With my server being out of commission i needed a new central storage space for my 2TB Raid box. A new server running Linux or the like would be a logical choice. But with all the misery on servers and the lack of useful daemons on Linux i decided against it.
A pimped up fileserver is not what i want. If i make a server i want it to handle VPN, iCal, AFP/CIFS and perhaps a webserver. Possibly even DHCP and DNS but that depends on the OS.
Anyway, none of that anymore. DHCP/DNS is now done by my router and i rely on Bonjour for finding my local devices. Most of those being Macs helps a great deal. Just the one PC in the house is left out. Since windows naturally doesn’t support the cool things and thus not really works with Bonjour.
So, for the past few days i’ve had my 2TB Raid connected to the Airport Extreme which then in turn would function as my File server. The idea is nice, the features suffice. But man is the USB bus slow.
I definately notice a difference in loading folders, videos and even diskimages. Everything is delayed a few seconds, movies start stuttering… Once it runs it runs fine though. So i guess it’s a combination of the disk going in sleepmode and the Extreme being slow. It’s not all bad. It turns out to be a steady source of files. As you would expect from such a thing. And all in all it works nicely. Just not as nice as an actual server.
Earlier this week i discovered some flaws or mistakes i had made in my server setup. Me trying to fix it resulted in a epic mess of my admin/network user to be messed up and weird shares appeared while the home folder for that user was divided over the regular location in /Users/arnan and another bunch was in /Shared Items/arnan and a bit of other stuff somehow ended up in /Var/root. Needless to say this was somewhat unworkable and needed proper fixing.
As creating a new user and removing the old didn’t seem to help one bit i decided to correct the issue proper and re-install the server and with that iron out some other quirks that sneaked into the system.
So i did last night, all went well. Updates, setup, configuration. I almost trust Leopard server again, it went so well. But… With the reinstallation of the server the old users of-course had been deleted too. My external harddisk on the server didn’t quite get that and ALL folders and files had the wrong permissions. Which in itself is not so bad because it’s easily fixed. But fixing it in Leopard seems to mean “add the right permissions to the old and leave the old ones there, too”. This resulted in a small mess. Luckily Leopard also offers a neat and sexy way to solve this. Where Diskwarrior and Techtool Pro failed (because they both think the drive is in use and cannot be repaired).
In the sharing options in Server Admin make sure you set the right ACL and POSIX settings and then use this option:
This basically re-applies the ACL’s and stuff and all is well.
Not so long ago Western Digital made new thingy and i had to have it! The ‘My Book Studio edition II’. Just for fun and i’ve always fancied having a Raid system! So you see, reason enough to buy one. Clearly!
Behold! Now i have one!
HA! That’s right. Apparantly i can easily swap out the drives via a secret hatch in the bottom. And they’re greenpower… I guess that’s low-power-better-for-humankind drives. Not that i actually care, but it’s nice anyway. Low power means lesser powerbill. For which i do care! So there you go.
I stuck it on Raid 1, which means the drives are mirrored and the total space is 1TB. Their disk tool is very very neat and simple. Provides health information on both disks, the size, space available and all that stuff. And if offers several ways of formatting (FAT32 or HFS+). I opted for HFS+, which is native to a mac, obviously.
This baby is to replace the 1TB Ethernet disk i have already. Which has a single drive and thus no backup facility. And will be connected to my server via FireWire400 and shared on the network.
So i got this huge storage unit lately and am getting some movies to it. HD movies to be precise. With 5.1 sound and all that. It’s nice. But why does everyone want to put that stuff in MKV dammit. Use a real format like proper Mpeg (2 or 4) or h.264 encoded Mov. And not some dumb container which isn’t even a format by itself but just harnesses Mpeg or whatever format the movie is in. It brings only misery and frustration to the table.
So now i have to load every movie, wait almost 10 minutes for it to cache strip out all the MKV rubbish and crappy titles, names and whatever else the movie doesn’t need and save it as a proper format.
I’m sure it works fine in some players… But c’mon how many players are there? If you save it in a decent format, say Mpeg or even high quality Mov it will be much better playable and more importantly can be previewed from Explorer and Finder and doesn’t have to be cached. So it plays instantly.
So after last weeks datadisaster i managed to recover many data using “data rescue II” at work. I decided to save office things only and loose any films, music and other data as i was not up for sorting through that again only to see it’s broken anyway, outdated or otherwise unnecessary to keep. Yea i had a lot of junk!
Anyway, i finally have a lazy day again and decided to put the “broken” 320GB disk back to work. But before i do that i’m writing it full of zeros to find if there are any bad blocks/sectors or whatever. I expect just that partition table to be broken so it’s another external drive for me if it works. So many disks lately… rating up to 4TB in total lately… Yea, it’s nuts.