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DAW Hard Drive Configuration Question

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DAW Hard Drive Configuration Question

Postby cyberdaniel82 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:43 pm

Hi, SOS! I’m trying to set up my new Mac Mini DAW, and I’ve run into a couple of questions that I believe this forum can answer in short order.

I’m familiar with the idea that my Mac Mini’s internal drive (512 GB) should primarily be used for the OS and programs.

My understanding is that my large sample libraries (like Kontakt), as well as the project files I create, are best suited for an external hard drive. To that end, I purchased a 1 TB Samsung T5 SSD drive.

So far, so good – I think.

I’m presently unfamiliar with Time Machine, but I plan use this feature to regularly create backups for (at least) my project files.

As far as I can tell, I have the following options:

1. I can use a third hard drive (external, of course) as my Time Machine backup drive. I have a 500 GB LaCie D2 Quadra (USB 2.0) that might work well for this purpose. This route leaves me with a couple of questions…

a) If I’m using a third drive (LaCie), I guess I’d ideally want to be able to backup both my internal Mac drive (with miscellaneous personal documents, pictures, etc.) AND my external Samsung drive (where my project files will be). Can I backup both drives via Time Machine to my LaCie, and can I instruct Time Machine not to backup unnecessary things like my sample libraries? To do this, would I need to partition my LaCie so that the two drive backups are saved to separate partitions?

2. I could save my project files on my internal drive instead, alongside my OS and programs. But in this case, I have the following question about my Time Machine backup destination…

a) Should I partition my 1 TB Samsung external so that it holds my sample libraries AND the Time Machine backups of my internal drive, (resulting in a setup with only two hard drives total) or should I use the 1 TB Samsung external for only sample libraries, and use the 500 GB Lacie External to backup my Mac Mini’s internal drive (which holds my project files in this scenario)?

Also worth mentioning is the fact that I’m already playing Tetris with my Mac Mini inputs, trying to figure out how to accommodate my external hard drives, my iLok, keyboard, interface, etc.

It seems like many people buy some sort of enclosure to house several external hard drives at once, making this logistical predicament easier to resolve (do all the drives in an enclosure somehow share a single port?). I suspect I don’t need to resort to this, but I’m willing to go this route it’s the most sensible solution.

Indeed, I am a technological noob :o) If you could kindly nudge me in the right direction, I’d be most appreciative. Thanks in advance!

- Daniel
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Re: DAW Hard Drive Configuration Question

Postby ef37a » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:59 pm

Hi Daniel, now I know nothing of macs and not a lot about PCs!

But, "USB 2.0"? ! You are going to find it quite a drag moving and decently large files with that. Even this near ten yr old HP lappy has one USB 3.0 port at least.

My tentative suggestion would be to invest in a GOOD powered USB 3.0 (3.1?) hub and a 3.0 dock for the drive. The interface can stay on a 2.0 port of its own as 3.0 will give no benefit.

Peeps do not partition SSDs because nothing has to 'search' for the data AFAIK. If a spinner is JUST holding .wav files there is no benefit to partioning.

Dave.
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