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  #16  
Old 2nd March 2019
Mark_R2 Mark_R2 is offline
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Re: Best practice external hard drives

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Originally Posted by Mdb2 View Post
Thankyou I believe mine are Mac journaled in the disk utilities section.
Kind regards !Mike
Unless you need your discs to be read by Windows PCs, stick with a standard Mac HFS+ journaled format. (There is a new format for Mojave, but I don't think you can format external HDs in it at the moment).
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  #17  
Old 3rd March 2019
Jim Ford Jim Ford is offline
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Re: Best practice external hard drives

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Originally Posted by OM USer View Post
I have a 2 disk mirrored raid synology NAS and could still read one disk when the other decided to pack up. The system locked the drive so I couldn't write to it until I had replaced the broken drive and run the recovery. I didn't try removing either drive and plugging it into my USB disk dock as they were formatted ext3 and I'm not sure that a windows PC can cope with this.
IIRC there's a Windows driver for the EXT family:

https://www.ext2fsd.com/

I've used it in the past, but use Windows as little as possible nowadays so I can't vouch for it now.

Jim
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  #18  
Old 3rd March 2019
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Re: Best practice external hard drives

I thought the idea of a RAID array was that you could replace a faulty drive while the whole thing was powered up without damaging any data?
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  #19  
Old 3rd March 2019
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Re: Best practice external hard drives

I have all my photos backed up to BBC Cloud. I also use OneDrive but mainly for documents. I have 1Tb on each which is more than enough at the moment.
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  #20  
Old 7th March 2019
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Naughty Nigel Naughty Nigel is offline
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Re: Best practice external hard drives

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Originally Posted by Mdb2 View Post
Thanks and yes that’s what I am considering, maybe get a raid? System
Kind regards mike.
Using the MacBook (like any laptop) you have limited options.

All of my bulk storage is to LTO tapes, but you need a PCIe card (either SAS or SCSI) to connect them to. The advantage is that tapes are cheap and data integrity is better than disks. Backups are also exceptionally fast (faster than a single hard drive). The downside is that the drives are pricey new, but they are readily available second-hand at reasonable prices.

As a guide an LTO-3 drive will store up to 800 GB of data. An LTO-6 will store up to about 6 TB of data. Tape cartridges for both are about £25 each!

As an alternative my son bought a Promise R4 external RAID system for use with his MacBook and iMac. This is connected by Thunderbolt I think. It has four hard drives in a RAID 5E type array providing plenty of fast storage space. However, at some point you will need to archive off your data which is where the LTO tape system comes into its own.

Whilst I think about it, LTO-5 and above allows direct access to a portion of each tape so you can use it as an external drive.
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  #21  
Old 7th March 2019
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Re: Best practice external hard drives

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I thought the idea of a RAID array was that you could replace a faulty drive while the whole thing was powered up without damaging any data?
Not quite. Some enterprise systems using SAS drives do allow disk swaps whilst powered up but that is not the main benefit of RAID.

The main advantage of RAID is that it provides data redundancy, so if a disk fails it can be replaced without loss of data. RAID arrays can also be much faster, and provide much greater storage capacity than single drives.

Raid 5 allows data to be read and written with a failed drive in a three or four drive array (albeit more slowly), whilst RAID 6 can cope with two failed drives in a four drive array.

The RAID controller will rebuild the data when the new disk is fitted.
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  #22  
Old 7th March 2019
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Re: Best practice external hard drives

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Originally Posted by Mark_R2 View Post

With regards to RAID, I would not go this way. I have a Western Digital My Book Duo USB3 (2x6TB) and originally configured it for 'mirrored RAID' so it looks like one 6TB disc to the Mac but the data is automatically replicated on both discs. I then realised this increased the risk of loosing the data. The two discs cannot be read individually once configured for RAID. I can't take the discs out of the case, connect them to an HD dock and read them. So, if the MyBook case becomes faulty, neither disc is readable.
If the drives are mirrored (RAID 1) they can be read individually. (I have just done it this morning!)

However, if the drives are striped (RAID 0) or in a RAID 5 or 6 array they cannot be read individually.
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  #23  
Old 7th March 2019
Jim Ford Jim Ford is offline
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Re: Best practice external hard drives

I've got a 3.25 inch Fujitsu Magneto Optical drive, but it's only 250Meg capacity. I understand that the data is very secure.
.

Jim
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  #24  
Old 7th March 2019
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Re: Best practice external hard drives

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
If the drives are mirrored (RAID 1) they can be read individually. (I have just done it this morning.
Unfotunately not true in my case because i also tried. This might be a limitation of the Western Digital software based RAID.
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  #25  
Old 7th March 2019
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Re: Best practice external hard drives

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Unfotunately not true in my case because i also tried. This might be a limitation of the Western Digital software based RAID.
Yes; it needs to be hardware RAID. Software RAID is not quite the same thing.
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  #26  
Old 7th March 2019
MikeOxon MikeOxon is offline
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Re: Best practice external hard drives

I don't know if it's 'best practice' but my method is:
I have two HDDs in an NAS enclosure. Disk 1 is arranged to do an automatic incremental back-up to disk 2, once a day. I do not use RAID or any form of synchronisation because, if you delete from either disk in such systems, the files are also deleted from the other. Sometimes I do delete from Disk 1 or re-arrange files, so Disk 2 tends to fill up more quickly than Disk 1. When Disk 2 is full, I transfer it to a separate storage location and install a new Disk2 (usually larger as the cost per GB falls). I copy all Disk 1 to the new Disk 2 and continue until Disk 1 is full. Swap Disk 2 to Disk 1 slot, add a new (larger) Disk 2 and repeat the process whenever necessary ...
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  #27  
Old 7th March 2019
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Re: Best practice external hard drives

Best practice would be to use backup software to incrementally back up new and changed files without deleting the originals, and to verify their integrity.

I use a programme called Retrospect which is very reasonably priced for desktop use.
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  #28  
Old 8th March 2019
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Re: Best practice external hard drives

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Originally Posted by Mark_R2 View Post
...
Anyway, the situation that worried me is slightly different. The analogous situation for you would be what happens if your Synology NAS fails, even though the discs are fine? ...
So, you have to buy an new Synology NAS. You then put your old drives in the new NAS, but are your 100% sure the new NAS will be able to read them? ...
Mark
When you put your old drives in the new (Synology) NAS in the same slot order as in the old NAS and launch the 'Migrate' function, it reads the existing (RAID) configuration data from the old HDDs and you are up & running in a matter of minutes.
I can confirm that this process works even if you move to a more recent model of NAS.
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  #29  
Old 8th March 2019
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Re: Best practice external hard drives

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Originally Posted by Gwyver View Post
When you put your old drives in the new (Synology) NAS in the same slot order as in the old NAS and launch the 'Migrate' function, it reads the existing (RAID) configuration data from the old HDDs and you are up & running in a matter of minutes.
I can confirm that this process works even if you move to a more recent model of NAS.
It also works if you move the array to a different machine with a different RAID controller, but only if this is done by hardware.

Software RAID works differently, is CPU intensive and slower, and generally doesn't provide redundancy as you have found.
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  #30  
Old 8th March 2019
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Re: Best practice external hard drives

Thankyou all, I have been looking to continue with drive one to use as the main drive including IPhoto and a second drive for backup of the photos. There is quite a difference in prices though. I have mainly looked at G-tech, I have had them for a while now going back to the FireWire 800. Touch wood not had a breakdown yet, apart from a transformer which I got very quickly and free replacement from G- tech.

Their are more than one model for the usbC connections. Looking at the 8-10tb range it varies from about £250 usbC connection but running at 5400 and usb3, to around £500 for a in and out running at 5700rpm for a single unit. I am considering one from the top range as my number one drive and the back at the cheaper price.

Although the new usbC runs much faster with HDD but are more than the price of all my camera gear!!

I was also considering getting a more up to date DAM IPhoto has been ignored by apple for a while now, any suggestions? Preferably a one of cost if a good system.
Kind regards Mike
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