages.  I usually have *both* a TM and SD copy made for any machine and data I care about.

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Erik Ohlson
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Stupid Question, many thanks!
In reply to Howard Moftich, May 6, 2013

Howard Moftich wrote:

I just want to clarify what was said.  CCC or SuperDuper! will do a *smart copy* which means it will find new/changed files (since the last copy) and copy only those new/changed files to the 'master' backup.  What it will NOT do is keep a series of copies over time (ala Time Machine).  Each technique has it's own advantages and disadvantages.  I usually have *both* a TM and SD copy made for any machine and data I care about.

Thanks for the replies - that gives me something to check into.

It was a real wake-up call when my sister's newer machine suddenly died 

So, if I understand what I think you are saying, "Time Machine" will keep saving the same thing (including changes) over and over, wheras "CCC" or "SuperDuper" will just update from time to time with only new or changed data.

Is that pretty much what happens?

Cheers, and thanks, all,  -Erik

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coronawithlime
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Re: External drive
In reply to Christopher D Mann, May 6, 2013

Christopher D Mann wrote:

I have a mid 2011 27in  iMac and I am wanting to get a external hard drive for it. I have one firewire port and two thunderbolt ports. I want to use the thunderbolt ports if possible. I am using Lightroom 4 and I have been storing photos on a time capsule but very slow to bring photos into Lightroom from it and now realizing that is not Time capsules intended purpose. I have looked at the 2TB LaCie thunderbolt units but they seem to get mixed reviews. Just wondering if anyone has a good suggestion. Thanks

I currently have two thunderbolt enabled G-Tech's which work very well.

However, they just ignored my third email to tech service, so if you ever need service I think you might be out of luck.  I wouldn't buy another for this reason.

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Howard Moftich
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Re: External drive
In reply to coronawithlime, May 6, 2013

that's kind of obnoxious since they are 'premium' priced to begin with.

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Tom_N
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Re: Stupid Question, many thanks!
In reply to Erik Ohlson, May 6, 2013

Erik Ohlson wrote:
So, if I understand what I think you are saying, "Time Machine" will keep saving the same thing (including changes) over and over, wheras "CCC" or "SuperDuper" will just update from time to time with only new or changed data.

Time Machine stores a series of "snapshots" of each file.  This may not include EVERY change you save to the file because (a) there is a limited amount of space on the backup drive, and (b) Time Machine only looks for new versions to save every so often.  But it often stores multiple versions of a file, which may let you recover if you do a Save and then wish you hadn't.

The downsides of Time Machine are that the backup disk isn't bootable (you have to restore the Time Machine backup to another drive, then boot from that drive), and that the "backup in the background nature" of Time Machine backups encourages you to keep the backup drive connected to your Mac at all times (where both could be taken out by a single catastrophic event like a fire).

CCC and SuperDuper help you to keep a copy of the latest version of each file, but they don't do anything (directly) to help you keep catalogs of past versions that you can browse through.

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coronawithlime
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Re: External drive
In reply to Howard Moftich, May 6, 2013

Howard Moftich wrote:

that's kind of obnoxious since they are 'premium' priced to begin with.

Imagine what I think.  I'm the one who wrote the check  

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Peter Berglund
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Re: Stupid Question, many thanks!
In reply to Erik Ohlson, May 12, 2013

Erik Ohlson wrote:

Howard Moftich wrote:

I just want to clarify what was said.  CCC or SuperDuper! will do a *smart copy* which means it will find new/changed files (since the last copy) and copy only those new/changed files to the 'master' backup.  What it will NOT do is keep a series of copies over time (ala Time Machine).  Each technique has it's own advantages and disadvantages.  I usually have *both* a TM and SD copy made for any machine and data I care about.

Thanks for the replies - that gives me something to check into.

It was a real wake-up call when my sister's newer machine suddenly died 

So, if I understand what I think you are saying, "Time Machine" will keep saving the same thing (including changes) over and over, wheras "CCC" or "SuperDuper" will just update from time to time with only new or changed data.

Is that pretty much what happens?

Cheers, and thanks, all,  -Erik

Let me explain the key difference between TimeMachine and CCC here. CCC will back it up such that your external drive has precisely the same content as your hard drive.  It will do so by updating the files that have changed recently. The advantage:  the backup drive doesn't need to be bigger than your internal hard drive.

TimeMachine will also back up files that have changed recently (not back up the same stuff "over and over again").  But it will keep historical version for a while such that you can browse back in time. The advantage: let's say you one day open up a photo or a movie and find that it got corrupt by a disk error.  With CCC that corrupt file would be on your backup so your file is lost. With Time Machine you can step back day-by-day, then week-by-week, month-by-month etc until you find your intact file. Similarly, if you accidentally delete a file it will be gone forever with CCC but with TM you can go back and recover it.  The drawback with TM: the external drive should be at least 50% larger than the amount of data you are backing up.  With today's price levels I personally think it's worth it. CCC and SuperDuper were great tools and they still have their use in cloning disks. For example, I make a CCC backup once a month or so to a backup drive I keep in my office drawer at work just in case our house burns down or similar.  But with Time Machine now available for free, with such an elegant user interface, I would not recommend anybody to use these older methods (CCC etc) any more for their daily backup needs.

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