One of the little side benefits of all the Black Friday & Cyber Monday craziness is that the promotional pricing can be used to address some very real needs around the home office. This is just one fine example that crossed my desk today; high-capacity, portable USB 3.0 hard drives are being offered on-the-cheap. I saw a Seagate Expansion 3 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive offered for $99.
It’s been a while since I bought any storage, but I am reminded that my NAS isn’t backed up in any real way. HAL, a five disk LaCie 5Big NAS , has 10 TB of raw storage, but is presently configured for 4 TB of RAID 10 + hot spare.
It would certainly be nice to be able to back it up to an offline volume. Given that the 4 TB volume is not completely stuffed, a 3 TB drive could still do the job.
If I may take a moment to anthropomorphize…hard drives are not immortal. I was reminded of this very fact when overnight on April 11th a drive in my primary desktop failed.
Given that I was just one day away from my making annual forced trek to Las Vegas for the NAB Convention, and the fact that our income tax return was on that media, it certainly could have been a a problem. However, it wasn’t a catastrophe. Not at all.
The two computers that Stella and I use as our primary desktops sport internal RAID 1 disk arrays. Both desktops came that way. In fact, that was part of their appeal. I was concerned that Stella would have a drive fail one day when I was travelling. Such a failure at an inopportune moment would surely heap calamity upon my very existence.
These desktops are now getting older. Last fall Stella’s system did lose a disk. She told me about the event, advising that she received a desktop prompt noting that “Logical Drive 1 had become critical.” I said not to worry, if it was still running it wasn’t being critical of anything she had done. All would be well until I resolved the trouble.
Here are some simple words of wisdom from one who has for decades made use of all sorts of portable magnetic media. Don’t trust it!
This simple message, a public service of sorts, was brought to mind when my wife recently came to me with a small portable USB hard drive in her hands. She had just plugged it into her PC which had responded by asking if she wanted the drive to be formatted? The implication being that it was not already formatted!
Of course, the unhappy little drive in question is a 320 GB 2.5″ USB drive that she had been using to shuttle all manner of valuable bytes from here-to-there.