Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Mac Pro HD

I have a mid-2010 Mac Pro (bought late 2010). I bought it with four 1-TB Hard Drives (HD's) but it shipped with only 3 (revised purchase order too), so I bought the fourth from the Apple store then. The HD's have been running near continuously since December 2010, over 5 years.

This last week doing routine tests of the hard drives one of them, the extra one I bought, wouldn't optimize and a surface scan test crashed the application. An application which is supposed to test for, find and report bad blocks crashes when it finds one.

Really, the company said the error message showed it's a rare failure of a hard drive, one they didn't design their application to find, so when it does find one, it crashes. The company got an e-mail full of WTF's, and they said it was on their to do list for the software.

Anyway, that's the first HD I've had fail. I still have two 500 GB HD's from the 2006 G5 PPC working and a 2008 1-TB HD from a Time Machine (removed) working, all in external boxes connected to the Mac Pro for overnight backups and work space. I also have a 2012 2-TB LaCie HD still working.

So the work progressed on the old and new HD. The old one has two recent complete backups on separate HD's, the LaCie and the new Time Machine. The HD was erased and removed, and the new one installed and formatted, and then the content restored.

After that it was the test of applications, mainly iTunes since the HD was dedicated to music files, mostly iTunes but other music applications. And then back to work as usual. I bought two HD's so I have an extra one when one of the other 3 internal HD's fail.

I had thought to replace the logical HD (OS-X) with a 1-TB SSD but at $350 that's not cost effective since the real issue now is replacing the Mac Pro with a new Mac Pro in the next few years, something I don't look forward for the price, because with the price of the configured Pro, I'd have to add an 4-HD external box for the current internal HD's.

I've looked at Mac Mini's, and for much of my work, a Mini would suffice, but for some of the work with applications it wouldn't work as well, and with the number of peripheral equipment (three printers and two scanners), there just isn't enough ports on the Mini.

The decision to replace the Mac Pro will be when Apple releases a version of OS-X which is only backward compatible to later model Pro's, 2012 or later. This will freeze this Mac Pro for OS-X and applications.

This happened with OS-X 10.8 which was not compatible with PPC's or 2006-08 Intel Pro's. So I suspect OS-X 10.12 maybe and 13 definitely, will be the one which excludes this Mac Pro and forces the decision to upgrade or keep it. I delayed the upgrade of the PPC to this Mac for about a year.

That's the story to date. The first HD to fail. At least it wasn't the logical HD with OS-X on it. I have a clone  HD to boot the Mac if that happens. Time will tell.

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