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Author Topic: Hard Drive Reliability  (Read 21324 times)
colourperfect
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« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2007, 04:59:14 PM »
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Hard disks have a finite failure rate, even if its one in a 100 million, one will die somewhere. Its just bad luck its you !

If it has had a problem once, chances are that it will do it again. The controllers inside will map out bad sectors but won't protect you from more sectors going bad.

Ian

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Ray
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« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2007, 09:08:33 PM »
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Hard disks have a finite failure rate, even if its one in a 100 million, one will die somewhere. Its just bad luck its you !

If it has had a problem once, chances are that it will do it again. The controllers inside will map out bad sectors but won't protect you from more sectors going bad.

Ian

http://www.colourperfect.co.uk
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I'll take it back to the store and see if I can get it replaced. I don't even want to try to get it working again   .
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Ray
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« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2007, 06:55:47 PM »
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I'll take it back to the store and see if I can get it replaced. I don't even want to try to get it working again   .
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I got the following reply from LaCie, at last. They must be snowed under with queries and complaints, perhaps from a backlog due to the holiday season.

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Hi Raymond,

Directory corruption can be either software or hardware related. To
eliminate a hardware problem we suggest that you perform a full NTFS format.
If the format does not complete then the problem is most likely unreadable
sectors on the drive. In this case the drive will need to be
repaired/replaced.

Best Regards,
LaCie Australia - Support Team

I was sort of hoping they might provide a suggestion as to how to recover the data. I gather from this reply that the fault could be either hardware or software. If the drive initializes successfully, then the fault is software based. If it doesn't, then it's hardware based.

I've just tried initializing the drive. The operation cannot be completed. I have a faulty drive that's been used for less than a month. I'm normally lucky. At least I have been with all my CD/DVD back-ups.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2007, 08:12:23 PM »
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Did you ask them what device they recommend you use as a back up to your backup?
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Ray
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« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2007, 08:37:38 PM »
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Did you ask them what device they recommend you use as a back up to your backup?
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No, of course I didn't. I didn't want to appear sarcastic. But I am seriously considering arranging my 'image organisation' into 4.3GB folders, so I can do a DVD back-up of the organisation easily.
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John.Murray
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« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2007, 09:16:21 PM »
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http://www.secondcopy.com/ - spans disks if needed, highly recommended

« Last Edit: January 28, 2007, 09:19:19 PM by Joh.Murray » Logged

Ray
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« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2007, 09:41:40 PM »
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http://www.secondcopy.com/ - spans disks if needed, highly recommended


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It's not clear to me if this is what I want. If I have 100GB of organised images, for example, will this program record my images onto (approx) 25 consecutive DVDs?
« Last Edit: January 28, 2007, 09:43:09 PM by Ray » Logged
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2007, 10:06:21 PM »
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A more polite (and to the point) question might be "how can I trust this device for future work knowing that it has already failed once?"
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Ray
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« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2007, 11:29:37 PM »
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A more polite (and to the point) question might be "how can I trust this device for future work knowing that it has already failed once?"
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I think an unanswerable question. No employee of LaCie is going to write, "You can't". I just hope they replace it instead of repairing it.
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John.Murray
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« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2007, 01:50:40 PM »
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It's not clear to me if this is what I want. If I have 100GB of organised images, for example, will this program record my images onto (approx) 25 consecutive DVDs?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=98015\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes!
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Ray
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« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2007, 05:48:37 PM »
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Yes!
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Hmm! The question I am really asking is, will 'Second Copy' organize a series of folders into 4.35Gb packages for easy recording with a burning program like Nero. It's not at all clear reading the FAQ.

This I think is the main objection that most people have to backing up huge amounts of data on DVD. If you want to efficiently fill up each disc with 4.3 to 4.4Gb of images, it requires a lot re-organising and breaking-up of folders; a lot of time-consuming preparation for each disc burned.

If 'Second Copy' can't do this, then perhaps the safest thing to do is make the initial organization of one's images in 4.3GB packages, say "Disc 1 - Angkor Wat sunrises - Apsara bas reliefs", "Disc 2 - Apsara Bas Reliefs (cont:-) - Bayon", "Disc 3 - Bayon (cont:-) - Ta Prohm etc etc".

With such a system, at some future date when 25Gb Blu-ray discs have become affordable (or competitive in price), and provided the data on the hard drive(s) have not become corrupted, one could simply drag and drop 5 of these DVD size folders into the burning application, at least almost filling up each Blu-ray disc.

Does this all sound too cumbersome? Is there a simpler way that has escaped me?
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John.Murray
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« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2007, 09:18:08 PM »
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Ray:

2nd copy works very similarly to xCopy in that it is capable of backuping up an entire folder hierarchy to another device - be that an FTP store (I use this as a secondary backup for source code), Network, or Optical Media.

There is built in "profile" capability that will update re-writable stores, can also be scheduled.

The thing I like about it is:

1) It will span multiple disks
2) The exact same profiles can be sent to different media if desired, handy if upgrading to a larger drive or transferring between machines across a network

From 2nd Copies' FAQ:

http://www.secondcopy.com/support.html#Q_CDRW

[span style=\'font-size:8pt;line-height:100%\']Does Second Copy work with CD-R/CD-RW drives?
  Yes. Second Copy works with CD Recordable/ReWritable drives (CD-R/CD-RW) if a proper device driver is installed and configured with your drive. The driver should make the CDRW behave like a large floppy disk.

Nero InCD (part of Nero 6 or later) and Roxio DirectCD (part of Easy Media Creator) are two such products that work with various CD-R/CD-RW drives and makes them look like large floppy disks. Check with your CD-R/CD-RW documentation.

One simple test to see if Second Copy will work with a CD-R/CD-RW drive is to see if you can copy files from your hard disk to the CD-R/CD-R/CD-RW drive using Windows Explorer. If Windows Explorer can copy files to the drive Second Copy can too.

Windows XP: Window XP is included with a "lite" version of Adaptec/Roxio's Easy CD and it does not make the CD-R/RW look like a hard disk. You will need to install a packet writing software such as Roxio's DirectCD for Windows XP. DirectCD is included with Easy Media Creator for Windows XP. DirectCD allows your CD-R/RW drive to appear just like any other drive volume. In other words, your CD-R/RW drive handles files just like a hard disk or floppy disk. Once you have Direct CD installed on your system, you can drag and drop files to the CD-R/RW as well as use Second Copy 2000 to backup your files to the CD-R/RW drives. [/span]  
hth - John
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 09:19:09 PM by Joh.Murray » Logged

Ray
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« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2007, 08:40:18 AM »
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Ray:

2nd copy works very similarly to xCopy in that it is capable of backuping up an entire folder hierarchy to another device - be that an FTP store (I use this as a secondary backup for source code), Network, or Optical Media.

There is built in "profile" capability that will update re-writable stores, can also be scheduled.

The thing I like about it is:

1) It will span multiple disks
2) The exact same profiles can be sent to different media if desired, handy if upgrading to a larger drive or transferring between machines across a network

From 2nd Copies' FAQ:

http://www.secondcopy.com/support.html#Q_CDRW

[span style=\'font-size:8pt;line-height:100%\']Does Second Copy work with CD-R/CD-RW drives?
  Yes. Second Copy works with CD Recordable/ReWritable drives (CD-R/CD-RW) if a proper device driver is installed and configured with your drive. The driver should make the CDRW behave like a large floppy disk.

Nero InCD (part of Nero 6 or later) and Roxio DirectCD (part of Easy Media Creator) are two such products that work with various CD-R/CD-RW drives and makes them look like large floppy disks. Check with your CD-R/CD-RW documentation.

One simple test to see if Second Copy will work with a CD-R/CD-RW drive is to see if you can copy files from your hard disk to the CD-R/CD-R/CD-RW drive using Windows Explorer. If Windows Explorer can copy files to the drive Second Copy can too.

Windows XP: Window XP is included with a "lite" version of Adaptec/Roxio's Easy CD and it does not make the CD-R/RW look like a hard disk. You will need to install a packet writing software such as Roxio's DirectCD for Windows XP. DirectCD is included with Easy Media Creator for Windows XP. DirectCD allows your CD-R/RW drive to appear just like any other drive volume. In other words, your CD-R/RW drive handles files just like a hard disk or floppy disk. Once you have Direct CD installed on your system, you can drag and drop files to the CD-R/RW as well as use Second Copy 2000 to backup your files to the CD-R/RW drives. [/span] 
hth - John
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=98224\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, I read this, John, but I have no intention of using CDs for backing up images. I'm not sure that DVDs lend themselves well to multisession writing. At least there's a warning with Nero that only the last session might be readable in other drives. I've got a stack of failed DVD recordings accumulated over the past few years. I haven't had any failed recordings yet using Nero and my current Pioneer burner.
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2007, 09:23:41 AM »
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Maybe I'm missing something, but hard drives are known to fail and as such are not recomended as a single-source for back up.  This is old news and has been discussed ad-nauseum.  Why try to re-invent the wheel?  Most folks simply back up an to exact duplicate hard drive.  If one fails, you can replace it or reformat it and re-copy the data from the second back-up to it -- presto, done, no data permanently lost and a *lot* faster and a *lot* more convenient than DVD's.  Heck, 500G SATA drives are now under $200 -- about 40 cents/Gig which is *cheaper* than quality archival (gold) DVDs.  You can buy external cases to hold them for around $50 and still remain under the cost of the archival DVD's.  Seems to me to be a no-brainer...

Good luck regardless,
« Last Edit: January 30, 2007, 09:25:28 AM by Jack Flesher » Logged

feppe
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« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2007, 10:06:39 AM »
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Yes, I read this, John, but I have no intention of using CDs for backing up images. I'm not sure that DVDs lend themselves well to multisession writing. At least there's a warning with Nero that only the last session might be readable in other drives. I've got a stack of failed DVD recordings accumulated over the past few years. I haven't had any failed recordings yet using Nero and my current Pioneer burner.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=98299\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The same warning applies to CD-ROMs and is just as (in)valid. All modern DVD players can read multi-session DVDs. Nevertheless, I'd be on the safe side with backups and not use multi-session recording since I'm paranoid.

But I also would recommend sticking with redundant HDD backups. I don't know how many DVDs you have to backkup, but if its anything beyond, say, 20, I'd go for HDD from purely a convenience POV.
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Ray
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« Reply #35 on: January 30, 2007, 06:04:47 PM »
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Maybe I'm missing something, but hard drives are known to fail and as such are not recomended as a single-source for back up. This is old news and has been discussed ad-nauseum. Why try to re-invent the wheel? Most folks simply back up an to exact duplicate hard drive. If one fails, you can replace it or reformat it and re-copy the data from the second back-up to it -- presto, done, no data permanently lost and a *lot* faster and a *lot* more convenient than DVD's. Heck, 500G SATA drives are now under $200 -- about 40 cents/Gig which is *cheaper* than quality archival (gold) DVDs. You can buy external cases to hold them for around $50 and still remain under the cost of the archival DVD's. Seems to me to be a no-brainer...

Good luck regardless,
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=98310\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Jack,
You have missed something.

(1) The external 500GB hard drive was bought for the purpose of organising the RAW images from my last trip. I considered it more efficient to complete the organisation before making a duplicate back-up, which involved deleting duplicate images and duds and grouping images in the same category under a single heading (folder), copied from across a large number of DVDs. This process was carried out over a couple of weeks using different computers in different locations. I did not think it was necessary to carry two rather heavy external drives around.

(2) It was my intention to clear an internal 200Gb drive on my Win XP 64 system to make a duplicate of the organization, once complete. However, considering the chances very remote of a new hard drive going faulty within the first few weeks of use, I didn't treat this with the urgency I should have.

(3) I have a preference for DVDs as maintenance-free archival storage because I have never lost any images this way in the last 12 years of use. I have no 12 year old hard drives that are still working, but I have dozens of 12 year old CDs  that perform better and faster than they did when they were first burned. Example, my first Kodak Photo-CD images took 2 minutes to open. Those same images now open in just 10 seconds.

(4) In Australia, blank DVDs bought in spindles of 50 or so, are far cheaper per gig than hard drive storage, whether internal or external.

(5) Example: A cloth bound wallet with a zip around 3 sides, holding 96 discs in plastic sleeves, costs about A$5 (US$ 3.50). 96 discs are not quite enough to hold 500GB (actually 486GB) of data, but are pretty close. A spindle of 50 DVDs range from A$20 to A$35. Using the more expensive brand, $70 worth of blank DVDs are suffient to back up almost this entire LaCie external drive. The wallet that holds them all has about the same physical dimensions as the LaCie BigDisk and would be no heavier when full of discs; probably lighter.

Cost comparison:- A$75 including wallet (call it $100); LaCie BigDisk A$465. I bought the BigDisk because it seemed at the time substantailly cheaper than competing Maxtor and Seagate brands.

Hope I have filled in what you might have missed, Jack.  
« Last Edit: January 30, 2007, 06:11:21 PM by Ray » Logged
Jack Flesher
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« Reply #36 on: January 30, 2007, 07:11:57 PM »
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Ah -- I missed the part you wanted to edit your entire portfolio before backing it up...  I would think it more prudent to make a duplicate copy of everything, then go back and edit a working copy -- but  I guess everybody has different ideas on workflow.  

Two points offered only FWIW...  My IT guru tells me that hard drive failure is more apt to occur in the first 10 hours of run on a new drive than the next 10,000, so it's always a good idea to stress drives a bit before using them for critical data (he has a program he runs that exercises the drives overnight).  Also, I understand regular DVD's (the $30 per spindle of 50 type) are not considered archival as gold DVD's are, which run about $3.00 each and the number I used for my cost comparison.   I think it has to do with the fact DVD/CD can delaminate and moisture can then enter and oxidise the aluminum foil rendering it unreadable, coupled with the cheaper dye layer being able to run if exposed to excessive heat which also will corrupt the read.  The way I understand it, archival DVD/CD use gold foil because it doesn't corrode if the edge separates and use harder dyes that won't run at environmentally high heats.  

All offered FWIW only and again, best wishes for getting everything restored!

Cheers,
« Last Edit: January 30, 2007, 07:32:10 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

Graham Welland
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« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2007, 07:56:38 PM »
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They say that misery loves company so just as a note/warning to those using these large capacity LaCie drives (I have a pile of them):

The way LaCie create these large drives is by installing 2 or more smaller drives and runs them as RAID 0 - stripping data over the drives so that they appear to be the size of the sum of the drive sizes. i.e. 2x250GB drives appear to be a 500Gb drive. Unfortunately this has a serious side effect in that the chances of a drive or controller failure hurting your data is actually much worse (2x ++) than a single high capacity drive would since either drive failing, or the controller, will leave you with lost data.

I had two of the LaCie BigDisk 500Gb drives fail. As it happens I live very close to the LaCie headquarters in Oregon so I was able to get both drives replaced under warranty in person. In my case, all data was lost when the drives failed but luckily they were at different times and were my backup mirror drives. One drive failed within a few days, the other was probably 6 months old. You can probably find posts on the internet about these drives & reliability. They are competitively priced because they are using commodity drives.

I'm sure that for every customer like me (or Ray!) there are probably 1000's who never have a failure. If that's you, great! The only thing I would suggest is that you have a good backup strategy just in case. I managed to have 50% failure rate with my 4 drives which isn't great statistics however you calculate them. I finally ended up investing in a 3Gb RAID 5 array & controller using the best SATA disks can buy at this time. With the benefit of hindsight I'd have gone this route from the very beginning.

On the bright side, LaCie were very accomodating and replaced my drives without question. I still use them but I don't trust them for critical content. Twice bitten etc etc ...
« Last Edit: January 30, 2007, 07:58:35 PM by gwelland » Logged

Graham
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« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2007, 07:58:44 PM »
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I think it has to do with the fact DVD/CD can delaminate and moisture can then enter and oxidise the aluminum foil rendering it unreadable, coupled with the cheaper dye layer being able to run if exposed to excessive heat which also will corrupt the read. 

I've seen this.  The neat thing is that it tends to get worse as you use the DVD.  So if you see your DVD start to delaminate you want to copy that data soon because it will only get worse.

Had an entire spindle of optorite disks do this.  You could see that some started to fail on the initial burn.  (around the center spindle.)
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2007, 08:11:01 PM »
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Had an entire spindle of optorite disks do this. 

Yep...  It's why I don't use DVD for back-up.  I think the best solution is RAID 1-1 for historical images and RAID 1-1-1 for working images with the last mirror stored offsite in a secure place (brought in to back up 1x per month or after any big job). It's virtually a bomb proof back-up solution and at the current price of 40 cents per Gig on 500 G SATA drives, it's cheap even for the working image files IMO.  Plus you can re-use the working drive for every pair of copy drives you fill, making your "true" storage cost 80 cents per Gig -- and only getting cheaper...

My .02 only,
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