Multiple External Drives...Question

Heart Break Kid

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 13, 2003
568
8
Toronto
Ok, I have a question regarding multiple external drives.

I'm thinking about purchasing 2 external USB 2.0 drives. The enclosures all have multiple USB ports so they can act as a temp hub. I was wondering, rather than plugging in an iPod or something in the extra ports, if I plug one hard drive into another and that into my macbook, whether both would be visible on my macbook desktop. THis would save me precious usb ports that my macbook does NOT have :)

THANKS
 

deebster

macrumors 6502
Oct 21, 2004
276
0
Olde Englande
I know you can do this with Firewire connected drives, but not sure about USB 2.0.

Is there any reason you cannot use Firewire? It is going to be faster in practice, will allow drives to be daisychained and will also let you have a bootable external drive to use as a backup clone.

Get Firewire / USB 2.0 combo drives would be my advice.
 

Heart Break Kid

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 13, 2003
568
8
Toronto
deebster said:
I know you can do this with Firewire connected drives, but not sure about USB 2.0.

Is there any reason you cannot use Firewire? It is going to be faster in practice, will allow drives to be daisychained and will also let you have a bootable external drive to use as a backup clone.

Get Firewire / USB 2.0 combo drives would be my advice.
I appreciate it :)

Any suggestions on a sexy external that would match my macbook?
 

furious

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2006
1,012
0
Australia
WD MyBook premium. i have one and it looks cool, is ergonomic and they look like a book so you can disguise them on a book shelf if you so desire. plus they have USB2.0 and Firewire. :D
 

Hockeypuck

macrumors regular
Sep 29, 2006
102
0
I seem to remember reading that you can Daisy Chain Firewire drives, but you can not daisy chain USB. USB requires your computer to act as the hub, while Firewire devices have the ability to talk to eachother.

Don't quote me on that though :)
 

bossass

macrumors regular
Aug 27, 2006
140
0
Hockeypuck said:
I seem to remember reading that you can Daisy Chain Firewire drives, but you can not daisy chain USB. USB requires your computer to act as the hub, while Firewire devices have the ability to talk to eachother.

Don't quote me on that though :)
Quote me, you can't do it.
 

pjarvi

macrumors 65816
Jan 11, 2006
1,286
175
Round Lake, IL
Up to 127 devices can be connected to a single host controller. USB was designed to be daisy-chain(able). It's simply a matter of the bandwith gets divided up amongst each device that is connected, so the more devices, the less bandwith available. Most computers have a single host controller built-in, so plugging each device into a seperate port would make no difference. I currently have 1 external drive plugged into another external drive, plugged into a powered hub, plugged into a Mac Mini, with no problems.
 

jtown

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2003
306
0
You cannot daisy-chain USB. Period. That word doesn't mean what you think it means.

You can hook up multiple devices to a single host port using a hub. You can cascade hubs (meaning plug one hub into another hub) to provide even more ports and hook up more devices.

If the original poster found an external USB case that has multiple ports on it designed for plugging in additional USB devices, that's a combo device. It has both a hub and a hard drive controller.

If you haven't bought them yet, don't. Use firewire. It's got lower latency, higher sustained throughput, exhibits better characteristics when saturated, and puts a much smaller load on the CPU. And firewire can be daisy-chainedm, though you still have the same bottleneck as USB in that all the data flows through a single port. The 400mbps is shared among all of the devices.