Producing The OnLine Engineer requires a lot of data and that requires hard disks and that mandates backups. So I have a lot of drives, what I would really like is a ten drive RAID 10 rack mount NAS but the real ones cost a lot and the desktop versions I don’t trust. So I have lots of drives.
A while back, a few months ago that is, I bought four Seagate 3TB USB drives from Best Buy, two I made into a mirrored array, or RAID 1 for my TheOLE files and the other two I did the same for other data. These were software RAIDs made with my Mac so they were not fast but I had a backup, which was a good thing!
About 2 weeks ago I noticed that one of the drives had gone off line, I pulled it’s power plug and put it back in and it came right up. But this kept happening. In fact it was happening to one drive each of the two software RAID 1s I had made. I went to Target (who knew they had HDs), it was late Sunday night so no one else was open. There I got two more 3TB drives from Western Digital, I thought I could just substitute the new for the failed, dummy me. Drive is too small was what my Mac told me when I tried to make the new WD drives part of the RAID.
So with the two 3TB drives I made then into one large 6TB drive using the Mac and proceed to direct Crash Plan (backup software) to use them to backup the two remaining 3TB drives. It took 2 days for the transfer.
Now it’s all backed up and one of the remaining 3TB from the original four begins to fail, just like before, going off line and having to power cycle to get it back. Off I go to Best Buy and get another 3TB drive, a My Book from WD and I transfer everything to it. The first drive fails several times during the transfer but I get it all.
I have sent the first two back to Seagate and I hope to have them back soon, then I can send the most resent failure back to them.
In all I now have seven 3TB USB drives, or 21TB of storage, I still remember my first hard drive, a 5MegaByte unit that sat under my Mac and connected via SCSI. This now makes 12 hard disks I have, none less than a TerraByte. And that does not count the four I have inside my Power Mac.
Once I did not pay attention to a failing drive, it went off line and I would bring it back and not think about it till one day it did not come back, and I realized that there was data on it I did not have. It cost me $1200 to recover the data using a data recovery company, so I move quickly when I think one is failing.