3 750GB drives...how to best use them?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by hayduke, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #1
    Seems like Mac Pro back-up configuration threads are popular these days. I thought I would post another...

    I have three 750GB drives and I am mildly paranoid about backing-up. Currently I have two drives mounted internally and I clone the boot volume to the back-up drive every night at 2am. The back-up is set-up such that old files are not deleted from the back-up drive. This provides some measure multiple back-ups, in that if I have deleted a file I want I *might* be able to find it on the back-up drive.

    The third drive is used for more occasional back-ups and is stored off-site. The problem is that I don't want to go through the bother of back-up/shutdown/pull-drive/reboot whenever I need to do this. Unfortunately, the internal drives are not hot-swappable. Total bummer.

    I started to wonder if it made any sense to pin the internal SATA connections for drive 3&4 to a PCI slot on the back of the machine. This would allow me to plug/unplug the drives without re-booting. Is this a bad idea? Can they be unplugged safely after they are unmounted? Alternately, I could buy an enclosure, but there is not SATA on the back of the machine so I would need to use USB2/FW400/FW800.

    Is there a better way? Should I use these 3 drives in a different configuration?
     
  2. glowrider macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #2
    Call Wiebetech - guarantee they have a solution for your probglem.
     
  3. hayduke thread starter macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #3
    They do have some interesting products. I just checked them out on-line. Example,

    http://www.wiebetech.com/products/satadock.php

    I was thinking of a slightly simpler solution like this:

    http://www.cooldrives.com/essaii3gbexp.html

    I assume that if the drive has been unmounted that it can then be *safely* disconnected? The problem with the interal SATA drives is that Apple suggest you shutdown first. Not only that, but the internal SATA drives don't mount unless you reboot. Unfortunately, my guess is that the same is true of the PCI-SATA dongle I linked above. Any experts out there?
     
  4. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #4
    Why not just use a SATA Firewire 800 case? Yeah, it's not QUITE as fast, but it's still quite quick. No extra cards needed.
     
  5. hayduke thread starter macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #5
    Could do that, but there's another *minor* issue. I bought a Pelican case (waterproof, electrostatic padded case, ~$30) that fits the bare SATA drive. My plan was to use this to store the off-site drive and it won't fir the drive+enclosure. The thought of plugging the drive in and out of the enclosure is a drag.

    Do people use off-site storage at all? Is this overly paranoid?
     
  6. diehardmacfan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    #7
    just buy a PCI-Express SATA card so you can plug it in and out whenever you want
     
  7. fredr500 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    #8
    As someone whose house was hit by lightning and partially burned, and 75% of my electronics were fried, no, I don't think offsite storage is paranoid.

    At a minimum, I recommend keeping your back ups powered off and unplugged except when backing up or restoring. Having a backup on an external drive is no protection if it is plugged in when lightning strikes. Surge protectors, battery backup units, nothing protected me.

    Sometime paranoia is good.

    Fred
     
  8. hayduke thread starter macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #9
    So I'm warming up to the PCI-Express SATA card, but there appear to be MANY options out there. Some are ~$75 and others are ~$300. I like the idea of being able to set up an external RAID-5 array, without the costs of fiber-channel cards etc. For now I just need to be able to occasionally, hot-swappably connect one drive externally, but thinking toward the future it would be nice to grow into a better external storage solution. I guess I need to read about these cards more.

    Any preferred cards out there?
     

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