OWC expands Mercury Elite line with 400GB storage solutions

Other World Computing (OWC) today expanded its popular line of Mercury Elite external storage solutions with the introduction of a 400GB model priced at $539.99 for a FireWire 400+USB 2.0 combo version, $559.99 for a FireWire 800/400-only version and $579.99 for a FireWire 800/400+USB 2.0 version.

Additionally, OWC has reduced prices on all of the company’s Mercury Elite 80- to 250GB external storage solutions by up to 20 percent. Prices now start at $139.99.

All 400GB Mercury Elite drives spin at 7200RPM and feature an 8 MB data buffer. Designed to combine high-speed Oxford bridge solutions and the fastest drive mechanisms available, the new 400GB Mercury Elite solutions provide data transfer rates from 60 MBps for the FireWire 800 solutions to more than 40MBps for the FireWire/USB combo solutions.

“Like every OWC product, these new Mercury Elite drives are not only designed to provide the utmost customer satisfaction, but they’re built to last,” said Larry O’Connor, president of OWC in the press release. “Using only the highest quality components for the Mercury Elite line ensures the very best in reliability and performance. What makes these Mercury Elite drives even more noteworthy, though, is that we’re able to offer them at fantastic prices too.”

Each Mercury Elite drive measures 1.5- x 9.0- x 5.5-inches, weighs less than three pounds, ships with Intech HD SpeedTools, Dantz Retrospect backup and restore software, all necessary cables and an external power adaptor, and comes with a two-year OWC warranty. The drives are compatible with Mac OS 8.6 through 9.22, all versions of Apple OS X, Linux, and Windows ME, 2000 and XP.

Complete pricing and ordering information is available online at http://www.macsales.com/firewire or by calling 1-800-275-4576.


  1. Maybe they’ll be more reliable than LaCie Big Disk products. I can’t tell you how much data I’ve lost, as well as clients on those things. I’m sitting here right now trying to get files I can see, but not read off a LaCie Big Disk.

  2. Wow, you are making me nervous TheloniusMac. I am on a LaCie Big Disk 500 GB. Do you have any reccomendations to try and avoid losing data? I use it for back up and have not had any problems yet but I have only had it for 4 months or so. Some of the data on it is pretty important though. Any links concerning the problems to look through?

  3. I too have ONLY had problems with Maxtor drives.

    My dad has three LaCie (120,120,120?) Drives and one LaCie Big Disk 500gb. He also has another 150GB drive, but I can’t remember the brand (maybe Que or SyQuest). He hasn’t had any problems yet, with any of them.

    In fact, I used his Big Disk to recover my 160GB Maxtor that recently kicked it. It was three years old and had a lot of use —firewire 400 only) After recovery and a low-level reformat of the drive, I replaced the data I recovered (most of it in terms of amount (140 GB’S) but lots of damage within the files) back onto the Maxtor and within three days the Maxtor failed again.

    I used Data Rescue. Great app at only $90. Was stable. And for me it was far cheeper than a data recovery service. They range in price from:
    $200 for a failed attempt, and
    $600 up to $4,900 depending on drive size and amount of data recovered.
    The choice was obvious.

    I understand that the LaCie drives sleep harder than a lot of other drives. They really power down. They shut down the fan and everything. This helps when, like me, you leave your computer always on or sleeping.

    The fans on the Maxtor drives never stop, so they must wear out faster, leaving the user with an overheating condition for the drive itself; thereby prematurely aging the drive.

    I also bought a Maxtor 200GB USB2.0/Firewire 400, about a year ago. Worked great for three weeks, then just wouldn’t mount over firewire anymore. The Apple disk utility couldn’t repair it. After trying, the name of the disk in the Disk Utility app showed it as being “Disk1s2s” or something close to that. This also happened for the Maxtor 160GB I mentioned earlier. I let the drive sit un-used for a month or two afraid to lose the data on it. Then one day, while lamenting the loss, I remembered that this one had USB2.0 in addition to the FW400. I tried plugging the drive into the mac with USB (hot-plugged). No change. Then I unplugged the USB and powered down the drive and shutdown the mac… I then reattached the USB, powered up the drive… powered up the mac… logged in… and presto… The drive, with the right name, was mounted on the desktop. everything… all my files were intact and just as I had left them. I still can’t mount with FW400, but have had no problems yet with the USB2.0 (even hot-pluggable again)……….. YET! being the operative word

  4. I wish my other drive had USB and not just FW. I like FW, but if I can work around an apparent drive failure problem by simply using a different cable… I’m all for it.

    If you use a Maxtor “Dive” Drive, give it lots of rest and use it for BACKUP ONLY (and maybe just the backup of your primary backup) Don’t use it for your iTunes library like I did, for three years straight.

  5. “I see Firewire drives all the time that have two ports. What’s the other one for?”

    two ports is a firewire standard requirement. it is used to daisy-chain the devices. In other words you plug 2, 3, 4, up to 64 hard drives into on another such that you are only using one port on the computer, because you’re passing through one to get to the next. Very nice can’t do this with USB 1.0/2.0. Some FW800 drives (like LaCie Big & Bigger Disks) have one USB2.0, one FW400, and two FW800, this only allows daisy chaining over FW800.

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