Friend bought MBA 128GB. Need help with storage

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by adam9c1, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. adam9c1 macrumors 65816

    adam9c1

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #1
    A friend of mine bought a MBA 128GB.
    What do I recommend for TM backup?

    and normal storage?
    she lives across the country, and not technical.

    That's why I'm thinking USB HD for extra storage, andy gui friendly nas out there?

    She is getting Apple Care, I'm thinking she should get time capsule but it's pricey.
    She will never have that much storage...
     
  2. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #2
    I got a Western Digital My Cloud 8TB NAS thing for I think about $400. Here's the link on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/WD-Cloud-EX2-...932&sr=8-10&keywords=western+digital+my+cloud

    So far so good with it. You login through a browser to manage things. It also has external USB ports so you can attach other drives to the network. HOWEVER be aware that it's 4TB of usable space because it has mirrored drives. I lost a 2TB drive full of stuff after accidentally knocking it over. Thus my reasoning for a setup with RAID. I'm pretty sure you can turn RAID off, but I wouldn't recommend it. If you spent $400-$500 on this thing, you probably didn't do it for zero redundancy.

    I've been redownloading my movies and TV shows I bought plus re-ripping the most important ones to put on this drive. So far it works pretty well. It's also set up to use for a Time Machine backup, so I've been doing that with my MBA because remembering to plug in a portable HDD was not easy. As soon as I get some things sorted out, I plan on moving another external drive to this setup so I can get the TM backups off the mirrored disks. I don't need a redundancy of a backup.

    I'm trying to get it to work as a storage location for my Photos library. I had some copying issues that I think were unrelated to the drive, so I just created a new library on the drive since most of my photos are on a TM backup from an iMac. I may have accidentally killed my iMac, thus I'm going through this. The only trouble right now is getting the shared folders to stay connected. I think this has to do with IP addresses, but I thought I'd share this little trouble.

    Really it's pretty good for the price I paid. I really wanted the RAID mirroring and it came setup for that out of the box. I had to do a couple of Google searches to figure out some initial setup, but my only problems since have been keeping it connected. Reconnecting is almost always just going to it in Finder again, but it's kind of a pain.
     
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #3
    I think this may be a bit OTT for their usage, they've only got 128GB storage and they'd be spending almost half as much on this as they did on the computer. It doesn't really look like they'd need the speed either, she's not particularly technical.

    In all honesty OP just some simple 1TB USB 3 HDD should be fine for their needs, if they just need to store some photos/movies and leave the internal SSD uncluttered. They're about $55 so it won't break the bank. http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Canvi...&qid=1437647536&sr=8-2&keywords=1tb+usb+3+hdd
     
  4. makinao macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    #4
    I agree with keysofanxiety. Any normal usb 3.0 1tb portable hard drive would be fine for Time Machine. Just plug it in whenever she gets home and back up. For additional onboard storage, a low-profile USB 3.0 flash drive like a SanDisk Cruzer Fit or Kingston DataTraveller Micro series can be kept on permanently because they are so small. 64gb goes for under US$30, and 128 gb could go on the market by late this year for not much more.
     
  5. dwig macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Location:
    Key West FL
    #5
    I don't believe you can turn RAID off, though you might be able to since as I understand it this device uses a software RAID rather than hardware. If you can turn RAID off with this device you will have two separate 4tb drives and have neither the speed advantage of RAID 0 or the data safety of RAID 1. Usually with such devices, you choose between RAID 0 and RAID 1:
    • RAID 0: The devices drives appear as a single drive to the OS and data is distributed between the two HDs yielding faster data transfer. The device has a capacity equal to the total of installed HDs, 8tb in this case. In NAS devices, this speed advantage is generally lost due to the slower network data transfer.
    • RAID 1: The devices drive appear as a single drive with the capacity of only one of the HDs, 4tb in this case. Data is mirrored so that each drive has a complete copy of all data and a all data is accessible even when one HD fails. Replacing the failed drive will allow the RAID to "heal" and you will then have all data on each drive.
     
  6. dwig macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Location:
    Key West FL
    #6
    +1 - This is a good way to go for a non-techie, both compact and relatively inexpensive. In addition to the special compact SD cards there are microSD card adapters that are sized to fit flush in MDs and allow the use of a "standard" card rather than one that is special to MBs.

    You could also use a portable SSD in the 128-256gb range instead of the SD cards. Such SSDs are quite a bit faster than the SD cards. Whether or not the speed difference will be an issue depends a lot on the type of files that will be stored on the SSD or card. I use a microSD card in my Windows 8.1 tablet as an extra "HD" and don't have any issues with its slower speed. I can see that it is slower, but it doesn't really impact anything that I do with the device, and I frequently watch HD videos that are stored on the card without any transfer speed issues.
     
  7. adam9c1 thread starter macrumors 65816

    adam9c1

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #7
    I will suggest to her to get a mini SD card flash mount drive for extra onboard storage.

    Wish time capsule would be offered in a smaller size.
    Much simpler to backup to TC than to remember to plug in USB HD then dismount, ...
     
  8. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #8
    And possibly less robust. If a Time Capsule is plugged in all the time to the same electrical system, it may be subjected to the same power surges (lightning strikes, etc.) and if she keeps the Time Capsule in the same house/building as her Mac, then it could also be lost if there's a fire or burglary.

    I prefer using two small external 2.5" drives for backups. I keep one at one and one at a friend's house. I have a weekly reminder on my calendar to back up, and every 3 months I swap the drives with each other.

    This is easy enough to do. I might lose some data if my computer crashes vs. a system that continuously backs up, but I won't lose much if there's a lightning strike or fire etc.
     

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