Mac mini hard drive or External USB for file sharing?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Scrib, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. Scrib macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    #1
    All -

    It's with sadness and deep regret that I must put my 9 year old Dual G4 out to pasture.

    I picked up a mac mac mini and it will be performing nearly all the same functions as the G4, including file serving and being the Time Machine source.

    Question. Today, I have my iTunes and iPhoto libraries on a FW400 WD hard drive. Time Machine backs up that data to another WD FW 400 hard drive.

    Moving to the mini, I'll have to make the external drives USB2. No big deal.

    But purely from a set up perspective... Am I better off keeping things as is, keeping the files on an external drive and backup up to an external drive? Or should I put my iTunes and iPhoto libraries on the mini hard drive? Just looking for perhaps the best setup, etc.

    I have my house hard wired, so the mini is connected to a 1000mbit switch. Also, the iTunes and iPhoto libraries are accessed by multiple people, so I need something that all users can access.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. txnoob macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #2
    If it were me, I would continue your method. But why do you have to switch to USB 2.0?
     
  3. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Holocene Epoch
    #3
    I agree with txnoob; all mini's support FW400 (the new ones via what's called a FW800->FW400 "bilingual" cable: 9-pin->6-pin). Just continue to use that.
     
  4. Scrib thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    #4
    Hmmmm

    I know the mini only has one FW800 port. Do I need some sort of adapter? And then... Piggyback the drives?
     
  5. Scrib thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    #5
    Come to think of it, one of the drives has a FW800 port.

    So can I run one of the drives via FW400 into the other and then FW800 to the mini?
     
  6. SomeSwede macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Location:
    Land of ice and snow.
    #6
    Should work.
     
  7. chrisliv macrumors member

    chrisliv

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest, North America
    #7
    Sure,

    If the one external with FW800 is connected to the Mini's FW800, it will have FW800 speed.

    But if the FW800 HD is daisy-chained after a FW400 drive, via adapter/cable, it will only have the FW400 speed.

    So, if both of your external drives have two Firewire ports (not all do), then you can get the maximum speed from the FW800 one and keep it in the daisy-chain. If not, you can still keep it daisy-chained (at the end) and it will function at the lower speed. Or you can occasionally connect it directly to the Mini if you really want it to go faster at certain times, like if you ever use an external HD as a scratch disk for video editing.

    Peace to you,
    C. Livingstone
     
  8. Scrib thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    #8
    OK, I think I'm in the clear. I'll run the FW 400 into the back of the FW 800 and then FW800 to the mini.

    One final question, does the mini get involved when each disk is talking to each other? Would data that would go from the 400 to 800 device have to go to the mini and back?
     
  9. chrisliv macrumors member

    chrisliv

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest, North America
    #9
    Gee,

    I don't know about that. I've only ever used a single external HD at a*time, and I'm not sure how to determine that, either.

    Maybe you can tell us when you get your new daisy chain going.

    Peace be with you,
    C. Livingstone
     
  10. txnoob macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #10
    I'd be willing to bet, that since the mini actually recognizes the 2nd drive that the there is some interaction with the mini. It's really no different in functionality than using a USB hub. Does it write the data to the mini first and then send it the External? Nope. But I believe it does pass through it.

    Will be no different then your prior set up which did the same thing.
     

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