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Thread: Any recommendations on a FW Hard Drive?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Default Any recommendations on a FW Hard Drive?

    Just got a G5 iMac with 160 GB and have Tiger loaded up and running. It originally came with Panther and I have the OEM DVD's to reinstall from. I'm toying with the idea of a Firewire external HD, to load Panther for dual booting (I do a lot of software testing for work, so its good to have multiple OS capabilities) Just wondered if there were any horror stories, or recommendations in the way of Firewire HD's. Any advice on whether or not booting from FW is good would be cool too.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    on the landline, Mr. Smith


    Howdy -

    Most FW is OK, but there are plenty of cases of folks having issues these days, so not a slam dunk anything-will-work-with-anything scenario....even though it should be.

    What to look for: decent case that does not encapsolate your HD in a shell that won't let the heat out. The coolest have fans, but are often big and loud (or at least loud next to an almost silent imac). There are plenty of fanless cases out there, but only a few are well ventilated or designed to help the heat disipate out of the case in a passive manner.

    The only one I have tested that meets all of this critera to be fast, cool, and quiet is one that they carry right here at the Gurus. Used it on a variety of machines at work, including several different G5 towers, ibooks and powerbooks, as well as a 17" G5 imac. Worked flawless with all machines tested including booting and cloning OSes, although this was 10.3 versions, not 10.4.

    Check it out. An added benefit is that it is also the easiest/quickest case I have seen to change drives in, which is really nice if you need to be able to swap drives in it and use the case for, say, several different backups. Others out there seem to be engineered not to be opened....a real pain.

    As for booting, yes you can, but best overall performance is usually acheived using the interal bus on a modern machine. Very nice to have a bootable OS on an external drive for troubleshooting and disaster preparedness, or the sort of testing you mentioned. Perfect for that.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Default FW drive

    I have had good luck with my Lacie FW drive. No problems in two years. Right now, it is the primary drive that data is on, but I am about to switch to SATA internal drives and use the FW for a removable backup. I have even plugged and pulled the Lacie FW to different machines with no problems on OSes ranging from 9.0 to 10.3.9.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Thumbs up

    Since I've updated Macs with newer models over the years, the OEM HD's have become larger; from 40GB all the way to 160...

    Whichever becomes the largest 'pull' goes into a very faithful FW/USB (1 & 2) enclosure... Bootable.

    I'm not here to push any particular brand. Most of'em work well. But to have such gizmo for backup & occasional booting, I certainly recommend.
    Wouldn't wanna leave home without it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Mobius Strip

    Lightbulb One is never enough.

    If you do any real testing, keep one safely off-line as backup, and Tiger can (could) act up with FW (10.4.0) and will want to index/Spotlight your volumes when mounted probably. Panther 10.3.9 "can" repair a Tiger volume, but I wouldn't. 10.4.2 has the best Disk Utility repair capability.

    Having multiple versions of the same OS on one drive should work, I never had trouble with SCSI drives that way, and would have various setups and then Restore a volume as needed for testing, and use one drive for tests. With iMac you have to use FW, and it is sad that Apple doesn't make FW800 on its own channel an option, which at least would approach 50MB/sec.

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