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View Full Version : My VT4 Computer Nightmare! (almost)



stevestrike
07-24-2005, 02:52 PM
I wanted to share with you guys something that happened to me this weekend. Maybe it will prompt you to make a change in your system, or maybe you'll just find it amusing. We use our VT4 system for live switching and video playback during our church's two Sunday services. Without our VT4, there is no way to get anything to the projection screens--song lyrics, camera shots, the pastor's notes, video clips, announcements, and well, you get the idea.

Saturday Night 9:30pm I get a phone call from someone who had been rendering a last minute video for services the next day. He tells me the VT4 "crashed and it's not coming back up." Doh!

Saturday Night 10:00pm I arrive at the church and begin to look over the system. I hear that one of the system drives has begun clicking, and is not recognized in the BIOS. Fortunately, the system drive is a mirrored set. I shut down the power, pull the bad drive, and boot up. Everything is working again!

This morning, we had services as if nothing had ever happened. This week, I will RMA the defective drive, and rebuild the mirror. We were very lucky to have had this mirror in place! That little 80GB HDD was the best $60 I've spent in a long time. Not only did it save our services this morning, but it also saved me several hours of rebuilding the VT4 and reinstalling all our software.

So, to pose a question in this thread, how do you all backup your video drives? Our drives are on the Newtek recommended "Hard drives...should be striped in Windows", but if one of those drives fail we lose everything. I though about installing a 300GB IDE drive, and copying all the data from the video stripe to the IDE each night just to have an extra copy around. Any other ideas?

PIZAZZ
07-24-2005, 04:13 PM
Steve you are on the right path. We pretty much on every system we build mirror our System drives now. As far as the drive array well that can be a bit more tricky. We have some mission critical systems with RAID 5 storage systems in them. We can even hot swap a failing drive out of those systems and while the bandwidth is limited for a while, the system is still useable.

A simple solution for content backup is to use a Firewire 800 drive ie. Lacie 1 Terabyte Bigger Disk. For maximum speed to backup your data I suggest the Firewire 800 interface. You will need a FW800 card in your PC to maximize the speed during backups. Of course with this fast of interface you will also be able to play clips directly from the external drive. Having your storage backup external is better than internal because if your VT's power supply dies and takes any components with it... you still will have your content on the externally powered drive.

I would suggest using a program like Ghost or a new one I really like from Acronis. True Image for Workstations. You can schedule a backup clone or image to your external drive. Great power for $50.

ScorpioProd
07-24-2005, 05:26 PM
Though I realize an imaging program is the best way to back up a system drive, is there really an advantage to using it for a video array?

I would think just dragging and dropping the folders on a video array to an external backup drive would be the better way since you could still directly access the files and such. No?

Jim Capillo
07-24-2005, 05:49 PM
I would think just dragging and dropping the folders on a video array to an external backup drive would be the better way since you could still directly access the files and such. No?

That's the way I've been doing, Eugene. It would seem to add time to the whole process to use an external program........

PIZAZZ
07-24-2005, 06:09 PM
Though I realize an imaging program is the best way to back up a system drive, is there really an advantage to using it for a video array?

I would think just dragging and dropping the folders on a video array to an external backup drive would be the better way since you could still directly access the files and such. No?

No. I am talking about scheduled backups not having to baby sit it. I prefer automation. The software I recommended can do an image or a clone. There is a difference. A clone is the exact same content in a read able format just the same as copying and pasting. Also the software can verify the files and folders are exact copies. If you just copied and pasted then you need to verify the file counts yourself. Automation makes some things easier. I am talking about complete backup of the Video Array not just certain projects. Of course you could do that if you like.


That's the way I've been doing, Eugene. It would seem to add time to the whole process to use an external program........

But Jim if you are sitting and waiting for the files to copy.... what is adding time then? I set up the program to do it's duties late at nite and no worries or time wasted in the day.

Look into the software and you will see what I mean.

Jim Capillo
07-25-2005, 03:43 AM
But Jim if you are sitting and waiting for the files to copy.... what is adding time then? I set up the program to do it's duties late at nite and no worries or time wasted in the day.

Look into the software and you will see what I mean.

I know what you mean, Jef. I'm just one of those guys who shuts everything off at the end of the day..... and that's another story ;)

Drag and drop is real easy - takes less than 10 seconds. I put every project in its own folder, so it's simple to start a copy - one folder, *bang*, then I can do something else while the copy goes.

Rich Deustachio
07-25-2005, 09:49 AM
Jim, I was doing that after my projects were finished, but in light of my recent RAID array crash I will be doing it every night.

Jim Capillo
07-25-2005, 12:23 PM
Jim, I was doing that after my projects were finished, but in light of my recent RAID array crash I will be doing it every night.

Yup, probably a smart thing to do, Rich.......