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Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Akitio announced an upcoming bundle of its Thunderbolt 3 PCIe enclosure with Intel's unique Optane storage media, with pre-ordering due to start next month:
Akitio Partnering with Intel on External Thunderbolt 3 Intel Optane SSD 905P Storage Solution

Akitio, in a partnership with Intel will be releasing a special edition of the popular Node Lite PCIe box,, bundled with the recently announced Intel Optane 905P, 960GB SSD as well as other higher capacity drives as they become available.

The Intel Optane 905P SSD is a new technology that is different from NAND flash memory. The Optane is a hybrid between DRAM and typical storage memory. By connecting the Intel Optane drive inside the Akitio Node Lite via Thunderbolt 3, we are able to fully utilize the Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth to achieve incredibly fast performance of up to 2200MB/s in both read and write. Unlike NAND flash based SSD’s that provide fast performance in only large sized random read/write operations, the Optane drive provides the same phenomenal speeds in both large and small file transfers.
 
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Thanks. I am coming to suspect the FireWire drive, a 2-TByte "Rugged" LaCie drive that was one of the few FireWire drives available when I bought it early this year to replace an older external FireWire drive that had suffered corruption. ...
I've been using OWC's Mercury Elite Pro and Mercury On-The-Go Pro for many years with very few issues. I almost always get Elite Pro models with FireWire, USB, and eSATA. I always get the On-The-Go models with FireWire and USB.

Most of these drives get schlepped around, so I expect a higher failure rate than if they sat on my desk. I've had a couple of failures of the Mercury Elite Pro electronics out of at least 30. I've had a couple of failures of the On-The-Go electronics. I've bought about a dozen.

I use sets of the Elite Pros with large 3.5" drives for client backup. They survive being moved offsite and plugged/unplugged weekly. I use an On-The-Go with an SSD for bootable diagnostics and cloning internal drives. It boots El Capitan fast enough via FireWire. It boots via USB-3 far faster, but older Macs don't have USB-3.

Before buying, read the fine print on OWC's site carefully. I bought two of the USB 3.0 +1 enclosures that have a USB-3 jack on them so they can daisy chain another USB peripheral. The catch is they won't daisy chain another drive of that model. They do daisy chain an OWC USB/FireWire/eSATA drive without issue.

I just had a client buy an Aura Pro X drive for his MacBook Pro. The fine print reads that the drive requires macOS 10.13, so I had to upgrade him from El Capitan, since he needed the drive space. in my opinion both limitations should be in bold red print in the item's main description.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Some expert tips about storage reliability and management:
SoftRAID said:
FAQ - Best Practices...
We recommend that you replace older disk drives even if they have not failed. As disks age, the chance that they will fail increases. It is always better to replace a disk before it fails than to wait for it to fail and have to restore data from a backup or replace a disk on a Mac which is currently in use.

Most SSDs (Solid State Disks) contain wear indicators which show how much longer they can be used. These count down from 100% of media life remaining down to 0%. An SSD should be replaced once its media life remaining is less than 10%. The media life remaining for a particular SSD is shown in the disk tile in the SoftRAID application. The SoftRAID Monitor will also warn you once an SSD has less than 10% media life remaining.

We recommend that rotating disks (HDDs) in laptops be replaced after 5,000 hours of use. These disks are smaller and less reliable than the disks found in desktop computers and servers. This amount of use corresponds to 2–3 years of use by an average user.

We recommend that SSDs in laptops be replaced after 20,000 hours of use. SSDs last much longer than HDDs in laptops.

We recommend that disks in desktop computers be replaced after 10,000 hours. While these disks are more reliable than the smaller ones in laptops, they are subjected to the repeated stress of being turned on and off. 10,000 hours corresponds to 4–5 years of use in an average office environment.

We recommend that disks in servers be replaced after 20,000–25,000 hours. These disks are usually properly cooled and are not subject to the stress of being turned on and off, but they often experience periods of intense activity. This number of hours corresponds to 2–3 years of use in a server which is on 24 hours a day.
 


Some expert tips about storage reliability and management:
Interesting guidelines, but it would be helpful if they were translated into use cases. For example, I run an external boot drive, an external Time Machine drive, and an external once-a-day Carbon Copy Cloner backup. The boot drive is in use maybe 10 hours a day, the Time Machine drive runs every hour for few minutes, the CCC backup maybe 15 minutes once a day. What I don't know is how much of the times these drives are sleeping, which presumably would extend their lifetimes.
 


I wonder what SoftRAID considers reasonable for a deskop system that is rarely powered off. Hard drives in this situation are not subject to repeated spin-up/down, but they're also not accessed more frequently than typical non-server use. My personal experience is that hard drives in this situation tend to last a very long time.
What I don't know is how much of the times these drives are sleeping, which presumably would extend their lifetimes.
For a hard drive, repeatedly sleeping/waking a drive may shorten its lifetime. The stress from bringing the platters up to speed from a powered-down state is significant. If this happens several times an hour, that is definitely going to have a life-shortening impact.

How much, I couldn't say. Anecdotally, it seems that the larger/more numerous the platters, the more significant this effect will be - which makes sense, because there's more mass for the motor to spin up/down. Back in the old days of 5.25" hard drives, the effect was painfully obvious - lifetimes of 3-4 years vs 8+. With modern 3.5" drives, the difference seems to be less dramatic. Ditto for 2.5" drives. And the really small drives (like the 1.8" drive in an iPod classic or the 1" MicroDrive in an iPod Mini) seem to have no problem spinning up/down every few minutes - probably because the platters have much less mass than their larger counterparts.
 
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Some expert tips about storage reliability and management:
Well, this is probably poking a sleeping bear, but I'll suggest that the "best practices" from SoftRAID (whom I respect, and whose product I've used for over a decade) are ultra-conservative.

My own experience, while anecdotal and not rigorously tested, is based on 40 years of experience and hundreds drives during that time. I've found that the life of a spinner is pretty much the manufacturer's warranty plus a bit. That is, a 1-year warrantied drive will last about 8000-10,000 hours. A three-year warrantied drive will last about 25-30,000 hours (not just 10,000).

I have noted this here before, and will repeat - that some time ago, and with more effort than it should have taken, I actually spoke to a drive designer/engineer at a manufacturer, and asked about the on/off temperature and wear/tear issues. She (yes "she" :-) said that user desktop drives are designed for power cycling, and that is considered in the warranty. She stated that worrying about power-cycling was "counting angels" and nothing to be concerned about in normal use. "Your three-year drive is going to last 3 years (regardless)."

Decades of watching this and buying drives (right now, for example, I have 73; 15 in active daily use) lead me to this:
  1. I don't buy 1-year warrantied drives. 2 years, if I must, and 3 is preferred.
  2. SSDs over spinners except where speed is not an issue, such as my NAS and backups/storage
  3. I'm not blind to SMART tests, and do keep an eye out.
  4. That said, I used to think 20,000 hours was right, and now think it's somewhere between 20-30,000 hours.
In all that time and pile of disks, I've only sent back 3 drives to the manufacturer as defective. In each case, it was an electronic issue, not mechanical.

Finally, as a touch point, my working drives are on about 15 hours a day, every day, or about 5500 hours a year. Some, such as my NAS, are on 24/7. Most are powercycled once a day (off at night; on in the morning). So, yes: I'm getting about 4 + years out them, and, yes, when they reach 25,000-ish, I replace them. (In fact, I may use them at that point for long-term backup storage if the SMART report is OK.)

I have seen client drives with 40,000 hours on them, still working fine. (We yank them, of course.)

My point in replying is two-fold:

1) the SoftRAID recommendation are in my opinion extremely conservative (which also means you'll not go wrong following them),
but mainly:

2) your milage may vary (Your Milage May Vary)
 


... my working drives are on about 15 hours a day, every day, or about 5500 hours a year. Some, such as my NAS, are on 24/7. Most are powercycled once a day (off at night; on in the morning). So, yes: I'm getting about 4 + years out them, and, yes, when they reach 25,000-ish, I replace them.
... I have seen client drives with 40,000 hours on them, still working fine. (We yank them, of course.)
... 2) your milage may vary (Your Milage May Vary)
I can't really argue with anything here other than to point out that there's also a matter of "how much is your time worth" and "how much will downtime cost".

Assuming you have a proper backup to recover from, is it best to replace a drive after a fixed amount of uptime or to wait for it to fail (or for an analysis tool to tell you that failure is immenant)?

If you're talking about a business situation, where downtime means lost money, then you probably should replace them on a schedule. This way you can do it when it's convenient and not likely to impact the business. The lost value from discarding a still-working drive is minor compared to the lost value from downtime.

If you have redundant storage (a RAID system, for instance), then you can probably wait for the RAID to indicate failure, since it will be able to keep the array running at that point. You just have to watch out for the well-known phenomenon of multiple drives failing at once. This may not even be unlikely if all the drives in the array are the same model and age. So you might still want to swap out RAID drives (individually, so the array can rebuild them) on a schedule anyway.

For a home user, you may not consider downtime that important. If you can just boot from your backup drive and work from that while ordering a replacement, that may be perfectly acceptable. Just make sure you have multiple backups if you do this, because you don't want to risk losing everything if the backup drive (that you booted from) dies as well.
 


If you can just boot from your backup drive and work from that while ordering a replacement, that may be perfectly acceptable. Just make sure you have multiple backups if you do this, because you don't want to risk losing everything if the backup drive (that you booted from) dies as well.
I once considered this way too prudent. A disk dies, OK... rare, but having once learned a hard lesson, I have a backup [grin]. On top of first disk mortality, backup dies while trying to restore — not too likely [smirk]. Until exactly the fault situation Mr. Charlap describes became my own misfortune.

DiskWarrior saved the bacon, and since then I keep more than one backup, regularly updated.
 



...And the really small drives (like the 1.8" drive in an iPod classic or the 1" MicroDrive in an iPod Mini) seem to have no problem spinning up/down every few minutes - probably because the platters have much less mass than their larger counterparts.
But, the motor in these smaller drive units is correspondingly much smaller and thus less powerful and likely more delicate / less durable.
 




In all that time and pile of disks, I've only sent back 3 drives to the manufacturer as defective. In each case, it was an electronic issue, not mechanical.
40 years, hundreds of drives, and in all that time, you've only had 3 drive failures, none of which were mechanical? Buy a lottery ticket, my friend! I've similarly had or been responsible for hundreds of drives over 30 years, and dealt with dozens of failed drives. I honestly can't think of a single one off the top of my head that wasn't a mechanical failure.
 



If you're talking about a business situation, where downtime means lost money, then you probably should replace them on a schedule. This way you can do it when it's convenient and not likely to impact the business. The lost value from discarding a still-working drive is minor compared to the lost value from downtime.
You cannot count on failures being predictable. I had one fail after about four months, at a time that was definitely not convenient.
For a home user, you may not consider downtime that important. If you can just boot from your backup drive and work from that while ordering a replacement, that may be perfectly acceptable. Just make sure you have multiple backups if you do this, because you don't want to risk losing everything if the backup drive (that you booted from) dies as well.
Two backups on different drives are definitely a good idea. I have one Time Machine and one daily Carbon Copy Cloner backup going. It's also good practice to try recovering from both, so you know they work, and don't have to recover by trial and error. I found Time Machine backup faster than CCC, but not by a lot. After the last crash, I needed the Time Machine recovery to pick up work I had done after the last CCC backup.
 



FWIW, I use three external hard drives for my Mac mini server. One is a Time Machine volume, which is always connected. The other two are bootable backups (via CCC). I only connect and power them when actually making backups - they are unpowered the rest of the time.
 


David Charlap's advice is spot on. It won't surprise that of the 70+ drives I have, most are backups of one kind or another. I have about 3 TB of data online all the time (main drive; work drives; data drives; video and photo editing) and 8 TB of always-on redundancy.

Carbon Copy Cloner backs up the entire 3 TB every night automatically. When I'm in the middle of a project, ChronoSync backs it (the project) up every 20 or 30 minutes. I keep a rolling backup of all this on manually-inserted drives, as well, which I try to do every few days; certainly once a week. I also keep a couple of "mechanical" backups (created with a drive duplicator, so they are sector-by-sector clones). Then there are long-term versions of all that, as well. My NAS keeps a few snippets of vital stuff.

(I've long ago given up on Time Machine. I try it every few years, and within a month or so it goes south. It's always proven to be false security for me. Carbon Copy Cloner and Chronosync can perform pretty much the same thing (albeit not with as much panache), and I'm happy with them.)

So I'm redundant and current, and automated (at least in part). Where I'm failing is off-site: I do not have a full backup of all 3 TB (and more) offsite. I started to give BackBlaze a try - theirs is a rolling 30-day copy, not an archive. I'm beginning to consider alternatives, the easiest and least expensive of which is a 4TB drive with everything on it, in the hands of a friend, or in a fire-proof safe right here (an idea which has growing appeal for me).

My problem with cloud services is that the upload takes many weeks.

Comments and/or suggestions on any/all of this, are welcome!
 


How do you guys know how many "hours" drives have been in use? Is there a tool (odometer?) for that? Is it visible somewhere in the System Report?
Drive Scope from Micromat does this, according to their web page. TechTool Pro 9.0 does not show that information. I don't know about newer releases of TechTool Pro (version 10.0 was recently released).
 



I can't really argue with anything here other than to point out that there's also a matter of "how much is your time worth" and "how much will downtime cost".
... For a home user, you may not consider downtime that important. If you can just boot from your backup drive and work from that while ordering a replacement, that may be perfectly acceptable. Just make sure you have multiple backups if you do this, because you don't want to risk losing everything if the backup drive (that you booted from) dies as well.
I suspect the data is quite valuable even for a family. How valuable are the photos that presumably are on a hard disk? For a business, the decision is very easy, especially given the cost of hard disks of all types. Right now, I am running two SSDs and one spinning hard disk in a mirrored RAID array with nightly backups and weekly offsite backups. And creating this RAID array is not terribly expensive. With spinning hard disks, before SSDs became more reasonably priced, I replaced spinning disks every two years or so. The cost of losing data in a business would probably buy a large number of hard disks. Economizing on hard disks for anyone is stepping over dollars to save pennies, in my opinion.

I have used SoftRAID for a long time, and it is not especially expensive, and now they have a less costly version. You do not need a chassis to put your hard disks in. SoftRAID's data sheets indicate that it will prioritize using the fastest hard disk. So, for example, an iMac with an SSD in it could be used with one or two 2 1/2-inch spinning hard disks in external enclosure(s) connected via USB. The two or three disks could be in a mirrored RAID at the speed of the internal SSD.

The RAID does not substitute for a separate backup, preferably done often and located somewhere away from the iMac, so that one does not have a single point of failure such as theft, fire, water, etc.
 


I suspect the data is quite valuable even for a family. How valuable are the photos that presumably are on a hard disk?
I think you misunderstand me. I would never claim that someone's personal data is not valuable. But for many individuals, the system-downtime while ordering a replacement drive and restoring a backup onto that replacement is not a big deal, whereas for a business, a few days of downtime (even if there are full backups) can be a total disaster.

I'm not trying to compare with-backup to without-backup, but wait-for-failure-before-replacement vs. replace-on-schedule.
 


David Charlap's advice is spot on. It won't surprise that of the 70+ drives I have, most are backups of one kind or another. I have about 3 TB of data online all the time (main drive; work drives; data drives; video and photo editing) and 8 TB of always-on redundancy.

Carbon Copy Cloner backs up the entire 3 TB every night automatically. When I'm in the middle of a project, ChronoSync backs it (the project) up every 20 or 30 minutes. I keep a rolling backup of all this on manually-inserted drives, as well, which I try to do every few days; certainly once a week. I also keep a couple of "mechanical" backups (created with a drive duplicator, so they are sector-by-sector clones). Then there are long-term versions of all that, as well. My NAS keeps a few snippets of vital stuff.

(I've long ago given up on Time Machine. I try it every few years, and within a month or so it goes south. It's always proven to be false security for me. Carbon Copy Cloner and Chronosync can perform pretty much the same thing (albeit not with as much panache), and I'm happy with them.)

So I'm redundant and current, and automated (at least in part). Where I'm failing is off-site: I do not have a full backup of all 3 TB (and more) offsite. I started to give BackBlaze a try - theirs is a rolling 30-day copy, not an archive. I'm beginning to consider alternatives, the easiest and least expensive of which is a 4TB drive with everything on it, in the hands of a friend, or in a fire-proof safe right here (an idea which has growing appeal for me).

My problem with cloud services is that the upload takes many weeks.

Comments and/or suggestions on any/all of this, are welcome!
Tracy (and others) might want to take a look at iDrive. I’ve installed it on quite a few (Windows) machines over the past couple of years, and generally been favorably impressed—though have only undertaken a handful of modest restores during that time.

The pricing is competitive, especially for multiple computers. And, somewhere along the line they started offering something called “iDrive Express”, which includes an option to send a loaded hard drive to the company as a “seed”—and would thus address Tracy’s concern about upload times.

I have no affiliation with the company other than that noted above, and would be happy to hear of others’ experiences, good or bad.
 


It's not hard to keep an offsite copy. Get two 4TB hard drives (extra space for the 3-TB user for archival purposes), use Carbon Copy Cloner (to get those archives and bootable backup), and a good “toaster” (hard drive dock for 3.5 inch SATA drives). Then rotate those two drives so one is at home and one is in a safety deposit box. That’s around $120 per year and also stores anything that normally goes into a deposit box. 28-day swaps protect you from the 30-day BackBlaze rotation. Update the drive before you swap; it doesn't take long.

Most people have a safety deposit box anyway, so the $120 isn’t the real price; it’s the difference between a tiny box and one large enough to hold a raw drive (in its protective baggie and/or plastic thing they sent it to you in.) Just make sure the backups have whole disk encryption.
 


I think you misunderstand me. I would never claim that someone's personal data is not valuable. But for many individuals, the system-downtime while ordering a replacement drive and restoring a backup onto that replacement is not a big deal, whereas for a business, a few days of downtime (even if there are full backups) can be a total disaster. I'm not trying to compare with-backup to without-backup, but wait-for-failure-before-replacement vs. replace-on-schedule.
I am sorry I misunderstood, as your comments are always cogent. I still think that, all things considered, a simple SoftRAID mirror array is not particularly costly. I suspect that the vast majority of non-computer-iterate folks do not, in fact, have any backup at all and at best a backup that is badly out of date. At least that has been my experience when getting a call for help. And I would bet that of those who have currently backups, the majority do not have an off-site backup. Maybe the cloud-based backups are more prevalent than I suspect. (And I am biased, in that off-site backups have never appealed to me, because mostly my internet speeds are not really fast enough to provide decent backups.)
 


It's not hard to keep an offsite copy. Get two 4TB hard drives (extra space for the 3-TB user for archival purposes), use Carbon Copy Cloner (to get those archives and bootable backup), and a good “toaster” (hard drive dock for 3.5 inch SATA drives). Then rotate those two drives so one is at home and one is in a safety deposit box. That’s around $120 per year and also stores anything that normally goes into a deposit box. 28-day swaps protect you from the 30-day BackBlaze rotation. Update the drive before you swap; it doesn't take long.

Most people have a safety deposit box anyway, so the $120 isn’t the real price; it’s the difference between a tiny box and one large enough to hold a raw drive (in its protective baggie and/or plastic thing they sent it to you in.) Just make sure the backups have whole disk encryption.
My offsite backups are typically once a week. I think that I can survive in my business losing one week of work. A lockbox would certainly work, and a 2.5-inch hard disk in a USB enclosure is quite small. I just think that the offsite backup could be just not in your house but could still be on your property in some kind of weather-resistant enclosure. In tornado country, maybe in your storm shelter. You do not want the backup to be stolen or burned up or similar perils along with your main computer.
 


The standard recommendation is to backup to two different media. I have a Time Machine backup, and I swap the backup drives around once a week, so I always have one drive offsite. I also use BackBlaze to backup all of my data. You need to be prepared for one media to fail. You need to update this over time, as a type of media might become obsolete, or there might be a better alternative.
 


Another data point: I use Carbon Copy Cloner to a G-Tech 3.5” drive (weekly) plus a pair of rotating 2.5” drives (monthly) in the family safe deposit box. Every 4 hours I backup ~/samm using Arq to AWS/S3. Last week I set up another MacBook Pro with Arq to Backblaze B2, which offers better data retention than their standard $5 all-you-can-eat backup. My sense is that B2 costs way less than S3, but B2 uploads seem slower than AWS/Ohio.
 


These discussions have prompted me to ask about what to expect from TiVos. The TiVo has a spinning hard drive that is active 24/7. Mine has been running for about 4 years, and my wife's has been running for almost 8 years, without problems on either of them.
 


These discussions have prompted me to ask about what to expect from TiVos. The TiVo has a spinning hard drive that is active 24/7. Mine has been running for about 4 years, and my wife's has been running for almost 8 years, without problems on either of them.
I don't have failure info for TiVo drives, but I would point out that a TiVo with a dead drive can be resuscitated by simply swapping in a drive that has been pre-formatted. I have had several good experiences with Weaknees for TiVo upgrades over the years. Of course, if the drive dies and you replace it, your recordings and Season Passes will be unrecoverable. For me, that's an acceptable risk, so I run them as long as they'll go, although I usually replace the TiVo before the drive dies. your milage may vary.
 


TiVo's simply come with consumer-level AV drives that are designed for 24/7 operation. For example, my Bolt came with a Western Digital WD5000LUCT.

I've only ever had drive failures on older Series 1 and 2 TiVo's, and to give you an idea of how long ago that was, they both used PATA drives. For Series 3, 4, Roamio, and Bolt, I've never had a drive failure before the TiVo was retired from service.

For Roamios and Bolts, you don't actually actually have to preformat a drive replacement. You can put in any drive, new or old, and the TiVo will completely reformat and bootstrap it from scratch into a new system drive.

If you have a drive that you feel is failing or may fail soon, you can take it out, and use something like dd or ddrescue to clone it to a new drive, which will preserve all your recordings and season passes and settings.

David Zatz may have some additional thoughts on this topic. :)
 


I had previously written here in the forum about how I actually installed a Samsung 840 SSD in my Series 2 Tivo and it worked fine for years. I only replaced it as the drive was a tiny 240GB.

The sad thing I noticed was, when I went up to a 1TB spinning drive, when I got home from work and wanted to watch live TV, I had to fast-forward a bit to get to the real-time video. Haven't tried a 1TB SSD to see if that happens with a solid state drive as well.

As far as resurrecting a drive (more like installing a replacement), I had purchased a program called Instant Cake, which would format and install the operating system for the Tivo. I believe it's machine-specific, and, from the last time I looked, the company had gone belly-up.
 


I had previously written here in the forum about how I actually installed a Samsung 840 SSD in my series 2 Tivo and it worked fine for years. I only replaced it as the drive was a tiny 240GB.
Is there any advantage to using an SSD in a DVR? I would assume that the data-rate during recording and normal-speed playback will pretty much be the same as with a hard drive, since it's a function of the video stream, not the storage, but I'm wondering if other features (UI responsiveness, quality of fast playback, latency when jumping forward/backward) are improved by faster storage.

What was your experience?
 


Is there any advantage to using an SSD in a DVR? ... What was your experience?
As I mentioned, it worked well, although there was little benefit to boot times being improved (if any).

Many people said the drive would not last, as the Tivo is constantly buffering 30 - 60 minutes of real time video, but I had no failure with the drive after several years.

The main thing I had been seeking was quicker reboots when need be, but it didn't materialize. It was about the same as a spinning drive.
 


My thanks for the iDrive suggestion. Turns out they are offering a year (5TB) for less than $7 (first year only) and that includes them round-tripping a drive so that I don't have to upload 3TB of data to get started. The rest of their features look good to me, so I'm just waiting for the drive to arrive.
 




As I mentioned, it worked well, although there was little benefit to boot times being improved (if any).
As an aside, does anyone know why, in the age of quickly booting Macs and Windows PC's, Tivo's boot times wouldn't be similarly quick with an SSD?

The problem clearly is not Linux itself. I have a hard time believing that the Tivo software, over and above its Linux underpinnings, could be so terribly complex as to nearly negate any boot-time advantage offered by an SSD. Do they intentionally skimp on processor power, even today? If so, it's just sad and, as a Tivo owner, slightly infuriating.
 


My thanks for the iDrive suggestion. Turns out they are offering a year (5TB) for less than $7 (first year only) and that includes them round-tripping a drive so that I don't have to upload 3TB of data to get started. The rest of their features look good to me, so I'm just waiting for the drive to arrive.
FWIW, I tried iDrive when my CrashPlan Personal subscription was about to end. What lured me was the attractive first-year price. Well, after struggling for about two months to get iDrive to work reliably, I finally gave up and opened a CrashPlan Small Business account (75% discount first year), and it has been working fine. I currently back up about 1.5 TB of data on both my iMac and MacBook Air.

Most of my iDrive back ups failed, and I found their tech support very inconsistent. They were slow to respond and often replied with canned text that they had previously sent. Sometimes, I would get a response from somebody who really seemed to care and who followed up, but I still couldn't get the service to work reliably. I was even told they were escalating my case to a higher level, but I never received anything from the higher level person even after I sent two follow-ups.

Anyway, CrashPlan is working reliably, as it did for the years I used it with my Personal account (which has been discontinued). I'm hoping Apple will offer a built-in back up service by next year like they did back in the day, but I'm not holding my breath.
 


As an aside, does anyone know why, in the age of quickly booting Macs and Windows PC's, Tivo's boot times wouldn't be similarly quick with an SSD?

The problem clearly is not Linux itself. I have a hard time believing that the Tivo software, over and above its Linux underpinnings, could be so terribly complex as to nearly negate any boot-time advantage offered by an SSD. Do they intentionally skimp on processor power, even today? If so, it's just sad and, as a Tivo owner, slightly infuriating.
I think it's because the TiVo performs a full file system check on every boot. If you notice, your TiVo does not have a graceful shutdown or reboot option. Even the reboot option in the menu happens instantaneously, not gracefully, equivalent to a plug pull. I think this explanation is further borne out by the fact that it takes longer to boot the larger the hard drive is.
 


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