Question Which external storage solution should I go for?

rousetafarian

Moderator
Currently my 2013 MacBook Pro is being sidelined for possible other duties, think put into semi-retirement for now. Anyhow I used a Western Digital 2Tb Firewire 800 drive for my Time Machine target along with iCloud. All is great to this point.

I'd quite happily retire the WD drive due to it's age and keep it in the safe as I cannot seem to find a way of connecting it to my new 2020 Mac mini M1. For the MacBook I bought an official Apple Firewire to Thunderbolt adaptor in 2016 but cannot seem to find a way of either connecting;

a) Female Firewire 800 to Thunderbolt 3/USB-C cable or adaptor

or

b) Keep the Apple Firewire to Thunderbolt adaptor attached and go from that to USB-C so Thunderbolt to USB-C

Whichever way it needs to support data transfer as some list just video and no data - Who can send me a link please?

Moving on, I could always go for a new WD 2TB My Passport for Mac Portable hard drive which is Time Machine ready, what other suggestions do you guys have? I just really need a restore target/point for my new machine, nothing business critical etc.

Thoughts?
 

CamFire

Distinguished Member
The Hagibis USB-C "hub" can house a SATA drive with a size of your choosing. Plus you get some additional ports. If the looks and compatibility are important, then the additional spending will be worth it - not to mention the flexibility.

Amazon product
 
Last edited:

MacrosTheBlack

Well-known Member
Down to your budget? Plenty options really.

Cheapest would be to rip out the external drive you have of its enclosure and put into an external caddy with USB C connection.
Go on Amazon and search “usb c hard drive enclosure”. Just make sure it can take the drive if it’s a large 3.5”

Or if you have the budget there’s some good Black Friday deals on fast SSD external storage. £220 get you a nice 2TB Samsung T7

Or just get the cheapest usb c external 2tb portable hard drive. Any of them can be reformatted for Time machine.
 

the colonel

Active Member
Currently my 2013 MacBook Pro is being sidelined for possible other duties, think put into semi-retirement for now. Anyhow I used a Western Digital 2Tb Firewire 800 drive for my Time Machine target along with iCloud. All is great to this point.

I'd quite happily retire the WD drive due to it's age and keep it in the safe as I cannot seem to find a way of connecting it to my new 2020 Mac mini M1. For the MacBook I bought an official Apple Firewire to Thunderbolt adaptor in 2016 but cannot seem to find a way of either connecting;

a) Female Firewire 800 to Thunderbolt 3/USB-C cable or adaptor

or

b) Keep the Apple Firewire to Thunderbolt adaptor attached and go from that to USB-C so Thunderbolt to USB-C

Whichever way it needs to support data transfer as some list just video and no data - Who can send me a link please?

Moving on, I could always go for a new WD 2TB My Passport for Mac Portable hard drive which is Time Machine ready, what other suggestions do you guys have? I just really need a restore target/point for my new machine, nothing business critical etc.

Thoughts?

One way to connect Firewire devices to Thunderbolt 3 Macs is to use the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter and connect your Firewire to Thunderbolt 2 adapter into it.

There is a Youtube video showing how to do this:

Connect Firewire Devices To New Macs With Thunderbolt 3

The Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapters are not cheap unfortunately. I sold mine on Ebay earlier this year for £33, new they are £45 (Amazon).

Another option would be to source an old Belkin USB 2.0 and Firewire 6-Port Hub (Model F5U507), looking on Ebay they go for about £10. These were designed to add additional ports for the old Mac Mini's. Unfortunately they are only Firewire 400, so you would also need an adapter or converter cable but these are cheap. From the Belkin hub you can connect into the USB-A ports on your new Mac Mini.

However, if it was me I would upgrade the old Firewire drive to a modern faster USB-C one.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
One way to connect Firewire devices to Thunderbolt 3 Macs is to use the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter and connect your Firewire to Thunderbolt 2 adapter into it.

There is a Youtube video showing how to do this:

Connect Firewire Devices To New Macs With Thunderbolt 3

The Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapters are not cheap unfortunately. I sold mine on Ebay earlier this year for £33, new they are £45 (Amazon).

Another option would be to source an old Belkin USB 2.0 and Firewire 6-Port Hub (Model F5U507), looking on Ebay they go for about £10. These were designed to add additional ports for the old Mac Mini's. Unfortunately they are only Firewire 400, so you would also need an adapter or converter cable but these are cheap. From the Belkin hub you can connect into the USB-A ports on your new Mac Mini.

However, if it was me I would upgrade the old Firewire drive to a modern faster USB-C one.
Hi

Thanks for taking the time to reply, we are on the same page as I believe that a new drive is the sensible approach. Now to start refining down these we external options, do I go 2Tb SSD or traditional disc? I assume the write speeds would be the same. Also I noticed one of the WD drives mentioned as a feature ‘Time Machine ready’ - Is that just marketing as I thought any external target could be used.

Regards
 

the colonel

Active Member
Hi

Thanks for taking the time to reply, we are on the same page as I believe that a new drive is the sensible approach. Now to start refining down these we external options, do I go 2Tb SSD or traditional disc? I assume the write speeds would be the same. Also I noticed one of the WD drives mentioned as a feature ‘Time Machine ready’ - Is that just marketing as I thought any external target could be used.

Regards
Myself I use a traditional disc for my Time Machine backups. Because it runs in the background I do not see the need for the increased speed of writing to SSD's. Whilst the SSD is faster they are more expensive, it is down to individual users if the expense and speed gain is worthwhile.
All drives can be formatted for Macs, it is easy to do, no need to buy one 'Time Machine Ready'.
 

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