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