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What External Hard Drive Is Best To Use Backup My iMac?

Have an iMac and want to update the OS from 10.5.8 but want to back it up first. What external hard drive is the best?
Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac9,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz

Louise Herlihy

Comments: 7 Responses to “What External Hard Drive Is Best To Use Backup My iMac?”

    4 years ago

    You should get an external hard drive to back up your Mac ASAP — it is the most important thing you can do and I would never do without it.
    As for which is “best” — it is hard to say. Almost any external USB drive will do. Get one that is a decent size. Check your Mac to see how much data you have. If you have, say, 500GB of data on your drive, then get one that is 1TB at least. You want to have double your stored data as a good rule of thumb.
    Check Amazon or your favorite site for USB drives and see what is on sale now or getting really goo reviews. I would go for a USB3 drive even though your Mac is old and uses USB2. A USB3 drive will work with USB2, and you’ll be ready for your next new Mac.

    4 years ago

    Hi thanks Gary for coming back to me. I am finding that a lot of hard drives are not compatible for this OS 10.5.8. I recently brought a WD 2TB but would not recognise my iMac. Do you know of any off hand that would be compatible for iMAC 10.5.8 OS?

    4 years ago

    That’s odd. Most, if not all drives sold retail should work fine with OS X, even old 10.5. Try running Disk Utility and then re-formatting the drive as Mac format. Time Machine should do that for you, but you are running a very old version of OS X, so perhaps not for you. In Disk Utility, erase the drive and reformat at Macintosh OS Extended, Journaled. Then use Time Machine in System Preferences to back it up.

    Marcia Moore
    4 years ago

    I have a time machine that I have always used for backup. Recently I changed from At&T to Comcast XFinity. I have one network, but it has a 2.4 version and a 5 version. Now the Time Machine doesn’t back up my laptop or IPAD. Is it because it thinks I have 2 different networks, and my apparatus are set on the opposite one as the Time Machine?

    4 years ago

    If your Time Machine drive is connected directly to your Mac via USB, then the networks have nothing to do with it. If it is attached via a network drive, then just make sure that your Mac and the drive are connected to the same network so they can see each other. If you can’t see the external drive in the Finder, then Time Machine can’t see it either.

    Ed Adams
    4 years ago

    You can go to They are a Mac cloud based storage company and they do a report on the 10s of thousands of hard drives they use for backing up data. It is based on real life results not extrapolations. Look for specific drives from vendors not names as one drive from a vendor might be great and the same drive but smaller might be awful.

    4 years ago

    Good idea Ed. I’ve read those reports before. Here’s the one from 2016:

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