Drobo en route


Well that wasn’t much fun. I was just subscribing to another couple of podcast shows in iTunes, I deleted one and the blue progress meter appeared. Yes, I thought it was funny too as it was just deleting one file out of the library. I didn’t think much of it because my iMac was a little busy downloading and syncing with Apple TV.

Later I wanted to watch a Railscast when iTunes said that it couldn’t find the file. So I tried another, nothing, and another still nothing. I checked the Podcast folder in the iTunes library and, horror of horrors, most of my podcast folders were missing. Including the large ones that contain the video files that are on my Apple TV. What the hell! So I check Time Machine that is on my LaCie backup drive. Unfortunately, and you know where this is going now don’t you, the backup isn’t big enough to hold a full backup and a backup of my user folder if both backups also contain the podcast folder. At the time the podcast folder was about 50GB, approx. So it looked like I had lost loads of files and didn’t have a backup. Bugger. Luckily I could use Time Machine to go back to January and restore the Railscast folder and add it’s contents back into iTunes. There was a reason, besides the folder size, not to backup the podcast folder and that was because I could always just download the podcasts again. But of course since the weekend my downloads have been really slow in the evenings. Thanks Pipex.

My audio podcasts, that I listen to on my iPod nano, I managed to download again. But I was a little concerned about those video ones on my Apple TV. What if the Apple TV syncs, decides that it can’t find the file on my iMac and so deletes it from the disk? Luckily for me it doesn’t. So in iTunes they all have a grey “!” next to them because the file can’t be found, but they still stay on the Apple TV until I’ve watched them and they’re deleted. That is quite clever and a relief. One thing I don’t know is if that glitch in iTunes deleted anything else. Thankfully I have the rest of it backed up.

So the both partitions on my 250GB LaCie aren’t big enough to hold the podcast folder. I created a disk image of the folder that contained Time Machine. That took awhile but it’s only about 91GB in total. I completely erased the drive and used SuperDuper! to copy the image back onto the full drive. Setup Time Machine to point to the drive, removed the ‘ignore podcast’ rule, added another exclusion so that the disk image isn’t backed up and set Time Machine going. I watched it backup the files that had changed since yesterday then checked that I could still see files back to January. It’s all fine.

This now brings me to the subject of this little post. I had thought about getting a Drobo when I first heard of them. Where I worked before, I think we had 9 drives that were striped and mirrored, thankfully I wasn’t that involved but it was a really tricky setup. So to have a similar thing at home looks great. There is always that problem, like I have now, when you can only put one backup on your external drive where at one time I could have fitted three. So an order was placed with Scan this morning for a Drobo and 2 Seagate 500GB drives. To be honest I would much rather spend the money, have something that is expandable, and not have to worry or mess about for hours trying to get the files back.

Yes, I have obviously looked at Time Capsule as an alternative. But the thing is that I already have wi-fi built into my router and what if the drive broke, I know it’s unlikely but it could happen. You would loose everything.

Stay tuned for unboxing Drobo photos on Monday.

  • Posted on Friday, 08 February 2008
  • Tagged with apple toys