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Terrabyte formatting- which type? NTFS, UNIX, MS dos, mac os?

Discussion in 'Apple/Mac' started by hahnphoto, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. hahnphoto


    May 21, 2007
    I have a maxtor terrabyte (with RAID, but I have no idea what it is or how to use it). It has failed on me once, lost a bunch of data and just got back from the factory refurbishing. I want to reformat, and have heard that fornatting "NTFS" is the safest. Can I do this on my mac? I am only given options of ms dos, unix, and mac os extended (in disk utility).

    I tried using the software that came with the drive when I first got it, but it was too complicated- I dont have time to figure out stupid programs. All I need is a backup drive (provide a second place to store my data, mainly photos and documents)!!! So I've been just clicking and dragging (or copy and paste) files from the finder. Easiest for me. But not sure this is the best answer since the drive did fail.
  2. How and where do you use it?

    If the only system that the external drive (drives actually... if the maxtor implements RAID it almost certainly contains more than one drive) is the Mac then in the Mac Disk Utility choose Mac OS Extended (journaled). This is the preferred format for OS/X.

    NTFS is a bad choice since OS/X can only read an NTFS volume. There are utilities that allow read write but none that I would trust with valuable images. And, why use a Windows file system on a Mac?

    BTW, for your stated purpose of backing up individual files, a couple of 500GB external drives makes more sense. If you are disciplined about organizing your images on your primary hard drive, then you could back up the folders to one external drive today and then back the same folders up to the second one another day (or week, depending on your degree of paranoia and the value to you of the files). This way you are always rotating the backups between two physically distinct devices.
  3. hahnphoto


    May 21, 2007
    what does journaled do that non-journaled does not? On a secondary drive?
  4. External drives come in two flavors: those which have been formatted for Windoze and those which have been formatted for the Mac. G-Tech and LaCie format their drives for the Mac so that all you have to do is plug in the drive and you're good to go. Other manufacturers tend to format theirs for Windoze, so in that instance, yes, you will need to reformat prior to using the drive with your Mac. The recommended formatting for a Mac is Mac OS Extended (Journaling)....

    G-Tech G-Drives are very good and quite reliable, so you might want to consider one of them the next time you're purchasing an external drive. As Sandi suggests, too, if you are doing this for business purposes you may want to have more than one backup drive.

    I don't know the differences between "journaling" and "non-journaling...." I just make life simple for myself and buy external drives already formatted for my Macs! :smile:
  5. Since you're using this for professional photo backup, please know that Maxtors are notoriously bad for failure rate. I discovered this the hard way, returned all my Maxtors (thankful to Costco's return policy!) and have replaced all with Seagates. I lost tens of thousands of photos last year on a Maxtor backup drive. Make sure this is NOT your only backup. I'd hate to have you do a shoot for $$ and lose the photos.
  6. peterparker


    Jun 2, 2006
    Here is some info on journaling.
  7. journaled vs non-journaled

    The primary difference is that on system boot the disk consistency check is faster. With an external drive which may or may not be powered on at boot time it is probably a non-issue.
  8. HAC_X

    HAC_X Guest

    To save me typing, coied from wikipedia.

    "A journaling (or journalling) file system is a file system that logs changes to a journal (usually a circular log in a specially-allocated area) before actually writing them to the main file system. For example, deleting a file on a Unix file system involves two steps:

    - Removing its directory entry.
    -Marking space for the file and its inode as free in the free space map.
    If step 1 occurs just before a crash, there will be an orphaned inode and hence a storage leak. On the other hand, if only step 2 is performed first before the crash, the not-yet-deleted file will be marked free and possibly be overwritten by something else.

    Recovery in a non-journaled file system requires a complete scan of the data structures and correction of inconsistencies. This method can be inefficient in case of a high-capacity file-system with low input/output bandwidth.

    A journaled file system maintains a journal of the changes it intends to make. In case of disruption, recovery involves reading the journal and replaying to restore consistency. The changes are said to be atomic (or indivisible); they either

    succeed (have succeeded originally or be replayed completely during recovery), or
    are not replayed at all.
    Some file systems allow the journal to grow, shrink and be re-allocated just as would a regular file; most, however, put the journal in a contiguous area or a special hidden file that is guaranteed not to move or change size while the file system is mounted.

    A physical journal logs verbatim copies of blocks that will be written later, such as ext3. A logical journal logs information about the changes in a special, compact format, such as XFS. This reduces the amount of data that needs to be read from and written to the journal in large, metadata-heavy operations (for example, deleting a large directory tree).

    In Log-structured file systems, the journal is the file system. Common Unix file systems are usually not log-structured, but the WAFL and Reiser4 borrow some techniques from log-structured file systems."

    As far as a terabyte goes, your; far better of having it subdivided into manageble portions. Its easier to maintain, and backup.

  9. Cougar8045


    May 25, 2007
    Large drive like terrabyte is nice to have. It can store a lot but when it fail, you can also loose a lot. Large drive should use as work in progress file storage only.

    Orginial and final files should store on backup tape. They take longer to retrieve but last at least 50 years or more. A good hi-capacity backup tape drive for MAC is about $1,500. I used the VXA-2 version that can backup about 300 GB per tape. Each tape is about $65. That's a lot of files per tape.

    Alternative would be burn them on DVD but they don't last as long as tape. It does provide faster retrival.

    I backup my files on both DVD & tape. I then put away the tape. If my harddrive crash, I first retrieve from DVD. Unless the DVD fail, then i retrieve from tape. It's never too safe or redunant for my data.
  10. wbeem


    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    I gave up on tape years ago. The problem is compatibility as I move forward with computers. What good is a 50 year old backup if you still need a 50 year old computer to read it? That's a bit of an overstatement, but not by too much.

    You can get 50GB of storage for $9.95/month from XDrive and other online storage companies. That's not a Terabyte, but it's almost enough to hold my NEF masters (I'm a little over 60GB now). Convenient, off-site storage of what really matters for a reasonable fee.

    That off-site part is the pain for many people. What good is your extra hard drive if it gets zapped by the same surge that kills your computer or burns down with your house?
  11. hahnphoto


    May 21, 2007
    I can vouch for the unreliability of maxtors- my hubby bought this for me without asking first. I didn't want to get upset at the kind act (he knew I wanted a terrabyte) but I am a perfectionist and rigoriously research EVERYTHING before I buy. I had problems with several internal maxtor drives before and would NEVER purchase another maxtor product to save my life.

    Sandi- maxtor was bought out by seagate or vice versa. So I'm not sure it would make much difference which one of the two you have???
  12. Seagate bought Maxtor. Can you replace the internal Maxtor drives in your unit with another, more reliable brand?
  13. hahnphoto


    May 21, 2007
    I could, but that's $800 down the drain. Wouldn't be the first $800 I've wasted. :(  :(  :( 
  14. My recommendation would be to go with two 500 GB G-Tech G-Drives....
  15. mkawa


    Apr 25, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    Outside of choosing the most mature file system implementation for your particular OS distribution, there's not that much you can do to guard against drive failure in software. What you can and should do is backup your data religiously. This is just how data fault tolerance works. Furthermore, by backup, I mean multiple, fully redundant devices. Hence, my suggestion would be to divide the two drives in your drive case into a backup and working drive, actively using only the working drive, and arranging for a scheduled copy from working to backup.
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