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View Full Version : Major Bummer,External Drive



monfoodoo
02-03-2009, 12:08 AM
My external hard drive just crashed.I lost ALL of my LW works and thousands of collected textures.This weekend i was discussing backing up files at work that are on an external and mine crashes.It started cliching,so i tried to copy all to my second internal before anything happened,but it beat me to it.All the files where gone but not the folders.then the folders where gone.Now the drive is gone.Years of work and collecting,not mention all the final renders and the music files.I,m not sick yet about it.it hasn't hit me yet,or i'm in total denial.so spend the money and backup your backup.Now ,i'm getting qweezy.

Alkaline
02-03-2009, 12:11 AM
My external hard drive just crashed.I lost ALL of my LW works and thousands of collected textures.This weekend i was discussing backing up files at work that are on an external and mine crashes.It started cliching,so i tried to copy all to my second internal before anything happened,but it beat me to it.All the files where gone but not the folders.then the folders where gone.Now the drive is gone.Years of work and collecting,not mention all the final renders and the music files.I,m not sick yet about it.it hasn't hit me yet,or i'm in total denial.so spend the money and backup your backup.Now ,i'm getting qweezy.

:eek:

Sorry to hear that monfoodoo, it really sucks when that happens. I've had it happen a few times in the past (I still haven't learned to backup my files). I'd recommend buying a micro sd card and backing your files up to that (they're inexpensive, and can hold a lot of data depending on the size you get).

hrgiger
02-03-2009, 03:54 AM
Sorry to hear that. Makes me worried about everything I have on my external. How long did you own it and what kind is it? Maybe I should think about getting that online store system, what's it called that backs up all your files? Did something happen to make it crash, elecrical surge, UFO, eletro-magnetic pulse? Yes, silly, but I'm serious when I ask if there was something that contributed to it.

accom
02-03-2009, 04:22 AM
Have you considered proffesionals that deal with retreiving data from crashed HDisks? Just a thought. If it happened to me and the data would be really important, I'd risk a few bucks.

Red_Oddity
02-03-2009, 06:08 AM
Next time, work from a RAID system or drive (either mirrored or RAID 5 or 6), when one or more disks go (depending on the RAID controller) you won't loose your work, just a parity disk.

Even a simple 600 euro pc with 4 to 6 disks and Linux OS makes a good small server to work from.

And backup your work (we are all guilty of not backing up data as the only really reliable backup system is still tape, which still costs an arm and a leg)

Lightwolf
02-03-2009, 06:20 AM
...as the only really reliable backup system is still tape...
Not quite. I've got plenty of tapes with massive problems...

There is no 100% reliable back up... unless you invest time, double check and copy your data every now and then.

Cheers,
Mike

bobakabob
02-03-2009, 06:36 AM
Sorry to hear about your data loss. So you stored no files on your computer's internal hard drive? Hopefully you can get a data retrieval expert to break into the case and take a look at the disc.

After my own bad luck with external hard drives, I learned not to trust them and have since fixed a drive bay to swap out a couple of hard drives for storage.

Even that isn't foolproof... a friend of mine who is obsessive about storage once had a hard drive and two externals fail in one day. What are the odds?

Seems that external drives don't like being attached to / unplugged from PCs when in use (also applies to swappable hard drives!!)... and it's easy to forget about the 'Safely Remove Hardware' facility.

colkai
02-03-2009, 06:42 AM
I feel your pain, it only occurred to me the other day I didn't have a backup of data from the last 6 months, some stuff I've not backed up in 2 years. Think I know what I'll be doing tonight!



Seems that external drives don't like being attached to / unplugged from PCs when in use (also applies to swappable hard drives!!)... and it's easy to forget about the 'Safely Remove Hardware' facility.

I got bit by this last weekend, got too 'casual' about it and fubar'd my external USB, which thankfully at the time, was only acting as fast way of transferring data between PC's so no permanent harm done. Even if it did require a complete re-format to sort it out. :( Wasn't even writing to it, but it obviously had file channels open as I got a FAT error trying to reuse it, the disk check showed just how badly it was hosed.

biliousfrog
02-03-2009, 07:00 AM
Even that isn't foolproof... a friend of mine who is obsessive about storage once had a hard drive and two externals fail in one day. What are the odds?


The odds are not as low as you'd think, especially if the drives were bought at the same time and used the same amount. That often catches people with a RAID setup that don't have an extra hot-swap drive, all drives have a certain life span, it's quite likely that when one drive fails another one will shortly follow.

I'm actually looking at network RAID storage right now. Currently I have all current projects on my workstation's RAID which is mirrored onto an external drive along with all archived projects and the library and that is mirrored onto a NAS drive once a day. It's a bit extreme but I learned the hard way and I wouldn't expect a client to be sympathetic.

I can highly recommend this: http://www.genie-soft.com/products/gbmpro/gb/default.html , it makes backups a breeze, I often don't realise that it's already doing it in the background.

Mitja
02-03-2009, 07:04 AM
...time for backup...
You are living my worst nightmare, I'm sorry.
You see, it's these things that makes you wish real life would have "undos".
(ctrl+z fan here)

Skonk
02-03-2009, 07:04 AM
Im pretty sure you could recover the data if your willing to spend a bit of cash sending it to a profesional.

I guess it's down to how much the lost data is worth to you but its unlikely that the part of the drive that holds the actual data is damaged, it'l be the moving parts that handle reading it that have died.

Short of it is the data is most likely still there.

akademus
02-03-2009, 07:21 AM
It happened to me couple of times. I hated it.

On the bright side you got rid of all unnecessarily junk :)

Red_Oddity
02-03-2009, 08:42 AM
Not quite. I've got plenty of tapes with massive problems...

There is no 100% reliable back up... unless you invest time, double check and copy your data every now and then.

Cheers,
Mike

That's true, still tape has quite a long lifespan (when offcourse stored properly and not being used too frequently), still better than burning backups to CD/DVD/BluRay, which has an average life span of 3 years (if your lucky) or HDDs, where the electronics often die when you accidentally touched the electronic parts on the device one too many times while swapping (though euro/dollar per GB, HDDs are a good tradeoff between lifespan and reliability).

Best way besides backups to protect your work is to run from a RAID with an extra hot swap drive in case of a failure combined with a mirror (prefably off site, because worst case scenario, if your place burns to the ground, you can still work from another location to finish the job and not loose all your clients that you are working for at the moment, or get sued for meesing with a campaign that needs your material, depending offcourse on how well you've covered your a** with a contract or production insurance.)

Oh, and if you really really need the data, there's a good chance the platters of the disk are still okay, but it's just the mechanism that has died, so more than often data can be retrieved (but you can bet your behind that is will cost alot, not trying to make you more depressed than you probably already are,i lost too many disks due to drive failures, but have finally learned from it.)

TheGarf
02-03-2009, 08:46 AM
C'mon guys, doesn't everybody have a NAS (network attached storage) yet to store their files and backups??? :D Most NASses nowdays are very easy to setup and maintain and most of them com with RAID1 and\or RAID5 configuration.

Check out these manufacturers for all-in-one solutions:
http://www.netgear.com/Products/Storage.aspx?for=Home+Networking
http://www.synology.com/enu/index.php

Or build your own NAS from an old PC and a good RAID card and install the opensource Linux based freeNAS software to manage it (http://www.freenas.org/)

No more sleepless nights about data safety for me :)

Lightwolf
02-03-2009, 09:02 AM
C'mon guys, doesn't everybody have a NAS (network attached storage) yet to store their files and backups??? :D
No, we've got a proper server with a RAID-5 plus hot spare ;)

On the other hand, as mentioned before, if you have three drives out of 6 failing within 12 hours on a 5+1 Raid 5 set-up (as we did)... then you better have a backup strategy as well (RAID isn't a backup to start with).

Cheers
Mike

philipsavage
02-03-2009, 09:09 AM
This is a very strange story. I have two LaCie drives attached to my PC. About 2 months ago one of them decided not to mount and no matter what I did it just sat there whirring and clicking at me. I was working out what I had lost when a friend suggested I swop over the transformers. You can imagine what I said to him and what I thought of his idea, but he said it worked for him. So, I did it and it worked and has continued to work since.
Very Odd!!

Lightwolf
02-03-2009, 09:39 AM
My external hard drive just crashed.
Just as a dumb question... did it crash or doesn't start up? If it is a recent Seagate drive that may be due to a problem with their firmware. I just wanted to mention it in case you missed the news:

http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/news.jsp?DocId=207931

Cheers,
Mike

monfoodoo
02-03-2009, 09:48 AM
I've had this drive for about 3 years,with no problems.Every now and then i'd think,"I should back this up".But i didn't.That last work i had in the LW finished dept,"Harley Trike"was the only file i did using my second Internal hard drive.At least i have that.Alot of time went into that piece.Just returned from BestBuy with two Externals.One for me and one for my girlfriend who does alot of Web work.Also i may be looking into some online storage.

ingo
02-03-2009, 09:52 AM
Backup to MO-drives or DVD-Ram works fine, much better than everything else like CD, Tape or whatever.

Otherwise your HD crash symtoms sound odd, more like a virus than crashing. And 3 years is a short time for a HD, i rebuild my HDs every 1-2 years (copy files, format, copy files back).

TheGarf
02-03-2009, 11:26 AM
I've had this drive for about 3 years,with no problems.Every now and then i'd think,"I should back this up".But i didn't.That last work i had in the LW finished dept,"Harley Trike"was the only file i did using my second Internal hard drive.At least i have that.Alot of time went into that piece.Just returned from BestBuy with two Externals.One for me and one for my girlfriend who does alot of Web work.Also i may be looking into some online storage.

There are proffesional companies like http://www.drivesavers.com/ that can even recover crashed harddisks but this is usually quite expensive. If the data is really important to you it might be worth it though...

TheGarf
02-03-2009, 11:36 AM
No, we've got a proper server with a RAID-5 plus hot spare ;)

On the other hand, as mentioned before, if you have three drives out of 6 failing within 12 hours on a 5+1 Raid 5 set-up (as we did)... then you better have a backup strategy as well (RAID isn't a backup to start with).

Cheers
Mike

True, if your server get's hit by some disaster you still loose your data. Mirroring the data to a professional data warehouse or another server on a different location is probably a better solution.
On my workstation I have my disks in a RAID 1 configuration and I make backups of it regularily with Acronis TrueImage to my RAID 5 ReadyNAS but I still don't feel 100% secure... It's much better though than what I used to do in the past, I lost quite some data because of crashing disks (especially Maxtor, those are evil).

Lightwolf
02-03-2009, 11:41 AM
(especially Maxtor, those are evil).
Toshiba in my case.Then again, I've had Seagates and Maxtors go down as well...

Cheers,
Mike

ingo
02-03-2009, 12:16 PM
I've had this drive for about 3 years,with no problems.Every now and then i'd think,"I should back this up".But i didn't.That last work i had in the LW finished dept,"Harley Trike"was the only file i did using my second Internal hard drive.At least i have that.Alot of time went into that piece.Just returned from BestBuy with two Externals.One for me and one for my girlfriend who does alot of Web work.Also i may be looking into some online storage.

Just curious, what happend when you used your HD repair software ??

Myagi
02-03-2009, 12:18 PM
Horrible stuff.

I set up a file/backup server with two drives, where one is normally (physically) turned off, then I'll periodically (as in once a week or whatever, depending on how much new stuff there is) mirror the main drive to the backup (with rsync). While both drives came from the same batch, it shouldn't be much of a problem considering one is only on a tiny fraction of the time compared to the other.

I mirror from my workstation(s) to the file server, using rsync, whenever it makes sense. The absolutely most important stuff is also backed up to an (encrypted) online storage service. And for good measure snapshots of selected stuff is burned to CD/DVD on occasion.

No, I'm not paranoid *cough* :)

hrgiger
02-03-2009, 12:54 PM
So backing up to CD's/DVD's is no good? Did I hear someone say a lifespan of 3 years? I thought it would be more then that. Same for Blue-rays?

monfoodoo
02-03-2009, 12:59 PM
I took the drive to a guy at the local PC repair and he showed me how to remove the actual drive from the case and hook it up to the second input on the ribbon in my PC (set drive input to slave) and see if it will read that way.he said it's possible that it may have been a failure in the USB board in the external.Since the drive never made any strange sounds and always performed well,i may (though slim),have a chance of recovery.

Snosrap
02-03-2009, 02:00 PM
On the bright side you got rid of all unnecessarily junk :)

Ouch!! :D

art
02-03-2009, 03:10 PM
I had some bad experiences with stuff burned on memorex DVDs (supposedly not that good). After a few years they became partially unreadable on any drive. I bought some taiyo yuden dvds which are supposed to last longer, but I do not trust them entirely either. No problems so far. At least with dvd I can usually recover some files. If a hard drive crashes, it's usually all gone.

I had more than one hard drive crash and lost moderate amounts of data too. I do not store anything important on hard drives over a long periods of time anymore.

A friend of mine suggested a fee based online backup. The service he's using gives unlimited storage at $49 a year. It requires special client software that can be run from a single PC only. Does anyone have any experiences (good/bad) with online backup sites? Of course I'd encrypt anything I posted onto one of those.

I considered tapes before, but Lightwolf just changed my mind.

And lastly, use caution when using external drives with long usb cables when you have young kids running around :D

art
02-03-2009, 03:23 PM
And, seriously Mike, the second top poster without a core avatar? That's just not right ;)

bobakabob
02-03-2009, 04:33 PM
A friend of mine suggested a fee based online backup. The service he's using gives unlimited storage at $49 a year. It requires special client software that can be run from a single PC only. Does anyone have any experiences (good/bad) with online backup sites? Of course I'd encrypt anything I posted onto one of those.


Do they back up?! They might get hacked or go bust. We're all doomed 8~

hrgiger
02-03-2009, 04:43 PM
A friend of mine suggested a fee based online backup. The service he's using gives unlimited storage at $49 a year. It requires special client software that can be run from a single PC only. Does anyone have any experiences (good/bad) with online backup sites? Of course I'd encrypt anything I posted onto one of those.



No, I hear the carbonite ads all the time and have considered doing it. Here's PC magazines reviews of some: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2288745,00.asp

Strider_X
02-03-2009, 04:51 PM
You can try looking here (C:\Documents and Settings\"your user name"\Local Settings\Temp\lwhub) for things you last worked on, no textures but still something.
This only works if the hub was enabled.

I had a backup server's power supply fry six drives during a brown out were I live. I learn my lesson then, to keep something you have to back it up twice.

art
02-03-2009, 05:08 PM
Do they back up?! They might get hacked or go bust. We're all doomed 8~

I would imagine that the credible companies do proper backups (multiple snapshots, offsite storage etc) and would allow customers enough time to retrieve their backups before completely pulling the plug. But one can never be 100% safe, true.


No, I hear the carbonite ads all the time and have considered doing it. Here's PC magazines reviews of some: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2288745,00.asp

I'll check them out. I'm mostly concerned about my digital photos. My wife "develops" some of them, but the majority of the photographs we keep in digital format only. I'd hate to lose it all one day. I keep telling my friends who keep their photos on hard drives w/o backups that it will hit them one day.

hrgiger
02-03-2009, 06:21 PM
And since CDs/DVDs have a shelf life, I assume that after a while the media just becomes unreadable. What if you copy the content before that time? Does the quality suffer? Like say a disk has a life of 10 years, but at 8 years, you burn a copy of it onto another 10 year disc and throw the older one out. Can you keep doing that indefinitely or will it become unreadable at some point because of the whole copying process? I mean, I'd like to think that after mankind is long gone, another species will find us and enjoy my pictures of my trip to Vegas just as much as I do on some nigh permanent storage device.

art
02-03-2009, 10:07 PM
You should be fine if you copy the content before disc dies. Ideally, with digital data the quality should not suffer after copying. Isn't that why RIAA et. al. are getting mad?

colkai
02-04-2009, 02:04 AM
I had some bad experiences with stuff burned on memorex DVDs (supposedly not that good). After a few years they became partially unreadable on any drive. I bought some taiyo yuden dvds which are supposed to last longer, but I do not trust them entirely either.

I also now only use Taiyo Yuden dvds, they are supposed to be vastly superior. In the past, I've lost data from DVD's, but they were the early ones and cheap.
I actually have data CDs from a good 8 years ago and they still read fine, a lot I think is how you store them. Mine are in folders away from bright light, direct sun and heat.

Red_Oddity
02-04-2009, 02:25 AM
Backup to DVD to CD does indeed have a lot to do with how you store them, but they remain unreliable (especially as it is often unclear which DVD/CDs come from which plant (which appearantly also makes a difference)). Sealing them in a vacuum package (with a small silica gel package) and in a secure storage out of the suns harmfull influence makes a huge difference.

We have a lot of our old work on CD/DVD, and most of these discs die with the usual CRC errors (and these where kept safe no less).

colkai
02-04-2009, 05:31 AM
Aye, no such thing as a 'safe' backup, you can just try to cover yourself as best as possible depending on how critical you feel the data in question is.
Some stuff, to be honest, I wouldn't weep at losing and likely will never ever call on again. Other stuff, I keep copies of and renew every year, including having it on more than one system.

art
02-04-2009, 07:30 AM
How safe is it to keep discs in binders like this (http://www.staples.com/office/supplies/moreviews?&catentryId=124845&langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10051)?

Derrick_SA
02-04-2009, 07:39 AM
sorry to hear about the hard luck, maybe the pro's can recover it (at a steap cost I'm sure).

I have drives and backup drives. I use 'em for two years, and then they're out, replaced.

Still doesn't mean I'm not gonna have the same thing strike me, but should lower the risk.

I should probably build a raid 5 or 6, you should consider it too, not that pricey if you do it yourself. Especialy compared to the data loss.

- Derrick

colkai
02-04-2009, 07:50 AM
How safe is it to keep discs in binders like this (http://www.staples.com/office/supplies/moreviews?&catentryId=124845&langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10051)?

Ahh yes, 'Easy to get in and out' ..translated...easy to scratch to hades on our nice badly made binder :p

Red_Oddity
02-04-2009, 08:02 AM
How safe is it to keep discs in binders like this (http://www.staples.com/office/supplies/moreviews?&catentryId=124845&langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10051)?

As said before, not very.

I believe if i remember correctly (so don't quote me on this), the main reason that CD-R/DVD-R go bad is because of environmental moist that corrodes the silver/gold alloy reflective layer of the CD-R/DVD-R.

sandman300
02-04-2009, 08:22 AM
If the drive still spins up there is a good chance that you can recover it yourself. I use a piece of software called Get Data Back. It works really well and the price tag is not that bad. It will even recover files that were purposefully deleted.

DVD backups are not bad. discs that are manufactured now are much more reliable than the discs from a few years ago. When someone asks me what is the lifetime of a DVD I have to say I don't know because there are too many variables along with DVDs haven't been around long enough. On the other hand there are DVDs that are specially rated as Archive grade, more expensive but peace of mind is worth it.

WillBellJr
02-04-2009, 12:43 PM
Yes, this is a painful event and the only course you can take to make sure you don't lose your data is to backup your backups!

I got all gun-ho as well last year and bought an AData 32-gig USK stick. Boy was I riding high!

Had all my top-select MP3's, images I've downloaded from all my fav 3D graphics forums, all of my VisualStudio software projects, and of course all my current 2D and 3D graphics files and scenes.

The damn key died on me >mid-transfer<! (Needless to say for the price I had paid I sent it back and got a new one!)

The only thing that saved my bacon was the fact that I would copy my most important files onto my laptop or desktop whenever I plugged the key in - I still however lost my latest 3D pics downloads and MP3's...

Being that I seen how many SDCards have fail for various reasons with my camera (I usually just toss them and buy new ones) I felt silly trusting 32-gigs worth of flash memory (there was about 9-gigs free too when it croaked so it was a lot of data for sure!)

Being that I've >never< had a hard drive die on me yet (knock wood), now I'm using a 320-gig Passport drive along with SyncBack SE (http://www.2brightsparks.com/) to automatically transfer and synchronize any changed data between my laptop or desktop when the drive is plugged in.

This way as soon as the drive is plugged in and mounted (one of the partitions is encrypted), the SyncBack profiles recognizes the presence of the drive and does it's thang for me.

At times I backup to DVDs as well, but I use the 100 disc cylindrical Discware units for storage instead of the binders which as mentioned are known for scratching your discs at times.

I also use drive trays and external USB enclosures that support drive removal; now when my drives fill up, I don't delete to make space, I just buy new drives and copy what's needed. (I have a drive collection on my shelf that prolly rivals some people's DVD or XBox game collection!)

Those are further backups just in case something fries on me...

Backup your backups - that's the only way to be sure...

-Will