Too many externals? Alternatives

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Rafalski24, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Rafalski24 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #1
    Hello all,
    I have the uMBP that you can read about below, and I have a ton of external hard drives:
    1x 2TB connected via fw800
    2x 1TB connected both via fw800
    1x portable 500GB when plugged in, its via fw800
    1x 500GB connected via usb (Time machine)
    3x other random drives mostly smaller <250gb all usb, when plugged in.

    One problem I have is keeping everything straight! That's a bunch of drives, but I am a packrat and can't bring myself to delete old projects and such.
    The other main issue that I run into is when they are plugged in the whole system slows down. I assume this is due to confusion by the system when each separate drives sleeps, and spotlight needs to figure stuff out. Well this gets annoying! Is there anything I can do to cut down on this time lost (3-5 seconds each time)?!
    Also is there a cheap way consolidate, maybe by using the drives I already have (I still have a lil over 2TB free over all)? How would I connect it to my MBP?

    Sorry for the lengthy post, I will appreciate each and every response!!!

    -Jason
     
  2. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #2
    I think your needs justify a NAS or a cheap PC with a lot of drives as file server. You can combine your drives in external enclosures that take more than one drive. IMO the more drives one has, the more he is in danger of losing one. So I hope you keep your important files in more than one drive.

    How much is your budget? Storage solutions start form a few bucks to several thousands so everything is relative.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    How about a quad-bay RAID (or non-RAID) enclosure? You could throw all your current ones away (=sell them) or spare one or two as backup's backup but that would make your setup a lot better looking and less cables needed
     
  4. Rafalski24 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #4
    Not sure how much I would be willing to put into this, I think anything around 200 bucks would be about as high as I would go. The problem with all of the raid enclosures I see is that they have either usb connectivity or esata. usb is too slow and I don't have esata... I would love to use gigabit ethernet, getting speeds above or near fw800 seems impossible, right?

    As to my more important files, yes I keep them on more than one. They are backed up in Time machine, and another drive too. As well as on my main system drive. All my documents that I can't lose are on dropbox, and my server.

    Oh and did I mention I edit HD video, not heavily now. But its certainly possible for that to pick up.
     
  5. rootsmaneuver macrumors member

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    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    Wisco
  6. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #6
    You could also do some housekeeping. Stuff that's older than, say, a year, move to disks that you'll leave un-plugged and keep just the current stuff plugged in and ready to go. I have several separate drives - one for each client (or two or three clients, depending on the amount of stuff I have for them) and I pull them off the shelves and plug them in only when I need them.
     
  7. Rafalski24 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #7
    I hadn't looked at the OWC options in a while, my question is can I use it as JBOD at first? Does it support this? (I probably wouldn't have the money to get a bunch of identical drives, and it doesn't make sense to raid with the drives I have currently) And would the 4 disk enclosure help the problem of my slowness of my MBP?
     
  8. enberg macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    #9
    A NAS of some sort is just so much more convenient than having to plug in.
     
  9. Rafalski24 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #10
    Both of those LaCie drives are a lil out of my price range, although I am a fan of their drives.
    As to NAS i would love to have NAS, and plan to implement one in my new apartment (which is still several months away), but I can't dump a bunch of gigabytes of video to it and then edit... Its just not feasible.

    I appreciate the answers guys, keep um coming!
     
  10. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #11
    Another less sophisticated solution would be to get a USB HDD dock (like this). And 2-3 identical 1TB internal drives. This way you can have your data somehow consolidated in few disks that you can later throw in a file-server or NAS enclosure.
     
  11. Rafalski24 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #12
    Actually one of those 1TB drives is using a HDD dock i got from macsales. Which i love but couldn't just use that since then I would not be able to move files across hard drives easily. Anyone know anyway to fix the slowdown I am experiencing?
    Thanks
     
  12. rootsmaneuver macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    Wisco
    #13
    The OWC unit details:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/RAID/Desktop

    It does support spanning, but you will have zero redundancy (unless you plan to retain the old drives and backup to them). I'm not sure on how that will affect the array if a drive fails. I think you would need to replace the drive, reformat and copy files back from your 'old' drives.

    I suggest a Raid 5 or Raid 10. I use Raid 5 myself and backup/update whats on my Raid to a couple bare 2TB drives every couple weeks or so.


    As far as your computer slowing down, I'm not sure. I'm no expect on anything, really, but I your computer would see the enclosure as a single drive, instead of 4 or 5 or whatever, which could help matters.


    FYI - I've had this OWC unit for about 6 months now and had to send it back 3 times. Finally they replaced the unit and tested the S%!T out of it. Works like a charm now. I was super frustrated and got them to pay for shipping both ways, etc. They were really good about everything. I've never been upset with an OWC unit till this one. but now its working like the device I thought I purchased, so I'm happy.
     
  13. Rafalski24 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #14
    yeah owc is pretty good with that sort of stuff. I had a problem with the dock i bought from them and they overnighted me a replacement for free! Also I think i read that they started to test the units better recently before shipping them.
     
  14. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #15
    You could easily consolidate some of your drives. I have 2 2TB WD Studio drives and a 500GB WD MyPassport Studio drive on an FW800 chain. The Passport is used for a SuperDuper! image, 1 2TB drive as a data storage, and the other one as my Time Machine drive. I could consolidate onto a single 4TB drive, but I'm good the way I am now. When traveling, I take the SuperDuper! drive with me, and sometimes (for longer trips) I would also take another 500GB WD MyPassport drive for Time Machine.
     

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