Cheapest External Raid 1+0 2tb For iMac? Other Suggestions?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by knemonic, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. knemonic macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009
    Hey all,

    I posted a question on Apple's forum and got no response. Figured i'd throw my plan out on here and see what you guys think.

    I have an iMac 24" with 2.4ghz and firewire 800. I have been accumulating a great deal of tv shows and movies lately and need to expand and at the same time create some redundancy in case something goes wrong. I looked all over for NAS systems with something other than esata output and the only thing I found was the Drobo. Arguably highly overpriced, plus I have to add my own drives, I started thinking.

    Western Digital makes the Studio My Books, with quad interfacing and dual drives, which can mirror each other. Selling for $238 on amazon, I ordered two and my plan is to set the external drives up in raid 1, mirror and then software strip, raid 0 them with disk utility in the Os. Since there is no esata output on my imac, there is no way to use anything else but usb and firewire. The Studio editions come with built in firewire 800, something pretty much niltch on NAS systems, yet the fastest current connection on my iMac.

    Here is the kicker, and I have confirmed this with Western Digital, the hard drives are upgradable, where in the future I can swap out the drives one at a time and at more space without hindering the raid. So when the 2tb HDs come down in price, I may be inclined to upgrade. Also, since these do have esata, I am setup for future connection possibilities if Apple ever adds esata to the imac line or I get a mac pro.

    When it comes to networking and playing my content on other machines in my home, particularly on my HTPC, I just map the drive over the network and just need to make sure the iMac is turned on, saving a lot of money for an issue of convenience. True it is sweet to have a NAS setup, but the drobo is $350 and then the drives would probably be about $90, which is over $700 already, the Western Digitals straight up with free shipping came to $476. Plus I hear the drobo has some issues to work out, not something I want to risk. I have had great luck with WD, I have a 1 tb my book premium ii right now.

    What do you all think?

  2. Bad Paper macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2007
    graphite clamshell
    Why firewire or usb or whatever? blech. Gigabit ethernet is the way to go. And RAID 5. And stay the hell away from WD MyBooks.
  3. OldMike macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    I'm planning on purchasing a couple of the Guardian Maximus' from OWC. It has FW 800 ports and is a pretty inexpensive RAID 1 solution. I have read some positive reviews on the unit and it looks like it will work pretty nicely. It comes with a 1 year warranty if you purchase it without drives, and 3 year warranty if you purchase it with the drives installed.

    Since I haven't used one yet, I can give you a personal opinion - but I have looked at all of the solutions available and these seem to be a good value for RAID 1 in FW800.

    Once Apple includes an iSCSI initiator in the OS, I might be tempted to try out a networked solution. For now FW800 delivers speeds that just about match what 7200 RPM drives can achieve, so FW800 will not be a bottleneck.

    If anyone else here has one, I would love to hear what they think...


  4. knemonic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009
    That system is nice, definitely takes up less space than my idea. The only draw back is I need to achieve a 2TB space after all the raiding is done. MEaning, I need either (2) 2TB (Sell for about $300 a piece) or (4) 1TB. You factor in the price of the hard drives, $600, plus bare maximus, $140, your talking over $700. My Western Digital system is everything I need, and is less than $500, also comes with a 5 year warranty.

    Western Digital has the corner on the high capacity external hard drives cause lets say a 1tb HD is $90, two would be $180, the case ends up being $58. The maximus case is much pricer than the WD. Also, WD can cut the price on their own drives, cutting the price down too.

    So far, this is looking to be the best priced plan so far.

    Thanks for the link!
  5. OldMike macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    The only other FW800 RAID system I was looking at was from Lacie called teh 4big Quadra. It is a RAID 5 system that I believe has FW800 and eSATA. I think if you would go RAID 5 instead of RAID 1 you could achieve what you are looking for. I think the MSRP on the system is high - but I haven't really looked to see what you can get it for through discount retailers.

    It will probably be more expensive than the WD solution you are looking at, but it seems like it would be space efficient, and allow you to increase capacity in the future by adding larger hard drives. I know that these seem to be pricey, but compared to the recent past - I am amazed at how cheap external RAID solutions have become. I am a little apprehensive to cheap RAID 5 systems, though - I can see there being a problem if the array doesn't rebuild when a drive is replaced.

    BTW - Can you give a link to the WD drives you are looking at. I need to research all these drives again. I was looking a couple of months ago, and have already forgotten most of what I have read. I was under the impression that some have had problems with the WDs, but can't remember exactly what issues they were experiencing. I have a lot of WD drives (internal and external) and have never had an issue with any of them... (knock on wood).


  6. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    Hmm. I'm very surprised. I also bought the WD MB from Amazon for $238. In my case I also need to Raid 1, but the purpose is as a music server going from my mini to my stereo. Basically, I'm running out of space due to my gigantic music collection, and in case a HDD dies, I'd be up the creek. So instead of constantly backing up every time I add a CD, I'd just as soon add a Raid 1 pair of drives. Of course, if both fail or the failure is upstream from the Raid 1, I'm toast anyway. Anyhow, I'm worried that even 1TB drives won't be enough for my music collection (lossless), so I've been eyeing the 2TB WD drives. However, my understanding is that that would require an enclosure that can deal with 2 2TB drives, and the thing from Amazon cannot handle that. I'm heartened you confirmed that it is actually quite possible - though I'm somewhat uneasy that you may be wrong. Are you absolutely sure? If yes, then I too will get the 2TB drives as soon as prices come down.
  7. knemonic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009
    This is the original response from Western Digital in reference to upgrading the hard drives in the Studio editions. I can't see there being an issue with using 2TB hard drives because, after 1.5TB HDs, 2TB is the next logical step. You can tell the guy has a tiny language barrier, but the truth still seems obvious:

    Thank you for contacting Western Digital Customer Service and Support.

    I apologize for the inconvenience, yes, this mean that you can upgrade the size of the drives inside of the enclosure. For you to be able to update the drive size, you will need to do so, one drive at the time, this drive have a firmware, if you wish to replace one of the drives, A or B, you need to let either way drive A or B in the enclosure, put the new bigger size drive, allow the drive A or B, to copy the firmware and rebuild the RAID setup (this is automatically) and once is over, then you put the other new and bigger drive, removing the old smaller one.

    Pablo R.
    Western Digital Service and Support

    Original question:

    I am looking into purchasing two WDH2Q20000N. I was curious if the hard drives within the case are upgradable? That is, in the future, would I be able to purchase lets say 2 TB Western Digital hard drives to replace the existing 1 TB hard drives? You guys use the word "Upgrade" on the product description, which leads me to believe it is possible, just want to confirm. If not, you should not use that type of terminology. The word "upgrade" implies the ability to improve and increase. If it is only serviceable, it should note that the drives are only able to be replaced with similar size western digital drives.

    Based on his reply, it also seems that I can upgrade the drives without breaking the Raid, kind of crucial also. If I decide to go to 2TB, I replace one hard drive at a time, let it rebuild and transfer the firmware and then swap out the second 1TB. Also, if one drive dies, it is very easy to remove the drive from the case, and send it to WD. For the price, WD seems to have the best setup. And I feel it is very unlikely that both drives would fail so closely together.

    The irony is that WD is selling the single HD 2TB external right now for like $270 at Newegg, when they can get the quad port Studio for $40 less. This one just came out. Whats even funnier is the drive in that external sells for like $300 on Newegg also, some could crack open the cases, sell the drive and swap in another 2Tb WD when they come down in price, possibly (not sure if the firmware would be compatible).

    The problem I see with the lacie 4big model is it is $700 for a a 1TB raid 1 system. WD is putting out a in theory 2TB raid 1+0 system for under $500. I agree, the Lacie probably would be nice, since it is one unit, at raid 5 I get 1.5TB but the price still hurts, I could buy a decent laptop for that.

    The cheapest I could find the Lacie was $566 at I am still saving about $100 and getting another .5TB out of it. Kind of looks like HAL.

    The WD Studio hard drives I have on order are here:

    $238 a piece, free shipping, total $476. Took them 2 days to ship them out on free shipping, which is better than paying $13.

    I have had quite a few MyBooks myself also. Currently I have a MyBook Premium II which has USB, Firewire 400 and 800, can do a raid 1 or 0. IT is basically the older version of the Studio.

    Also have an WD elements 640gb. So far I have had good luck but have always worried in general about all my drives. The funny thing is everyone says this and that about this manufacturer and that one. Some say WD is bad, go with seagate, some say Seagate die instantly. I don't know. What I do know is you have to treat every situation separately. I'm a manager of a shoe store and I have found it all comes down to models and then specific shoes and batches. It is hard to completely alienate a company because of one bad batch of items. If you buy multiple items over time and they all fail, then I can agree. But it seems like people write something off as bad the instant a problem occurs, like the guy above, so unstructured and unhelpful. I mean, esata is 3 times as fast as gigabit ethernet, and how many externals have gigabit ethernet built in, less NAS systems, which seem to cost an arm and a leg (the Drobo itself does not come with built in Ethernet, you have to buy it seprate for like $200 or something!). If my imac had esata ports, I would be all over those, I work with what I got. I will probably upgrade my imac to something shinier in a year, but for now, I will make due with firewire 800, like you said above, it is nearly on par with transfer speeds of the HDs.
  8. OldMike macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    That is a great price on the WD from Amazon. Setup in RAID 1, it looks like it would be hard to beat. Thanks for the tip - I may end up ordering one or two this weekend.

    I was wondering - since the iMac has only 1 FW800 port, I wonder what effect it might have on striping the two drives when they are daisy chained. I would imagine that the second drive on the chain would not be able to have as good performance as the first - though I don't know for sure.

    Also I would be a little apprehensive to stripe the two externals, since externals can be accidentally disconnected. Even though each disk would be mirrored - if you break the stripe set, I would think you would still run the risk of possibly losing your data. I have never broken a RAID 0 set and then re-added a disk - so I'm not sure, and I would imagine that the software RAID implementation would be responsible for joining a broken set again. I would at least test this by simulating a firewire cable being disconnected. When putting the cable back in, I would be curious to see if the software RAID was smart enough to actually re-join the RAID 0 set, instead of showing it broken and requiring it to be rebuilt (meaning wiping out all the current data).

    Thanks again for the tip on the WD from Amazon.
  9. knemonic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009
    I'll have to test the software raid out and let you know. I have never had a problem where the firewire 800 cable popped out, it is pretty sturdy cable. I never thought I about that so I will definitely give it a good look into.

    I read up pretty in-depth about firewire and its technicals. Firewire does not rely on the iMacs cpu, it is independent. So daisy chaining I think may end up working out well since each drive runs independently, I may not see any performance hinderance. This is why firewire has such good sustained data rates, where USB relies on the CPU for computing capacity, even at 2.0, firewire 400 usually beats it out in practice.

    I figure all the daisy chaining is doing is passing the data along, since each node in the firewire network acts independently. So this should work out better than worse. What I did not want to do is go USB, that is where I would lose major performance.

    Instead of a raid 0, I may end up doing a JBOD in disk utility. NOt sure how the setup works if the drives are accidently disconnected, but it sounds like that may work better than striping but I lose performance.

    Will see in a few days!
  10. OldMike macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    I have been reading up a little more on the WD drive. In the manual it states that Only WD Caviar® GP hard drive assemblies can be inserted into the
    My Book Studio Edition II enclosure. It also says that you need to send out for replacement drives.

    I have WD Caviar Black drives, but what is the WD Caviar GP? Is this a standard drive that is easy to find.

    The other thing I don't really like is that the WD software needs to be installed and running for the drive to be managed. I like more plug and play solutions that require no extra drivers or management software. I would have a fear that an update of some kind might run the risk of breaking the WD management software, and I'm not sure what effect that might have on the drives??

    Just wondering what your thoughts are about the above.

    As for the raid setup, I was thinking that mirroring two RAID 0 drives might be more reliable than striping two RAID 1 drives... My thought is if the firewire dropped connection for some reason (and I have heard of this happening with various drives), at least a RAID 0 stripe would not be broken. The only thing that would be broken would be a RAID 1 mirror, which would not be that bad since it is designed to work when the mirror breaks. This is all off the top of my head since I have not tested the scenarios - just a thought....
  11. knemonic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009
    The Caviar GP are the Green Power drives, they are geared more for saving energy than performance. Arguably using either the Black or GP drives under firewire 800 I would think I would not see much a performance boost. I believe what WD means about the replacements is if you want to warranty a dead hard drive, you need to deal with them. The impression I got from my response from them when I emailed them recently was that if I buy a Caviar GP 2TB (currently available for $290), I can swap them out with the 1TB drives in their.

    WD has three lines, Green, Blue and Black. Blue is desktop average, Black is high end and Green is price aware and energy saver.

    The trick is the studios have a 5 year warranty, so lets say one of the drives dies and they send you a new one, then you know exactly what drives you need to get for future sakes. Obviously if they send you another similar size, then you just find the that model with the bigger size and sell the new drive they just sent you.

    Regarding raid, either way I see problem. If you do a raid 1+0, if a drive fails, the case would rebuild the raid, but if they get unplugged somehow from the system, then your screwed (theoretically) cause the software raid 0 is lost. Vice versa if you do a raid 0+1, if one of the drives fails, I am not sure how well OS X does on rebuilding the raid. Also, I know when you lose a raid 1 in Disk Utility, that is if you unplugged it from the system on mistake, you need to start over the mirror if your creating a new raid setup. Meaning you need to dump all the data onto something else, setup the raid in Disk Utility and then dump it back onto the drives, a major pain in the ass and also, I dont have anything that could fit all this stuff onto temporarily, a major draw back. Either way, this is a toughie.

    The big question we currently cannot answer is if I were to correctly eject the two drives, regardless of which setup, raid 0 or 1 through Disk utility, upon reconnecting both drives does Disk Utility recognize the drives and recreate the raid 0 or 1 setup.

    I believe the software to install from WD is strictly only to setup the external drive's raid mode. That is you need to install the software to change the drives from a raid 0 to 1 or vice versa. I know also the software sends a signal to inform the drive of how much it is filled to indicate on the gauge on the front of the drive, a capacity gauge that is.

    I currently have the my book premium II installed on my system, setup in raid 0 and no WD software at all installed, since I never had the need to to change it, using it as a 1TB external. So I have a feeling that I may be able to install the WD Software only if I need to change the hardware raid.

    I can see now why some of the systems out there are more expensive but cut out a lot of this in theory crap. On the flip side, if I went with lets say a WD Share Nas system, I would also need to get a gigabit router to really get good speed, which is another chunk of cash I dont have.

    See the problem here is I am broke, and really need this setup. I have been selling all sorts of things on ebay to help pay for it cause I cant afford to pay it off over time cause I am attending grad school this fall. So this will end up being the best plan regarding more money for food and at least provides some sort of security.

    Whats funny is I have never, in the year I have had it had the firewire 800 lose connection from my imac to the my book premium II. So it is funny that people say all that about losing connections, for for over a year WD has done well for me.
  12. knemonic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009
    Maybe I jumped the gun on ordering these drives though. Maybe I should have looked into something more practical before order the WD, at this point, I guess it is hard to say.

  13. knemonic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009
    Alright, now you got me thinking. The idea regardless of how I set it up is there is going to be risks. No amount of money can replace the amount of media I have, nor my personal files.

    Looking around at NAS systems, it seems like WD has the best deal

    This system begins as a 2TB raid 0 or 1TB raid 1. Gigabit ethernet also. Right now, I have about 326gb left on my current external 1TB, which should hold me over for the next few months. This system has two more bays to be filled, which can be run in raid 5 when filled, giving me more storage in security.

    The only problem is finding a decent wireless gigabit router now. Gonna start looking now. I am going to return those drives to Amazon also, I can get a full refund, just not sure how long it will take.

    What do you think of that WD ShareSpace for $490? True, with my original setup I was getting 2TB in a raid 1 setup, but this system definitely has more bells and whistles.

    The Drobo is just too overpriced, and it does not even have ethernet. I like the one you had mentioned from OWC, I am at a lose at the moment though.

    My head hurts.
  14. knemonic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009
    Alright, here is the new plan, since the OWC MAximus drives support only 2 drives, I would eventually need to buy 2TB HDs, which most likely for at least another year are going to be pricey.

    Go with the ShareSpace:

    $490, free shipping, cheapest I could find.

    Currently I can get 1TB WD GP drives at for $90 out the door. In the future, when I am ready, I can add those drives to the ShareSpace. I am sure the price will also come drastically down in the next 4-5 months, approximately the time I will need to start upgrading/adding drives. Also, I can buy these drives over time when I find good deals, since I dont need them right away.

    Now I need to send the other drives back to amazon and look for a gigabit router, have my eyes on the airport extreme since I am an obvious apple fan.
  15. knemonic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009
    Fyi, here is the future advantage of the Raid 5 the share space supports (and also the drobo, but it is overpriced).

    The formula for raid 5 is like this, s*(n-1)/n

    s=sum of space
    n=actual number of drives

    In a raid 5, using (4) 1TB hard drives I get this:


    So in a raid 5, I end up getting 3TB of secured data, where as with the original idea I had, I will always get 2TB max, unless I upgrade drives. This is a better investment because in the long run, I get way more out of it for my money, the price per GB comes way down when I add the (2) 1TB drives, going from a 1TB raid 1 to a 3TB raid 5. Works out well. To bad the Maximus OCW system does not provide that, would of been a good deal.
  16. knemonic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009
    I know im talking a lot tonight but check this out.

    Western Digital says on their site that you need to have all 4 bays filled to get raid 5 in the ShareSpace.

    This article on their site though says completely differently. It says with 3 drives, I can pull off a raid 5 and will end up with 2TB of accesable space.

    Sweet! Problem solved in my opinion.

    Also the advantage over the OCW Maximus is if I were to add (4) 2TB in the late future, I would end up with 6TB of accessible space! Man, when those bad boys come down in price!
  17. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    Well, I took possession of My Book Studion Edition II, with 2 WD drives (1TB each). I installed the software and configured it for Raid 1/HFS+.

    Next, I was going to copy the drive that has my music now (a WD 500GB drive, with some 400GB full) onto the new My Book.

    And this is where the problem starts. I tried to use SuperDuper 2.1.4 (v82) and it only copied 11GB before throwing an exception and declaring Failure.

    So next, I tried to copy and paste. First a 32GB chunk, that hung the system. Then a 22GB chunk, that hung the system as well... at 200MB copied :rolleyes:

    Hmm. That's not going to work.

    I'm on a PPC mini mac 1.5GHz and 1GB RAM, with free space on the HDD of 46GB. The drive I'm copying from (the 500GB WD, 400GB music to transfer) is connected by FW400 to my mini, and the My Book is also connected to the mini by a FW400 (actually a FW800 to FW400 cable). I'm on Tiger 10.4.11.

    This is transpiring to be a major nightmare. I have the drive, but can't copy sh|t to it - unless it's in tiny chunks, which considering I've got 400GB, will take seven Hindu lifetimes.

    I'm open to suggestions :(... how I do I get this bitch copied? And here I thought OS X + FW would be a breeze... guess not!
  18. knemonic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009

    It might not be the firewire, could be the permissions on your main drive that is having problems. Sometimes it is best to check those out before any major upgrades.

    Try doing the transfer with the USB cord, if you get the same results, then either its the drive or your mac, not the bus.

    Also, I found this to be a bit annoying when there was little to no literature in any manual I gave ever bought, when you reformat the drive, if it was originally formatted for Windows (fat or ntfs) you need to change the partition map to Apple Partition Map under disk utility, partition, options. I had some major glitches (I even took one drive back to the store and exchanged it) cause I could format the drive but could not transfer anything to it. No manual or website could inform me of this, had to call WD myself.

    I would also try the drive on another system if you can. Try transferring something big, same results, then you got a defunct unit. If not, then it could be your mac.

    Could you give better details on the error/failure your getting?

    Another possibility I have seen with PCs is if the drive has a lot of bad sectors, when you try and transfer something, it keeps failing cause the FAT thinks something is there when it is not and freaks out, giving a halt error. If this is the problem (which seems unlikely but possible) then you might need Disk Warrior.

    Let me know how things go! Good luck!
  19. knemonic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009
    Alright just ordered the ShareSpace and an airport extreme from BnH is also running a deal where I get 6 months terms (no interest or payments needed for 6 months) if I buy over $750 so I added another 1TB GP WD caviar drive (paid more than I wanted but 6 months terms is too nice to pass up), so I will end up getting my 2TB raid 5 setup, only at nearly double the price but I get the kick ass airport extreme, dual band baby. Fortunately with 6 months to pay it all off, I may be able to pull it off with no interest whatsoever, and now I have a my 2TB system, with only 3 drives in the end. Nice to know all I need now in the next year is another 1TB HD, I bet I will be able to get one of those next year for like $60, xmas baby!

    Total $783 (plus a kick in the nuts, since that is what it felt like when I clicked the submit order button, I got that for free)
  20. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    Well, even before I connected the My Book or installed any software, I repaired permissions with Disk Utility, rebooted, then repaired permissions again. Then installed the WD software, repaired permissions, and only then connected My Book. So I've repaired to death - and it always showed that all were repaired.

    I guess I can try that, but I know my mac and the source drive are OK, because I use them daily (the source drive has all my music on it, and it's hooked up to my stereo, and I play from it daily). I really doubt the drives are the problem.

    The thing is, the My Book already came formatted HFS+ journaled for mac. And just to be sure, I formatted it again (from the WD Drive Manager). At no point were any of these drives FAT, or anything other than HFS+ journaled.

    I guess, though I highly doubt it's my system.

    Well, on SD, it just says something like "exception error I/O at file blah, blah, blah".

    Again, none of these were exposed to FAT, so I don't know.

    Thanks! Frankly, I think it's something about the combo of SD and Western Digital. My next moves will be to try CCC, and then maybe look into getting the latest version of SD. What a nightmare - the worst, is that this is just the beginning - then I get the dubious pleasure of dealing with trying to get iTunes to associate the library with the new drive and also include all the artwork that's sitting in a folder on my mini :( :( :( :( :(
  21. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    Damn! You're rich! I looked carefully before I bought the MyBook Studio Edition II for Mac - this was the best deal... I was hoping for $200, but I was running out of space, so I had to spring for the $238 from Amazon (I was watching it for months!). And here you go, dropping $700++ without a blink... wow, just wow.

    Anyhow, I hope it works for you. All I can say, this is such basic stuff, yet is so complicated to actually pull off - I feel like we are living in the middle ages of computer science. Sheesh.
  22. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap

    The CCC process got hung up already at 390MB :(

    In searching the forums for both SD and CCC, I came across multiple warnings against WD drives, and My Book specifically - apparently you cannot boot from them using PPC systems, and WD acknowledges the problem without offering a solution.

    So this seems to have something to do with WD drives - now, I just want to clone, not boot, but perhaps the problems are related.

    What a mess.

    And now I tried to simply copy and paste in OS X a 1.44GB chunk - and it stalls at 390MB... WTF??!!

    I cannot believe that WD sells drives which one cannot copy to - this sucks!!!
  23. txnoob macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2009
    I'm guessing this is a PPC issue only? I just got a WD My Book Studio 320GB external. Hooked up via FW800 to my new intel mini. I copied 50Gb to it quickly from source drive.

    Not to rub it in your face but wish I would have known that I can't push this down to the eMac when I get a bigger drive. I mean sure you can save to it but there's file on there I'd like to move to it. And at 200MB a pop? That sucks. Think my next one will be a OWC enclosure with drive of my choice.
  24. knemonic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009
    Ya, if it is a conflict with PPC, that is why I have never encountered it, I have a 2.4ghz intel core 2 duo. I have had three my books and one element in my time, I am surprised at that glitch. Also, I have always used these drives as additional storage, never for the ability to boot from since I never thought they would be as fast as the internal drive (I am comparing sata to firewire 800, where I think your IDE drive is probably comparable to firewire 800, not sure what the ppc mac minis were using).

    To be honest, the $783 is way out of my price range too. With Bill Me Later I can pay it off over 6 months, which makes things a lot more manageable and I can whore myself out to a 1000 fat chicks. See, Old Mike really got me thinking about using two of the drives you have in a raid 1 setup through Disk Utility. Though I have never had a problem with this, he got me thinking that I could lose a lot simply by accidently unplugging the firewire cord (something my cat somehow could easily pull off). That worried me. More or less the point of this project was redundancy because I have so much media now, I have no way of securing it, which freaks me out, since when I attend grad school, it is all I will end up having for entertainment.

    Also, since I sprung for the extra 1TB hard drive for the Share, I am gonna sell both my 1TB premium II and my 640gb element, and dump everything onto the Share. This should help pay off the Share. Originally I was going to keep the 640gb in addition to the dual studio raid I wanted. Now that I can easily add a 1TB HD in the future, I will end up getting a whole another 1TB in the Share (with the studios in raid 1, I would need to add 1.5TG to achieve 3TB of space, I would need to replace all the drives and not just ad one), a future luxury I dont have with the studios, with raid 5, you can just add I believe.

    Sorry to hear about the PPC issue. Never understand why these things come up after you buy, never before. My guess is it is not the WD actual hard drive, more the controller within the case. Hey, you can always return it for a full refund with Amazon and let them know that you were provided faulty information from both WD and amazon's site since it states no where regarding the problem with PPC machines. They wont charge you a restocking fee and the pay for shipping since it was their fault not yours. I would do that since there is that limitation until you spring for a new mac. The only thing I would make sure of is the next external you get, check out the forums of the CCC and stuff to make sure there is no conflict. I am kind of a hardware junky, for example, this iMAc I have had for a year is the 2nd mac I have had for more than a year. I tend to upgrade when the timing is right, so this may be why I dont have so many issues with newer hardware with older. I buy them and then sell them on ebay, its awesome cause I have had one of everything, imac, macbook plastic, aluminum, macbook air and pro, mac pro, powermac, I usually get a lot of my money back on ebay cause I always have it my mind I may sell the item I currently have, so there like new. This iMac I have now though is the first one I have decided to keep for the long hall, what confirmed this is I purchase the apple care plan 3 weeks ago.

    What happened with the USB attempt? I was wondering if it is an issue specifically with firewire or not?
  25. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap

    OK guys, thanks for the moral support, I think I got the issue sorted out!

    I remembered that way back when, I had a similar issue with a WD drive (it was just a simple external MyBook I used for backup). In fact, when googling for a solution to this issue I came across a post of mine on MR about inability to copy to the WD (Sept. 2008), and there was no solution apparent. I forgot I even made the post. Anyhow, I did remember what I ultimately ended up doing - I copied chunks from the source drive to my DESKTOP FIRST (i.e. the mini's internal HDD), and then from there to the target WD MyBook drive. It was laborious.

    Anyway, all the forums for SD and CCC have a big sticky that says simply: DO NOT USE WESTERN DIGITAL DRIVES, and many posts of trouble with PPC macs. What that refers to however is booting up - and not just copying (that I could find). Apparently, buried deep in WD support documentation, WD themselves claim that their drives are not meant to boot PPC macs(!) - info they do not disclose before selling their drives.

    So, in a moment of inspiration, last night I decided to do one simple change. I daisy chained the FW drives in the following way: Source Drive FW400 to FW Hub to Mac Mini; then Target Drive (new MyBook) FW800 to FW400 connected to the Source Drive. All previous attempts had both drives (source and target) connected by FW to the mini through the FW hub.

    I then fired up Super Duper, and clicked "copy", then went to sleep. This morning, I came to my computer and SUCCESS!!! All 400GB copied from the source drive over to the MyBook!

    But that's just the beginning of happy - not only did it copy, but when I fired up iTunes, iTunes automatically associated the library with MyBook - when I looked at the preferences, it even specified the Music Folder location as "MyBook"! Wow! And all my artwork that I had gathered and put into a special folder, was associated with the files, so I can use grid view with no problem. Pain free! I also added some more music to iTunes, and it executed flawlessly. And the status in WD Drive Manager shows Raid Status as "healthy".

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very pleased, everything seems to work. I wrote this up, in case there are other unfortunate souls out there having the same problems with PPC macs and MyBook drives.

    Once again, thanks to the OP for an awesome thread, and now I can start worrying that I've already got almost 50% of the MyBook filled up and what to do when I need more space and swapping out the 1TB drives is not as easy.

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