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Hard drive backup recommendation

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Hi Brian,  I am running Catalina on my 2013 iMac.  Do you have a recommendation for a hard drive backup for my many photos and saved documents? From what I read about Seagate, they are not reliable.  Many thanks,


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i hate Seagate Drives with a passion, so you won't see them recommended by me. What do I use with my iMac? G-Drives. The fancy Enterprise-Grade ones. The cool part is they come Mac Formatted and include all necessary cables in the box. The downside is they tend to be a bit pricey, but this is my data we are talking about, I'm not going to purchase a $79 Special from a Box Store, only to spend $2000 on Professional Data recovery when the damn thing dies. Don't cheap out when it comes to your data!! Buy it Right - Buy it Once!

Since you are running a 2013 iMac, and probably have Thunderbolt 2 ports, I'm going to recommend a USB 3.0 Based G-Drive. Why not use the Thunderbolt 2 Ports? Because the HD manufactures really don't make TB2-based drives anymore, they have moved onto Thunderbolt 3. The good news is, that whatever drive you choose, you can use it on your new Mac. So you might want to spend a little more now and get a much larger HD than your current needs dictate, so that when you do upgrade your camera / computer, you won't have to fork out the cash a second time.

As for which one, I'd recommend getting a USB 3.0 4TB G-Drive. The Good? It's pretty affordable at $140. The bad? It's only 4TB and these days that's not a lot of storage capacity. The good news is that 4TB could easily meet your needs and when the time comes for a new Mac, you can re-purpose this 4TB EHD as a Time Machine Backup Drive and purchase another external to house your Photos and such. Which leads me to my next point...

You do not want your Time Machine Drive also being used as a Data HD. Keep the two separate and be sure to configure Time Machine to exclude the other EHD. All sorts of bad things can happen if you "cross-pollinate;" I've know of several Mac Users had their TM drive backup EVERYTHING, including their large Data Drive. The TM Drive started corrupting itself and caused all sorts of hell. So let's avoid that, life is too short. :)

Time Machine EHD is just for Time Machine.

2nd (and larger) EHD is for Photos and Data.

Here is my old computer from a few years ago. My 12TB EHD is on the left, and the 4TB EHD is on the right, and that's my Time Machine Drive:


I've since upgraded to a 27" iMac, but the configuration is the same.


In case you haven't heard, there is a chip shortage happening now and supplies are limited across the board. Not only for things like Ford Pickup Trucks, but things like Hard Drives, Computers, and other Peripherals are also affected. Prices are a lot more now than they were in 2019. The $500 computes from yesterday, are going for $1200 today. Same thing goes for Hard Drives. If you see in stock and you can afford it, BUY IT! Because in a week or two there will be a good chance that it's out of stock for 6 months, or even longer. 

If you are looking for a really expensive, beefy and most importantly Future Proof, then look towards a larger EHD like this 18TB Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3.0 Drive or this smaller one the 14TB Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3.0.


You can split the difference and get something like a 6TB Drive or a 10TB Model.

See a theme here? :)

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One more thing. You are going to want to read "Part 2" of this article:

It covers how to get your mounted devices, like memory cards in readers, as well as external hard drives to show up on your Mac Desktop. It makes things really easy to deal with when you have external devices.

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