Macbookpro  10.6.8; 3 USB 2 ports; 1 firewire 800 port; 500 GB int HD about 1/2 full
I am preparing to upgrade to el capitan. I want to keep my current LaCie rugged clone BU [superduper] in case the upgrade does not go well or needed programs take a while to upgrade/replace so I can still churn out necessary letters/email w/out delay by booting into and running from the LaCie. I want a new ext HD to clone the new upgrade once/if I get it working. I also plan to transfer old files from old ext HDs to the new one in case the old ext HD's crash. So I'm thinking I'd get a 1, 2 or 3 TB and partition it for BUing my laptop and transferring older BU's from other ext HDs.
I work on an over-the-bed hospital table because I find it hard to sit up for any length of time at a desk. So I chose a portable ext HD for the mac that powers itself thru the firewire - no power cords to plug in. I get up and fetch it from my unused office once/week for bu's and in between I use mega online storage for important daily bu's. I wish everyday mac would do multisession data DVDs.
The files I am backing up are important documentation for ongoing litigation. Not all of them are on my current laptop, which is why I also need to bu from old ext HDS. So I need both a reliable ext HD but also one I'll actually bu to regularly.
I have had no trouble w/ my LaCie d2 Quadra standup or the Lacie rugged, both bought around 2010, but I've read a lot of bad reviews about LaCies. Also, when looking at current models on Amazon I don't see any power inlets. My rugged had the power inlet, altho I don't appear to have purchased the cord [per my computer inv doc] and I don't know why I didn't.
Altho I prefer to use the firewire powered BU, I like to have redundancy. I had trouble w/ supposed USB powered ext HDs not getting enough juice thru the port and had to use the power cord in the past. Maybe that's not a problem w/ 1394b.
Reviews suggest getting an ext desktop HD from a named brand for reliability, but stand up HDs don't fit very well on my over-the-bed table. One possible solution would be to buy a portable like a 500 GB LaCie or WD passport for reg BUs and a stand up 1-3T ext HD to BU the LaCie when I have the energy - well actually both Lacies 'cause the quadra has the Major BU of the other legal files.
I am on limited income. I'll spend what I have to because preserving this documentation is critical, but the cheaper the better. All my old ext HDs have firewire - even my WD from 2000. So I want firewire and USB ports. And a power cord if I have to use a USB port at some tome since USB2 didn't work so well for me.
Any suggestions on brands, sizes? I've heard G-Drive and Seagate are reliable. My old WD's are still accessible. Maxtor was a disaster for me. Any advantage to purchasing from the Mac store?
Are 1 TB drives less reliable than smaller drives, less likely to be adequately powered by 1394b? My ext HD's will be used for data BU's - .docs, jpgs, spreadsheets, paperport files, maybe short videos. No streaming, large movie files, video editing.
When I partition do I use journaled on both partitions since I'll be doing transfers thru the mac? My BU to the LaCie Quadra came from a Windows xp computer but I've never had trouble accessing the files. I don't think I can save to the Quadra from the mac, tho.
Any suggestions/help appreciated.