Of 4 of my external drives, 3 have committed suicide

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Of 4 of my external drives, 3 have committed suicide

Post by rozling » Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:04 pm

Over USB, eSATA, using a hub, without a hub.


I've usually been able to recover most of it, but this is such a heart attack waiting to happen. A couple of notes:

- generic USB cases are not a good idea
- always safely remove. If Windows won't let you, find out why and sort it.
- :cry:

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Post by weeddigger » Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:08 pm

Gracias for the tip... Sorry about your losses...

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Post by elxicano » Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:11 pm

Damn! Any ideas on why they have "committed suicide"?

I've got two external WD 500g hard drives. One is USB, which I use as a backup and the other is eSata.

...I'm always nervous though.

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Post by rozling » Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:32 pm

Might have been a bit knee-jerk there: I rebooted and the eSATA one came back online.

I'll elaborate a bit though - by committing suicide I mean (I think) lost their partition table, i.e. the first you know something is up is when you go to Explorer and get an error which is something like

Code: Select all

The volume in drive F is not formatted.  Would you like to format this volume?
This is the error I just got with my eSATA drive (SATA-300 disk in an eSATA/USB enclosure connected via a PCMCIA eSATA card). For the last week or two I've had problems safely removing the PCMCIA card, which on my system simultaneously ejects the disk. What I've done is made sure no processes are accessing files on that disk and then just yanking the f*cker out - I suppose it was only a matter of time.

Another external USB disk literally died, as in there was a crunch and an audible BOOoooooo... followed by a "Balls." from me. That was a second-hand disk from a desktop that had probably seen a fair share of use (another lesson there - thankfully the backups were mirrored elsewhere).

I've had suspicions of my Kore 1 controller, which I know uses a large amount of bandwidth and power on the USB bus... my problems first started occurring when drives were on a hub, but the drive that bricked itself was connected directly to one of my laptop's two USB ports, with Kore 1 on the other. But I would say that if your hub has the option for external power, use it. Next hub I buy will be powered and will have a good reputation for reliability (if such a hub exists). Then I can eliminate that from the equation.

Another drive, a USB Maxtor Onetouch, has formatted itself countless times now (well, up to ten anyway) - sometimes coming back online at bootup, sometimes not. I thoroughly recommend File Scavenger for file recovery if the latter happens.

Anyhoo bottom line: you're paranoid for a reason! Back up! Back up I say!

My next purchase will be one of these, if I can find a FW800 & possibly 2TB version. Only problem is backing up the backups...

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Post by djsynchro » Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:33 pm

I forgot how many drives have crashed on me in the past (standard internal IDE) so for me the question is not if they will crash, just when. Always have a backup. It's using them for audio that wears them out although drives in servers also have a tough life. :D

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Post by rozling » Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:43 pm

In fairness I haven't really used my external drives for recording audio really, just streaming mp3s and the occasional sampled instrument... no really high-perfomance stuff - not for sustained periods anyway.

Speaking of drives in servers, has anyone tried using NAS drives for audio? Seems little harm could come to NAS drives from the interfacing side (i.e. they would simply 'lose signal' if the cord was yanked as opposed to getting any kind of electrical jolt/disturbance. I'm speaking in Popular Science here I know...

oblique strategies
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Post by oblique strategies » Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:56 pm

the most realistic view to take is: it's not if a drive will fail but when. They will all fail one day, given enough time. Backup is essential.

I've had at least three 3.5" Lacie drives die on me, one took all the data with it, good thing I had the backup backed-up! I've been told that the newer Lacie drives are more stable, but I am warry.

I've also had three 2.5" drives in two laptops die on me & have to be replaced.

Backup my friends, backup.

Another rule of thumb:
Data doesn't exist unless it is in two separate locations. So store a backup in a different location than your primary drives.

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Post by arachnaut » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:18 pm

I also have had many hard drive failures.

I have multiple backups.

I recommend using 'md5deep' to generate a hash
of all your files on a backup drive and verify the
hash index periodically.

It's very gratifying to go through 3 terabytes of data
and find that every bit verifies against its hash.

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Post by NorthernMonkey » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:33 pm

I murdered my old one. Another note:

- always use the correct power adapter

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Post by Mesmer » Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:09 am

Another note:
unless there was actual physical damage to the spinning plates, or the ICs, the data _can_ be recovered ... through low-level schmooze efforts.

always be friendly to your local nerd.
Hidden Driveways wrote:This doesn't answer your question at all, but I said it anyway simply for the joy of making a post.

oblique strategies
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Post by oblique strategies » Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:40 am

Sometimes it is the drive itself that fails -often accompanied by odd noises. Other times it is the interface that dies. If it is the interface you can remove the drive, & still use it/preserve the data.

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Post by jonny72 » Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:43 pm

I've had a couple of external drives die on me recently. One was a Western Digital, not sure what is up with it - I format it, write data to it, everything is ok and then it just stops working. The other's just a generic external case / drive, appears to corruption all over the drive - tried fixing it but it fails.

Fortunately I haven't lost any data as a result - one was a backup drive and the other was full of loops from cd's and downloads all of which I can re-create.

I really need to pull my finger out and build the server with raid array I've been planning to for ages and get a Blu-Ray drive so I can backup with a reasonable number of discs.

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Post by blank » Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:46 pm

If you have a bit of money to invest go for a glyph drive, the raid model totally rocks.


I use it as raid 1 at work, runs pretty well and smooth
feug.net -:- virb.com/feug

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Post by elblanco » Mon Sep 15, 2008 6:47 pm

excellent portable firewire drive-


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Post by Khazul » Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:19 pm

Then stop sticking such depressing shit on yr hard drives ffs!

Nothing to see here - move along!

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