: Is this a stupid backup drive solution? Be honest!


rubeole
Dec 14th, 2005, 01:49 PM
Ideally, I would like an external FW that would tolerate a routine of off-on-sleep cycles over a long period of time, like my external SCSI drives do now. Little did I know, FW drives are WHIMPY and can't do this (correct me if I'm wrong).

A very cheap internal alternative to an external backup drive for those with an open bay: buy a drive, drop it in, backup to it, then disconnect the cables (I'm leaving out the parts where you turn the computer on and then off, etc). You leave it sitting in the bay, and only connect the ATA when you want to backup. A little more complicated than a on/off switch, but it won't hog an extra outlet - and saves desk space!

Is this a dumb idea? Why?

CanadaRAM
Dec 14th, 2005, 02:04 PM
Yes. Because you stand a greater chance of breaking the connectors physically than you do from the drive failing through leaving it on. They are NOT made for continual removal/insertion.

If you don't want the drive 'exposed' on the desktop, you can dismount it in the Finder.

rubeole
Dec 14th, 2005, 02:24 PM
Okay - say I leave the cable plugged in. Are there any other complications to having an internal backup with duplicate system / data?

In the event of a *power surge* or some other crazy event, a connected internal would be quite vulnerable (hence externals, eh?).

I assume that every time I turn the power off, then on, it will remount?

rubeole
Dec 14th, 2005, 02:25 PM
Maybe I should just get a SCSI card for my newer machine, and forget FW...

Jestered
Dec 14th, 2005, 02:34 PM
I am not exactly sure what your concern is about a FW drive. I have had an external FW drive for years now and use it to backup every week. I have had no problems with it. What is it that has you concerned about using a FW drive?

Moscool
Dec 14th, 2005, 02:38 PM
The only difficulty with FW drives is that they must be manually unmounted (like all other devices) each time you want to unplug them. You can putyour computer to sleep, restart, power off etc. any time and the FW drive will behave just like your internal drive. Forget to eject it before unplugging and you could be in trouble. This has cost me a full reformat once...

rubeole
Dec 14th, 2005, 02:51 PM
You can putyour computer to sleep, restart, power off etc. any time and the FW drive will behave just like your internal drive.

Is this true?!
That is my concern, as reflected in this thread:

https://www.ehmac.ca/showthread.php?t=34699

it sounds like FW externals don't like to pretend to be internal drives, with regards to daily functions such as those?

Excuse my ignorance on the subject - I've never had an external FW drive before (in fact, I've never used firewire at all... pretend I'm from 1998... because I am).

Moscool
Dec 14th, 2005, 03:26 PM
I have two LaCie FW drives and they both do what you want flawlessly. One died on my after a couple of days only. I got a replacement straight away; since then no pb. Very often I will simply close the lid on my iBook and the FW drive doesn't mind at all (but don't disconnect it during sleep).

jasonwood
Dec 14th, 2005, 03:28 PM
In the event of a *power surge* or some other crazy event, a connected internal would be quite vulnerable (hence externals, eh?).

Why? If they're connected, they're connected.

rubeole
Dec 14th, 2005, 04:44 PM
Why? If they're connected, they're connected.

Sorry. I am working on the assumption that if I only backed up once a week (or less!) that, not only would I dismount and turn off an external FW, but I would also unplug it - to free up power strip space at least.

rubeole
Dec 14th, 2005, 04:46 PM
Very often I will simply close the lid on my iBook and the FW drive doesn't mind at all (but don't disconnect it during sleep).

Do you leave it connected/mounted when turning your computer on and off?

mr.steevo
Dec 14th, 2005, 05:14 PM
Hi,

My external drive is on and connected all the time unless I need to take the iBook with me. No problems there. An external drive is a great way to do back ups and really shouldn't be that complicated or dangerous.

s.

Jestered
Dec 14th, 2005, 07:09 PM
I don't leave my drive connected all the time now, because I have a PowerBook and take it with me when I leave, but I used to have the external FW drive connected to a PM and I never ever had a problem keeping it connected and turning the computer on or off or the computer sleeping and wakeing...... As stated before in this thread, the only thing you have to do differently is when you want to turn off the FW drive or disconnect the FW drive, you have to drag the drive icon to the trash and wait for it to disappear from the desktop before turning it off or disconnecting it. Other than that there is nothing wrong with leaving it on all the time and using the computer the same way you would normally.

krs
Dec 15th, 2005, 11:38 PM
Other than that there is nothing wrong with leaving it on all the time and using the computer the same way you would normally.
Is this also true for an external firewire drive that is powered over the firewire connection?
Apple states that the power feed on the firewire port is cut off when the Mac goes to sleep.

Jestered
Dec 16th, 2005, 12:19 AM
I have never tried that with a bus powered drive, but I don't think that is right. As far as I can remember, my iPod still charges when the computer is in sleep mode. I don't think the iPod stops charging, but I could be wrong.

krs
Dec 16th, 2005, 02:26 AM
It depends on the particular Mac

http://developer.apple.com/documentation/Hardware/Developer_Notes/Macintosh_CPUs-G4/eMac/3Input-Output/chapter_4_section_3.html

guytoronto
Dec 16th, 2005, 10:58 AM
Ideally, I would like an external FW that would tolerate a routine of off-on-sleep cycles over a long period of time, like my external SCSI drives do now. Little did I know, FW drives are WHIMPY and can't do this (correct me if I'm wrong).

A very cheap internal alternative to an external backup drive for those with an open bay: buy a drive, drop it in, backup to it, then disconnect the cables (I'm leaving out the parts where you turn the computer on and then off, etc). You leave it sitting in the bay, and only connect the ATA when you want to backup. A little more complicated than a on/off switch, but it won't hog an extra outlet - and saves desk space!

Is this a dumb idea? Why?

Yes. This is a very dumb idea.

You want to avoid using an extra outlet and save desk space by having an open drive bay with a loose drive dangling by the ATA cable. This is a very dumb idea.

FireWire Solution:
1) External case - plug in to mount
2) Do backup
3) Dismount
4) Unplug

Open Drive Bay / ATA Solution:
1) Power down computer
2) Plug in hard drive
3) Power up computer
4) Do backup
5) Power down computer
6) Unplug hard drive
7) Power up computer

If that doesn't illustrate it well enough, I don't know what will.

And FYI, you can get power bars for $1 at the Dollar Store. I guess your concern about hogging outlets is caused by a shortage. Power bars work wonderfully in this type of situation.

rubeole
Dec 16th, 2005, 11:39 AM
You're about two days late on this wagon, boss. Way to go. If you really buy your power strips at the dollar store, then I hope you eventually get what you deserve for such a snarky response.

You want to avoid using an extra outlet and save desk space by having an open drive bay with a loose drive dangling by the ATA cable. This is a very dumb idea.

You seem to be confused. I considered the idea of putting a drive in a presently open bay (it wouldn't be "open" anymore if I put a drive in it, you see) and plugging in a presently dangling ATA cable (becuase there's nothing plugged into it now - the bay being open and all).

Your 4 vs. 7 step outline also doesn't take into account that I regularly power down my computer anyway, and plugging/unplgging an internal drive would simply be a near-effortless part of that procedure. Also, the seven-step model is like riding the bus: cheaper, so maybe worth the trouble.

HOWEVER... If you had bothered to read past my original post, you might've noticed that I was talked out of this idea immediately by CANADARAM, who presented the very simple information: ATA cables are too fragile.
End of story.

Next time you have stupid sh1t to say, say it in a timely fashion.
And not on one of my threads.

Thanks!