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Mac Mini with RBOD


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Yeah, But I was only able to see files on the 'first' HDD, that also had the system partition, other physical drive just showed up as some unknown type. Haven't tested with Windows tho.

Edited by req7777
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  • 1 year later...

A quick update on the 'life of my bunch-of-redundant-parts server'.


At last, the only usable piece left of my old MediaSmart build died... ;-(


Recently when I was away, a HDD failure occurred – the server's storage is a 2TB software Raid made-up of two 3.5' drives connected via cheap USB to SATA adaptors directly to the USB ports of Mac Mini :-)


They were housed in an old MediaSmart's enclosure and powered by its power supply unit.


I was expecting that at least one of the HDDs will be going down soon as it was already running for over 6 years constantly.


After coming back home I was able to investigate the situation. It turned out the PSU of the old MediaSmart enclosure gave up (it was running pretty much constantly for around 15-17 years!) My guess is it doesn't supply enough power to spin the hdds anymore – the hdd would try to spin and turn-off, start again and turn off – in short intervals.


To test the 3.5 HDDs I bought a cheapest HDD PSU of Ebay (under £5 incl. shipping). It turned out the hard drives are completely fine still so without much hesitation I've removed the MediaSmart case completely and put the server's storage back together using this cheap PSU.


So at the moment all the server components are scattered around in my custom-built sound-proof case :-)

It isn't very pleasant sight I must say, but well, from my experience the 'temporary' solutions usually last... we'll see :-)





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It would be a good idea to mount them in some way. Loose drives are susceptible to vibration.

Sorry if I missed it in the thread, but can you post the brand or model of the USB to SATA adapters you used.

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O yes, definitely they should be enclosed.

Right now the storage drive unmounts every time I touch the power cable. |:

Looking for some DIY solution.


Re adaptors, they are unbranded, here are similar item to the ones I bought a year ago: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5-Gbp-SATA-to-USB-3-0-External-Adapter-Convertor-Port-For-2-5-3-5-Inch-Hard-Disk-/252801597770?hash=item3adc26414a

Works completely fine even with software raid.

Showing up as JMicron generic drive. Not sure if this is their fault but I wasn't able to create encrypted partition.

Edited by req7777
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Wasn't able to part with HP MediaSmart completely...

My HDDs are happily secured.


It's incredible what one can achieve with a well-designed old case and a bunch of cable ties ;-)





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  • 1 month later...

A final post in this thread... USE ONLY QUALITY CONNECTORS IN YOUR BUILDS!


I had to retire RBOD storage as it was causing problems.


The volume started to behave very strangely: it wouldn't let me save anything to the drive (reading seemed fine) showing the error -50 (Unexpected error occurred) also the access rights were gone and the Disk Utility started to show missing blocks on the drive...

After repairing the volume it in the recovery mode (numerous times) it was usually working fine for some time but ending up showing same error -50.


In the meantime I was making some significant network reconfiguration (as in the middle of moving flat) and initially thought it might be a reason of all those errors...


Turn out that the HDDs weren't failing, neither the cheap SATA/USB bridges no $10 psu :-).  What had let me down, at the end, was the crappy SATA patch cables bought of Ebay. I can't believe that someone is producing and selling such awfully bad connectors...

After about a year of work they started to cause serious problems with disks unmounting randomly etc.

(I can dig out more details about the part and the seller if anyone cares.)


I was frustrated up to the point of purchasing a proper (and expensive) RAID drive to replace the existing storage.

So I guess it is the end of the RBOD thread as I am now a proud owner of 12TB G-RAID with Thunderbolt (psst, my GF doesn't know yet lol ;-).


(btw after replacing the stupid SATA patch cables the old drives are completely fine, of course... 



Edited by req7777
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