External Hard drives or Server

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by matthewroth, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. matthewroth macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2006

    i have a loverly macmini, and processor wise this is all i need. 1 problem, hard drive space. i have a huge media collection (just over 0.5TB!) and as you know the poor little mac cannot hope to hold a fith of this.

    i got 3 mybook pro external hard drives (500gb) one for media, one for installation files and docs and the other for time machine. this was a great idea and worked, but now 7 months later i have lost all of my data and two of my hard drives (click...click...click) and i am at a loss. WD (the makers of the hard drive) are not helping my get my data back but are going to send me new drives. i have started ammasing my medai again using back ups from disks and things given to friends and family, but to be honest i dont want a mybook HD on my machine again as when i start to use it again i fear it will just fail.

    now my problem, i either need an infalible external hard drive of HUGE perportions or i need to use a server. i am not sure what hard drives i would use but i do know i cannot get a mac machine for a server. the problem is i dont want another mini (not enough HD space) dont want an imac (i have a monitor i like!) and i am not rich enough to fork out on a mac pro. i did think of getting a (sigh) windows machine and using this as a networked data server and this leads me to my list of questions.

    1) will storing my itunes hard drive on the PC but accessing it on my mac mean slow and laggy playing?

    2) if i was going to connect it (patch cord) directly to my mac, would i be able to connect to my hub (internet machine) using wireless AT THE SAME TIME!?

    3) does any one use the windows server method (using leopard) and what are your thoughs

    4) any other comments or idea's will be greatly apreciated as i am at a loss!
  2. matthewroth thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2006
  3. amik macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007
    I may be missing something, but it seems to me you have sufficient capacity now, you just don't have good backups. I'd use the mybooks since they are no cost to you, and then buy an external enclosure and some reliable SATA drives to serve as your backup for the mybooks. 750 gb drives aren't that expensive, and with a pair you would be pretty well covered assuming you need that much capacity.

    On my wife's laptop, I use an OWC external with dual 500gb drives in a raid 1. We also have a small seagate external that serves as a third copy of the irreplaceable files (personal pictures mostly), and CD/DVD backups of some files in our safe. That's 4 copies of our most treasured files, and 2-3 of the rest.

    You'll never find an infallible hard drive, you just need to be smart about the redundancy you maintain.
  4. GregE macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2007
    I agree with amik. You need to make sure you have a backup. EHD's will die just like internal drives.

    I'm using the Guardian MAXimus that I got from OWC with 2 750GB SATA drives in a RAID 1 array. In case you don't know, a RAID 1 array is also know as a mirrored array. The data is written to both hard drives at the same time so if one drive fails, you have the other drive still running. You can then replace the failed drive and rebuild the array from the good drive. Basically you copy the good drives data to a new drive. If both drives fail, you are SOL so backups are still necessary and important.

    I also plan on getting a DROBO once they come out with a firewire version. The nice thing about the DROBO is that it holds up to 4 drives and they do not have to be the same size. You can easily replace a smaller drive with a larger drive when you need more space.

    You could get one of these and then use the My Books as a backup method and then power them off when not accessing them.

    Hope that helps.

    BTW, both of these devices can be partitioned so you could still have separate areas like you currently do.
  5. matthewroth thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2006
    cheers for all your advice.

    just a note that one of my hard drives was a back up for the more important info, when that died and i was waiting for my replacment my other died. this was all of my music and video (so understandibly i was angry!) but i did get alot back from freinds... and all video i rip from now on is in touch format, so it has been a bad year but at least all formats will be uniform!

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