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 Post subject: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid system
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:54 pm 
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Okay so I was wondering how would someone put or build a tower case full of independent Hard Drives, here is why my head is thinking about this, I happen to have 14 Hard Drives in HDD enclosures all with independent power cords and USB interface cords, and I have them all plugged into two 7 slot USB extenders which are both connected to my Desktop (my desktop has 4 USB ports) I use all my hard drives, because I keep different files on each, Mp3, Pictures, Videos and Word Docs. the Hdds are all different sizes, I would love to just place them all in one gutted out Tower so that the drives are all in one spot and out of the way, but I have 14 power cords, and 14 USB interface cords and two USB extenders with there own power cords, I really do not want to condense the data to anther drive so that I can have less of. I wanted to find a way of stacking them in a tower, get a power supply that will power all of the HDDs and find a way to have all of them plugged in and USBs tied together so that I can have just one power cord from the Tower and one USB from the Tower and then have that Tower with plenty of Fans going... and basically have a big hugh HDD enclosure but with all the HDDs working as single drives and drive letters assignments. and if at all possible some kind of power switch on each unit so that the power down when not in use and power up when call upon. So my question to the community is - is there such an animal out there or is it possible to build a home made one, keep in mind I do not want a Raid system, I want independent drives.... I would appreciate some of you creative people to come up with some kind of good looking unit, with again one power cord, and one USB cord to be plugged into my Desktop unit. Hope some one has a great design. - the challenge of the year...... :wink: :) :D


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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:30 am 
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I for one am not going to take up that challenge.
I believe it's doable but not worth doing.

Consider replacing your USB cable with a network cable. Your 14-drive contraption would then be called a NAS and you could assign each drives to a "letter" (while having more flexibility for the day you decide to move on).
There are commercial servers which take 14 drives or more and support JBOD. But with some effort you could build one for a lot less money.
In such a situation I would probably want to use two (or possibly more) servers supporting less than 14 drives each though.


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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:20 pm 
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Let me echo what HFat says, just build a NAS with your drives. You could still have them each be an individual drive letter. You wouldn't need anything high end, just a big case and a MB with lots of SATA ports. Much more flexible than a USB connected device and probably cheaper too.

If you really want to go USB attached look at something like this. Never seen a 14 drive model, but you could get two:
http://ain.mediasonic.ca/store/product_ ... cts_id=258


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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:12 pm 
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Thanks Guys, but here is the reason behind the madness, first the drives I have are a mixture of Sata and ide's besides a mixture of all different GBs, and they are all filled to the max with data that I really do not want to copy over, because it would takes days maybe weeks to do, and the possibility of the data getting corrupted while copying and let me tell you it took a long time and lots of work to gather the data, so I rather keep it on the HDDs that they are on and just do Ghost Back-ups..... But I saw a unit http://www.addonics.com/products/mst.php that looks like it is the total answer, some what the same type of suggestion washu gave this link http://ain.mediasonic.ca/store/product_ ... cts_id=258 ..... But for all of you that have the same problem as I have the addonics box looks like the answer. Thanks for the suggestions.... if anyone knows of something better, please let me know, since I am not going to start this project until later this year....


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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:29 pm 
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Whoever talked about "copying over" the data?
It wouldn't take days unless you used USB by the way.

If you want to avoid corruption, stop using USB storage controllers! Where else do you think the corruption is coming from?
It's affecting your backups by the way.

With so many drives, you'll need controller cards. Just get an IDE controller and you'll be able to use your IDE drives.


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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:23 am 
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This sounds familiar from when I migrated to modern hi-capacity drives, although the scale is just massive here. :D

First of all, it's okay to migrate: there is no risk. No more than there is in accessing or regularly backing up that data anyway - mechanically, it is the same as reading those files. In fact, accessing the data for use will probably involve writing (last accessed info, other metadata updates, index file change), and thus is riskier than raw copying. You will have to migrate some day when the drives fail, or capacity is reached - or the backwards compatibility disappears or becomes financially unsustainable.

The investment could be big if there's a lot of data, but it buys you performance, security and actual peace of mind. Can't put a price on the last one.

For raw copying when migrating, you could use FBackup's (link) (freeware, no nags, no bs) direct copy and verify function. This way you can be sure you got 1:1 copies. Much better than Ghost for backups too, since you make actual file copies and not archives in a proprietary format that may or may not be a disaster come recovery time (AND you can access the copies from any secondary client!). I lost 4/6 of my backup archives using Ghost 14, and to add insult to injury, it didn't even work with the new OS (Windows 7 64-bit) that I had bought to run on the new machine I wanted to transfer to. Ghost might still be good for making an image of the OS drive if you're moving to a new PC altogether.

In the end, I went from owning 6 noisy, hot HDDs and a USB backup drive to owning just two HDDs and a NAS. I have all my data, less points of failure in the system and a working, fast and intelligent backup AND file server system (remote access is so nice). USB sucked hard both for security (usually no SMART, poor cooling, external power) and speed (it's USB).

If you want to run the drives into the ground and spend money on obsolete interfaces, who's to argue. Some might even say it's a favour to the environment. Moving everything to a single, actively cooled enclosure does sound like a good idea, since 14 drives in individual enclosures sounds like both an orchestra and a fire hazard. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:51 am 
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Das_Saunamies wrote:
there is no risk. No more than there is in accessing ... and thus is riskier than raw copying.

No, no and no.
But in practice copying all the data in a sane environment is probably safer than merely using USB drives. Using fancy server hardware is even safer. But assuming the same hardware it's always going to be safer to leave the data alone obviously.


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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:26 am 
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HFat wrote:
Das_Saunamies wrote:
there is no risk. No more than there is in accessing ... and thus is riskier than raw copying.

No, no and no.
But in practice copying all the data in a sane environment is probably safer than merely using USB drives. Using fancy server hardware is even safer. But assuming the same hardware it's always going to be safer to leave the data alone obviously.

Care to elaborate so you could correct any misconceptions I might have?

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:43 pm 
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Spell them out and we'll see...
All I've to go on is the word "mechanically" and the fact that some filesystems can be configured to update metadata on access. That's not an argument and I don't fancy guessing what may or may not be thinking.


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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:45 pm 
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JimRod, possibly the SPCR troll of the century, lets wait and see.


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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:44 am 
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HFat wrote:
Spell them out and we'll see...
All I've to go on is the word "mechanically" and the fact that some filesystems can be configured to update metadata on access. That's not an argument and I don't fancy guessing what may or may not be thinking.

I thought you had some specific points you wanted to argue against by saying "no" three times, but if you don't fancy getting into it, I'm fine leaving things as they are.

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:09 pm 
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The proposition that the data can't be copied to new drives without risking it becoming corrupted is ludicrous.

The idea of using 14 external USB drives is crazy. I wonder if the OP is hoarder who may also have 47 cats, every local newspaper going back to 1996, and ten broken down washing machines in his garage.

There's probably no more than a couple of terrabytes of data. If he could consolidate it onto a couple of large SATA drives, it would be a hundred times easier to manage and to backup onto external drives.

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:21 pm 
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HFat wrote:
Spell them out and we'll see...
All I've to go on is the word "mechanically" and the fact that some filesystems can be configured to update metadata on access. That's not an argument and I don't fancy guessing what may or may not be thinking.
Huh? Please explain. I don't agree or disagree... I just don't understand what you are saying or the point you are making.

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:58 pm 
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Das_Saunamies wrote:
there is no risk. No more than there is in accessing ... and thus is riskier than raw copying.


1. Sounds like you may have some data loss incident in the past that has lead you to mistrust copying data.

2. Actually adding a write adds a bit more risk. But leaving data on a disk, and doing nothing but read it... after a while with the passage of time it is at risk of degradation. So never writing the data leaves it at greater risk or corruption.

3. The best thing to do is to read and write it from time to time. One way to do that is to use a defragger. When you copy analog data, it is statistically subject to degradation. When you copy digital data, it reduces degradation by renewing the data. If you just leave the magnetic fields on your hard drive alone, they will degrade over time. What is worse is accessing the magnetic fields form time to time (theoretically draining them a bit each time).

4. It seems like you must have it on so many disks because of organization. You should get a few HDD docks. That would be the quick simple way to fix two thirds of the problem.

Get a few of these (I use it and it works great). When used as an esata drive it is very fast... but many or most estata connections aren't hot swap compatible.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817153071
Startech makes docks that include an IDE capability but this one requires Sata Drives.

5. Whatever you do, follow Das_Saunamies advice on getting an using fbackup. "This way you can be sure you got 1:1 copies. Much better than Ghost for backups too, since you make actual file copies and not archives in a proprietary format that may or may not be a disaster come recovery time (AND you can access the copies from any secondary client!)."

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:51 pm 
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ces wrote:
3. The best thing to do is to read and write it from time to time. One way to do that is to use a defragger.


Except that with largely static data such as multi-media, once a disk has been defragmented, many of the files will never be touched again. Especially larger files that won't be moved, even in a compacting operation.

We'll probably never know for sure, but I'm betting we'd all laugh if we found out that the OP has well under a terabyte of files spread across those 14 disks that he was looking to keep running.

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:32 pm 
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If you set them for a tight defrag, many of the more thorough ones seem to move a lot more files around than you would expect.

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:50 pm 
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JJ wrote:
We'll probably never know for sure, but I'm betting we'd all laugh if we found out that the OP has well under a terabyte of files spread across those 14 disks that he was looking to keep running.
I think he has indirectly indicated something to that effect.

But so what. It is a real problem to him. There is no reason not to help him solve it if we can.

We don't want to be intolerant of others, such as these Frogs appear to have been, to a family on an outing to a French McDonald's (maybe they mistook them for an American family obviously deserving of abuse):

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenbe ... scientist/

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/weird/Di ... 43576.html

http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/19/wearab ... mcdonalds/

http://eyetap.blogspot.com/2012/07/phys ... s-for.html

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Hard drives all in one place yet not a raid sys
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:04 pm 
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ces wrote:
JJ wrote:
We'll probably never know for sure, but I'm betting we'd all laugh if we found out that the OP has well under a terabyte of files spread across those 14 disks that he was looking to keep running.
I think he has indirectly indicated something to that effect.

But so what. It is a real problem to him. There is no reason not to help him solve it if we can.

We don't want to be intolerant of others


And I know a guy who has a problem with light switches. He has to flip each one exactly five times.

Nobody is being intolerant. If the solution that 999 out of 1000 people would accept is to take the data from all of those rickety old hard drives and put it all on a single disk, then solving this guy's "problem" in any other way is a disservice.

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