Posts Categorised: Storage

0Google Photo Sync limits

Google have released a new tool to replace drive sync and photos backup.  The new app, called Backup and Sync provides the functionality of both in a single app.  It is also claimed that it will sync folders as albums for photos, something the previous backup app did not do.  A couple of limits remain however.

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0Inside HDD LogoCloning a system disk

The next job on my festive technical support rounds was to upgrade my old man’s laptop HDD to a new SSD. In the past such upgrades have usually involved other components and necessitated a fresh install of windows, but with this upgrade being just one component, to a Windows 7 PC, I decided time was ripe for a fresh investigation of the possibility of cloning the old drive onto the new
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0Storage SpacesMicrosoft Storage Spaces: Virtual RAID for Windows 8?

Microsoft’s Steve Sinofsky has written a detailed article about a genuinely exciting new feature of Windows 8 – Storage Spaces.  I won’t repeat the details here, for those you can go straight to the horses mouth.  However I will point out a key line from a home media server point of view: “There’s another resiliency attribute, called parity, which directs Storage Spaces to store some redundancy information alongside user data contained within the space, thereby enabling automatic data reconstruction in the event of physical disk failure.”  To me, this sounds a LOT like a software RAID5 similar to that provided by UnRAID.  Until Windows 8 is released and the technology is fully reviewed the details are of course somewhat speculative, but my reading of the article leads me to believe that Storage Spaces will enable the striping of disks, with a parity in the event of single disk failure.  Further, it is reasonable to assume that this system will work with standard non-enterprise drives without suffering any compatibility issues.  Finally, it is reasonable to assume that Storage Spaces will offer some of the performance benefits of hardware raid-5 too.  If you have a home server with a lot of media and you want some redundancy, without huge cost, then this technology sounds like it might be the perfect solution.  Thanks Microsoft!

0DVB LogicPlanning a new networked home media setup

In the coming months I will be buying a new property, and to go with my new home, I’ve been reading up lots on how I might integrate a new home media setup.  In recent months several exciting new options have become available, which finally makes the sort of setup I have always desired a real possibility…. Read Full Article

0Inside HDD LogoDisk Speeds

Since a post about a year ago where I compared the speed of several flash drives (for Speeding up Media Browser) I’ve been keeping a track of the speed of various drives / devices.  As I’ll soon be obtaining quite a few new drives it seemed a good time to organise all the benchmarks and start a post with the data I’ve collected.
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1Inside HDD LogoHardware RAID and consumer HDD problems

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to purchase a second hand hardware raid 5 card (an Areca 1220) for a very low price. Since then I have used the card along with several sets of drives (originally 300gig, then 750gig and currently 1Tb) in a dedicated server PC as a large network file-store for the family’s music, photos, videos and back-ups.
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0Inside HDD LogoSpeeding up Media Browser

An article on Hack7MC caught my eye a couple of months ago, but I have only just got around to following up on it. The idea is to speed up the Media Browser plugin for Media Center by moving its library to a Cheap USB Flash drive, which hopefully offers much better performance than normal hard-disk drives. The first thing I did was test a couple of flash-based devices that I have against my desktop HardDrive…
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0Inside HDD LogoSpeed up SSDs, especially in netbooks

I recently upgraded the SSD in an Asus eeePC 901, and whilst the size and performance were both better, the performance upgrade still wasn’t on par with even a 5+ year old laptop HDD. The problem with most SSDs, especially the cheaper ones, is that they usually have very poor write performance with small files. This can make windows very sluggish and unresponsive at times.
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0Inside HDD LogoUpgrading the SSD in an eeePC 901

I’ve recently been asked to upgrade the SSD drive in an Asus eeePC 901. Rather than write about it in detail here I’ll just say that the operation was painless and a great success, mostly thanks to the excellent guide provided at BitTech

I replaced the default 4gig SSD (leaving the 16gig one intact) with a similar speed 16gig drive which cost £43 from ebay