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GRC
2009-01-31, 09:53
Hi from not-so-sunny-at-the-moment Portugal,

Would appreciate some views on the best way to go for hard disk storage for my toons. Currently running a nice quiet but elderly Sony Vaio 512MB laptop (so old it's USB 1.1!) under XP Pro with an external WD Passport 160GB USB disk as the server which works fine. But the disk is now full with close on 10,000 tracks and my external Lacie 250GB Big Disk on the main desktop computer doesn't have enough room to backup the data and the music files.

Figure I should aim for a couple of external 500GB (nominal) drives, one backing up the other, but not sure whether to just add USB drives or head down the NAS route. Cost IS an issue (I'm retired in Euro land and the UK pound is hurting LOTS . . .).

Any views on recommended products / configurations? How are people backing up these sorts of file sizes? Windoze Backup tells me it wants 23 hours to backup the existing music files (assuming I had enough free space), even with the external drives connected via USB 2.0 on the desktop PC. What's the fastest (secure) way to backup? Is it faster via NAS?

Thanks.

Graeme
PS For those interested : iTunes/Apple Lossless -> Linksys WAG54GX2 Wireless -> SB3/Classic + Controller -> CA DacMagic -> Naim NAC52 -> Naim 135s -> Dynaudio Contour 1.8 MkII; SB Boom for culinary duties inside and outside (weather permitting!)
PPS If this has been covered before please point me at the thread - I had a quick Search but couldn't find anything appropriate (which doesn't mean it's not out there somewhere!)

st2000
2009-01-31, 12:16
GRC wrote:
> Hi from not-so-sunny-at-the-moment Portugal,
>
> Would appreciate some views on the best way to go for hard disk storage
> for my toons. Currently running a nice quiet but elderly Sony Vaio
> 512MB laptop (so old it's USB 1.1!) under XP Pro with an external WD
> Passport 160GB USB disk as the server which works fine. But the disk
> is now full with close on 10,000 tracks and my external Lacie 250GB Big
> Disk on the main desktop computer doesn't have enough room to backup the
> data and the music files.
>
> Figure I should aim for a couple of external 500GB (nominal) drives,
> one backing up the other, but not sure whether to just add USB drives
> or head down the NAS route. Cost IS an issue (I'm retired in Euro land
> and the UK pound is hurting LOTS . . .).
>
> Any views on recommended products / configurations? How are people
> backing up these sorts of file sizes? Windoze Backup tells me it wants
> 23 hours to backup the existing music files (assuming I had enough free
> space), even with the external drives connected via USB 2.0 on the
> desktop PC. What's the fastest (secure) way to backup? Is it faster
> via NAS?
>
> Thanks.
>
> Graeme
> PS For those interested : iTunes/Apple Lossless -> Linksys WAG54GX2
> Wireless -> SB3/Classic + Controller -> CA DacMagic -> Naim NAC52 ->
> Naim 135s -> Dynaudio Contour 1.8 MkII; SB Boom for culinary duties
> inside and outside (weather permitting!)
> PPS If this has been covered before please point me at the thread - I
> had a quick Search but couldn't find anything appropriate (which
> doesn't mean it's not out there somewhere!)

I'm not a windoze fan (i.e. there may be windows gurus here that have
better suggestions) but here is what I would do given the constraint of
spending as little as possible (while still using iTunes):

Buy a larger USB HDD. Such drives are usually only $20US to $50US more
then buying the HDD w/o a case. (FYI, a NAS** while more fixable, is
usually $50US to $150US more.) If there are not enough USB ports on
your laptop, pick up a USB hub. These should be inexpensive. About
$5US to $15US.

First off, I am assuming you are using iTunes to rip and manage your
music collection. (I hate iTunes as it contently assumes what I want to
do.) Never the less, I believe there are many places describing how to
migrate iTunes collections between HDDs. Read up, check twice before
proceeding, and migrate your collection to the larger HDD.

At this point I am not sure you need to anything more as iTunes may
actually hide the fact the files have been moved from SqueezeCenter. So
I would "play it by ear". If SqueezeCenter can find the iTunes files
you may be done. If not, try telling SqueezeCenter to rescan.

....good luck

---

**A NAS (Networked Accessible Storage) hard disk drive can be used by
computers which are usually on the same network. If you go this route
be prepared to pay more for the NAS then the equivalent sized USB disk.
You now will also need a switch (about $15US to $30US) to connect the
NAS, lap top and squeezebox.

The obvious advantage is that you no longer need your lap top on to
access your files on the NAS. However, because the slimdevices paradigm
was to build the "slimest" client possible, a computer is required to be
available to run SqueezeCenter (for things like data base manipulation,
transcoding music when necessary and managing the client's controls and
display).

There are NAS boxes that have been "hacked" to provide these features
(i.e. run SqueezeCenter). But re-purposing these boxes is NOT for the
"casual user". There may be some "turn-key" SqueezeCenter solutions
available that operate similar to NAS boxes. But I have never looked
into this. As desk top computers have become less expensive, more
powerful and less power demanding (i.e. less power, less heat => less
fan noise) the need to re-purpose a small NAS box is evaporating.

---

Now, all that said... If you feel up to taking a risk... And want to
try to re-purpose a *re-furbished* NAS... Try searching for a Buffalo
HS-DH250GL. I believe this product is at end-of-life and can be had for
less then $75US from some vendors. I looked into this a bit myself and
believe this is one of those ARM based processor NAS boxes that can be
loading with linux and squeezecenter. I do question if it is powerful
enough to do everything expected of a real computer (i.e. I bet it will
falter if transcoding is required - so your music may have to be encoded
to something native to your SB). But, like I said, you would be taking
a risk going this route.

....have fun

GRC
2009-02-01, 09:44
I'm not a windoze fan (i.e. there may be windows gurus here that have
better suggestions) but here is what I would do given the constraint of
spending as little as possible (while still using iTunes):

Buy a larger USB HDD....

....have fun

So that's one vote for external USB disks then. Can't find any deals on EOL NAS products in the UK so I'm unlikely to go that route.

iTunes is not an issue for me - I only use it to manage the content 'cos I'm just familiar with it and I can easily load up the iPod for the car. I user dBpoweramp to rip. Migrating the library is not big deal - I've already done it a couple of times.

Still unsure about backup times though (I have enough USB ports).

Thanks for taking time to reply.

Graeme

st2000
2009-02-01, 10:56
GRC wrote:
> st2000;391415 Wrote:
>>
>> I'm not a windoze fan (i.e. there may be windows gurus here that have
>> better suggestions) but here is what I would do given the constraint of
>>
>> spending as little as possible (while still using iTunes):
>>
>> Buy a larger USB HDD....
>>
>> ....have fun
>
> So that's one vote for external USB disks then. Can't find any deals
> on EOL NAS products in the UK so I'm unlikely to go that route.
>
> iTunes is not an issue for me - I only use it to manage the content
> 'cos I'm just familiar with it and I can easily load up the iPod for
> the car. I user dBpoweramp to rip. Migrating the library is not big
> deal - I've already done it a couple of times.
>
> Still unsure about backup times though (I have enough USB ports).
>
> Thanks for taking time to reply.
>
> Graeme

WRT Windoze back up time. I have to ask, back up to where? As you said
you were running out of HDD space. So, maybe, Windoze is assuming you
want to compress files in order to place them in the space you have
left. In that case backup on a slow computer may take a while. Still
23 hours is a bit much. Also, remember MP3, OGG, AAC and the like are
already compressed. They can't be compressed much more if at all.

You might find copying the files onto a new blank larger HDD to be much
faster then the predicted time.

BTW, when was the last time you de-fragmented your HDDs?

tedfroop
2009-02-03, 10:16
Two suggestions, buy a Nas that will run two disks mirrored. There are several like the Linksys NLSU2 and Dlink DNS323 for about twice the price of a 500 gig disk. Do your homework though, some units have quite slow transfer rates.

Do you have a spare pc? You could try FreeNAS from www.freenas.org
With a spare pc it will run you the cost of the drives to get up and running.

If you use Windows this (http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/downloads/synctoybeta.aspx) can be a useful tool for backup/data sync betweeen your pc and NAS.

GRC
2009-02-04, 13:37
Thanks for the input guys. Have pretty much decided to buy a pair of Western Digital My Book 500GB Home Edition drives which are on special offer down here for 88 euros (approx 78 sterling, US$113). These have USB + Firewire + eSata connectivity which gives me some options and should keep me going for a couple of years at least.

I think I'll keep all the "smarts" on PCs and stick to "dumb" disks on the KISS principle, of which I'm a big fan. Don't really need NAS because the laptop server is virtually silent and on most of the day.

Regarding backup times, I did a test with Windows Backup and did my 110GB library in about 4 hours from a WD Passport 160GB to a Lacie Big Disk 250GB both external via USB2.0 on a friends new-ish laptop under XP Pro. Not too bad overnight I guess.

And yes - my disks are regularly defragged and I always make sure there is enough space on the destination drive so that Windows does not have to compress (even though it may decide to do so anyway).

So thank you and good night, or obrigado e boa noite as we say around these 'ere parts.

Graeme