External Drive format

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Donka, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Donka macrumors 68020

    Donka

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #1
    A quick question albeit with a long explanation of the issue.
    I have set up a Mac Mini as a media server with Plex & iTunes. I have all the media sitting on a 2TB USB 3.0 drive and all is working great so far.
    I have a couple of iPad video apps that I use to load up with video content for when I am travelling and they will both connect using SMB or uPNP - I copy them down over my wireless network in the house. One of them will also connect using AFP. The external drive is formatted using exFAT so I have the choice if needed to plug it into a Windows PC. Now I see the external drive shared via the Mac if I use SMB but I cannot list the contents of the drive. I have read this is a limitation of SMB support in OSX and SMB will only work with Mac OS formatted drives.
    I have tried uPNP which is normally fast but for some reason, I will get maybe 20% of a file downloaded then the speed plummets from ~5MB/s to ~0.4KB/s so basically the copy of the file will never complete. This same copy using uPNP to my old NAS drive works fine and if I copy the same files using my Macbook Pro & AFP they copy fine so I know both the iPad apps and the drive are capable. I'm attributing this issue to the Plex Media Server's version of DLNA client.
    One of the apps does support AFP and this does work to copy the files down from the Mac Mini's external drive, albeit about half the speed of a uPNP connection. I wish to use both apps though due to differing performance and functionality.
    I think I have two possible work arounds at the moment.

    a. Install a separate server software such as Serviio just to purely serve up the contents of the external drive for these iPad apps when required. This is assuming the Plex Media Software DLNA is the issue (which I have since turned off) and Serviio's will work without the speed drops. Plex Media Server will continue to run as the main media server for my Plex clients. I don't wish to install extra software if unecessary, especially as Serviio for example requires Java installed which otherwise is not required on this Mac.

    b. Reformat the external drive as Mac OS format and enable SMB sharing on this. This means I won't have the option of using this external drive with any Windows machines but should mean the contents can be served up using SMB. While sharing with Windows is a nice to have, I may never have the need to do so.

    Has anyone had any similar issues or any thoughts on exFAT versus Mac OS (HFS+) for external drives?
     
  2. Donka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Donka

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #2
    To answer my own question, I reformatted the external drive as Mac OS Journaled and now I can easily share using SMB for the apps that need it.
    If I do need to use this external drive on a Windows machine at any point (unlikely), I'll just use a trial of MacDrive or similar.
     

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