Top critical review
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Lion issues, potentially fiddly setup and no manual switch for RAID setup
on 12 October 2011
This drive arrived today and I've had a number of issues with it already, although I have no idea how the drive operates in practise yet.
I bought this drive purely for its ability to work as a mirrored RAID. My plan is to use it with my Mac and to store home video on it (the mirroring working as an automatic backup since I don't trust hard drives with my memories!)
First impressions: nice packaging but the unit itself does feel flimsy on the sides. Overall it's fine and would, I imagine, complement a Mac Pro very well.
So, onto setup...
* Firstly I used Disk Utility, hoping to use that to set it up as a RAID. This didn't work however and I quickly released I had to use the software supplied. This is where it went downhill.
* All I wanted to do was set it up as RAID 1 - I had to install the software for this.
* The software on CD was installed, but didn't work (something should have been installed on the menu at the top).
* I looked on the Internet and had to find the new version that works with OS X Lion.
* I installed that version and it finally appeared in the top menu bar. It did not, however, show the hard drive as connected.
* I used Firewire instead of USB and the drive appeared and I was able to set it up as required.
My main problem, apart from this process taking much longer than it should, is that I absolutely resent having to install software to set something up as simple as this. I just need a manual switch: RAID 0 / RAID 1.
Also, I can't stand software that installs itself into the menu. It reminds me of the old AOL days. It's a pain to get rid of (find original CD/installer and remove that way) and for something like setting up a RAID, I probably won't need to do it again anyway so I don't want a Western Digital logo on the top of my screen forever.
I'd still be irritated if it were a normal app, but at least I could have deleted it with ease.
Anyway - I'm sure the drive itself will work well enough and most people - I just had to vent some anger before getting on with some real work!