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Weekly Chatter:External hard drive recommends
Tuesday September 7, 2004

Section 1: External hard drive recommends






Hardware > System Trouble > External hard drive recommends



























AuthorSubject: External hard drive recommends  
Paula Lerner
Posted on Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:12 PM

I have two mirrored Maxtor 200GB external hard drives where I store my digital photos. They are close to being full and its time to buy another pair.

The Maxtors have been okay, although one died a few months after I got it. Maxtor, to its credit, replaced it promptly. Other than that I have had no problems with these.

One thing I don't like about this model is that it has no on/off switch. If I go out of town and want to turn them off while I'm gone (especially during summer thunderstorms), I have to disconnect the power supply to do so.

Anyone got a recommendation for reliable firewire storage drives (with an on/off switch), and any favorite places you like to shop for them? Thanks for any input.

Paula Lerner
paula@lernerphoto.com
www.lernerphoto.com


Param Hariharan
Posted on Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:37 PM

Have you looked at the Lacie external hard drive with a terabyte of storage. Apparantely it has four 250 gb drives stacked together. Here is the link
http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10118

Param.


Bernard Wolf
Posted on Tue Aug 31, 2004 2:28 PM

> Have you looked at the Lacie external hard drive with a terabyte of storage. Apparantely it has four 250 gb drives stacked together. Here is the link
> http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10118
>
> Param.


Check out this thread titled "TB HD's Some things you ought to know". On PDN's Tech Talk
before considering this option.


Gary Smith
Posted on Tue Aug 31, 2004 2:44 PM

I have two LaCie 1 TB drives and they work great.

IMHO I believe that when you leave town for an extended period of time and are concerned about thunderstorm damage, it is best to unplug any devices. A surge won't care whether an electronic device is powered on or not to do its damage. All it needs is for the device to be plugged in.

An electrician told me that surge suppressors are excellent at identifying and isolating big spikes in electricity. What's difficult to identify and isolate is the tiny and subtle spikes that can also do harm. I'm inclined to believe him because I once lost over $10,000 in equipment that was all plugged in to surge suppressors. I came in in the morning to discover a lot of fried equipment. There was a tape drive, a hard drive or two, and a film recorder fried. They were all located in different parts of the office and connected to different hosts.

Just my 2 pennies.


Bob Gaumont
Posted on Tue Aug 31, 2004 4:31 PM

"I have two mirrored Maxtor 200GB external hard drives where I store my digital photos"
Paula can you tell me how you have them mirrored? I have been looking for a solution like this for months!
Thanks,
Bob


Ming Tshing
Posted on Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:11 PM

OSX.3x

Run "Disk Utility" it is in

Application\Utilities\


goto menu

Help-> Disk Utility Help

click on "Using RAID to store data"



The information that you need is in there.


Stephen Gingold
Posted on Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:20 PM

If it's helpful for the surge aspect of this thread-- The electrician may have been suggesting a whole house surge protector. It was recommended to me as a way to keep surges out of the house altogether. We had one installed at our circuit board for about $150. There are more expensive versions but to this date we have not seen any evidence of surges- not that we would recognise them without a burnout.


Bob Gaumont
Posted on Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:47 PM

Sorry . . failed to mention I'm PC not Mac. I have an internal RAID card and mirrored drives in my PC but I need more external storage and want a mirrored RAID external drive that won't cost a fortune.


Paula Lerner
Posted on Tue Aug 31, 2004 6:27 PM

> Paula can you tell me how you have them mirrored? I have been looking for a solution like this for months!


Bob:

FWIW, I do it the manual, old fashioned way. I used to use Retrospect to make backups, but found I didn't like how long it would take make a minor backup update of some small file. Basically when I've got a completed folder of digital photos (or any data I want to back up for that matter), I label it according to my tracking system and put it on Maxtor Annie (to keep a sense of humor about otherwise dull tasks like data storage, I've named my mirrored drives like hurricanes with A names first, soon to be followed by B, C etc.). To back it up I simply copy it onto Maxtor Andy and keep the same hierarchical structure of my filing system. Just to make sure I haven't forgotten to back up something minor, every month or so I simply take all the data on Maxtor Annie and copy it to Maxtor Andy (I'll do this at night, because it takes a few hours).

At any given time, all (or virtually all) of the data on Maxtor Annie is mirrored on Maxtor Andy. I know there are other ways of doing it with a RAID system, but the above method is simple and at any given moment I know exactly where everything is. It is manual and in some sense more tedious, but as my computer supplier pointed out doing it this way gives me complete control of the data, and doesn't risk failure (except of the human variety). I'm no expert, and I'm sure there are higher tech and more savvy ways of doing it, but FWIW this works.

Beyond that, I make a tertiary backup of all my raw files onto DVD or CD and file them with the job folder.

HTH,

Paula
paula@lernerphoto.com
www.lernerphoto.com


Bob Gaumont
Posted on Tue Aug 31, 2004 6:36 PM

Paula,
Thanks for the feedback. Simple is usually better and you have an eloquent way of solving the problem.
I am also looking for external drives with an on/off switch. Why don't PC manufacturers make the power supply with a switched outlet on them like they do in stereo equipment? Our problem would be solved by just plugging the external drives into the switched outlet . . .PC on . . .external drives on.
Thanks!
Bob


Stephen Kennedy
Posted on Tue Aug 31, 2004 8:35 PM

>
>
> Anyone got a recommendation for reliable firewire storage drives (with an on/off switch), and any favorite places you like to shop for them? Thanks for any input.
>
> Paula Lerner
> paula@lernerphoto.com
> www.lernerphoto.com
>

Paula,

Here's what I use:
http://macgurus.com/productpages/firewire/burlyfwenclosure.php

These enclosures are infinitely customizable, industrial strength and fan cooled. You can buy a four drive enclosure for around $200.00 and stack in either your own existing drives or buy some discount drives somewhere else. I have four Maxtor 250 GB drives in mine giving me a terabyte of storage for less than $750.00. This is just one unit with one power cord, so you can say adios to the spaghetti of wires from multiple Firewire drives attached either to a hub or in series.

There is some assembly required but it's quite simple requiring only a philips screw driver.

I use mine only for backup so the unit is powered on and off just once per day. The on/off button is on the front of the machine in plain sight.

MacGurus has excellent tech support and runs a forum on all things Mac, with emphasis on speed mods, customization, and RAID operation.

Be advised that you still have to dismount(drag to trash)any firewire device connected to a Mac if you're not shutting down the computer.

Stephen Kennedy
www.stephenkennedy.com


Keith Emerling
Posted on Wed Sep 1, 2004 6:18 AM

I've found that for Mac "Other World Computing" OWC has a line of drives called "Mercury Elite Pro" firewire hard drives that seem to work well and have an on/off switch.

They are at http://www.macsales.com

and the FW hard drives are at

http://eshop.macsales.com/Static_Pages/index.cfm

FWIW

Keith


Keith Emerling
Posted on Sat Sep 4, 2004 2:45 PM

Are mirror raids set up this way reliable? does this work in Jaguar?

On Tuesday, August 31, 2004, at 06:20 PM, IR - Ming Tshing wrote:

> OSX.3x
> Run "Disk Utility" it is in
> Application\Utilities\
> goto menu
> Help-> Disk Utility Help
> click on "Using RAID to store data"
> The information that you need is in there.
Keith Emerling Photography
P.O. Box 2025
Pittsfield, MA 01202
413-442-2483

http://www.KeithEmerling.com


John Hollenberg
Posted on Sat Sep 4, 2004 8:50 PM

I bought a couple of the Lacie D2 Triple interface (FW400, FW800, USB2) 250 GB hard disks with 8 MB buffer. Very reliable, pretty fast with the Lacie FW 800 card I installed in my PC. Here is where I bought them:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A;=details&Q;=&sku;=308779&is;=REG

Also recommended them to a couple of friends. The Lacie PCI Firewire 800 card can be purchased here:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=details_accessories&A;=details&Q;=&sku;=283947&is;=REG

One of the great things is that the triple interface can be used for other peripherals! For instance, I have a Lexar Firewire CF reader that I just plug into the empty FW 400 connector on the back of one of the drives (D2 drive is connected to the computer with the Firewire 800 port).

--John


Gary Smith
Posted on Sat Sep 4, 2004 9:45 PM

I had the craziest thing happen today!

I bought two LaCie Triple Interface 320 GB drives today. One of them turned out to be 600 GB! It is marked on the case 320 GB just like the other, but it aint 320 GB. It is 600 GB. The serial numbers are about 300 apart.


Brud Jones
Posted on Sun Sep 5, 2004 10:01 AM

I have just purchased 4 of Digital Fusion's HardFilm Drives. The digital lab was written up in this month's American Photo. The drives are Firewire 7200rpm drives. Almost twice as fast as the other out there. The only other thing I would consider close is the drives made by Fortress (4tress.com) but they are twice as must in cost and slower. The DF drives copy at almost 1gb /min. There are powered thru the FW port and 6ogb/7200rpm. Come with leather case that does not need to be removed to use.

http://www.digitalfusion.net/dFP.html

The sales rep is Ronn,

Email me if you want more info

Brud
brud@brudjones.com


Gary Smith
Posted on Sun Sep 5, 2004 11:54 AM

Regarding the 600 GB LaCie drive, I am concerned that there are 300 Gig 5400 RPM Maxtors inside instead of 7200 RPM 160 Gig. The drive does seem slow, but I haven't done speed comparisons yet.





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