What is the most external hard drives that the 2012 Mac mini can support?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Narked Diver, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. Narked Diver macrumors regular

    Narked Diver

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    #1
    I am thinking of connecting a UPS to my Mac mini via USB to allow for controlled shutdowns when the power goes out

    Trouble is all my USB port are currently used by external hard drives

    Depending on the use of the hard drives (e.g. Some are only used as back up / time capsules) can I use a USB hub to increase the number of hard drives attached via a single USB connection

    Are there any cons to doing this?

    Cheers
     
  2. dimme macrumors 65816

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    Location:
    SF, CA
    #2
    I have a usb hub and a calDigit thunderbolt dock attached to my 2012 mac mini server. For a total of 8 external drives. The thrust on the thunderbolt dock is a bit better that the hub, but all works well.
     
  3. warragul macrumors member

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    Sep 19, 2016
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #3
    I had a Targus 7-port USB hub on my PPC Mini because of the shortage of ports on the Mini itself.
    Through that I ran a bunch of USB drives and a couple of printers without any issues. Generally, I used only one drive at a time and the printers are fairly undemanding. In fact, they shared one port on the Targus via unpowered 4-port hub closer to them - the printers being on the other side of the room.
    The Targus also made plugging in the odd USB flash drive easier because it had powered ports.
     
  4. Narked Diver thread starter macrumors regular

    Narked Diver

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    #4
    Thanks for the feedback folks

    I think my new line up will be as follows

    USB port 1 - UPS connection
    USB port 2 - ITunes and media library
    USB port 3 - photos library
    USB port 4 - USB hub

    The USB hub will have the following attached to it

    Main hard drive backup / time machine
    iTunes and media library backup
    Photos library backup
    Lightning cable for backing up / charging iOS devices
    And a couple of spare ports in case

    Any recommendations on USB hubs and will I need it to be powered?
     
  5. Bart Kela macrumors 6502a

    Bart Kela

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    #5
    They will need to be powered.

    I do not have a specific brand recommendation. I have a moldy old IOGEAR hub for similar purposes but I do not know if their current product line has a good reputation. If I were in the market today, I would likely stick to a name brand like Belkin, Anker, Plugable, etc.

    For USB hubs, I figure you get what you pay for.
     
  6. dimme macrumors 65816

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    Feb 14, 2007
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    SF, CA
  7. Narked Diver thread starter macrumors regular

    Narked Diver

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    Apr 8, 2014
  8. warragul macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2016
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #8
    Apart from the fact that I've never heard of Aukey... :) Looks good.
    But the USB 3 ports are going to be overkill since the Mini only runs to USB 2. Still, it's an investment in the future, right?
    Some hubs have a High Power mode where they can recharge power-hungry devices like iPads. Normal ports are limited to 500mA rather than the 2A needed by an iPad. If you don't have an iPad this won't matter, of course.
     
  9. Narked Diver thread starter macrumors regular

    Narked Diver

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    #9
    Just double checked and the late 2012 Mac mini (my model) has 4 USB 3 ports :)
     

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