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cara4562

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I'm sure this has been asked 100s of time, but I'm not finding any recent recs in the search.  What external harddrive do you recommend?  I have a Mac, and my storage is almost full!  I need to get old files off.

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How old is your Mac? Need Model / Year. I have a couple of recommendations.

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It is old!  Late 2013 27inch imac:  3.2 GHz Intel Core i5, 4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M 1 GB.  I have no idea what you need I just copied from the about my mac lol.  Thank you!!

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The reason that I was asking is for the type of ports that it has, specifically the Thunderbolt port. For the best transfer speeds when it comes to your Mac, it is better to use the Thunderbolt ports. Because your Mac is from 2013, and will more than likely be replaced within the next few years (start saving...trust me on this,) it doesn't make sense for you to buy a Thunderbolt 2 Hard Drive. The reason is that TB2 HDs are really hard to find, as Thunderbolt 3 has taken over and the physical port is different.

For my recommendation, I actually like Western Digital's External Hard Drives, though not just any external hard drive from them. Believe it or not, a "Gaming Hard Drive" is what you will buy. Even though it will work with a Game System like a Xbox or PlayStation, the hard drive doesn't care. All we need to do is delete the current partition, create a Mac one and Format the Drive. It will then become a "Macintosh Hard Drive." Plus, since it's a gaming hard drive, that is meant for wear-and-tear, it's built better than a $79 Special from Best Buy, or whatever Box Store is close to you.

This model is a bit more expensive, but it more than likely contains a WD Caviar Black HD, which run at 7200 RPM and are extremely reliable, and it's 8TB so you can use it on your new Mac when you buy it in a few years. That makes it more of an investment. As with camera sensors increasing MegaPixels, the more you have, the bigger the Raw files. My D850 creates 100MB Raw files and you'd be surprised on how quickly those files eat up space. I'd buy this one, in fact...it's on my Amazon Wish List for Christmas.

WD_Black 8TB D10 Game Drive, Portable External Hard Drive Compatible with Playstation, Xbox, PC, & Mac - WDBA3P0080HBK-NESN

Since the HD is 7200 RPM, that requires it's own power source, which is provided. This makes your HD more stable in my humble opinion. Also, 7200 RPM does make a difference; there is a noticeable performance boost when using a 7200 RPM HD as compared to a 5400RPM drive. I like the fact that it also has active cooling; heat is the enemy of electronics.

So if you do get that EHD, let me know and we can go over how to make it a Mac drive. It takes like 5 minutes to accomplish.

BTW: They do have a 5TB model for around $126-ish if you don't want to spend close to $200 for a EHD.

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22 hours ago, Brian said:

The reason that I was asking is for the type of ports that it has, specifically the Thunderbolt port. For the best transfer speeds when it comes to your Mac, it is better to use the Thunderbolt ports. Because your Mac is from 2013, and will more than likely be replaced within the next few years (start saving...trust me on this,) it doesn't make sense for you to buy a Thunderbolt 2 Hard Drive. The reason is that TB2 HDs are really hard to find, as Thunderbolt 3 has taken over and the physical port is different.

For my recommendation, I actually like Western Digital's External Hard Drives, though not just any external hard drive from them. Believe it or not, a "Gaming Hard Drive" is what you will buy. Even though it will work with a Game System like a Xbox or PlayStation, the hard drive doesn't care. All we need to do is delete the current partition, create a Mac one and Format the Drive. It will then become a "Macintosh Hard Drive." Plus, since it's a gaming hard drive, that is meant for wear-and-tear, it's built better than a $79 Special from Best Buy, or whatever Box Store is close to you.

This model is a bit more expensive, but it more than likely contains a WD Caviar Black HD, which run at 7200 RPM and are extremely reliable, and it's 8TB so you can use it on your new Mac when you buy it in a few years. That makes it more of an investment. As with camera sensors increasing MegaPixels, the more you have, the bigger the Raw files. My D850 creates 100MB Raw files and you'd be surprised on how quickly those files eat up space. I'd buy this one, in fact...it's on my Amazon Wish List for Christmas.

WD_Black 8TB D10 Game Drive, Portable External Hard Drive Compatible with Playstation, Xbox, PC, & Mac - WDBA3P0080HBK-NESN

Since the HD is 7200 RPM, that requires it's own power source, which is provided. This makes your HD more stable in my humble opinion. Also, 7200 RPM does make a difference; there is a noticeable performance boost when using a 7200 RPM HD as compared to a 5400RPM drive. I like the fact that it also has active cooling; heat is the enemy of electronics.

So if you do get that EHD, let me know and we can go over how to make it a Mac drive. It takes like 5 minutes to accomplish.

BTW: They do have a 5TB model for around $126-ish if you don't want to spend close to $200 for a EHD.

Thank you so much!!  I'm going to place an order - any chance you have an affiliate link I could use?  I'd love to support where I can.  I appreciate it and will check back after it comes in!

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Buy Brian a Beer!!
Donate

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I don't have affiliate links. Damien says I'm crazy, but what I recommend is what I would purchase with my own money. I feel awkward in getting a SPIFF for recommending X over Y due to any financial gain on my part. So when it comes to recommendations from me, you get an honest opinion. :)

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You definitely should!!  Beer sent : )  I will be back when the external arrives!  Thank you!!!

  • Thanks 1

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I got the notification! Thank You Very Much!!

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On 10/26/2020 at 1:54 PM, Brian said:

The reason that I was asking is for the type of ports that it has, specifically the Thunderbolt port. For the best transfer speeds when it comes to your Mac, it is better to use the Thunderbolt ports. Because your Mac is from 2013, and will more than likely be replaced within the next few years (start saving...trust me on this,) it doesn't make sense for you to buy a Thunderbolt 2 Hard Drive. The reason is that TB2 HDs are really hard to find, as Thunderbolt 3 has taken over and the physical port is different.

For my recommendation, I actually like Western Digital's External Hard Drives, though not just any external hard drive from them. Believe it or not, a "Gaming Hard Drive" is what you will buy. Even though it will work with a Game System like a Xbox or PlayStation, the hard drive doesn't care. All we need to do is delete the current partition, create a Mac one and Format the Drive. It will then become a "Macintosh Hard Drive." Plus, since it's a gaming hard drive, that is meant for wear-and-tear, it's built better than a $79 Special from Best Buy, or whatever Box Store is close to you.

This model is a bit more expensive, but it more than likely contains a WD Caviar Black HD, which run at 7200 RPM and are extremely reliable, and it's 8TB so you can use it on your new Mac when you buy it in a few years. That makes it more of an investment. As with camera sensors increasing MegaPixels, the more you have, the bigger the Raw files. My D850 creates 100MB Raw files and you'd be surprised on how quickly those files eat up space. I'd buy this one, in fact...it's on my Amazon Wish List for Christmas.

WD_Black 8TB D10 Game Drive, Portable External Hard Drive Compatible with Playstation, Xbox, PC, & Mac - WDBA3P0080HBK-NESN

Since the HD is 7200 RPM, that requires it's own power source, which is provided. This makes your HD more stable in my humble opinion. Also, 7200 RPM does make a difference; there is a noticeable performance boost when using a 7200 RPM HD as compared to a 5400RPM drive. I like the fact that it also has active cooling; heat is the enemy of electronics.

So if you do get that EHD, let me know and we can go over how to make it a Mac drive. It takes like 5 minutes to accomplish.

BTW: They do have a 5TB model for around $126-ish if you don't want to spend close to $200 for a EHD.

I just got my external!  Is there a post on how to make it a Mac drive on here?  Thank you!!

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It's pretty straightforward. Currently, I'm on MacOS Catalina, so your screens might look a little different than mine. But the theory is the same. More than likely, I will ask you for some screenshots. This process takes about 5 minutes to do. So without further adieu...

 

The first thing I want you to do, if you haven't already, is turn on the feature that allows you to see HDs and other "Mounted Devices" on your Mac Desktop. 

  • Open the Finder. The easiest way is to click the Smiley Face on your DockBar:

 

Screen Shot 2020-02-29 at 3.31.00 PM.png
 

  • Then head to the Finder Menu and select Preferences:
     

Screen Shot 2020-02-29 at 3.32.35 PM.png

  • Once there put checks next to these items and change the bottom to "Macintosh HD" if you want:

Screen Shot 2020-02-29 at 3.33.29 PM.png

  • From there, just click the Red Circle in the upper left corner to apply the changes.

 

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Now for Part 2...

  • First, plug in new Western Digital External into a USB Port directly on your Mac. It should appear on the desktop, though it may not. Here is an example of what you should see:

    Screen Shot 2020-11-01 at 11.32.41 AM.png
     
  • Next, Open Disk Utilities. Head to  Applications Menu >> Utilities >> Disk Utilities.

 

Screen Shot 2020-02-29 at 3.27.22 PM.png

  • This is where your Disk Utilities might look slightly different. Anyway, here is mine:

    Screen Shot 2020-02-29 at 3.38.59 PM.png

At this point, you are going to have to work with me. Post a Screenshot in this thread of what your Disk Utility Window looks like and we will continue.

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On 11/1/2020 at 11:19 AM, Brian said:

Now for Part 2...

  • First, plug in new Western Digital External into a USB Port directly on your Mac. It should appear on the desktop, though it may not. Here is an example of what you should see:

    Screen Shot 2020-11-01 at 11.32.41 AM.png
     
  • Next, Open Disk Utilities. Head to  Applications Menu >> Utilities >> Disk Utilities.

 

Screen Shot 2020-02-29 at 3.27.22 PM.png

  • This is where your Disk Utilities might look slightly different. Anyway, here is mine:

    Screen Shot 2020-02-29 at 3.38.59 PM.png

At this point, you are going to have to work with me. Post a Screenshot in this thread of what your Disk Utility Window looks like and we will continue.

Sorry I'm just getting to this, but I think this is what you need!

Screen Shot 2020-11-05 at 11.22.42 AM.png

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OK, you seem to have two external drives hooked up. Make sure you Eject and Remove the one you do not want to erase. Clicking on the wrong EHD and then doing a Erase / Partition is a VERY BAD THING. Macs are a real PITA when it comes to data recovery. Which is great if you are trying to get rid of things, bad for when you do something stupid, like I did...and delete pictures from the years 2007-2011. I still haven't gotten everything back. :(

You can Eject the EHD from Disk Utilities, just click the little up-arrow/line next to the drive you want to remove. 

 

Screen Shot 2020-11-05 at 7.55.04 PM.png

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Now for Part 3...

  • First select the EHD that you want to Format for use on the Mac in the left column:
     

Screen Shot 2020-11-05 at 6.32.24 PM.png

  • Then click the Erase Button at the top:
     

Screen Shot 2020-11-05 at 6.34.35 PM.png

  • Your Window should appear similar to this. At this point, give your new EHD its official name. Make it something Obvious, like WD 3TB or Client File EHD 3TB. Something recognizable and simple. You can only have so many characters for the name, so keep it short and simple: 

28157356_ScreenShot2020-11-05at6_38_07PM.thumb.png.149308a75a024bf9664c81fca2d618be.png

  • Then click the UP/DOWN arrows on the right, in the Format Section. If this was originally a Windows EHD, it will more than likely say, Windows NT File System (NTFS)

    759432713_ScreenShot2020-11-05at6_35_31PM.thumb.png.56fdfa226a1377c3315c622b28fece29.png
     
  • A list will appear as follows:

    1740699543_ScreenShot2020-11-05at6_35_47PM.thumb.png.04e42ec78632a8dcbe773a9dcc19c07e.png
     
    • For a Traditional Spinning Hard Drive, ONLY SELECT THE "MacOS Extended (Journaled)" DO NOT SELECT the "Encrypted / Case Sensitive" Options!
       
    • For a Flash Based Hard Drive (i.e. SSD, m.2) choose APFS. DO NOT use APFS for a Traditional Hard Drive! DO NOT SELECT the "Encrypted / Case Sensitive" Options!
       
  • For the majority of users doing this, your new External HD will most likely be the "Traditional / Spinning" type/kind, as SSD/m.2 Drives tend to be extremely expensive for capacities over 1TB. As time goes on, this will definitely change, but for now your Disk Utility Window should look something like this:

    538930640_ScreenShot2020-11-05at6_38_35PM.thumb.png.c9e20a024992d7ef170482535f91a460.png

     
  • Simply Click the Erase Button and let the MacOS do its thing:

    1839382751_ScreenShot2020-11-05at6_39_43PM.thumb.png.0183c710211f05cd5a51004411ec2571.png
     
  • When finished, you might get a message from the MacOS asking if you want to use the EHD for Time Machine or not. If this is a Data Drive, tell it NO!
  • Of course, if this EHD is meant for Time Machine, tell it Yes.
     
Quote

PLEASE NOTE!! You want to keep your Time Machine External Hard Drives separate from your normal day-to-day backups!

AGAIN, DO NOT USE YOUR TIME MACHINE EHDs as a normal Data Backup Drive, not matter how tempting it might be.  Trust me on this, your TM EHD should be used to back up the internal "Macintosh HD" only and not have it backup any externals.

Keep things simple when it comes to Time Machine Drives.

 

  • If everything goes as expected, and followed all of my instructions, you should see your new EHD mounted on the Mac Desktop:

    984169479_ScreenShot2020-11-05at6_41_36PM.thumb.png.8737227e619712937552cd42fc041f6e.png

     
  • You will also see it as follows in the Disk Utility Module of the MacOS:

    515601105_ScreenShot2020-11-05at7_12_13PM.thumb.png.2b8f9779c142d91444b155218773724d.png

That's it!

That is all it takes to make your Windows Hard Drive and convert it for use on your Mac. Keep in mind that with the MacOS and the way its designed, is it treats both Internal and External Drives the same. So don't go over 75% - 80% capacity on either drive, Internal or External. The more full your hard drive is, the slower your Macintosh runs. 

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@cara4562 - Here are your instructions. No need to "quote" me, you and I are the only two that are allowed to comment on this thread. Just let me know how things go. :)

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