Everybody knows disks fail eventually. The question isn’t “will they fail ?”, but rather “when will they fail ?”. I already copied important data to 2 different disks as a backup; now I replaced this system with a WD World Edition II 2 TB, since it can be configured in RAID 1.
By default it comes as one large spanned 2 TB partition. Not very interesting for my setup. So the first thing I did was to change the disk setup to RAID 1. Here is how:
Connecting and starting up the drive:
I simply used a crossed cable which I to connect my PC to the WD World Edition II (but of course you can use straight UTP cables and a switch, hub, …). Plug in the power cable in the drive, push the power on button on the front and wait (approx. 3 minutes) for the system to start up completely (yep, there is a Linux based OS in there).
Shared Storage Manager:
Enter the Shared Storage Manager: http://mybookworld.
The first time you enter this address, the Initial Setup will be started. You’ll have to enter the default user name and password (which can be found in the User Guide on the CD-ROM which comes with the product; or you can download the PDF file from the wdc site). Now you’ll be able to change the default password (looks like a good idea given the ease of finding the default user name and password), the name of the drive (from mybookworld to for example mybigdrive) and to set the date and Time Zone.
Changing drive – WARNING: this erases all data on the disk !
Then click on Drive Management. Now select Change Drive Type, and select Secure volume (raid 1). Click on Change Drive Type, and confirm (Yes, I’m sure). After +/- 30 minutes you should be able to use the disk, but rebuilding the RAID 1 configuration may take up several hours.
Then I created a share, created another user, and that’s it basically. In fact that’s more or less the minimum you should configure to start.
First minimum create one user, let’s call him wdusr. Click File Sharing, click User Management, Create User, and select a user name (wdusr) and password. Then select the access (full, read only or none).
Then click on Add a Shared Folder. This will launch a simple wizard, which will allow to create a share (for example myshare) on the entire volume only (which is what we need now).
Now you can connect to your drive by using Map Network Drive, or a Net Use command.
For example: NET USE W: \\mybigdrive\myshare /user:wdcusr YourPassword (or don’t put YourPassword in there, then you’ll have the opportunity to type it afterwards).
Using the method above, I did not had to install the WD Anywhere Access software, which did not look necessary to me, and could only slow down performance even more. Speaking of performance: really try to use a 1 GB NIC and for example a cross cable (or a decent Gigabit switch). Even this is not that quick: 100Mbit or slower is really painfully slow. If you are looking for performance, I guess the WD My Book Studio Edition II will be much more interesting (a drive which also allows mirroring, but has USB 2.0 and FireWire 400/800), or solutions of other brands of course.