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Storage problems on new Mac Mini


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I have just bought a refurb Mac Mini, but only wanted to buy the basic one given that they are supposed to be replaced soon.

 

My library is over 1Tb and growing and is stored on an iMac and I have tried the following:

 

1. Using Home Sharing from the iMac. This works, but is a bit flaky and I cannot see how to use the files with Audirvana+.

 

2. Using a bus powered external HDD. This sucked so much power from the Mini that my wireless keyboard stopped working! I am not so concerned about that in itself as I will run the Mini headless after the initial set up, but if it is taking that much USB power, what will it do to the signal to my USB DAC?

 

3. Plugged the same external HDD into my Airport Extreme Router. This worked, but was very slow with long periods of 'beach ball' when trying to select a track (Mini is connected by ethernet to switch which is connected by ethernet to Airport Extreme)

 

So the two options I appear to have left are:

 

1. Using a larger, mains powered HDD. This should work, but I am a bit worried about the noise and what it will do to the DAC signal.

 

2. Getting a proper NAS, but this is expensive and I don't quite understand why this would avoid the speed issues that I saw with the Airport Extreme.

 

3. Getting a Thunderbolt external to which the only downside appears to be the cost.

 

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

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So the two options I appear to have left are:

 

1. Using a larger, mains powered HDD. This should work, but I am a bit worried about the noise and what it will do to the DAC signal.

 

2. Getting a proper NAS, but this is expensive and I don't quite understand why this would avoid the speed issues that I saw with the Airport Extreme.

 

3. Getting a Thunderbolt external to which the only downside appears to be the cost.

 

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

 

I'll offer you a 4th option... Set up file sharing on the iMac, then you can point your MacMini to look for the music files on that. Cost to you £0 plus some time!

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Thanks. Will that work with Audirvana+?

It should do ... just the same as using a NAS really.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I have just bought a refurb Mac Mini...

 

1. Using a larger, mains powered HDD. This should work, but I am a bit worried about the noise and what it will do to the DAC signal.

 

If it's an older Mac Mini, it should have a FireWire port.

 

I'm guessing your DAC goes through a USB port.

 

So, why not buy a mains powered HDD that attaches via FireWire?

They may not be as common anymore, but they are certainly still easily available.

 

Dave, who will say that's what he does with his two Minis

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Music is love, made audible.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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If it's an older Mac Mini, it should have a FireWire port.

 

I'm guessing your DAC goes through a USB port.

 

So, why not buy a mains powered HDD that attaches via FireWire?

They may not be as common anymore, but they are certainly still easily available.

 

Dave, who will say that's what he does with his two Minis

+1

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Thanks for the replies. I bought a mains-powered Lacie external HDD and that sorted out the power problem, but is far too noisy so will go back.

 

I have now gone back to the Passport drive connected via a powered hub and that seems to work fine. I will probably stick with that in the interim whilst I investigate Firewire, Thunderbolt and NAS alternatives.

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Thanks for the replies. I bought a mains-powered Lacie external HDD and that sorted out the power problem, but is far too noisy so will go back.

 

I have now gone back to the Passport drive connected via a powered hub and that seems to work fine. I will probably stick with that in the interim whilst I investigate Firewire, Thunderbolt and NAS alternatives.

 

I am a little concerned that there are hardware issues with the Mac if it cannot drive a little passport without power problems. Have you got a Mac repair shop nearby that could check out the machine?

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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I am a little concerned that there are hardware issues with the Mac if it cannot drive a little passport without power problems. Have you got a Mac repair shop nearby that could check out the machine?

 

I found it strange as well, but I can't be sure if it definitely is power or not. Others have said I should get a message up when the power is too low. I didn't get a message and the HDD shows up fine on the desktop and is offered as a potential Time Machine disk. Of course, I can't tell if it actually works without the keyboard, but I have no reason to expect it wouldn't.

 

On the other hand, it is telling that the keyboard works fine with both external HDDs when they have their own power.

 

I have not got a wired keyboard anymore, but I might try to plug the Passport directly into the Mac and the keyboard into the hub to see if that works. I guess if it does, that proves there is no problem with the power from the Mac USB and it is a conflict with the keyboard.

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This is getting weirder now. Just plugged the Passport into the powered hub, and it still won't co-exist with the keyboard. The keyboard goes dead a minute or so after the HDD is connected and won't work again until it is turned off.

 

What kind of wireless keyboard is this? Apple using Bluetooth, or something like a Microsoft keyboard using a USB plugin device?

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Sounds more like a problem with the HDD than the Mac or keyboard. Is there another computer you can plug it into to try?

 

Actually, it sounds like the keyboard driver is having a fit, and fouling something up. Perhaps Bluetooth?

 

Does your Mac have Bluetooth on it, and if so, can you turn it off, or try connecting the keyboard through the Mac Bluetooth radio?

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Thanks. That is exactly what it turned out to be. It is currently working fine with the keyboard dongle on the end of a 1.5m USB extension cable and the HDD next to the Mac.

 

I am still not sure why the keyboard is fine with the dongle right next to the larger, powered HDD but not with the Passport (powered by the hub or not). That article refers to 'early adopters' of USB3.0, so perhaps it is the fact that the Passport is an older drive?

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Glad it worked out.

 

I'm no genius for sure, here's how I found it: I made the following assumptions: HDD and keyboard manufacturers make thousands of copies. Very, very few problems are "unique". Someone else almost always has the same problem. Based on that, I googled "Logitech K400", clicked the first hit which was the Logitech page for it, clicked the "Support" link, scrolled to "Troubleshooting". Sometimes it takes a bit more digging, but 90%+ of everything is google-able.

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