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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 5, 2011
Hi all,

Please forgive my lack of technical savvy, but I really need some help. I have set myself up a pretty decent home cinema, and have a mac mini running the media player for the cinema. I currently have a 4TB HD connected to the mac mini containing all of my movie files. However, as I am now running out of space on that 4TB HD, I needed to get some more equipment. I was looking at getting two 6TB HD's (to allow for backups), but was convinced by the salesman that the western digital 12TB server would be a better solution with its raid 5 setup and server abilities. I took his advice (mistake number 1), and purchased the WD server.

I have been trying to set up the server for weeks now, as it runs windows server software, it is an absolute nightmare to configure, and I am almost ready to give up. So my question to you more expert chaps, is it possible for me to load the OSX Lion server software onto the western digital server? If its not possible, as I suspect it isn't, if I load the server software onto the mac mini, will i be able to reformat the western digital server so it acts simply as a 12TB raid 5 hard drive for the mac mini OSX server? I hope my question makes sense, and again, sorry for the lack of technical detail, its just not my thing. Oh, and by the way, if it helps, the server I purchased was the Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 12TB model.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2011
You cannot load Mac OS X Lion Server onto the Western Digital unit.

You do not need Mac OS X Lion Server at all.

Your best option is to simply store your data on the Western Digital unit, and configure iTunes on whatever computer you are using to look for the media there.

To explain this better:

If you are on a Mac, you will still have a ~/UserName/Music/iTunes folder with the basic data about your iTunes library there. However, all of your movies, TV shows, and music will be stored in /Volumes/WesternDigitalServer. Or if you are on a Windows computer you will still have a C:\Whatever\iTunes, but you will still configure iTunes to store the movies, TV shows, and music on the Western Digital server.

There is a very easy way to make iTunes do this. Simply set the computer up, attach the Western Digital unit, and then Go to iTunes -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Change. When you click Change, you'll simply target a folder on the Western Digital server. Make sure "Keep iTunes Media folder organized" and "Copy files to iTunes..." are selected. Then, click "OK". Now go File -> Library -> Organize Library. Select "Consolidate Files" and then OK. iTunes will move all of your old media onto the new Western Digital server.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 5, 2011
Hi radiogoober,

Thank you very much for the detailed reply. My current setup on the mac mini does not use itunes, as i am using PLEX as the media player, due to its ability to handle almost every video format. Also its interface is vastly superior to Front Row and alike.

But I do get what you are saying. I have found a way to mount the WD server onto the mac mini, and I can point PLEX to the server and have it play files from there. The big problem I have is that I am unable to organise the files and folders on the server as it is running Windows Storage Server 2008 R2. I have downloaded and installed all the necessary software onto a spare Vista machine that I have, but the setup has got me stumped. I have been trying to figure it out for weeks now. I am unable to delete, rename, resize folders etc. Stuff which I would consider very basic, but I just can't seem to crack it. Hence my question about loading OSX Lion server on to the WD server, or loading OSX Lion server onto the mac mini and reformatting the WD to act as an external hard drive. In the absence of being able to figure out the Windows server software nightmare, I thought maybe it would be an easier option in the long run to switch is over to an OSX based platform.

But thanks again for the detailed reply. Much appreciated.


macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2007
Bay Area
Good questions

Sentinel looks like it could be more reliable than Drobos.
At least it appears to be standard RAID implementation, so should be easier to recover from in case of failure.

I'm also getting MacMini for home server to be able to access my files from anywhere.
Being able to stream to TV is a bonus, but not critical.

So please share if anyone had good experience with Sentinel DX4000 on 10.8 with a similar setup/purposes.


macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2012
Destin, FL
I read the title and thought, well I should be able to answer a noob question, how silly of me to think I have graduated beyond noob.

I may be totally confused, but I run a WD Live 2T. My macbook pro detects it and uses it for a time machine, it also detects it as a drive. I can drag and drop movies to a public folder ( so my girl friend can play them ) and normally store them in a personal folder.

I can stream movies directly from the WD to my mac. I haven't had time to play with the AppleTV interface ( supposedly the WD will stream movies to AppleTV as well ). I should get some free time around Christmas to figure it all out.

just a noob, without a clue
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