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Mac mini running a windows 10 virtual machine
11-01-2015, 11:30 AM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2015 06:03 PM by shibunyc.)
Post: #1
Mac mini running a windows 10 virtual machine
I previously only used my drobo mini on an old Windows XP pc. I virtualized the XP machine into a VMware virtual machine & copied it to my drobo mini which is formatted NTFS.

I have a new mac mini which I am going to use to run the XP virtual machine periodically off of the drobo mini as needed with VM ware Fusion.

Will the mac mini be able to connect to and use the NTFS formatted Drobo mini? Or should I:

1. Copy the XP virtual machine to the mac mini first & then reformat the drobo mini to HFS & then copy the XP virtual machine back to the HFS drobo mini?
-OR-
2. Should I try to get the mac mini to use the NTFS formated drobo mini? I heard that OSX can read NTFS but that in only allows writing to NTFS after a non-trivial system setting change (third party software can apparently automates this).
Can anyone recommend software for this?

Please note that I will be getting rid of the physical XP machine. I have no issue reformatting the Drobo mini to HFS except that two thoughts come to mind. First I wonder if all of this copying of the 143GB XP virtual machine will introduce errors into it. Second, the drobo mini is portable & it would be nice to maintain the option of bringing it into the office if the need ever arose again. The office is all windows except for an iPad & I do not think it will be able to access a Drobo mini formatted to HFS from one of the windows 7 worksations.

I also will be running other virtual machines from the mac min including a Windows 7 or 10 machine if that will make a difference.
Also will the Drobo mini be faster if I connect it to the mac mini with the lightning port or the USB 3.0 port?
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11-02-2015, 12:49 PM
Post: #2
RE: Mac mini running a windows 10 virtual machine
hi, i was just wondering something...
if your office is mainly windows,
and if the drobomini is going to be at the office
and if you are most likely to be accessing the virtual xp machine from windows,
you may as well keep the drobomini in ntfs Smile

but if the drobomini is yours,
and your main use of it is at home
and if you have mac at your home,
then maybe one option could be this:

to have the drobomini in naitive format to your mac
but to create a virtual drive of say 10gb more then what you need, (which is just a single fixed file) sitting within your native drobo filesystem
and to have that virutal drive itself formatted as ntfs
then all you need to do is mount that virtual drive at work, and there should be a tool for accessing mac format via ntfs (i forgot the name of the tools, but i think it was called parallels.

you could simply store the virtual machine within a container (possibly a zip, a rar or an iso filestructure) which could then be accessed (or copied to the windows machine and access/mounted there) using some free tools.

i do not have a mac, and this is just a theory but it might work for you.
(i did something similar minus the mac part, when i needed to store my own version of the cddb so that i wasnt prone to internet outages etc, which was supposed to need unix and would have put hundreds of thousands if not millions of tiny files on my drobo, which i didnt particularly desire, so i simply put them all into 1 single container of i think 10gb within ntfs instead) Smile

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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11-02-2015, 06:05 PM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2015 06:41 PM by shibunyc.)
Post: #3
RE: Mac mini running a windows 10 virtual machine
(11-02-2015 12:49 PM)Paul Wrote:  hi, i was just wondering something...
if your office is mainly windows,
and if the drobomini is going to be at the office
and if you are most likely to be accessing the virtual xp machine from windows,
you may as well keep the drobomini in ntfs Smile
....

The drobo mini will be mainly at home with a rare trip to the office. I wouldn't mind keeping the drobo mini NTFS but wasn't sure if it was possible / practical.
Normally if a USB hard drive is formatted in NTSF format, it will mount when you plug it into a Mac, but you won’t be able to copy files to it. OS X can read NTFS drives, but it can’t write to them. This can normally be fixed this by installing Paragon Software’s "NTSF for Mac OS X". I just don't know if it would work with the Drobo & OsX Drobo Dashboard without causing any issues.

Has anyone used an NTFS drobo mini on a mac?

(11-02-2015 12:49 PM)Paul Wrote:  but if the drobomini is yours,
and your main use of it is at home
and if you have mac at your home,
then maybe one option could be this:

to have the drobomini in naitive format to your mac
but to create a virtual drive of say 10gb more then what you need, (which is just a single fixed file) sitting within your native drobo filesystem
and to have that virutal drive itself formatted as ntfs
then all you need to do is mount that virtual drive at work, and there should be a tool for accessing mac format via ntfs (i forgot the name of the tools, but i think it was called parallels.

I like this option. If the a generic USB drive is formatted for the Mac in HFS Extended format, Windows can recognize it by installing Mediafour’s MacDrive 8 on the Windows system; it enables Windows to use a Mac-formatted drive natively. I am just unsure if it would work with the Drobo & Windows Drobo Dashboard without causing any issues. If I am keeping the drobo mini in HFS, why would I need to create a virtual drive as well? Also how do I create a virtual drive formatted NTFS?

Has anyone used an HFS drobo mini on windows?

Drobo 5N with 1TB WD Red (x2), 4TB WD Black, 6TB WD Black, 6TB WD Red
Drobo 5N with 6TB WD Black (x3)
Drobo mini with 2TB (x4) [HFS diskpack]; 1TB (x2) [NTFS diskpack]
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11-03-2015, 02:05 PM
Post: #4
RE: Mac mini running a windows 10 virtual machine
thanks for confirming,
i have not carried this out myself but this page may help you regarding the access of mac hfs, and sparsebundle virtual drives via windows:
http://blog.fosketts.net/2015/07/22/how-...http://blog.fosketts.net/2015/07/22/how-to-use-mac-os-x-sparse-bundle-di
and
http://www.catacombae.org/hfsexplorer/


if in any doubt please hang in there for others to help too, and hopefully these can help provide some useful reading material in the meantime Smile

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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12-18-2015, 02:46 PM (This post was last modified: 12-31-2015 12:28 PM by shibunyc.)
Post: #5
Lightbulb RE: Mac mini running a windows 10 virtual machine
UPDATE:

(11-02-2015 06:05 PM)shibunyc Wrote:  The drobo mini will be mainly at home with a rare trip to the office. I wouldn't mind keeping the drobo mini NTFS but wasn't sure if it was possible / practical.
Normally if a USB hard drive is formatted in NTSF format, it will mount when you plug it into a Mac, but you won’t be able to copy files to it. OS X can read NTFS drives, but it can’t write to them. This can normally be fixed this by installing Paragon Software’s "NTSF for Mac OS X". I just don't know if it would work with the Drobo & OsX Drobo Dashboard without causing any issues.


In the end, the following steps worked for me:
1. I originally installed VMware Vcenter Converter Standalone on the physical WinXP machine & P2V'd it onto the Drobo mini (NTFS diskpack) via USB 1.0 (extreemly slow. I think this took ~1day to P2V the ~160GB machine).
2. I decided to keep TWO seperate disk packs with the Drobo mini (NTFS and HFS+). I kept the original NTFS diskpack which contained the WinXP VM on it.
3. I connected the Drobo mini to a new OSX El Capitan mac mini via Thunderbolt. When I booted up the Drobo mini with the NTFS diskpack, it was recognized & mounted automatically.
3. I copied the ~160GB WinXP VM to the Mac Mini's internal drive (~22min).
4. I shutdown the Drobo Mini through the Drobo Dashboard.
5. I ejected the NTFS diskpack & inserted my already formatted HFS+ diskpack and booted up the Drobo mini.
6. I copied the WinXP VM from the mac mini's internal drive to the Drobo mini (~25min).
7. I installed Fusion 8 on the mac mini & I was able to boot up the WinXP VM from the Drobo mini!

I hope this post helps anyone in the same situation.

I kept the two seperate diskpacks because I would rather keep the native format if possible. I can always use the NTFS diskpack to get large files from Windows to OsX.

Drobo 5N with 1TB WD Red (x2), 4TB WD Black, 6TB WD Black, 6TB WD Red
Drobo 5N with 6TB WD Black (x3)
Drobo mini with 2TB (x4) [HFS diskpack]; 1TB (x2) [NTFS diskpack]
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12-18-2015, 05:25 PM
Post: #6
RE: Mac mini running a windows 10 virtual machine
thank you for the update, and well done for getting it to work.
(the speeds of the 3rd and 6th step seem pretty good, seems to be about 100-120MB/s especially when compared to the 1st step) Smile

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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