So I finally went to ge tth enew disks I ordered, or rather I sent my sister since I’m at home sick again (seems like my health hasn’t recovered fully yet). I ordered two WD SATA disks, two Samsung SATA disks and an external WD MyBook Studio box with two disks, with USB, FireWire and eSATA interfaces. My idea was to vary around the type and brand of disks I use so that I don’t end up having problems when exactly one of them goes crazy, like it happened with Seagate’s recent debacle.
The bad surprise started when I tried to set up the MyBook; I wanted to set it up as RAID1, to store my whole audio/video library (music, podcasts, audiobooks, tv series and so on so forth), then re-use the space that is now filled with the multimedia stuff to store the archive of downloaded software (mostly Windows software, which is what I use to set up Windows systems, something that I unfortunately still do), ISO files (for various Windows versions, LiveCDs and stuff like that), and similar. I noticed right away that contrary to the Iomega disk I had before, this disk does not have a physical hardware switch to enable raid0, raid1 or jbod. I was surprised and a bit appalled, but the whole marketing material suggests that the thing works fine with Mac OS X, so I just connected it to the laptop and looked for the management software (which is inside the disk itself, rather than on a different CD, that’s nice).
Unfortunately once the software was installed, it failed to install itself in the usual place for Applications under OSX, and it also failed to detect the disk itself. So I went online and checked the support site, there was an upate to both the firmware of the drive (which means the thing is quite more complex than I’d expect it to be) and to the management software. Unfortunately, neither solved my issue, so I decided it had to be a problem with Leopard, and thus I could try with my mother’s iBook which is still running Tiger, still no luck. Even installing the “turbo” drivers from WD solved the problem.
Now I’m stuck with a 1TB single-volume disk set which I don’t intend to use that way, I’ll probably ask a friend to lend me a Windows XP system to set it up, and then hope that I’ll never have to use it, but the thing upsets me. Sure from a purely external hardware side it seems quite nice, but the need for software to configure a few parameters, and the fact that there is no software to do so under Linux, really makes the thing ludicrous.