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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As part of my switch over to Mac, I'm looking to use a series of external hard drives attached to my MB Unibody running Snow Leopard. I currently have 2 x 1TB HDD inside my Windows XP based PC that contain only photos and my iTunes library - no operating system. I also have 2 x 1 TB HDD internal drives sitting outside the box which I mount on one of those toaster style boxes to backup the internal HDD's. In addition, I have 2 x 1TB new/never used 1TB HDD's. I'm thinking of getting a 2 or 4 bay enclosure to connect some of the HDD's to my Macbook. A few questions....

1. Do the existing 1 TB HDD's need to be re-formatted before I can hook them up to the MB for read and write ?
2. Do the unused HDD's need to be reformatted before using them with the MB?
3. Will the MB "get along" with something like:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817392024
?

Thanks in advance for your help :)
 

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I use Vantec products with my Macs sometimes (including a couple now), they work fine, but there is no need to buy from afar and worry about shipping and RMAs--or pay more. $130 plus shipping vs. $122 (if paying cash) and no shipping if nearby.

Canada Computers - Hard Drive Enclosures > RAID Enclosures : Vantec NexStar MX NST-400MX-SR Dual 3.5" SATA to USB2.0 & eSATA Enclosure.

There is one in Hamilton. Probably a few other places to try as well.

Search. Compare. Buy. - Canadian Online Shopping Search and Comparison! - Powered by PriceCanada.com
 

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IAMSTIG
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1. Do the existing 1 TB HDD's need to be re-formatted before I can hook them up to the MB for read and write ?
Short answer is yes. Your drives are very likely formatted in NTFS which MacOS can read but not write to. You'll want to reformat them in HFS using DiskUtility
2. Do the unused HDD's need to be reformatted before using them with the MB?
Yes format them as HFS as outlined above.
 

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Short answer is yes. Your drives are very likely formatted in NTFS which MacOS can read but not write to. You'll want to reformat them in HFS using DiskUtility


Yes format them as HFS as outlined above.
That should be HFS+ or HFS Extended (same thing). I doubt that HFS Standard is even offered as an alternative any more but if it is don't use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the info guys :) i guess i'll be spending some quality time with the hard drives this weekend doing formatting and transfers :( lol
 

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NTFS Alternatives

You don't have to reformat, especially if these will be data drives and not primary drives.

For Read only, you can just plug straight in. Doing it now on my Mini with a Nextar SATA/Firewire docking station.

To read and write NTFS you can try a commercial product Paragon NTFS for Mac or an open source alternative NTFS-3G Mac

Disclaimer - I have not researched how these behave under 10.6
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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Yep should work fine, that enclosure works as JBOD (just a bunch of disks). Again a FW800 based one will be faster for you though, I find USB attached drives a little slow for my liking.
 

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IIRC the Mediasonic will not allow you to access 4 individual volumes, it must make them a RAID set of some description. JBOD /= 4 individual disks.
Just going by memory, don't have time now to do the research, but look it up before you jump. Although I may be thinking of the Firewire one rather than the USB one
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yep should work fine, that enclosure works as JBOD (just a bunch of disks). Again a FW800 based one will be faster for you though, I find USB attached drives a little slow for my liking.
yes but i don't think i have FW800 in my pre-MBP unibody
 

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Look elsewhere:

Newegg.ca - Server RAID Systems, RAID Hard Drive Storage, Multilane Storage, RAID Storage System, eSATA Raid, RAID Rackmount

and

Buy Canada's Best at the Cheapest Prices at TigerDirect.ca

I did a lot of research into multi-enclosure cases recently and that one from CC got scratched off my list pretty quickly once I looked at the manufacturers website (cheap cheap cheap parts)
Welcome to the BIG BOX STORE suggestions where you can get bad advice, almost zero support and treated like a peon. :-((

May I suggest a better user experience for excellent advice and support (if ever even needed) and good reasonable pricing:
http://www.canadaram.com/

Note: I have NO affiliation with the company, just excellent satisfaction that I and my clients have experienced over the years!!

Patrick Mead-Robins
Mac Solutions
250-652-1860
-----------------------------
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Welcome to the BIG BOX STORE suggestions where you can get bad advice, almost zero support and treated like a peon. :-((

May I suggest a better user experience for excellent advice and support (if ever even needed) and good reasonable pricing:
http://www.canadaram.com/

Note: I have NO affiliation with the company, just excellent satisfaction that I and my clients have experienced over the years!!

Patrick Mead-Robins
Mac Solutions
250-652-1860
-----------------------------
WOW! funny thing is, after reading all the good reviews on CanadaRAM I called this afternoon to order a set fo RAM for my MB, and while I was on the phone I asked, generally, about enclosures. Trevor was kind enough to share some knowledge and I ended up buying one from him too! An hour later I got my email invoice with tracking # for the shipment...sweet! :)
 

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WOW! funny thing is, after reading all the good reviews on CanadaRAM I called this afternoon to order a set fo RAM for my MB, and while I was on the phone I asked, generally, about enclosures. Trevor was kind enough to share some knowledge and I ended up buying one from him too! An hour later I got my email invoice with tracking # for the shipment...sweet! :)
WOW!!! You actually got to talk with Trevor himself!!!
I'm impressed and consider yourself blessed by talking to one of the best Mac support gurus - whether old or the latest Macs and all the various Mac OS various.

He's not always available himself, but he and ALL his staff are very experienced Mac users and will provide some of the best and accurate Mac info and support that I have come across with all my and some various client's Mac experiences over the years

I guess I'm privileged to have known Trevor and his crew for many years with their excellent advice and equipment they have available, and their outlet store is only a 1/2 hour drive from where I live. But they do have excellent courier service for those of you a bit further away. ;-)

It's nice to hear of another good CanadaRAM Mac user's experience.

Patrick Mead-Robins
Mac Solutions
250-652-1860
-----------------------------
 

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I'm with Trevor (CanadaRAM) on this one ... I use NTFS-3g with OS 10.5 (and earlier with 10.4) and it works fine. I have no idea how well it works with 10.6 (not there yet) but there is one caveat I will mention.

Windows users sometimes get a little sloppy about cleanly unmounting removeable HD's. If you plan to use NTFS-3g, you must be sure to properly unmount the drive in Windows before they are disconnected from the Windows box, before you try to use it with the Mac with NTFS-3g, or file system corruption is possible. (You are given the choice not to mount the drive on the Mac; you should take that opportunity and re-connect it to a Windows box to cleanly unmount the drive).

I have no problem reading my Bootcamp XPPro drive (NTFS) or externals from other Windows users.

MacOS can read and write to any of the flavours of Windows FAT partitions, but the 2Gig file size limit alone makes them unsuitable for modern day use, so NTFS is recommended.

Microsoft refuses to publish the specification for NTFS; otherwise it would be included as standard in Disk Utility.

Another useful thing you can do with NTFS-3g installed is create encrypted flash memory drives for use on Windows systems when necessity dictates. The harware-encrypted drives require running an .exe file to access the drive, so that's not an option if you want to use it with the Mac.

I load up a copy of Portable Apps (which leaves no files or traces on the host Windows box) with a copy of TrueCrypt installed on an ordinary flash drive; the Mac client to open that TrueCrypt encrypted portion on your desktop or MacBook needs NTFS-3g to work.
 

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I would just like to echo Patrick's comments. Trevor was one of the first to welcome me when I moved here, and his company and staff have been outstanding on every occasion, whether it was business or social. Obviously it's easy for Patrick and myself to have dealings with them as we live in the same area as the "home base" of the company, but people across Canada (as witnessed on this forum innumerable times) will tell you the same story.
 

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Unreasonably Happy Man
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since we're all plugging CanadaRam, I want to add my voice. They are smart and sensible and totally helpful. I am delighted that they are located 10 minutes from my house.
A great resource.
 

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Ditto. I've bought memory and hard drives from Trevor (CanadaRAM) and even when there were issues, they were resolved quickly and painlessly. To me, that is a bigger testament to how they go about their business than a simple transaction without issues ... anyone can look like a hero when nothing goes wrong. Only the best vendors take care of you when it's not that straightforward.

Not to take away from Trevor and his good work, but another ehMac'er, MacDoc, has "gone the extra mile" for me as well. Both are highly recommended by myself and are assets to this community.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
thanks for all the helpful replies peeps! :)

So, if I was to get a Time Capsule, could I partition as follows:

"Part A" 500GB formatted to HFS+ to be a backup of my MacBook using Time Machine

"Part B" 500GB formatted FAT32 to be a central iTunes library and family photos and documents that both me (MacBook) and my wife (Windows XP notebook) could read and write to?

Further to this I'd like to hook up a 1TB external drive as a backup to the entire Time Capsule. will I need to partition this in the same manner as Time Capsule? Pretty sure the answer is yes but just want to check before making time consuming errors.
 
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