Buffalo DriveStation Mini Thunderbolt (SSD-WA512T)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by michael_aos, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. michael_aos macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #1
    Just received the Buffalo DriveStation Mini Thunderbolt SSD-WA512T last night.

    Initially had some I/O errors running QuickBench and using either an OWC or Buffalo-supplied (I forget which one) 1M Thunderbolt cable. Swapped-in an Apple .5M TB cable and haven't seen any errors since.

    It's connected to a Late 2013 Mac Pro.

    Couple issues:

    The drive media isn't initially seen by the OS when I power-on. I have to hit the little button on top to put the DriveStation to sleep, then press it again to wake it up -- then it pops up in Disk Utility / desktop. It usually survives a reboot though.

    I can't seem to boot from it (probably due to the same underlying issue above). Or at least not consistently. I thought I booted from it once when I was messing with it last night, but I have't been able to since.

    Along the same lines, I thought it showed up previously from the boot-option menu, but it's not doing that anymore. It is still presented as a boot-device from System Preferences --> Startup disk.

    Anyone ever encountered issues like this? I'm not sure if this is "normal" behavior for this device, or if I should request a replacement.
    --
     
  2. jflash macrumors newbie

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    Feb 26, 2015
  3. michael_aos thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #3
    $ diskutil list disk7
    /dev/disk7
    #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
    0: GUID_partition_scheme *256.1 GB disk7
    1: EFI EFI 209.7 MB disk7s1
    2: Apple_RAID 255.7 GB disk7s2
    3: Apple_Boot Boot OS X 134.2 MB disk7s3

    $ diskutil list disk8
    /dev/disk8
    #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
    0: GUID_partition_scheme *256.1 GB disk8
    1: EFI EFI 209.7 MB disk8s1
    2: Apple_RAID 255.7 GB disk8s2
    3: Apple_Boot Boot OS X 134.2 MB disk8s3

    $ diskutil list disk9
    /dev/disk9
    #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
    0: Apple_HFS SSD-WAT *511.4 GB disk9
     
  4. michael_aos thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #4
    Update:

    After a couple tries, I was able to complete the install of 10.10.0 again, but I'm not able to see it from the boot-option screen nor boot from it.

    I booted another drive and downloaded the 10.10.2 combined installer and patched it. Shows as "10.10.2", but still can't boot from it.

    Plugged it into an old MacBook Air (13-inch, mid-2011) and it booted right up.

    Installed a few updates that required a reboot, and each time it reverts back to the built-in SSD despite the boot-drive being set to the Buffalo SSD-WAT.

    I updated it (the OS on the Buffalo SSD-WAT) to 10.10.3 build 14D105g. Still keeps rebooting after updates to the internal drive, but at least I can re-select it and repeatably boot from it on the MacBook Air.
     
  5. michael_aos thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 26, 2004
    #5
    I've discovered if I hold-down the "option" key when booting the Late 2013 Mac Pro and let it sit at the boot-device selection screen and THEN plug-un the DriveStation Mini Thunderbolt, it pops right up and I can boot from it...
    --
     
  6. michael_aos thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 26, 2004
    #6
    Still no joy

    Through my experimentation with putting the DriveStation to sleep / wake with the button on top, power-cycling it, and unplugging / plugging in the Thunderbolt cable, I wound up with filesystem corruption.

    Deleted the striped RAID set, created new partitions and created the RAID set again.

    Install of OS X 10.10.0 seemed to go especially smooth, but again I can't boot from it!

    There's an extended boot-up delay, where I believe it's TRYING to find / boot the DriveStation mini SSD, but it never does.

    I've also reset the SMC and cleared NVRAM (a couple times now).
     
  7. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
  8. michael_aos thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #8
    I opened a case w/Buffalo Technology, just in case I'm encountering a known-issue.

    It seems like the sort of thing that could easily be addressed in a firmware update.

    It may turn out "too good to be true", but I was excited to find 512GB of FAST (~777MB/s read & ~610MB/s write) storage at this price.

    I haven't seen any real alternatives.
     
  9. ColdCase, Mar 20, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #9
    So that drive station is about $600?

    Perhaps as an alternative: As OWC mini TB2 enclosure with two Crucial 256 GB SSDs and disk utility RAID0 is $570. With two Samsung 850 pros, ~$650. Then you'd have two spare slots.

    Dunno if it would boot any better.

    Isn't there a thread somewhere about TB boot problems with 10.10 in general... maybe my memory is confused with something else. Perhaps it was only the trim enabler conflict.
     
  10. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #10
    OWC have been selling them at half of suggested retail price...

    For $600, OWC are selling the 1TB model..

    But, I do suspect Buffalo were unloading these things, because the smaller sizes are no longer listed on OWC's website.

    AND IMHO, the Thunderbay 4 Mini would be a superior enclosure to put even 2 SSDs in, but with 4 x 256GB SSDs, it would deliver some pretty awesome speeds in RAID0.

    That said, I've had no trouble booting from a single Thunderbolt-enclosed SSD (using the OWC Mercury On The Go Pro TB model enclosure).
     
  11. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    Location:
    NH
    #11
    That makes more sense to me... as other retailers seem to be selling the 512 for $600. Perhaps there is a tech issue, or is OWC just trying to unload them... I dunno.
     
  12. michael_aos thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 26, 2004
    #12
    Apparently I submitted the support request to Buffalo incorrectly.

    I'll resubmit it tomorrow.

    But yeah, at this point my thinking is to either return the 512GB and try the 1TB model, or try a ThunderBay 4 RAID-5.

    I've got an "add your own drives" 4x2TB RAID-10 ThunderBay 4 that I'm really happy with. (except that the old drives I stuck in it are relatively slow)
     
  13. michael_aos thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 26, 2004
    #13
    And then they include the Windows driver...

    Hopefully I won't have too many issues returning this to OWC.
    --
     
  14. michael_aos thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 26, 2004
    #14
    Just as an aside, assuming the return of the Buffalo SSD-WAT: DriveStation™ Mini Thunderbolt™ back to OWC goes OK, I do plan on buying one of their (OWC) Thunderbolt solutions.

    I'm leaning toward a 20TB OWC ThunderBay 4 RAID. Seems like the best bang for the buck (~$100/TB usable), with decent read / write speeds.

    I've purchased a lot of stuff from OWC over the years. I feel like I've had a lot of issues with their products, but their customer service has generally been top-notch and I keep coming back.
    --
     
  15. michael_aos thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 26, 2004
    #15
    OWC had the Buffalo SSD-WAT DriveStation Mini Thunderbolt drives on sale / closeout. $400 for the 512GB and $600 for the 1TB.

    Seemed like a screaming deal, but I just couldn't get the 512GB version to work for me and Buffalo's tech-support was horrible.

    Returning the DriverStation Mini to OWC. Purchased a diskless OWC ThunderBay 4 mini ($350).

    Probably going to order a pair of 512GB Samsung 850 Pro SSD's and stripe them. Wind up spending ~$860 -vs- $600 for the (1TB) DriveStation.

    It's a shame the DriveStation Mini Thunderbolt isn't compatible with the Late 2013 Mac Pro.
    --
     
  16. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #16
    You should be happier with the Thunderbay 4 Mini. I have a couple of Crucial M500 1TB SSDs in RAID0 (they were on special at OWC)

    This is what they benchmark at...

    [​IMG]
     
  17. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #17
    A single non raid 850 pro gets 325 MBps read and write in that enclosure.
     

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