Problems with my external backup drives - anything I can do?

I was wondering what use I could make of the one Thunderbolt 2 port remaining. One is used by the ethernet adapter.

I’ll check some stuff out. Thanks.

Can those apps check SMART parameters when the disk is external? Disk Utility can check internal disks SMART status with cmd-I, but not external on USB.

Just a short update. Since moving the external SSD to a USB port directly, the two external HD drives for Time Machine and CCC have been working well. I did reformat them both and start afresh too, just in case.

Yes, for most externals. If they are USB connected then you will need to install the SATSMART driver which is included with SMART Utility and DriveDx and included with TechTool Pro installation. I don’t believe it works with M1 Macs yet and some additional steps are required for Big Sur on Intel Macs.

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I also have the wonderful MBP 2013 used mainly for Zoom and photography. Suggest you follow through on your idea to use the TB2 port for ethernet ESPECIALLY if you are doing Zoom meetings with it. As far as getting a 2 TB drive in your future purchase of a new MBP, all my photos and data are on external drives so if I have to take my computer to the Apple Store or it gets stolen while on the road I’m o’k.

This is currently my only computer (sorry, Apple, my iPad Pro isn’t enough to do work on) and I like it. But it’s gotten old.

I’ve been using one of the TB2 ports with an ethernet adapter for over 7 years now. I have one TB2 port available, but I hesitate buying new devices for it if I’m probably going to be upgrading this MBP this year sometime.

I would prefer to have all my photos on an internal drive so in addition to my iCloud and Backblaze backups they will also be backed up to CCC and Time Machine.