Thursday 4 July 2013

Remember me ranting about backups?

That's here, in case you missed it.

Well, here's a cautionary tale.

I co-produced and MD'ed a fantasy musical, which started life as a set of songs a couple of decades ago and plain grew, at a SF con a few years ago. We got FOUR people to video it from different angles, and I took all four sets of video files, and, just to prove I'm not a complete moron, backed them up on TWO different hard drives, one a HP Media Vault, one a WD 1TB external USB drive, because when we have more time, we're going to make a DVD.

Both of these have been stored in reasonable conditions in two different rooms in the house.

The HP Media Vault packed up a couple of months ago. I finally got around to checking it this week, because I need those video files. The drive has the click of death, and isn't coming back.

No worries. I can get the files off the WD external.

It won't spin up.


You can never have enough backups of critical data.


  1. I had the very same problem with a WD HHD too and it had all my artwork on it. But I am sorry to here that has happened to you

  2. I have had the same problem with external hard drives - they just don't last, especially if not used.

    So what is the solution for the SOHO user?

    DVD-R - no one knows how long they last, and you may never know it is corrupt until it is too late.

    So we end up with our data smeared across the internet and multiple copies!

    So if anyone has a real solution...

    Really sorry that you have lost vital data - may still be recoverable - but at a cost.

  3. Agreed - computer storage is a permanent headache. I hope your problems get a good solution. It looks like our PC will need to go into the shop. It runs both Ubuntu, which works fine, and Windows Vista which we didn't want, got foisted on us anyway and is now corrupted. Gahhh...

  4. Half an hour or so in the freezer may help to loosen stuck spindles.

    Piscatores, DVD-R can go bad in as little as five years -- and it's not always the cheap discs that go first.

    My current approach is live storage -- I've just built a ZFS tank to store all my music and video files, with an eventual capacity around 48TiB. When a disc fails, I'll know about it straight away, drop in a new one and re-sync.


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