Redundancy, Redundancy...& back-up, back-up

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Longboard, May 9, 2011.

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  1. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Hey all

    I know I'm preaching to the converted: the Duke of repeating the obvious:
    Just a little cautionary tale..

    I have a little tower as prime tool: 2 Seagate HD 500G 2yrs new...multiple partitions..

    D#1: Primary: OS, multiboot, multiple tweakedVMs, several FDISR snapshots, images

    D#2: data back-ups, images, downloads, snapshot archives..."archive+data set-up"

    Had an interesting couple of days...Day before Easter long weekend:
    Primary boot system suddenly acting all twitchy...scanned for mals.."corrupt apps"..popping up, nothing 'working': HD scans all RED RED RED :gack:

    Scanned other drive: RED :eek:

    Thankfully: **also have network drive**: had everything there too !!
    Paranoia rules. ;)

    Desperately saving e-mails, settings, VMs... did not think I could trust any images taken at that time, FDISR could not complete a snapshot. :(

    Off to the shop: new gear ..
    Then in light of bad disks and possible corrupted data..made decision to go through full install.
    Actually not bad..bit of fiddling..verra snappy again ;)

    Tested restores from Network images and snapshots ..all OK.
    Wiped lots of old images ( some years old ) recovered lots of space on NAS.
    VMs seemed to survive OK

    Point of story: Had TWO HD FAIL simultaneously: outrageous.
    ( LOL: same batch ?? )
    TBH: that wasn't a scenario I had actually planned there, caught !!
    But: I did have enough of a 'safety net' to make it relatively painless.

    The shop guy was pulling a list of his other customers as we redid my rig: pretty impressive he has that.

    - whatever can happen absolutely will.
    - have a very clear strategy for recovery and back-ups.

    Now, have to develop a plan for eventual HW failure of NAS with ALL that data there...

    (I can back up via USB from the NAS ...but will need a BIG drive :) )

    (Dont trust "cloud" storage yet..and have a lot of very sensitive documents - and pics of her indoors and tin lids and upload speed here sux. :p )

    All good again: reevaluating tools and contingency plans :thumb:
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Sep 20, 2003
    Hi Longboard.

    Yep your tale resonates here. Doing one of my tests of a restore I of course deleted my c: drive, and through a very very obscure bug, lost my d: drive with all the images, fdisr, etc. Ouch. Bug was found and thru help of good friend, my d: drive was recovered and I was able to recover my c: drive with a restore.

    I now do periodic images on D:

    As to cloud data back up. I do utilize it BUT: I use two independent services, who are also geographically diverse.

    You are right: expect the unexpected.

  3. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

    Sep 18, 2006
    Peter has a good point about geographically diverse storage locations, but you may also want to look into a "sneaker net" approach as a possible final resort should all else fail. By "sneaker net" I mean creating a physical backup to DVD and then placing a copy of the DVD's in a bank safety deposit box at one or more institutions in your area - say perhaps on opposite ends of town or in two different towns that are sufficiently close to you.

    These backups will become "old" over time, but if replaced/updated once or twice a month, you still have access to the majority of your information.

  4. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks for the comments :)

    Ya, I have some files on "permanent media" that are stored as safely as possible.

    I should just mention ( my memory was jogged by the D& thread:
    I used Roakil's file recovery app. to copy the files I wanted from the failing drives. Great tool. :thumb:
    I have used Recuva as well: another great tool.

    easy to do a search for 'data recovery'
    lots of options..
    and not forgetting the linux options.
    even ubuntu
    etc etc

  5. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    One week after almost catastrophic disc fails as above: one of the drives in my Netgear Readynas NV+ failed :eek: :blink: :rolleyes:
    How bout dat eh.
    ( Hhmm: Seagate again :cautious: )
    To be fair: three years old.

    "Raid"ed and safe, but nonetheless : one more fail in that NAS and kaplooey.

    Soo...stay prepared.
  6. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

    Dec 23, 2005
    I have had many drives fail. I do not trust harddrives at all for important data. I trust a mirrored raid array a little bit, and I trust raid 5/6 even more. The likelihood of multiple drives dying in an array is probably not too high from an age/use standpoint, but quite high from a "my psu fried my computer" standpoint. So, while redundancy improves the trust factor, as Longboard has shared with us, it does not mean much if the unthinkable happens.

    I backup my most prized data to my NAS box which is mirrored array. If that prized data is really important, it goes to optical media and/or flash memory.

    I take the view that if my data is on my hdd only, and I don't back it up, then it must not be important. If I lose a drive or corrupt the data, and it was not backed up, then I failed at safeguarding something I should have, and the fault is mine alone.

    Optical media will probably last longer than I am alive, so that is what I trust the most for long term storage.

  7. Fad

    Fad Registered Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    I had 2 completely separate hard drives both fail on one day a while back, I couldn`t actually believe it - but it does happen.

    I personally know of two people who have lost all their data due to faulty HDs...and not a single backup of any kind between them, and that`s recently as well ! :rolleyes:
  8. napoleon1815

    napoleon1815 Registered Member

    Sep 9, 2010
    Working in a coporate IT environment, I've seen two disks go bad in a RAID5 twice in 12 years...rare, yes, but it does happen. I've seen "mission critical" servers under people's desks and even once hooked up on the counter of the work kitchen (next to the coffee maker). Despressing...
  9. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    It's hard to know what to trust
    Agree, but for NAS, need ?? 6 drives for RAid 6 = $$$

    My Netgear ReadyNAS is not a replacement for a back-up

    Murphy's law of course.

    It seems an interesting conundrum to me that while disc capacity is increasing to staggering size (...from a home perspective at least, who really needs a NAs device with 4x3TB drives :eek: am I misiisng out on something ??) and the availability of smaller discs is vanishing, the larger discs may in fact contribute to problems with read/write speeds, mirroring and raid set-ups based on sheer size.

    Definitely need a UPS then.

    Is that true?

    I am having problems with local sourcing of drives of </= 500GB compatible with/for my NV+ with its little ram and older processor. Seems many are discontinued or only available OS.

    As far as most of the shops here are concerned the "size" means all and costs of TB drives have fallen dramatically
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
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