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Old December 1st, 2008, 09:16 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Chris Estrella View Post
Hey Michael, your hard drive setup seems interesting and I just might copy you! I was originally going to just use a few internal hard drives but this seems more practical in the long run especially if I don't want to delete any footage.

I have a couple of questions for you. Do you use FW800 or eSATA out of the external enclosure? Your next post then suggests you use both.

Is your enclosure quiet? I got a Mercuty Elite-AL Pro from OWC which I'm pretty happy with. It came with it's own hard drive so I'm going to take it apart tonight and see if I can put other hard drives in there too.
Yes I've found it very practical. The main advantage is that the Wiebetech enclosures are designed to work with bare drives, so it's plug, play, & swap. They also have a 5.25" internal enclosure for desktops, which I couldn't live without. Works the same, just plug, play & swap.

On my computers, I always connect with the eSata port. But when working on other people's machines, I almost always have to use the firewire port. It's a small detail, but it's important for me to have both ports on the external enclosure.

And yes I've found the external enclosure to be very, very quiet.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 03:15 PM   #17
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solution?

I don't need to set up a RAID array. I just want to attach a few more Hard Drives with good connection speed.

I'm thinking of getting a card with 4 external sata ports that attaches to the computer thru a PCI Express x4 slot.

does this seem like the best way to go?

thanks -
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 03:50 PM   #18
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That is very good. An alternative might be - if you can find it (I never looked, so I don't know if it is easy to find) - a ML (Multi lane) card, meaning one ML cable going out of the PC to the enclosure and at the end splitting into 4 SATA connectors. Easier and tidier cabling.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 10:51 AM   #19
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the right choice?

I don't know much about what I'm doing here - so can anyone tell me if this card -

Sonnet | Tempo SATA E4P SATA Host Adapter for PCI | TSATAII-E4P

is the right choice to allow me to attach several esata hard drives in a JBOD, non-raid array?

I'm hoping to attach HDDs of various sizes and perhaps different makers.

Thanks ~
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 01:09 PM   #20
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Well I finally got to open my Mercury Elite-AL Pro external case and I'll post my findings if anyone's interested.

It does take a little more work than the WiebeTech one mentioned earlier in this thread (which, as I read, you just have to slide the drive in and close the door. No cables or nothing). First, it's closed off with 4 small screws that's shaped like a star or hexagon, which was hard to find a screwdriver for (my screwdriver set says T10). Slide it open, and the drive is screwed it with another 4 philips head screws (just like it is in a desktop). Other than that, the SATA cables were easy to plug and unplug, which is nice because I've only dealt with IDE drives before this and they were kind of a pain to unplug sometimes! So all in all, it'll take around 5 minutes to swap a drive.

I emailed OWC and they said their "enclosure only kit" (about $100) is exactly the same as ones bundled with a hard drive.

Oh, and if anyone was curious, they used a Western Digital drive inside.

So I'll just be sticking with this enclosure and finding some anti-static drive cases from WiebeTech (also mentioned previously)...unless I can find cheaper ones elsewhere? Maybe I can find some old VHS or beta tape cases, hehe.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 06:43 PM   #21
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I'm hoping to attach HDDs of various sizes and perhaps different makers.
That's kinda asking for trouble if you ever change your mind and decide to build a RAID. In an array, performance will be limited to the slowest drive in the array and usable capacity of each drive will be no larger than the smallest drive.

Just something to consider before you plunk down your money.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 07:22 AM   #22
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Am I correct that a RAID array needs a controller of some kind? (hardware on a board?)

and if I purchase this PCIe x4 card with 4 esata ports, if I decide later that I want to use the drives as a RAID array would I need to add a controller?

On the other hand, if I buy a PCIe card that says it's for RAID, could I still use the Hard Drives in a JBOD arrangement?

The reason I'd like one of my hard drives to be smaller on this project is that we're taking video from a sony EX1, and I'd like to archive the footage and a backup of the project on the small hard drive by disconnecting it and storing it when we're done.

any advice is appreciated - I'm rather confused!
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Old December 10th, 2008, 09:46 PM   #23
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Am I correct that a RAID array needs a controller of some kind? (hardware on a board?)

and if I purchase this PCIe x4 card with 4 esata ports, if I decide later that I want to use the drives as a RAID array would I need to add a controller?

On the other hand, if I buy a PCIe card that says it's for RAID, could I still use the Hard Drives in a JBOD arrangement?
To answer your questions in order, yes (but not necessarily as you described), probably no and probably yes.

1-Some mobos have RAID built in. I don't know how prevalent they are but the last two machines I bought in the last 12 months both had it. But, you can get an add-in card.

2 & 3-Any decent card should be able to do both RAID and JBOD. Just buy one that does and you can go either way.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 05:01 AM   #24
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How would i find out if my motherboard has the option to do RAID? there must be some settings under "control panel"?

I had read that WinXP can't do Raid 1. would this defeat the motherboards ability too?

thanks
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Old December 11th, 2008, 06:27 AM   #25
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In the BIOS settings. Not in Control Panel.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 07:42 AM   #26
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I've decided to get a WD My Book Studio Edition II. It's a dual disc HDD with esata out that can be configured as RAID 1, and it has a 5 yr limited warranty.

and I'll also get a smaller esata drive to use as an editing cache, and ultimately to archive the project's footage and project files.

thanks for all your comments!
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Old December 12th, 2008, 06:51 PM   #27
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Hi I thought I'd ask a question regarding external hard drives rather than creating a new topic...

I'm now editing a new project on my external HDD and it's a bit noisier than I remember it to be (haven't edited on it for a few months). In fact, I don't recall it ever making sounds. Every time I scrub through the FCP timeline, it would make a light clicking or buzzing sound, and I would hear it for segment I scrub through. The LED also blinks each time it makes the sound (as it normally does when the HD is doing some heavy reading or writing)

Is there something wrong or is this completely normal? Is it a sign of it crapping out?
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Old December 12th, 2008, 07:31 PM   #28
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Is there something wrong or is this completely normal? Is it a sign of it crapping out?
Hard to tell just from that description. If your disk is 2/3 full or more and hasn't been defragmented lately, it will probably have the heads flying all over the disk looking for the files.

Try defragmenting the drive. If it quiets it down, then you should be fine. Remember, a defragmented drive is a happy drive, and will save you grief down the line.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 09:48 PM   #29
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YIKES, I'd be backing up footage BEFORE trying to defrag a media drive.

Is this a dedicated media drive or do you have system files and such on it as well? A dedicated media drive SHOULDN'T become fragmented (as far as the media files are concerned), at least in my experience.

If you can back up the files OR can recapture them from tape easily, go ahead and defrag, as Tripp recommends. Otherwise, I'd recommend not doing a thing until you can either get the project out the door or back up the files to another drive.

I've never defrag'd a drive on any of my FCP Macs in 9.5 years, for what it's worth BUT my media sits on dedicated externals and my render target is usually a different drive still.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 07:11 AM   #30
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I've never defrag'd a drive on any of my FCP Macs in 9.5 years...
That's almost a yikes for me. File fragmentation can significantly slow disk I/O due to large head seeks and latency issues. All of my internal drives have a full defragmentation scheduled weekly.

Louder than normal sounds will emanate from a disk when performing long-range seeks. It's really nothing to worry about. Now if you hear a mechanical clicking in combination with head movement, that's called head banging and has nothing to do with rock and roll. That's bad. Immediate backup is imperative because the risk of data loss is large. That drive is losing it's mind.

Shaun's comment about backing up data is always on target because once data is lost it's wicked hard to get it back, if you can at all. That said, there's no reason to fear defragmenting a healthy drive. There is no more risk to your data in doing that as there would be with normal disk I/O. If you want to increase your margin of safety before your defragmentation, perform a full disk check complete with sector scan. That should ensure that the defrag program won't move your data to a marginal sector somewhere.

This "wisdom" comes from many years working for disk and storage manufacturers.
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