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HDD Crash


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#1 GSDFan

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 10:22 AM

I just suffered a HDD failure. I lost my MO2 install, main Steam executable, all my Skyrim and FO4 downloads, some of which are gone from the nexus, as well as my current load order of FO4.

 

 

Looks like I will be starting from scratch, just what I wanted to do on the first day of my vacation.



#2 TechAngel85

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 11:09 AM

Man, I hate that! It happened to me a while back and I had to run on an old drive that the connector was broken on so the drive was hillbillied up. Not fun.

#3 GrantSP

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 06:03 PM

That's truly bad news, sorry about that. On the bright side though now you have a reason to go SSD!  :;):



#4 GSDFan

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 08:02 PM

Man, I hate that! It happened to me a while back and I had to run on an old drive that the connector was broken on so the drive was hillbillied up. Not fun.

 

I was in game fighting some robots and started to hear clicking from the drive. The robots glitched out of existence visually and then the game crashed. I was never able to see anything on the drive after that.

 

I put the drive in another system and it would not show up there either.

 

That's truly bad news, sorry about that. On the bright side though now you have a reason to go SSD!  :;):

Already have two installed, one for OS and the other for Beth games. The HDD stored my game archives and FO4 mods plus my steam library. I may prune the Skyrim mods and put FO4 mods on the SSD though I did not see any problems running mods off the HDD with FO4.



#5 GSDFan

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 12:25 AM

Lost another HDD today. My second 2tb Seagate Barracuda, both were bought at the same time and well out of warranty.



#6 Nozzer66

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 03:50 AM

Ouch... not good.


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#7 paradoxbound

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 05:07 AM

You have my sympathies.

 

As a professional systems engineer I can only keep repeating the sage advise I was given many years ago when I started out and that is "If it is important have a disaster recovery process in place".

 

  • Get a Windows backup utility that works for you, there are lots of free versions out there.
  • Alternatively use an off site service but these tend to cost a monthly fee.
  • Buy or repurpose a dedicated backup drive note RAID is not a backup it is redundancy and resilience. You can payout for a dedicated NAS box, build your own or simply add an external USB to your Router (if supported) or PC.
  • Setup your backups and once you are happy schedule them ideally daily but no longer than weekly.
  • Once you have your backup solution in place it is time to test and practice recovery. There is nothing worse than coming to your backups when you need them and finding they don't work.
  • Test and practice at least once a month.

Edited by paradoxbound, 15 January 2017 - 05:08 AM.

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#8 GSDFan

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 11:06 AM

@paradoxbound, very good advice, most of which I tend to follow. Unfortunately, that drive was my first line backup drive. It stored most of my Acronis backups and user data. I then copy it out to a WD Mybooklive and a second HDD attached via USB. Pictures are sent to Amazon cloud. Trouble is if all that is not automated, then it tends to not get done.

 

I am considering some sort of NAS box solution, but the expense is a limiting factor. I thought about building a NAS, but I am faced with choosing between using older computer hardware with new drives, and more power consumption, versus a dedicated new NAS and drives.

 

Any advice you have on a NAS solution would be welcome though. I do have an old gaming system to tinker with and was thinking about Amahi home server, which looks like it has some sort of drive pooling for redundancy like what WHS had.



#9 paradoxbound

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 12:27 PM

I don't know Amahi home server, their "Greyhole" technology isn't something I have used, so I can not speak about it.

Personally I use FreeNas and have used Zentyal in the home as well the later being more an equivalent Windows SMB server than a home NAS.

 

FreeNAS is based on FreeBSD which is a UNIX operating system similar to the Linux Amahi and Zentyal and would be my choice if your old hardware supports it (FreeBSD is abit more restricted than Windows and Linux for the hardware it runs on). A home storage machine doesn't need to be that powerful my current FreeNAS box is a circa 2007 Asus P4 board with a q6600 cpu and 8GB of ram and 6 2TB disks of various vintages in RAIDZ2 config. The operating system runs from a 16GB flash drive that was a freebie at a conference. Power consumption is not the best but I have a 100% green energy tariff with "Good Energy"[3] so my guilt is assuaged.

 

For Backups I use rsync.net[4] to backup my FreeNas box and use the Bacula plugin to backup the Windows, Linux and Macs at home. You would need another box for a "file director" which for me is a very cheap NUC clone or take a look at the Crashplan[5] plugin, which I haven't used.

 

I hope that helps, I am not sure if I am the best person to ask about home stuff as my own setup is pretty non standard and my job makes me tend towards unnecessary over engineering at home.

 

[1] http://www.freenas.org/about/features/

[2] http://www.zentyal.com/zentyal-server/

[3] https://www.goodenergy.co.uk/

[4] http://www.rsync.net...to/freenas.html

[5] https://www.crashplan.com/en-us/


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#10 GSDFan

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 01:00 PM

Well at least it is some place to start for some research.



#11 Greg

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 08:29 PM

I'm not familiar with Amahi specifically, but this seems to be somewhat along the lines of Microsoft's older Windows Home Server that I used for a while along with the storage pool technology. The "storage pool" basically writes files to a "random" drive in the pool and may also store a duplicate copy on a secondary drive. The basic issue with this approach is that the directory structure is stored in a "file" so if you lose a drive, you have to run a recovery tool to recover the structure. The files are still on disk and (depending on how the storage pool works) may be accessible from Windows Explorer, but it can be a bit complicated to recover everything since you'll have to weed through all the duplicates (assuming everything is correctly duplicated across more than one drive).

 

The other choice is to build your own desktop PC (using say a mini case/motherboard or a standard tower case) with Windows or FreeNAS or to purchase a diskless NAS and to add drives as you can afford them. I originally used a Netgear 4-drive NAS that was a piece of crap and migrated to a Synology DiskStation five years ago that has been solid as a rock. If you decide to use a RAID array, I recommend going with one disk redundancy if you have two to four drives in the array or two disk redundancy if you have more than four drives. The DiskStation shines in this area because it can dynamically rebuild the array as you add disks, although I think FreeNAS can do this as well. True RAID is a pain in the keester since it may require tearing down and rebuilding the array.

 

The choice of drives with a RAID array is important as well. Don't use desktop or media drives in a RAID array since they won't hold up well, but you don't need expensive "enterprise" class drives either. I use WD Red drives since these have much the same benefit as enterprise drives with a 5400-RPM rotational speed so the cost is reasonable. Disk speed isn't all that critical for a NAS since network bandwidth is the real limiter. It certainly doesn't hurt to let the drives sleep when they're not needed. A big disadvantage with RAID is that the array is at risk when a drive dies so it's a good idea to keep at least one spare drive on-hand. Regular monitoring the health of the drives is really important as well so you can detect potential drive failures before they fail.



#12 GSDFan

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 12:17 AM

I think before I spend money or a lot of time learning another operating system, I am going to reuse my other Win 10 computer with storage spaces on the three HDDs in there. They are basically blank now and it looks like I can also have at least some resiliency. It looks like if setup right you could take out a drive and stick it in another computer and access the files. I just have to get the networking part working and I have the added bonus being able to install Plex and Playon for media streaming around the network.



#13 paradoxbound

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 06:09 AM

Sorry for not replying earlier in the week as I have explained in other threads I only have a few hours at the weekend to spend on Step and other mod forums. Just want to second most of what Greg has said. The Netgear comments made me smile. I saw them being sold cheap a while back and was tempted but then read bad review after bad review.

Again Greg's advise on using cheap drives is backed up by some hard empirical evidence from Backblaze's publically accessible reports.[1]

 

If you do decide to go the home NAS route down the line do your research and have some Fun. If you settle on FreeNAS 99% of what you need will be available from the GUI. If you do need to speak command line *nix to it, immagine that you are speaking to autistic yoda and you won't go far wrong.

 

[1] https://www.backblaz...-stats-q1-2016/


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