Network Hard Drives?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by fr3n2y, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. fr3n2y macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2011
    New Forest, Hampshire UK

    I've have just got my new macbook pro, it only has a 256 ssd.

    I have over 150gb of itunes music on my imac and 200gb of movies that I want to be able to access on my macbook. I have worked out home sharing but thought maybe i could use something like this

    Especially as both me and my wife have iphones and she has an ipad.

    Could i put all the music and movies on the drive and be able to access it from all devices? it seems that way from the specs, but would like confirmation. I have Apple TV too so could that also use it?

    Lastly could i use time machine with it to back up all the computers on the network?

    thanks for any help

  2. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    That drive would work to share media content to all of your devices, but you can't share it directly with the AppleTV, and while WD may offer Time Machine support, it's not really a supported device, so OS updates may well break its functionality.

    You say you have an iMac, so I'll tell you what I'd suggest after living with a Network Attached Storage device for many years. Use the iMac as the server instead. Buy a large external drive for the iMac and partition it so that you have one partition for media storage, and one partition for each computer you want to back up with Time Machine. That will work flawlessly with your ATV, and then you share the Time Machine partitions and backup all of the other computers in the house using an Apple-supported method.
  3. fr3n2y thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2011
    New Forest, Hampshire UK
    That sounds like a plan!

    So I could have a huge harddrive on the mac and share the data from it and also back everything up easy enough.

    Thanks for the tip!
  4. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    I have to caution against that plan. While using the iMac as a server is a good idea, storing your backups on the same drive as your media is absolutely NOT. If your external drive dies, you not only lose all your media, but all your backups of that media too. Partitions don't die one by one for the most part; it's usually the whole drive. You don't mention a budget, but I'd have to recommend a 1TB drive for media and a separate 2TB for backups (although with the amount of data you have a 1.5 might be okay). That shouldn't cost much more than $225 all in. That way, you can have a backup of your media and your iMac. Also, Macs don't like to back up to drives attached to other Macs. I know from experience.

    I went way off the deep end and built a media server with double redundancy, but that's not even close to necessary.

    So, in closing, my recommendation is buy 2 drives: one for media, one for backup. Backup your media and iMac on the backup drive. If you want to back up all your Macs, spring for a Time Capsule. You won't regret that because of its simplicity. But as a general rule, take whatever amount of storage space you want to back up and multiply it by 1.5. Slightly less is probably going to be okay.
  5. fr3n2y thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2011
    New Forest, Hampshire UK
    Ah ok.

    That makes sense actually.

    So I have a 500gb drive at the minute I could use for media, and I've just ordered a 2tb drive I could use for backups.

    Would I need to partition the 2tb drive? 1 partition for the iMac and the other for the mbp?

    What about the 500gb media drive, could I set the 2tb drive to back that up too?


    Actually I've just re-read your post.

    I suppose I could manually back up the mbp weekly by attaching it to the 2tb drive instead of doing it over the network through the iMac.

    I was just going to go for the time capsule but it's difficult persuading the wife to allow me to spend a further £250 after spending of 2k on the mbp.

    I've managed to order a 2tb drive for less than a hundred pounds.
  6. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Backing up other Macs to a shared drive should work fine. It's a fully supported method of backing up with Time Machine. Way more reliable than third party work-arounds for NAS support for time machine.

    Yes, you will need to back up the media on the shared drive, but you have the same issue when you add a network drive or NAS, especially big ones. You need two of them to keep redundant copies.

    I now back up all critical data both locally via Time Machine and to the cloud with Crashplan. Most of my movies/tv shows I don't consider too critical so they go to crashplan only. Saves a lot of disk space only keeping one local copy of large files I'm not too concerned about losing.

    Edit: I'd caution against any backup plan that relies on manually connecting a drive. That may work for a while, but before you know it you'll realize it's been months since you've last done it. Make it automated and hands off.
  7. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008

    I back up to a USB drive plugged in to an old 500 GB Time Capsule. I also back up using Crashplan. I also back up to Synology NAS drives (by copying files). Really really really important stuff also gets copied to some sort of cloud such as iCloud, google somethingorother or dropbox.

    I don't like the idea of backing up from one Mac to another using Time Machine but Crashplan free version features the ability to do just that. You can back up to a friend's machine either off site or down the hall.

    I occasionally use Carbon Copy Cloner to make new images of my drive when I upgrade. The old drive then turns into a sort of backup until I'm confident the new one works. I just rolled back to the old drive this past week when an incompatible (or perhaps defective?) SSD left my Macbook floating in beachballs. BTW, SSD drives need to be backed up too.

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