MacBook Pro Which portable hard drive?

Pixelologist

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Aug 6, 2007
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Chicago area, USA
I'm looking to purchase an inexpensive 320GB external hard drive (2.5") to use as a bootable backup copy of my MBP internal drive. Based mainly on price since I'm not going to be using it for anything resource-intensive like video editing or 3D rendering, I've gotten it down to one of three possibilities:

1. WD My Passport Essential
2. Seagate FreeAgent Go (USB-only version)
3. Iomega Prestige

I've read that the WD comes with software on the disk that can't be erased...which seems strange. I would've thought that reformatting the disk would be an easy way to erase the bundled software but maybe I'm wrong? In any event, I've seen quite a few reviews complaining about that and drive failures.

The Seagate's gotten better reviews but some forums are inundated with posts from folks complaining that the FreeAgent stopped being recognized after just a few months. Judging by the sheer numbers of posts it sounds endemic but I'm wondering how much of that is for real and how much might be part of an underhanded effort to discredit the Seagate drive - after all, it gets generally excellent reviews from the professionals so could it really be THAT bad?

On the other hand, I haven't seen many bad reviews/posts about the Iomega at all...but it's Iomega, which makes me a bit nervous.

If anyone has any recommendations based on experience, I'd love to hear it please.

Thanks all!
 

danipoak

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Dec 13, 2007
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I used to love Seagate drives but they are now owned by Maxtor and I wont touch any hard drive made by anyone associated with Maxtor with a 10 foot pole. I have owned 3 in my life and all 3 failed in under a year. I own a WD passport, its nearly 3 years old now, and it is running strong. It is the hard drive I back up all of my music on and its a 320 gig. I really do not know anything about Iomega and their hard drives. If those are your three choices I would pick up the Western Digital. I would also look into Samsung drives of the same size, they are the best ones out in my opinion.
 

Pixelologist

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Aug 6, 2007
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Chicago area, USA
Thanks - good to know. Did your WD come with backup/security software taking up an undeletable partition on the drive? That's the primary warning I've been seeing on all the forums I've looked at.
 

danipoak

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Dec 13, 2007
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It came with software on it. I'd have to dig it out to check if the software is still on it but I'm pretty sure I remember just reformatting it right away and it got rid of it. I can check on that probably tomorrow.
 

Lunfai

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Sep 16, 2010
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I picked up a £60 ($100 ish) 500GB Asus leather hard-drive. It was a bargain, because it's listed as $150/£100 on their website, and it's USB 3.0. I was only look for a hard-drive for my netbook, but it supported USB 3.0, and the hard-drive was a deal breaker for me, and I had to snap it up. Plus it's premium because it's leather wrapped?(I can't describe it), but you need to buy it in-person from a special computer center in Hong Kong, Mong Kok. I have to admit my deal was so good, 500GB for that price + USB 3.0.

They also have the Seagate free agent, if you ever need USB 3.0 support you can change the top 2.0 adapter for the top 3.0 adapter, that way you can enjoy faster speeds. However, WD is releasing 3.0 support as well. But WD limits the file to something like 2GB, so if you want to store MKV HD files on their, goodluck. I recommend Seagate though.