FAQs


 
  1. How fast is USB 3.0?
  2. Do I need an AC adapter to power the portable hard drive?
  3. What is Thunderbolt?
  4. Can I use bus power with an eSATA portable hard drive?
  5. How do I format the external hard drive on a Macintosh Computer?
  6. Can I share my external hard drive between a MAC and PC?
  7. How do I format the external hard drive on a Windows computer?
  8. Why does my computer show that the external hard drive has less capacity than advertised?
  9. My USB powered drive intermittently disconnects and occassionally a clicking sound is heard.
  10. How do I use the external hard drive to boot in Mac OS X?
  11. How can I create multiple partitions on a drive using Disk Utility on a Mac?
  12. What types of RAID modes do your products support?
  13. Why won't my computer recognize my RAID system?
  14. How should I format my Mobius 5-Bay RAID system?
  15. Does the RAID remain connected to the host computer and usable during the automatic mirror rebuild?
  16. I want to remove a drive from the RAID unit and install it in another enclosure for access to the files. How can I do so?
  17. What eSATA ExpressCard do you recommend?
  18. Can I change my RAID mode array after I have put data on it?
  19. I have a 2-Bay RS-M2QO RAID set for Mirror (RAID 1) mode. What is the procedure for removing a drive and installing a new drive so that the data will copy to the new drive?
   
(1)  How fast is USB?

USB supports the following four transfer speeds:

  • USB 1.0 (low speed) supports a speed of 1.5 Mbit/s (183 KB/s) and is used for devices such as keyboards, mice, and joysticks.
  • USB 1.1 (full speed) supports a speed of 12 Mbit/s (1.5 MB/s) and was the fastest rate before the release of USB 2.0.
  • USB 2.0 ( high speed) supports a rate of 480 Mbit/s (57 MB/s) and is available on the majority of computers manufactured after 2003.
  • USB 3.0 ( super speed) supports a rate of 5Gbps (625 MB/s) and is the latest USB standard and was released in 2010.

 

(2)  Do I need an AC adapter to power the portable hard drive?

Our 2.5" portable hard drives receive power from USB, Thunderbolt, or FireWire bus power, which provides adequate power to operate properly and efficiently.

 

(3)  What is Thunderbolt?

Thunderbolt is a connection method that carries both data and display signals over a single cable. Thunderbolt's dual-protocol architecture allows it to connect computer components and monitor displays. Thunderbolt 1 has as data transfer rate of 10Gbps, and Thunderbolt 2 increases it to 20Gbps.

 
(4)  Can I use bus power with an eSATA hard drive?

eSATA does not provide bus power; therefore, an eSATA hard drive will require a power source in order to function. However, the Oyen Digital USB, eSATA portable hard drive uses an innovative eSATA bus power cable, which allows the drive to be powered from a eSATA/US combo port.

 
(5)  How do I format an external hard drive on a Macintosh computer?

To format a hard drive using MAC OSX

  1. Connect the drive to your computer.
  2. Open Disk Utility. (Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility).
  3. From the list on the left, click on the external drive (not the indented item underneath).
  4. Click the 'Erase' tab at the top of the Disk Utility window.
  5. Enter a name for the drive and select 'Mac OS Extended (Journaled)*' from the drop down menu.
  6. Click the 'Erase' button. You will be presented with an 'Are you Sure' dialog. Confirm to complete the action.

Note: * For the best performance, we recommend using Mac OS Extended (Journaled). However, if you will be using the drive with both Windows and a Mac, select MS-DOS (FAT32) or exFAT.

 

(6)  Can I share my external hard drive between a MAC and PC?

If you intend to share files between a Windows and MAC computer, the easiest option is to format the drive as exFAT or MS-DOS using the Mac. This will create a partition that is compatible with both Windows and MAC.

Another otpion is to use a 3rd party software product that allows hard drives formatted in the Macintosh file system (Mac OS Extended, HFS+) to be used on Windows computers. The following program allows this capability:

MacDrive from MediaFour

 

(7)  How do I format an external hard drive on a Windows computer?
  1. Connect the drive to your computer.
  2. Press the “Win + R” key to open RUN dialog box. Type "diskmgmt.msc", and press Enter. The Disk Management window will open. (You may receive an Initialize Disk prompt. If so, choose MBR (or GUID if larger than 2TB) and click OK.)) **
  3. In the lower-right section of the window, locate the disk from the list. Right-click on the Unallocated box and select New Simple Volume.
  4. Continue to click Next to accept the default settings. (Change the file system to exFAT if you will be using the drive with both Windows and Mac) .
  5. Click Finish. When the process is completed, the drive is identified with a drive letter and its status as Healthy.You can now use the new drive.

** Note: If the drive was previously formatted, the old partition will need to be deleted before reformatting for Windows. To delete a partition, do the following:

  1. Press the “Win + R” key to open RUN dialog box. Type "diskpart", and press Enter. A command window will open.
  2. Type "list disk" and press Enter.
  3. Choose the drive by entering "select disk x"; for example "select disk 1" if it is listed as disk 1. Press Enter.
  4. Type "clean" and press Enter.
  5. The drive's formatting will be removed. It will say "Successful" upon completion.

 
(8)  Why does my computer show that the external hard drive has less capacity than advertised?

A 1TB drive will appear as 931GB after formatting and connecting to a host system. A 500GB drive will appear as 465GB, etc. This is standard in the hard drive industry. The hard drive number is decimal but the computer system shows a binary number. But both numbers reflect the same number of bytes; 1K is 1000 bytes in decimal but 1024 bytes in binary.

 

(9)  My USB powered drive intermittently disconnects and occassionally a clicking sound is heard.

If you are connecting to the front USB ports on a desktop, you should instead connect the drive to USB ports on the rear of the computer. In many cases, front USB ports will not be able to provide full power. Also, iIf you are connecting to a USB Hub, make sure it is a powered Hub (one that uses an AC adapter). If you still have trouble, it could be a sign of a failing hard drive. Please contact our support department for assistance.

 

(10)  How do I use the external hard drive to boot in Mac OS X?

To use any of our hard drives as boot drive for Mac OSX, perform the following steps:

  1. Open Disk Utility
  2. In the left panel, click the external drive and select "Partition" in menu on the right. Choose "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" and name the drive.
  3. Click "Options" at the bottom of the window. If you have an Intel Mac, select "GUID" as the partition scheme. If you have a Power PC Mac, select “Apple Partition Map."
  4. Click "Partition." It will ask to confirm, click "Partition" again and the partitioning process will begin.
  5. Upon completion, you can now install the Operating System. Insert the DVD/CD and start the install. When you start the install, choose the external FireWire drive, which will install the operating system to the external drive. Upon completion, eject the external drive and reboot the Mac to your regular operating system.
  6. After you reboot, connect the external drive to the computer. Open System Preferences and click "Startup Disk." In the list of disks, choose the external drive. Confirm, click restart.
  7. After rebooting you'll be in the new operating system, running directly off your external hard drive.
 
(11) 

How can I create multiple partitions on a drive using Disk Utility on a Mac?

Open Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities) and select the disk in the left column that you want to partition. Click the Partition tab. Choose the number of partitions from the Volume Scheme menu. Click each partition and type a name for it, choose a format, and enter a size.

 
(12)  What types of RAID modes do your products support?

There are many different types of RAID modes. The RAID modes that are implemented in our line of RAID enclosures include the following:  

RAID 0 (Striping) : Provides increased performance by writing alternating blocks of data (referred to as the stripesize) to 2 or more drivessimultaneously. Read performance is also improved since data is read from all drives at the same time. No redundant information is stored and failure of a SINGLE drive will cause all data to be lost. The number of drives in a RAID 0 array is sometimes also referred to as the stripe width. Total capacity is equal to the stripe width times the smallest drive. 

RAID 1 ( Mirroring) : Provides redundancy by writing all data to 2 or more drives. RAID 1 provides no increase in write performance (it may even be a bit slower). Read performance tend to be faster than a single drive, but not as fast as RAID 0. RAID 1 provides excellent data security since ALL drives has to fail before any data is lost. Total capacity is equal to the smallest drive.

RAID 5 (Striping with distributed parity) : Data and parity is striped across 3 or more drives. Parity is distributed to each drive. RAID 5 is the most widely used RAID for servers and other high performance storage solutions. Any single drive can fail without data loss, ie. at least two drives must fail before any data is lost. Total capacity is equal to the number of drives minus 1 times the smallest drive.

RAID 1+0 (Striping and Mirroring) : Sometimes referred to as RAID 10, this mode combines RAID 0 and RAID 1 by striping a mirrored volume. RAID 1+0 has better data security than RAID 0+1.

JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Drives) : Not actually RAID, 2 or more drives, which can be of any size, are recognized as separate drives by the OS. Since JBOD provides no performance increase and reduced data security, it is seldomly used. 

SPAN (Large) : Spanning combines multiple hard drives into a single logical unit. Unlike Striping, Spanning writes data to the first physical drive until it reaches full capacity. When the first disk reaches full capacity, data is written to the second physical disk. Spanning provides the maximum possible storage capacity, but does not increase performance or safety.

 
(13)  Why won't my computer recognize my RAID system?

Windows 2000, XP & MAC OS 10.2 (& older) do not support partitions larger than 2TB. In order to support 2TB+ partitions, you must use Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Mac OS 10.3 or higher. Please note: Windows XP 64-bit and Windows 2003 support 2TB+ when using USB & eSATA, but are limited to 2TB when using FireWire.

 
(14)  How should I format my Mobius 5-Bay RAID system?

We strongly recommend performing a Low Level Format of the entire volume after configuring the RAID mode. This will write zeroes to all sectors of the RAID and define where the tracks and sectors of the RAID are located, which will result in optimal performance. 

To perform a low level format using Windows:

  1. Download and install HDDGURU Low Level Format Tool.
  2. Launch HDDGURU.
  3. Choose the RAID volume to Format. Click Continue.
  4. Go to Low Level Format Tab, then click Format This Device.
  5. It will can take up to 48 hours to finish depending on the connection method and size of RAID.
  6. Upon completion, you can now format it with a file system of your choice using Disk Management. Please see FAQ #8.

To perform a Low Level Format using Mac OSX:

  1. Configure the RAID and connect it to your Mac.
  2. Open Disk Utility. (Applications folder > Utilities > Disk Utility). From the list on the left, click on the external RAID with the size in GB (not the indented item underneath).
  3. Click the 'Erase' tab at the top of the application.
  4. Select the drop down menu under 'Volume Format' and select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or another format if desired.
  5. Click 'Security Options' and select 'Zero Out Data'. Click Ok
  6. Click 'Erase'. You will be presented with an 'Are you Sure' dialog.
  7. Click 'Erase' to perform a Low Level format of the RAID volume.
 
(15)  Does the RAID system remain connected to the host computer and usable during the automatic mirror rebuild?

You still can access the data when the RAID is rebuilding, but since it is rebuilding, the transfer speed will be slowed down. Please note: The typical rebuild time is 50GB to 100GB per hour.

 
(16)  I want to remove a drive from the RAID unit and install it in another enclosure for access to the files. How can I do so?

You can do so for RAID 1(Mirroring) operation. It is important to follow the correct procedure in order to get the data copied from the source HDD to the target HDD.

 
(17) 

What eSATA ExpressCard do you recommend?

For either Windows or Mac, we recommend Sonnet Tempo ExpressCard34, part # TSATAII-E342P or Sonnet Tempo Pro ExpressCard32, part # TSATAII-PRO-E34.

 
(18) 

 Can I change my RAID mode array after I have put data on it?

The stripesize or stripewidth of a RAID 0, RAID 0+1, RAID 0+1, or RAID 5 array can't be changed without deleting and recreating the RAID array. This will cause all data to be lost.

 
(19) 

 I have a 2-Bay RS-M2QO RAID set for Mirror (RAID 1) mode. What is the procedure for removing a drive and installing a new drive so that the data will copy to the new drive?

Disconnect (eject) the RAID system from the computer. Do NOT power the RAID unit off. Remove (hot-swap) an existing HDD and install a new HDD in the empty slot (the new HDD does not need to be formatted). The RAID system will initialize the new HDD, and consider the existing HDD as “source” and newly inserted HDD as “target” to auto-rebuild data. Note: If the user powers off the RAID unit, then removes one of HDD, then inserts the new HDD, then powers on RAID unit, the RAID unit will initialize both HDDs.