What's your best set-up for multiple external drives- need to organise myself

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by RunnyCustard, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. RunnyCustard macrumors member

    RunnyCustard

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #1
    Hi all

    I would like to sort out all my drives and keep the organisation simple... it's recently turned into a bit of a mess after my hard drive on the iMac went into melt-down (fixed but having other issues... see other post! :eek:) and as it had difficulty in backing up (for several months!) etc I did a mini panic of just saving my most important stuff on other drives - sometimes it would save on one drive but not other stuff so then had to use another drive etc... I have all my files etc but it's a bit of a mess... sooooooo...

    I have different things on different drives etc and it would be interesting to see how others organise themselves if they have multiple external drives.

    Which is best to use for time-machine back-ups and the other to keep all my photo's, videos and general other work on.

    I would like to keep my computer free of most of my work... maybe just have the current projects kept there.

    so far I have 53GB of photo's (I dabble in photography and work as a retoucher) I usually keep some original images and then there's the retouched or best images in separate folders.

    I'm studying digital media as well (BA) and while websites don't take that much space, the 3D stuff did and I've started doing stop motion animation ... then trying out different formats etc I end up with a huge amount of GB used up with .mov files (I'm new to moving images!)

    I have two desktop Western Digital Studios drives - 1.5TB and 500GB

    I did used to just have the 500GB and kept the time-machine/backups on this disc and I recently switched this over to the 1.5TB but I'm wondering if I really need all that space just for back-ups - I can't personally see wanting a back-up from a year ago... a couple of months back maybe so should I switch my back-ups to the 500Gb drive and keep all my images/video/docs etc on the 1.5TB instead?


    I also have 2 Western Digital portable drives - 320GB each.
    I use one for Uni/work which means I can transfer large files to and from work computers to my home computer and I don't have to lug my macbook around ... plus the Uni doesn't have the same software versions as I do and it's easier just to take the files in rather than my laptop etc.

    I use one for keeping movies on - it's more convenient to keep my DVD films on the drive rather than keep taking dvd's out of the case etc... so my dvd collection is in a box on the wardrobe!


    How do others organise themselves?
     
  2. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #2
    Internal Mac HD with OS X, applications and general docs
    External HD 1 as Photoshop scratch disk
    External HD 2 with working images, video files etc.
    External HD 3 as a Carbon Copy Cloner backup of the other 2 HDs (not the scratch disk)
    All daisy chained via FW800

    Separate G4 Mini on the network as a media server, again with OS X and apps on the interal drive and using an external HD with FLAC audio and another external HDD as CCC backup of the other 2 HDs, daisy chained via FW400.

    My next step is to get another external identical to External HD3 above to rotate off site.
     
  3. RunnyCustard thread starter macrumors member

    RunnyCustard

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #3
    when you say daisy chained do you mean that you have them connected to each other which is then used by one cable to the main computer?

    each of my desktop external drives have their own cable going into my iMac... the 800FW and 400FW in each port - then I have a usb hub which is practically full with the other two drives, wacom tablet, printer, keyboard, extra mini hub extension for stop mo work (connects to slr camera), SD card reader.

    using one for photoshop scratch discs sounds good... I've forgotten about doing that since I've only just started using external drives... I'll have to look into that... what size drive do you use for that - I have no idea how much space that would need.

    I did buy an external drive that could be used as a server but unfortunately I'm in a shared house and the router is 4 floors up so I couldn't connect it... had to send it back and got the 1.5GB drive instead. (will do that set up when I move to somewhere that I can have my own phone line/broadband set up)

    nice set up!
     
  4. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #4
    Just like making a daisy chain when you were a kid....first drive connects to the computer, second drive connects to the first, third to the second and so on. Theoretical maximum of 63 devices in the chain, tho' i don't know of anyone who's got anywhere near that (separate thread for that poll, I think...).

    You only need a small disk. Probably the smallest Firewire external you can find, these days. There is a formula, which I forget exactly but it's something like twice the amount of RAM you have installed. So not much.

    With a PS scratch disk the key is speed, not capacity. Use Firewire 800, 7200rpm drive etc.
     
  5. RunnyCustard thread starter macrumors member

    RunnyCustard

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #5
    I've got a firewire 800 and 400 on the iMac, the portable drives are usb only.

    what about using the 1.5TB connected by 800FW to the iMac with a 2gb +? partition for photoshop scratch disc and the other main partition to hold all my jpgs, movs files etc and then have the 500GB drive connected to that drive for the time-machine back-up.

    this does leave me with the 400FW free so am I just complicating things for myself at this stage? might be good when I get another drive in the future?
     
  6. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #6
    Your Photoshop scratch disk should contain nothing else. Hence my mention that the smallest Firewire disk being sufficient, since there won't (shouldn't) be anything else on it. Ideally you'd have something like a 20GB Firewire 800 drive, but I doubt whether such a beast still exists.
     
  7. RunnyCustard thread starter macrumors member

    RunnyCustard

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #7
    well I'll have a look out for such a beast :)
    or a disk enclosure/caddy as I have two old 80gb internal hard drives... just can't find any with firewire!

    thanks for your suggestions - you have brought up some interesting ideas!


    :D
     
  8. mlblacy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    the REAL Jersey Shore
    #8
    I love these drives...

    The Western Digital My Book Studio II - 4TB (2 x 2 TB) quad interface (USB 2.0/FireWire 400/800/eSATA) External Hard - WDH2Q40000N. $389 on Amazon gets you 4tb of room. I have one on them hanging on my Airport Extreme base station for Time Machine via USB. Currently I have four firewire 400 externals daisy chained together. Works great. Firewire still is the beast because of the ability to daisy chain devices together.

    My new i7 workstation is due any day now, I just ordered another 4tb drive to hang off the iMac via the firewire 800 port, and will hang the 400's off that. The downside is that the speed will drop down to the slowest device in the chain (400).

    In terms of organization...
    large personal files (Itunes music, movies, and personal iPhoto library) goes on one drive. These can eat of a lot of space, and I never like any drive going beyond 75% capacity.

    Work image library goes on another drive. Upgrading to Aperture3, and will probably break library into several smaller ones. We probably have about 75,000 high res images currently, and it is a little unwieldly. Will divide libraries by client.

    Publications, go on another drive. I usually keep the last 4 years on the same drive for convenience.

    Other jobs, like advertising, marketing, etc, goes on another drive.

    Then I usually keep another drive where I back up stuff additionally... and I also have another backup drive that is kept offline/offsite.

    cheers,
    michael
     
  9. keeper macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    #9
    Are their any disadvantages to this method or using USB?

    My NAS keeps falling off the network and is a general pain. I have my photo's and itunes media on it, plus I back up my son's PC to it.

    I was thinking of hanging a drive off my time capsule and ditching the NAS, would this cause any issues?

    Many Thanks Phil
     
  10. mlblacy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    the REAL Jersey Shore
    #10
    If you are referring to my post...
    The 4tb hanging off my airport base station is only used for Time Machine backups, and not as an accessible HD, and it works great for that purpose.
    I have read some folks having problems using the hard drives hanging off their airports/time capsules as hard drives proper.

    Had a NAS drive a number of years ago, but suffered the same dropping issue, and it was just dog slow. I work with a lot of files, and some of them get pretty large, the f400's function at a reasonable speed, something I would lose with a NAS.
    michael

    PS: there's a good read on (against) NAS drives and Aperture here... the points are valid for other apps as well.
    http://www.apertureexpert.com/tips/2010/8/3/network-drives-nas-and-aperture.html
     

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