i bought a hard drive with 1tb. is it safe to put my big video files onto this and take them off my laptop?

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Donna,
Before you copy/transfer any data to that new drive, have you formatted it?
I strongly recommend "zeroing all data" in the process, that way you can be relatively sure that your drive will not have a flaw (bad blocks) right off the bat.
A few times in the past (I have many drives, well in excess of 20 TB here) I rushed a new drive into service without zeroing the data (it can take several hours), and even if I had "erased/formatted" it with Disk Utility, I ran into serious problems later.
Problems which disappeared once I salvaged the data (some of it anyway) and reformatted, zeroing all data.
That was recommended to me by a tech guy at MacGurus, and it sure has made a difference since.

Once your drive is ready, it is safe to move your video files, but you will be without a backup.

Also, for speed, it seems best to work with three drives: one with the OS and applications (the "boot" drive), one holding the source material/documents, and a third one, the fastest you can manage, to be used as scratch disk.

That too has helped my work tremendously (I work with uncompressed video, it creates massive files).

Good luck.
can you explain what zeroing all data and formatting it means? i have one external hard drive almost full and i just put things on it without doing anything to it first.
Good info here
You can skip the partitioning part, but the explanation as to why it is best to format is good.
"Zeroing all data" means that if your drive has any bad blocks, they will be mapped out, the computer will not try to use them. As I said earlier, I skipped that a few times when pressed for time, but came to regret it more than once.
hi donna... here is a link to how to format a drive. It also discusses partitioning (dividing the drive into more than one 'virtual' drive which can be useful in certain situations)... and setting this up for Final Cut Pro. But the basics are the same.

http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/partitioning_tiger.html

Formatting has the net effect of erasing everything on the drive... even tho there is also a function you can choose called "erase". don't worry to much about it. What Jean and Liveart are suggesting is that taking the extra step of erasing (formatting) an already empty drive while "zeroing the data" is like making sure you wash your brand new dishes when you get them home from IKEA even tho they are "perfectly" clean. It makes sense to be safe and reformatting and zeroing does a very careful and complete job of looking at every bit on your drive and re-setting it to zero. Some folks don't bother with this. Believe it or not there are actually even more extreme versions of this where you have the formatting re-zero 35 times! really, 35 (why 35? I dunno... what... 34 isn't enough... and 36 is overkill?)
Jean's advice is spot on.

Just realize that you can still lose files off the external drive.

Think of some sort of back-up if you really want to sleep well at night.
thanks all. i read up on it some. it sounds like if i bought a drive that was for mac only i would not have to do this. is that right?
I personally would still do it (zero all data) as it would make sure I don't run into problems that I can avoid by doing it.
I had a LaCie 2 TB "Bigger Disk Extreme" that really messed up (I lost quite abit of original work because of it).
It even went back to LaCie (Canada, in Toronto).
They replaced the wires, and the bridge, but could not find anything wrong with the drive itself.
After I received it, it messed up again, not once, but twice.
I was about to pull the drives out (it's a 4 x 500 GB RAID) and see if I could use them individually or, if I could spot a/the bad one, replace it and rebuild the RAID, when I remembered I had never zeroed all data on it.
I did that a few months ago, have yet to have a single glitch with it since (touching wood!).

Looks like the link to Ken Stone's site I gave you above is a good one, it is the one Victor suggested later.
;-)
i have had some bad experiences with LaCie as well. big 1TB drives that just went 'kaput' one day, with the data totally gone (or at best, a 2-3K expense to try to recover w no guarantees).

since then i've been pretty careful about choosing models w good reputations even if they cost a bit more. G-Tech's GRAID2 have served me pretty well (knock on wood) and Glyph also makes very reputable drives.

that said, any drive can fail. it's wise to have back-ups of important files and projects.
Hi David,
Don't know if LaCie has dropped in quality over the years, nor if it is because most of my external drives were/are LaCie's, but I sure have had my share of severe problems with them, spending a fortune in data recovery (good trustworthy place here).
I switched to eSATA external enclosures with Port Multiplier, amazing speed and convenience (for example, a 5 x 750 TB RAID 0 array, it only needs one eSATA cable and one power cord!) from MacGurus, check them out here (amazing speeds)
And for backups, a very convenient and relatively cheap system, no need for enclosures, from NewerTech.
As for the drives themselves, I am partial to Seagate Barracuda.

Just in case, I should be in NY on and around April 11, at the Visual Music Marathon held at the School of Visual Arts.
Are you going to be around?
i should be around, yes. let's definitely try to grab a coffee.
Jean,

I checked out the less expensive system you mentioned at Newer Tech and then called MacGurus to cross reference the info. Mac Gurus told me that system would lead to latency for the SATA and I might as well just connect it with Firewire only, with no need to purchase a SATA Card.

Regarding the La Cie drives.... I had problems as well. The quality is not what the used to be. Fortunately I could tell the drive was going to die by the "gasping" sounds it was making and backed up all the data before it quit.

I would enjoy meeting you and David when you come to New York. I taught at SVA for 14 years until 1999.
shall we make this a SA gathering. I do not want to invite myself in, but I'd be interested in meeting up with you all on or around the 11. The "City" is just a short train ride.

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