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dnanian 02-26-2014 11:01 AM

This isn't a *huge* surprise - hubs are, generally, bad/evil/flaky/weird. But you have an easy workaround, should you need it - connect directly to the Mac.

chrisjonesxray 01-25-2015 12:16 PM

New MacBook Pro without firewire
 
I need to buy a portable drive for a new MacBook Pro (without firewire).

With thunderbolt and usb 3.0 as the only ports what are the best options out there?

Will anything available be bootable?

dnanian 01-25-2015 12:19 PM

As I already indicated in an emailed response, a LaCie or WD USB3 or Thunderbolt drive should work fine and will boot.

Note that some Macs don't like booting with some USB3 drives if they're in "SuperSpeed" mode (that is, using a USB3 cable). Substituting a USB2 cable (which will fit in 1/2 the port) at boot time will resolve that.

G.Wright 07-09-2015 08:09 PM

This topic needs an update
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dnanian (Post 20713)
Many users ask us what disks are compatible with SuperDuper! -- and while I have a list of brands and a discussion in the User's Guide that goes into some detail, I can't buy and test everything (sorry!).

In this thread, feel free to list your own experiences with disks, including boot compatibility, things you had to do to get the drive to work (e.g. most are shipped partitioned for Windows, and you'll have to repartition them for the Mac), speed, etc.

Note that, added to the list in the still-working-on-the-new-version User's Guide are (and remember -- FireWire is always preferred, although you can usually start up with a USB drive on an Intel -- not Power PC -- Mac):
  • Apricorn
  • G-Tech G-Drive
  • Drobo

Finally, as I've said elsewhere, I don't generally recommend MyBook drives. They cannot be used as startup devices on Power PC based Macs, and -- at least in our internal -- have been more prone to trouble/failures.

Have at it!

I just spent several days researching what external hard drive I should buy to replace my failed Glyph GT 050Q 1TB. As my Glyph failed after only 3.5 years of very light use (maybe 2 hours/week) and gave me quite a few failed backups over the years - and also often wouldn't Eject, etc. - I couldn't justify paying their price for another one.

By necessity, I share Dave Nanian's enthusiasm for Firewire, because the only other ports available on my 2011 iMac are: Thunderbolt (fast, but few and pricey), or USB 2 (slow). But fact of the matter is, since he wrote this post in 2008, there have been A LOT of changes in external hard drives.

When I asked about Firewire at my local Best Buy store, I was informed that those are 'obsolete' - they didn't even have a Firewire cable, much less a selection of Firewire drives. Almost all of the externals on Best Buy's shelves were USB 3.0, only. Yes, I'm told those USB 3 drives will work on my USB 2 port - but at USB 2 speeds, obviously.

Some of the HDD manufactures that used to be reliable, are now less so. And one that used to be somewhat flakey - Western Digital - is now of the more reliable brands - BUT - they are apparently putting some kind of firmware in the chips of their external drives which have caused problems for some, and which is hard to get rid of.

Another up-and-coming brand mentioned above is the G-Tech G-Drive. Overall the G-Drives get pretty good reviews, but there are an alarming number of people reporting that they have problems with Firewire, and they are forced to use USB. If you have USB 3 on your computer, that is no big deal, but for those of us stuck with USB 2, it may be - unless you schedule all your backups to happen while you are asleep.

I finally bought a Mercury Elite Pro - 1.0TB - from OWC. It has FW800, as well as eSATA and USB 3.0 ports. I've partitioned it so SuperDuper and TimeMachine can each have their own partition, and connected with FW800 (Intel Mac users MUST repartition this drive - Disk Utility works, fine). My first backup of each was flawless - a relief, after fighting the Glyph for the past few days.

I'd really like to see some reports on the Thunderbolt drives - particularly how they work with SuperDuper and TimeMachine - boot ups - etc.

I'd also like to know if any kind of Thunderbolt-to-USB3 or Thunderbolt-to-eSATA converters are available, and if those setups will boot an Intel iMac - because the selection of Firewire drives does not seem to be getting any better.

I almost forgot - I use a Seagate GoFlex for Mac portable drive, 1TB which can switch from USB 2 to Firewire - no significant problems since 2011. I backup that one once-per-week and keep it off site.

dnanian 07-09-2015 08:27 PM

I'm sorry. There are so many drives, and so many Macs, and so many combinations, it's nearly impossible for me to provide a list of drives that are "known good", but "known good" can only be for combinations that we can test.

Thunderbolt, in general, should work fine, as should USB drives. Some drives (like G-Drives) may need firmware updates to improve their Mac compatibility, but that's rare. Sometimes you need to attach the drive when you Option+boot, rather than having it attached before. Problems, though, are generally rare.

G.Wright 07-09-2015 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dnanian (Post 33250)
I'm sorry. There are so many drives, and so many Macs, and so many combinations, it's nearly impossible for me to provide a list of drives that are "known good", but "known good" can only be for combinations that we can test.

Thunderbolt, in general, should work fine, as should USB drives. Some drives (like G-Drives) may need firmware updates to improve their Mac compatibility, but that's rare. Sometimes you need to attach the drive when you Option+boot, rather than having it attached before. Problems, though, are generally rare.

I understand.

Thanks for starting this post - which is a valuable asset for SuperDuper users trying to pick a backup drive from the ever-changing selection which is available to us!

What sent me here today was the frustration that fewer of available hard drives can connect with FireWire, and several of the few that are available have other problems. Add to that the fact that there are fewer Macs with a FW port - and obviously, at some point, the advice in the Users Guide:
"Our general advice is to get a FireWire drive from Other World Computing, WiebeTech, LaCie or a Maxtor OneTouch. We have tested these drives for compatibility, and all work well with the Mac."
... is going to need to be updated - as well as the 'Sticky' that starts this thread ("FireWire is always preferred").

I don't think a comprehensive "known good" list is needed, but some general guidelines - just like the comments you made here about Thunderbolt and the G-Drives - and all the other excellent observations you have made throughout this thread - if summarized - and put in the Help Guide, or on the SuperDuper website, or at the start of this Sticky might get newbies up to speed quicker.

Someone who glances at the User's Guide, or reads only the start of this Sticky might incorrectly conclude the software is mostly for Macs with FireWire. And some of us long-time users may be getting nervous about the shrinking supply of FW backup drives, and wondering about other options - which are mentioned - but sprinkled throughout this longish thread.

dnanian 07-09-2015 10:36 PM

I do try to say, in the User's Guide, that USB works fine with Intel Macs, whereas you need FireWire for Power PC Macs. When it's an option, FireWire is preferred. When it's not an option, though...

dianeoforegon 07-14-2016 05:41 PM

The Western Digital My Book USB 3.0 drives work well after reformatting with Disk Utility.

The WD My Passport with Unlock does not. To remove the software that locks the drive it requires a Windows machine. You need to download Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows.

This will completely remove the unlock partition and erase all software on the drive.

Now you can format properly in Disk Utility.

My suggestion would be to take the Passport back and exchange it for a MY Book USB 3.0.

dnanian 07-14-2016 06:01 PM

Thanks for the info, Diane!

Budgie 08-18-2016 06:10 PM

just brought a new imac for my prepress dept

iMAC 27" 3.2ghz 32gb ram 1tb fusion drive

I generally use lacie drives as I have had a good run with these for years, I opted to try a lacie Porche Design P9220 1tb USB, the drive is only 130mm x80mm x 18mm, from a virgin imac I did the initial erase and install, blazing speed, backed up in 18 minutes, installed a heap of other software, and then did a smart update, wow, fast, 6 minutes
boot test from external was as expected a little slow, but up and running in about 2 minutes

BRILLIANT

SD ROCKS

dnanian 08-18-2016 08:04 PM

Nice, Budgie!

MichaelD 08-21-2016 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dnanian (Post 32766)
This isn't a *huge* surprise - hubs are, generally, bad/evil/flaky/weird. But you have an easy workaround, should you need it - connect directly to the Mac.

Any good hubs or are all evil?

dnanian 08-21-2016 11:21 AM

Well, powered hubs with beefy power supplies are better than unpowered ones. The Plugable ones I've used have been OK, but USB (1/2) is just not great with external hubs (you already have a hub in the Mac itself - the external hub is another one).

External Thunderbolt "hubs" with USB ports have been pretty good in my experience, because they're native USB ports. But they're much more expensive.

prouss 12-05-2016 02:46 PM

Seagate Drives?
 
Does anyone have any experience with the Seagate Backup Plus drives? I bought one as the Wirecutter recommendation only to discover that it doesn't seem to work as a bootable clone (the Mac just doesn't seem to see that partition). Seagate has a support site that says (in a bad translation from something):

"5.) Booting from USB on a Mac

It is possible to boot your computer from an external drive, but Seagate does not provide assistance in getting it to work.

The only drives that have been tested to make sure they are to be bootable on Intel-based Macs are the “For Mac” drives. For this reason we suggest using the “For Mac” drives when trying to install your operating system, or clone to the external drive."

So at best it would seem I should get the "Backup Plus Hub for Mac", although I don't really need or want to pay for the hub feature. Or since I got a great price on the non-bootable one, I could keep that one and get a cheap smaller drive for booting purposes only. Any recommendations? Thanks

dnanian 12-05-2016 05:19 PM

I don't have any problem with the Backup Plus drive I have here. You seem to have multiple partitions - does it work if you only have one? Are you sure the drive is partitioned as GUID?


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