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First Look: Micronet miniMate
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blazer
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jdryyz wrote:


On the subject of "sleep", I want to mention I that I am receiving just the opposite behavior that others have posted. My drive not only spins down when I put the Mac to sleep, it also goes to sleep all by itself! I haven't yet timed exactly when this happens, but it is definitely happening before my specified sleep time of 3 hours. Anyone have any clues what might be causing this? Could it be the drive itself or something about the enclosure? I checked my energy saving preferences and the box to "put my drives to sleep when possible" is unchecked. Damaged prefs file perhaps?


I have the 160GB miniMate. I don't keep it on all the time because it's too noisy. Luckily the ports will work without the power turned on. I'm not sure what's causing your drive to go to sleep. I kind of wish mine would do that because mine never spins down (or more like shuts up). I was going to tell you to check energy saving, but you have the box to "put my drives to sleep when possible" unchecked. You might try fixing the disk permissions in Disk Utility.

Have you ever called Micronet support about the problem? How long have you had it? I've had mine since they first came out. I wonder if they have made changes to the chipset causing the spindown. Confused
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jdryyz
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will try running the permissions check/repair. It is probably not be a good idea to contact MicroNet, however, since I broke the warranty seal when I swapped out their crappy drive with my own. Incidentally, I've never known the drive to spin down unexpectedly in the other systems I've used it in. This is the first I've seen it do this.


Quote:

I have the 160GB miniMate. I don't keep it on all the time because it's too noisy. Luckily the ports will work without the power turned on. I'm not sure what's causing your drive to go to sleep. I kind of wish mine would do that because mine never spins down (or more like shuts up). I was going to tell you to check energy saving, but you have the box to "put my drives to sleep when possible" unchecked. You might try fixing the disk permissions in Disk Utility.

Have you ever called Micronet support about the problem? How long have you had it? I've had mine since they first came out. I wonder if they have made changes to the chipset causing the spindown. Confused
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jdryyz
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:14 pm    Post subject: MiniMate and Acomdata MiniPal Reply with quote

Wow. I didn't think I would be reviving a nearly 5 year old thread.

So my Micronet MiniMate has been serving me very well for many years now, even happily accepting two hard drive upgrades since my original swap. It has not been entirely perfect, however.

Once in a blue moon, I will power the unit on to find that my two partitions did not mount. All other devices (USB & firewire) attached to the unit work fine. When I first saw this happen, I feared the worst-- that the hard drive failed entirely. This was not the case. The drive simply became invisible to the enclosure, as if it was no longer attached. I disassembled everything and gave it a good inspection. I paid close attention to where to circuit board mates with the IDE connector on the drive and noticed that it is not a very secure connection. The only thing I could do about it was to expand the pins on the hard disk side in hopes that a firm connection could be attained.

This seemed to work...for a while. I suppose the expansion and contraction caused by heat eventually interferes with the IDE connection and the drive again becomes invisible. The pattern seems to be something in the neighborhood of 6 months to a year. Not too bad to be a major concern but I recently decided to store video files in addition to music and want to have increased reliability. I also discovered that if I ever wanted to expand the drive capacity beyond 500GB, I would have to find something with SATA capability.

Much to my dismay, I discovered that the use of the same aluminum construction in these Mac Mini-style hard drive enclosures was rare. The trend instead leaned toward the cheaper plastic cases. I recall that I originally bought into one of these prior to finding the Minimate and was disgusted with the noisy fan, inverted drive mounting, flimsy rocker-style power switch and, oh yeah, the fact that it didn't even work!

Micronet discontinued the MiniMate long ago but I remembered that there was a very similar model available from Acomdata. Aside from the rather large logo and activity light on the front, it appeared to be nearly identical. The MiniPal offers all the same expansion as the MiniMate in the back including a fourth USB port. I checked online to see if they were still being sold and found a few sites still carrying them. The prices seemed fair as well. I only needed the smallest capacity since I would be moving my existing drive over anyway. I did some research on Acomdata's site as well and found that they were selling the 320GB model for only $49! It did not appear to be a refurbished/recertified unit so I placed my order.
Due to the low price, I imagine they're trying to clear out old stock.

I received the new enclosure yesterday. My intent was to move the new PCB & base to the Micronet cover so as to keep the preferred looks of the original. The parts swap went well for both units. The 320GB drive that came with MiniPal was actually a good model from WD so I mated that with the Micronet PCB and MiniPal top cover . It will serve as a backup.

So my problems are over, right? Not so fast! Now when my Mac Mini goes to sleep, the drive connected to the newer PCB no longer spins down! My previous message above may have implied that I did not like this behavior but I want to be clear that it is definitely preferred. I even tried ejecting the partitions but the drive remains spinning! This is contrary to every other firewire enclosure I've used in the past. Not good for my setup because I want to conserve power while my media server is idle.

So......does anyone know why my drive behavior suddenly changed while connected to the newer PCB? Could this have been some intentional design change? The two boards have revision dates separated by only two months, both in the year 2005. Is there any jumper setting on the drive itself I could use to restore the spin down?
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