LaCie 2D Extreme: On-going Maintenance Q's

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Frank (Atlanta), Nov 8, 2004.

  1. Frank (Atlanta) macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2004
    Would appreciate advice re: the following for a LaCie 250 GB d2 Extreme (which I've just mounted to an iMac G5):

    1. Since OS X isn't installed on this external drive, I assume I don't need to worry about verifying/repairing permissions...?

    2. Can/should I run MacJanitor on this external drive (I'm using it as a scratch disk for editing, etc. for FCE)? Is it even appropriate to run MacJanitor on an external drive that doesn't have OS X on it?

    3. What’s the best way to maintain/defrag an external drive? I’m used to the defrag command in Windows, but don’t know the equivalent/method in OS X. Will something like Disc Warrior work for the external hard drive?

    4. I notice when my iMac goes into sleep mode (or even when I shut it down), the drive doesn't shut down; however, it does seem to park itself. Is this "proper"? I ask, because the LaCie manual indicated that the drive should mimic the behavior of the iMac. Therefore, is it OK to leave the drive "on" all the time (assume I don't want to shut-down the drive as that would be akin to a "bad" unmount)?

    5. What would happen if I "turned off" the drive when the iMac is off or on - would I lose data (assuming the drive isn't reading/writing data at the time)?

    I'm still learning the "Mac way" of doing things, so apologies for the basic questions.

  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Correct. That only needs to be done to the startup drive. (There's even a checkbox in the get info windo for the drive where you can turn off permissions entirely for external drives, if you have any annoying issues when saving files to it.)

    I don't think you even can, and there'd be no point to it. MacJanitor manually runs the periodic maintenance scripts built into OSX, which mainly clear out old logs and I think some caches. Since these are part of the OS and only exist on the startup partition, MacJanitor has no bearing on external drives.

    If it's just a video scratch disk, occasionally reformatting is probably the easiest way to deal with it; OSX isn't as prone to fragmentation as Windows (it also does automatic defragmentation on files smaller than 20MB, which doesn't apply to FC etc), so defrag tools are less popular on the Mac. However, DiskWarrior and any other tool that can do defragmentation should be able to do that to external disks as well--check the documentation online, it'll say somewhere.

    Yes, this is the behavior you'd expect. The case can't automatically power itself down (nor should it), but when you hear the drive park that's what LaCie is talking about--the drive itself is mirroring the iMac and going to sleep. Since the drive is what you'd worry about breaking anyway, this is all you care about. And as you guessed, definitely don't turn off the case while the drive is still connected, even if the iMac is asleep--that would be bad.

    If the iMac is powered down, the drive should probably spin down automatically, and in any case it is fine to turn it off at that point. Same goes for if you "eject" the drive from the Mac desktop--the drive icon should disappear from the finder, and after a moment where it flushes the cache, you should hear the LaCie spin down, at which point it's fine to turn it off.

    (In fact, I recommend this over shutting down the iMac and then turning off the drive--there have, on rare occasions, been cases where shutting down the computer with a-still mounted external drive caused corruption to the external. It's a rare bug, and one that I think is fixed now, but I always figure better safe than sorry.)
  3. Frank (Atlanta) thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2004
    Thanks & Clarifying Question...


    First, many thanks for the detailed & comprehensive responses!

    Second, you said something very interesting in your last point. I'm still reading through my Mac OS X books; however, and trying to understand/learn the mounting/unmounting bit.

    If I understand correctly, you're suggesting (if I want to power-down the iMac) that the external drive be unmounted by ejecting the drive while the iMac's still powered-up (i.e.: drag the drive to the trash/eject icon). I take it that will prevent a potential for corrupting the external drive.

    Question: How do I re-mount the drive? Is the sequence:

    1. Power-up the external drive, then
    2. Power-up the iMac?

    I ask because I frequently travel and there will be times when it'll be best to shut-down the machine vs. leaving it in sleep mode.

    Thanks for the great advice & help!


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