Questions from another switcher regarding network storage

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rockstarjoe, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. rockstarjoe macrumors 6502a

    rockstarjoe

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Location:
    washington dc
    #1
    Hi there. I'm new to posting on the forum but I have been reading for a few weeks now. I am a PC user who has long been interested in making the switch. The Macbook looks great and I plan on picking one up, but I did have a few questions that I hope someone can answer. I searched the forum but did not find any previous posts about this.

    I currently own a Buffalo Terastation, which is a RAID 5 network attached storage (NAS) device. Basically it is like a big external hard drive that is accessed over my LAN. In Windows, I have the "My Documents" folder set to read directly from this NAS, so none of my folders are actually stored locally on my machine. Also, my entire iTunes catalogue (120GB worth) sits on the NAS, and my pictures are there as well. Basically I keep everything there.

    When I make the big switch to the Macbook, I was wondering if I will still be able to fully enjoy things like Spotlight, iPhoto, and iTunes integration if my files do not actually reside on my local hard drive. Will the Mac be ok indexing this stuff? Can I change my "Home" directory to be located on the NAS? Can I index and tag my photos in iPhoto without moving them?

    Thanks in advance. This forum has lots of great advice!
     
  2. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #2
    Welcome, your only regret switching to a Mac is that you didn't do it sooner :)

    AFAIK, Spotlight does not index network drives
    Your iTunes library can be moved to an external drive Link to How-to
    Your iPhoto library can be moved to an external drive Link to How-to
    With a laptop I'm not sure why you'd want your home folder on an external network drive. Kinda makes it hard when you're on the move I would have thought.
     
  3. rockstarjoe thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rockstarjoe

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Location:
    washington dc
    #3
    Thanks! I already have my iTunes library hosted on the NAS, so I knew it was possible with that, but I didn't know about iPhoto.

    It is pretty rare that I actually go anywhere with my laptop so it isn't that big of a deal for me. I like to know that my files are backed up on the server since it is RAID 5 (redundant). I've seen a lot of talk about SuperDuper here in the forums... maybe I will get that and allow my documents to reside in my Home folder, and have them backed up to the NAS at night. That way I can still enjoy Spotlights functionality. I still won't keep my iTunes or iPhoto libraries on the local drive, though... they are way too big!
     
  4. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #4
    I can confirm that SuperDuper works extremely well. To do scheduled backups you will need to pay the $27.95 rather than use the free version. This also gives you the smart backup feature which only backs up the changes. You might also want to do a full system backup occasionally, especially before any OS X update. I've never had a problem with an update but you never know.......

    Having switched myself 2 years ago I would also recommend Compost to manage your Trash, and Macaroni for running the maintenance routines automatically. Both of these are 'install and forget' utilities. Quicksilver or Launchbar are worth checking out too.

    Good luck!
     
  5. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #5
    If your RAID 5 drive is already formatted in NTSF, then SuperDuper could not backup your files. A Mac can read NTSF, but not write to it. If your RAID is formatted in FAT32, you can use your Mac to write to it.

    Some links which may have helpful info:

    http://kalsey.com/2006/01/itunes_laptops_and_networks/
    http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/moving-your-itunes-library-to-a-new-hard-drive/

    (the second link has good info in the comments)
     
  6. rockstarjoe thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rockstarjoe

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Location:
    washington dc
    #6
    Thanks for all of the application tips! I'll definitely be getting a copy of Superduper based on your recommendation. I've read about Quicksilver... it looks great. KDE has a similar feature that I enjoyed using.

    As far as how the server is formatted, I can't seem to find any info on it right now. I know the system is running some form of Linux, though, and I'm pretty sure the file system is some Linux / Unix variant (XFS maybe?). Hopefully it is one the Mac can read / write to, because there is nothing more painful than re-formatting a terabyte!

    Could someone point me to some instructions on mounting a network drive in OSX? Thanks again for all of your help.
     
  7. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #7
    Your NAS disk will most likely be formatted in a Linux format, ext2 maybe? This is transparent to PC and Mac access as the drive will have a Linux server managing access to the files.

    Mounting a network drive is easy. With Finder open you can press CMD-K on the keyboard or menu Go>Connect to Server, and in the dialog box type smb:// followed by the IP address, such as smb://192.168.0.210 (can follow with a folder name, like smb://192.168.0.210/foldername). Be aware that Samba sometimes objects to filenames with odd characters.
     
  8. ingenious macrumors 65832

    ingenious

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, United States (Kansan in exile)
    #8

    Or, just open a new Finder window and click "Network" in the Sidebar.
     
  9. rockstarjoe thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rockstarjoe

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Location:
    washington dc
    #9
    Thanks again guys! I just got home with my new Macbook. Sweet! I am loving it. I have gotten the network shares mounted and everything is working fine. I did notice, though, that after rebooting the shares were no longer mounted. In Windows you can choose to "reconnect at logon" so the shares always stay mounted. Can this be done in OSX?
     
  10. x86 macrumors regular

    x86

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    #10
    In your user preferences there should be a startup items list. Drag your network share into the list and you should be all set.
     
  11. rockstarjoe thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rockstarjoe

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Location:
    washington dc
    #11
    Worked great... thanks!! :)
     
  12. rockstarjoe thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rockstarjoe

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Location:
    washington dc
    #12
    Hmm.. perhaps I spoke too soon. It seemed to work once, but now whenever I restart the drives are not automatically mounted. I've noticed that it takes my Mac a few seconds to "see" the network shares. Could this be why it does not mount them at start up?
     

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