Dual-Bay SATA Enclosures
November 28, 2009 3:05 PM   Subscribe

Dual-bay SATA Enclosures! Which ones let me copy from one drive to the other on a Mac?

I have my eye out on this inexpensive one, and in the end, I want a box into which I can stuff two harddrives, copy stuff between them, and copy stuff between my internal laptop harddrive and them. Bonus points if I can hook it up via USB to my Airport Extreme and get two network drives.

Will this EagleTech one do what I need? If not, what will?

(Having trouble finding detailed info on this enclosure, although from various reviews, it appears that it supports RAID 0 as well as "normal", though I'm not clear what "normal" would be in this circumstance)
posted by sdis to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Best answer: "JBOD" means "just a bunch of disks" -- the individual disks show up separately, and you can use them like any other hard drives. They'll be quite slow, because it's on USB, but it will work. If you get an enclosure with Firewire (assuming your Mac has a Firewire port, they don't all have them anymore), they'll run faster.

The various RAID flavors usually abstract multiple drives into a single unified "disk" from the point of view of the OS. You might have two 640GB drives in a unit, and it might present them as a single 1280GB drive. RAID 0 just stripes disks; if any disk fails, you lose all the data. It's usually a bad idea. RAID 1 mirrors... you have two 640GB drives, and get 640GB of visible space. Anything you write is written to both drives. This will help protect against drive failure, but it's not perfect, and it doesn't do anything about you accidentally deleting data you care about. JBOD is usually better, as long as you do regular backups from one to the other. Time Machine is fantastic that way. Set up one as a TM disk, put your data on the other, and TM will just handle the backups.

You can probably hook that unit up to the Airport and get two visible disks, but that's also dependent on how smart the Airport is; I don't know if it can handle more than one share.
posted by Malor at 3:45 PM on November 28, 2009

I'd be quite careful here. We don't know what chipset is in this enclosure and macs can be finicky - and nobody in the reviews on Amazon mentions running a mac. The other thing is that this enclosure uses a fan - and according to one review it can be noisy. If that doesn't bother you, or if it's not going to be in the same room, then that's fine, otherwise I'd look for a fanless enclosure (I know the noise would drive me crazy). Plus, it seems like there are some complaints about defective units. Personally, I'd be leery.
posted by VikingSword at 7:21 PM on November 28, 2009

Macs can be finicky? They support every interface that a PC does. Nothing non-standard here.
posted by santaliqueur at 4:32 AM on November 29, 2009

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