After about 3 or 4 months of struggling with Western Digital’s World Book Pro, I gave up and decided to try an HP home server. When I purchased the World Book online there were a few commenters that had a terrible time with the hardware. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how to take those comments because, as we all know, there are brand haters out there that poo-poo products because of the brand. Unfortunately my experience wasn’t very good (and I did give feedback to Western Digital on my experience). For the most part, the World Book software is unstable. I was able to get the drive to be recognized on only one of 4 of our computers. On the computer that it did “work” on, performance was spotty with the drive randomly disconnecting or losing its share permissions. Anyhow, the drive started acting like it was about to crash, so I spent a lot of time last weekend trying rescue my data (600GB!!!). Strangely enough, the hardware stopped working on the one PC it did work on and so I was scrambling, again, to make the drive work. It wouldn’t install on the Blackbird002 — it seemed to be occupying multiple USB controllers. It did, though, work on the first laptop that I had originally tried, after I removed the other external drives attached to that laptop. Sigh … I did lose some data. I don’t know the extent of the loss yet, though.
Onto the home server. Installation was pretty straightforward. We decided to only set-up the basic things and wait until later to set-up website sharing (Steve’s paranoia kicked in). Contrary to the instructions, we only had to set up the controller console on one computer. To access the files on another computer, we just connect using one of the accounts we set up. After getting the server up, it took less that 5-mins to redirect the Bittorrent client to the server and to start transferring data from the World Book and our other computers. So far, I’ve moved about 250GB of data. My final goal in this is to get all the media data off the the external drives and the computers in our network and centralized it to the home media server. I’m a little worried about transferring our musics and getting iTunes happy, but that’s a bridge I’ll cross later this week. As for the external drives, my hope is to connect them to the media server. We have 3 external drives — 120GB, 500GB, and 1TB (World Book). I’m hoping, after reformatting, I can add the World Book’s capacity to the media server (I’m not feeling good about it though, since it doesn’t seem to work without with WD software). I’ll report back in next week after completing the set-up and data migration.