Switching cables... best practices??

OK, so I have the drobo mini tucked away at the back of my (corner) desk - totally inaccessible. But it makes the noise less disturbing (of both the drobo fans, and the extra fan I have blowing air at the bottom of it).

And in front of that, is a great awkward 27-inch iMac perched on a riser.
Right now I have the drobo mini ‘permanently’ plugged in to the iMac thunderbolt port.

The thing is, from time to time I would like to raid the files on the drobo using the Quad-Xeon Windows 8 workstation over on the other side of the desk. I have the correct USB3 cable, ready to plug in.

But it’s VERY AWKWARD to reach the drobo, I practically need a ladder to get past the iMac at the drobo, wedged in the corner between two walls.

So I’m wondering how I can make this as painless as possible. Unplugging the TB connector from the the back of the iMac is pretty onerous. Even more onerous would be disconnecting either cable from the drobo!!

I’m thinking that ideally I would just leave BOTH the TB and the USB3 cable plugged in to the drobo.

[size=large]Can I do this?[/size]

I’m OK with unplugging the USB3 from the Win8 workstation ‘most of the time’, as it is easy to reach.

My plan would be to simply power down the iMac (leaving the TB cable plugged into it, as its very awkward to reach back there) - and THEN plug the USB3 cable into the Win8 workstation, to access files on it. When done, unplug the USB3 cable from the Win8 workstation, then power the iMac back on.

Is that feasible? Or is it necessary to physically unplug the TB cable from the iMac, even when it is powered off?

Is it OK to leave the TB cable and the USB3 cable always plugged in to the drobo mini, as long as the USB3 cable is not connected to anything?

Enquiring minds want to know!!

Incidentally, I do have ParagonHFS driver installed on the Win8 workstation, so it should be able to read the files on the drive ok…

I don’t think this is an issue, if both connections are not active, it seems feasible…

To be on the safe side ensure that the Mac is shutdown and not on standby and unplug the USB 3 from your PC when not in use.

hi, i was just wondering something too…

can you hook up your mac to the drobo mini via usb?
if so, what if you only used 1 usb cable, which is always plugged into the drobo,
and whenever you want to use it on pc, you just safely disconnect it from the mac (via dashboard or whatever is the correct procedure to eject from mac etc), and then unplug the usb from mac and attach it to the pc via that same cable?

Hi Paul,

I think it should work. Since there is only one active connection it all times…