A couple of weeks ago, one of the Time Capsules I have died.
After a little searching, I discovered that TCs built in march, 2008 (like mine) came with some problems – however I do not feel bad, because the users reporting those problems lost theirs about 13 months after purchase, while mine lasted well over 5 years, no doubt thanks to the fact I installed it on a ventilated pod that kept the temperature from rising too much.
This made me realize how exposed I am in that department – backing up to a system that eventually will break down is not a very smart idea, so I decided NOT to replace the faulty TC with another one, but rather with a 2-bay Synology Disk Station with two 4TB hard disks in RAID1. This way, should one of the drive fail, I can simply replace it with another one, without having to worry about losing any data.
Installation and configuration was very simple, and so was re-routing the existing Time Machines to the new system: back up seems a lot faster than with the old Time Capsules, but maybe it’s just an impression:
I then started wondering whether I could use this NAS unit to do a little more, like for example streaming my digitized videos to any computer on my network or to my HD TV. Additionally, I think you can through the same trick make available your iTunes library to all computers on the network and, maybe, re-purpose one or two 1TB drives I have lying around. The software that comes with the Disk Station is all web-based and has an ugly Windows-esque look, which would be a minor fault except it’s a bit hard to figure out. Anyway, I discovered that the external USB disk must be formatted in the native FS, so the LaCIE Quadra unit (the one with a big blue dot) is undergoing ETX4 formatting right now.
I also discovered another LaCIE unit where I backed up all my media files (not pictured) seems not to be working, which is very annoying since it would mean re-ripping everything, do’h! but have not yet discovered how to add files to the Video Station application which should then make them available to any computer on my network.
Apr. 21st update: the old 500GB drive appears to be working only sporadically, but somehow during the night it mounted itself, so I took advantage of this stroke of luck to copy everything to the Synology unit – I suspect the problem is (as usual) overheating, but it is clear this drive cannot be trusted any longer, so I’ll discard it. It would be interesting to see if the 1TB TC can be repurposed as external drive, as this seems to be working quite well. The iTunes Server was easy to set up, but not so the Video Server, so I switched to the Plex Media Server which I had to install twice (maybe conflicting with the Video Station?) and am now telling it where to find my media files