External Harddrive options

Discussion in 'iMac' started by roadkill401, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. roadkill401 macrumors 6502


    Jan 11, 2015
    I just purchased an iMac Retina with a 512g SSD. I plan to use this machine with a bunch of VM's to run some of the windows apps, along with doing testing and learning of linux etc..

    I decided that as the VM's can take up quite a bit of space, and rather than fill up the SSD with stuff that really is not speed critical, I would put all the VM's onto an External harddrive. I have 4 1.0TB WD green drives left over from past installs that are perfect for this task.

    Right now I have a Vantac NexStar USB3 dual port doc that I borrowed from my NAS downstairs to try it out to see if external drives would be practical and fast enough. It works great. So I need to figure out a more permanent solution.

    Being in Canada, many of the discount stores just aren't available to me, and after putting in over $3500 for the iMac, I am a bit tapped out for big dollar spending.

    What options are there for a good case to put the drives into?

    If I wanted to get some form of mirror, do I need to get a hardware solution or is there some relatively inexpensive software to mirror to external usb connected drives?

    Would a physical case be better than sticking with something like a drive dock?

    Any help or suggestions greatly appreciated.
  2. eljanitor macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2011
  3. roadkill401 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 11, 2015
    I am wondering if anyone has tried a Mediasonic HF2-SU3S2 with an iMac and can tell if the sleep mode will power down the Mediasonic and rewake it when the iMac wakes??

    It's a $100 case so a bit more than I would like to buy on spec to see if it works or not.
  4. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    By "mirror" are you talking about RAID 1 ("mirrored RAID")? If so, OS X has the capability to create and maintain this, itself... but I only bring it up because I don't recommend it. I had two 1.5 GB drives connected by FireWire 400 in a software RAID 1 and for reasons I never found out, the RAID kept developing problems even though the disks were always unmounted properly. I never lost any data, but it didn't give me much confidence that I'd be able to keep working without a hitch if one of the two drives failed.

    As a general rule, hardware RAID solutions are more highly regarded than software solutions. You still need to be careful there, too, though.

    If your goal isn't to keep hard drives completely mirrored, but to automatically keep files and/or folders backed up and synced across multiple hard drives, software solutions exist for that.

    If you're not going to be shuffling the drives around, they're in an environment where they won't be getting bumped, and there's little risk of static discharge, then a physical case probably isn't necessary.
  5. pcconvert macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2008
    Been there done that works great! I have both 2 and 4 bay Mediasonics and both of them powersync great. The only thing you will notice is that it will display those 'eject first' dialogs like any other USB device which would power down. On the other hand side it also has esata port and since you have SSD iMac you have one sata port available - if you ever hack your iMac like I did mine :). eSata connection works perfect, just like built-in 12TB HD in my case.

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