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Author Topic: Help: Reliable/Speedy External Bus Powered FW800 DRIVE  (Read 3524 times)
mrkjhn
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« on: June 29, 2013, 04:25:50 PM »
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I know there are a thousand opinions as there are belly buttons in this world around external hard drives.  I've found the reviews on Macworld, Amazon and the rest of web rather limited to bench-testing or consumer level reviews, and thought addressing this to working pros with their on-hands experience I might get better recommendations from those in the trenches.

Requirements; 2.5 HD, FW800 and bus powered, Macbook Pro.  I've used the LaCie Rugged drives sparingly without trouble against a rather large general opinion against doing so.  Also used the G-Tech Mini drives with good success, though came across a couple 750GB models who's performance were well below general FW800 specs, i.e.... slow read and write times.  Their larger desktop models have been hit and miss in the past, mostly miss; FW daisy chains that go into spasms down the line, mounting and un-mounting of drives sporadically, customer service's response to send in for newer firmware (?) like it's a know problem (?).  I've used WD Passport to hand off client files which seem ok but really looking for something I can depend on for rock solid performance on all levels.

Recently, decided to built my own with WD Black Scorpion 750GB in Oyen Digital cases with Oxford Chips (nice!!!).  Case similar if not same as G-Tech Mini's though not sure what chip-set G-Tech uses.  That combination was problematic on WD's side; their energy saving's firmware they build into the 2.5 drives don't seem to play well with Macs; constant head parking and awaking every ~20'sec or so.  Higher tier customer service acknowledge the issue but they don't have a solution for it on the Mac end.  So.... that BLACK 7200rpm level drive with a 5 year warranty starts ramping up the cycle counts pretty quickly which may or not affect it's longevity, but the thing drives me crazy with it's parking racket, and accessing it takes a little longer while waiting for it to pull itself together; sad cause this combination has a lot of potential on both ends (drive / case / chipset).

So.... I can buy pretty much anything for the short term of handling off files to a client, but really need something that's going to stand up to the rigors of a 2-3 week catalog shoot where the drive's are being used for 15hr plus days. Thanks in advance.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2013, 06:10:13 PM »
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I've been using iOmega 1TB Dual Firewire 800 drives for a few years without issue for my in the field back-ups on the mac book pro. Because they are dual FW800 I can daisy chain them together which cuts my back up time significantly. No idea if these are still available though.
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Rajan Parrikar
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2013, 01:35:00 AM »
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OWC drives have been very reliable in my experience -

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/on-the-go


Buffalo also used to make FW800 interface drives.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2013, 02:02:49 AM »
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You didn't mention capacity requirements.  But, if you could get by with 200gb daily you might want to consider the advantages SSD storage would bring to your equation.   They draw much less power, more reliable, highest performance, and if you have a newer MBP you could even source a Msata internally and put another SSD in a drive bay adapter, and you'd have redundancy with nor cables, etc..  You didn't mention redundancy but a pro in the field must have it so the solution fits.  If you had a days worth of storage available on your main system SSD then you'd only need one, a SSD in a drive by adapter, or a Msata drive. (I like the Adata 256gb, works great in PC's but not sure in Mac's)

Then you could back up each evening with a quality external solution and even upload to your cloud account.  Personally I try to get as many of my daily files uploaded in my home cloud as possible.   

I'm long past trying to balance and juggle two external devices, cables, etc, on a job.. far too many other areas I can worry about.  ;o)
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Conner999
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2013, 06:11:32 AM »
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Have had one OWC FW800 portable enclosure fail on me (drive I sourced myself was fine). Great luck with G-Tech Fw800 line powered drives. Have 3, most of the enclosures are as many years old, with the actual drives upsized by myself as need (with Hitachi unit) and never had a hiccup. Have yet to try their self-powered 2.5" FW800 units, but they have a strong rep.
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mrkjhn
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2013, 09:04:53 AM »
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We import into Aperture where the library is stored on the main internal hard drive of the computer, with an attached drive for the backup at the time of import.  I'd love to eventually move over to SSD but at the moment they're a bit too expensive and the backup drive gets handed off to the photographer while I manage the Aperture Library.  Once back from the job, I put the library into my main system with duplicate backups etc...

As for drive size, typically 500GB - 1TB.  Given the amount of files we're shooting each day, I'm not sure the cloud backup at night would work; we're already uploading some deliverables overnight and given the connection speed of the hotels (not always great) that and in itself is pushing it.

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