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Author Topic: Problems with external hard drives - should I try online backing up?  (Read 1245 times)

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Offline Annie

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I back up my astro images on two La Cie external hard drives - USB 3 from my Windows 10 laptop.  I'm increasingly getting error messages though when I 'Try Again' it often works.  A friend suggests it could be a problem with 'sectors'.  Is this likely and if so is there anything I can do about it? Having looked online I've come across something called 'MediaFire' which is supposed to fix problems like this - it's a free download but I don't like downloading software I don't know much about?  Am considering  backing up online as a safeguard and wondered if anyone has any recommendations? 

Annie
Pulsar Observatory; NEQ6/EQ6 wedge; HEQ5 Pro; TS Star 71 Astrograph; Takahashi FSQ 106ed; Skymax 150 Pro; Nikon D600; Canon 550D modified; Canon 5D Mk11; ZWO ASI120 MM-S; Lacerta MGEN stand alone guider.

Offline Nomis Elfactem

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Re: Problems with external hard drives - should I try online backing up?
« Reply #1 on: 14:21:39, 18 November, 2017 »
Yeap, sounds like you may indeed a couple of bad sectors.  There's loads of software out there that would be able to attempt to fix them but the easiest initial way is to plug them into your laptop, open <Computer> and right click on the drive in question and select Properties.  In properties, select Tool and in there click on the Check in the Error Checking section.  When clicked select "scan" then Start !  Leave it to do it's business as depending upon the size of the disk it may take a while ;-)

On a slightly separate not I recently installed a 4Tb Synology NAS (network area storage) which is an excellent piece of kit and plugs into your network so you can use it from anywhere... something worth considering ;-)

On the subject of backing up to the cloud... it's something I've considered but not yet done, although since I upgraded my business laptop this week and now have 1Tb on OneDrive it's maybe time to try it and see how I get on... the one thing with the cloud is that you don't have to worry ab out hardware failures ;-)

S.
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Online chris.bailey

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Re: Problems with external hard drives - should I try online backing up?
« Reply #2 on: 15:55:37, 18 November, 2017 »
On a slightly separate not I recently installed a 4Tb Synology NAS (network area storage) which is an excellent piece of kit...

+1 for that recommendation. I have had one for a year or so now and it has been faultless. There is a piece of software that goes with it call Cloud Station that you run on each computer. It creates a directory and anything saved to that immediately gets copied to the NAS. I do that from my imaging workstation so everything is immediately backed up.
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Offline Annie

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Re: Problems with external hard drives - should I try online backing up?
« Reply #3 on: 16:04:51, 18 November, 2017 »
Thanks Simon and Chris.  Simon thanks for outlining the process I can try on my PC - I'll try that first but also have a look at your recommendation for a 4TB Synology NAS that got a +1 from Chris. 

Thanks for the help.

Annie
Pulsar Observatory; NEQ6/EQ6 wedge; HEQ5 Pro; TS Star 71 Astrograph; Takahashi FSQ 106ed; Skymax 150 Pro; Nikon D600; Canon 550D modified; Canon 5D Mk11; ZWO ASI120 MM-S; Lacerta MGEN stand alone guider.

Offline Annie

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Re: Problems with external hard drives - should I try online backing up?
« Reply #4 on: 17:27:21, 18 November, 2017 »
Well have scanned both drives via properties and am told there are no errors so have started to look at some synology NAS' though can't say I fully understand what they are! Have come across this one on Amazon :

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Synology-DS216j-4TB-Desktop-Unit/dp/B01CMNI126/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511025234&sr=8-1&keywords=synology+nas+4tb&dpID=31LA1IIaBxL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

is this the sort of thing I need to replace my La Cie hard drives?

Annie
Pulsar Observatory; NEQ6/EQ6 wedge; HEQ5 Pro; TS Star 71 Astrograph; Takahashi FSQ 106ed; Skymax 150 Pro; Nikon D600; Canon 550D modified; Canon 5D Mk11; ZWO ASI120 MM-S; Lacerta MGEN stand alone guider.

Offline psjshep

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Re: Problems with external hard drives - should I try online backing up?
« Reply #5 on: 19:50:40, 18 November, 2017 »
I have been using Synology NAS's for about 8 yrs now - each has been faultless...

As Chris mentions, the cloud station software is an easy way to instantly backup obsy 'puter folders as they are created....

Phil
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Offline Annie

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Re: Problems with external hard drives - should I try online backing up?
« Reply #6 on: 20:03:30, 18 November, 2017 »
Thanks Phil - that's reassuring.

Annie
Pulsar Observatory; NEQ6/EQ6 wedge; HEQ5 Pro; TS Star 71 Astrograph; Takahashi FSQ 106ed; Skymax 150 Pro; Nikon D600; Canon 550D modified; Canon 5D Mk11; ZWO ASI120 MM-S; Lacerta MGEN stand alone guider.

Offline Nomis Elfactem

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Re: Problems with external hard drives - should I try online backing up?
« Reply #7 on: 22:57:54, 18 November, 2017 »
I got the single bay version Annie (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Synology-DS115j-Bay-Desktop-Enclosure/dp/B00MO6ZV52) and put a 4Gb disk in it... you only really need a two disk bay if you want to set up RAID to either put in redundancy or security... probably a bit overkill for general needs ;-)

S.
Simon

Scopes: Astro-Tech AT-111EDT Triplet, TS65ED Quad, Orion ST80, Modded PST-90 Solar Scope, PST Cak (on loan)
Cameras: SXVF H694, Atik 16ic, Canon EOS 600d, DMK41, DMK21, QHY 5L-II (mono & colour)
Accessories: SX USB Filter Wheel, SX OAG, Baader LRGB Ha SI OII Filters, SharpSky Focuser
Mount: EQ6 (EQMOD), SW Star Adventurer, plus a lot (and I mean a lot) of other bits and pieces

Offline stars_are_cool

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Re: Problems with external hard drives - should I try online backing up?
« Reply #8 on: 23:47:40, 18 November, 2017 »
Another +1 for NAS.
I recently upgraded my laptop and have been playing around with a variety of AP softwares until I find something that really works for me.
It’s strange that your getting problems with no physically errors on your disk.
LaCie are rugged and normally decent drives.
I’ve switched to IcyBox and use ssd.
I back-up to iCloud (only because I have 200gb cloud storage through Apple, I actually use a windows laptop).
I use OneDrive on my works’ machine and that is equally good.
Still, NAS would probably be better, and accessible over the net, yet you still have the comfort of knowing the data is physically stored on a drive in your house and not on some server somewhere else in the world.


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Offline stars_are_cool

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Re: Problems with external hard drives - should I try online backing up?
« Reply #9 on: 23:51:46, 18 November, 2017 »
PS. If you’re on a budget, you could use “Google Photos” (Google Drive), I think you get quite a lot of space for free!
Just upload to your Google account from your laptop. Bingo.


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Graham.

William Optics ZS61 (...more refractors to follow!)
Skywatcher HEQ5-Pro
Laptop (image processing in StarTools), i7 16gb RAM, SSD

Offline brendant

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Re: Problems with external hard drives - should I try online backing up?
« Reply #10 on: 10:32:36, 19 November, 2017 »
Another +1 for a RAID setup. If you count your data irreplaceable and need redundancy I would go for a dual disk NAS. A NAS contains its own software to control how your data is stored, once setup you just forget it and it just works in the background.

The two main modes of operation are RAID 0 where the data is written to both disks in blocks. The data is split between each disk and because both disks are read at the same time it is the fasted method of retrieval, unfortunately if one disk fails then your data is lost because only half of each file is stored on a single disk. With this method 2x 2Tb disks gives 4Tb of storage.

RAID 2 on the other hand stores a copy of each file to each disk, if one disk fails you have a duplicate copy on the other disk which adds the added security of data redundancy which I consider is the best solution for most home users. With this method you need 2x 4Tb disks for 4Tb of storage as you are duplicating your files

It's really down to how valuable you consider your data, can you afford to loose it should your normal hard and be unreadable. A hard disk that routinely shows errors is normally on the way, I would copy my data to a new one before it fails.

Brendan. 

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Offline Annie

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Re: Problems with external hard drives - should I try online backing up?
« Reply #11 on: 11:04:32, 19 November, 2017 »
Thanks for the info Brendan - that all makes sense and have already saved my data to a new hard drive. It's just puzzling why two of my hard drives - both La Cie are showing errors. The newer one I got free when a bought a new printer, also La Cie seems to be absolutely fine!

Thanks again
Annie
Pulsar Observatory; NEQ6/EQ6 wedge; HEQ5 Pro; TS Star 71 Astrograph; Takahashi FSQ 106ed; Skymax 150 Pro; Nikon D600; Canon 550D modified; Canon 5D Mk11; ZWO ASI120 MM-S; Lacerta MGEN stand alone guider.

Online chris.bailey

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Re: Problems with external hard drives - should I try online backing up?
« Reply #12 on: 11:55:11, 19 November, 2017 »
Annie

Sometimes doing a full reformat (untick the quick format) option can fix these errors. Perhaps worth trying it on one of them and see if that fixes it.

Chris
LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
ATIK383L+/EFW2/OAG|Lodestar|Baader 36mm LRGBHaSIIOIII
Starlight Express SXVRH16/ONAG/FW|Lodestar X2|Baader 2" Filters
Starlight Express SXVRH814/ONAG/FW|LodestarX2|Baader 2" Filters
Lunt LS60PTBF1200|DMK41|Quark Chromo
Samyang 135mm f1.8

Offline Annie

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Re: Problems with external hard drives - should I try online backing up?
« Reply #13 on: 12:04:00, 19 November, 2017 »
Already tried that Chris on both drives even though an initial message tells me there's no need to as everything is ok!  I didn't however see any option to untick the 'quick format' only the reformatting option. I may as a last effort try downloading one of the free bits of software that are supposed to help fix errors on drives.

Annie
Pulsar Observatory; NEQ6/EQ6 wedge; HEQ5 Pro; TS Star 71 Astrograph; Takahashi FSQ 106ed; Skymax 150 Pro; Nikon D600; Canon 550D modified; Canon 5D Mk11; ZWO ASI120 MM-S; Lacerta MGEN stand alone guider.

Offline brendant

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Re: Problems with external hard drives - should I try online backing up?
« Reply #14 on: 12:09:42, 19 November, 2017 »
Sorry, I should have RAID 1 instead of RAID 2 for duplicating your files on two separate NAS drives.

Unfortunately while most hard drives are very reliable they are not infallible and do fail, you are lucky when you get a warning.

Brendan.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

Skywatcher 80ED Pro,  Skywatcher Quattro 12S Newtonian,  Skywatcher EQ8 Pro Mount
Moravian Instruments G2-8300 Mono + 12 Position Filterwheel c/w Integrated OAG, Astronomik LRGB + 6nm Ha/OIII/SII filters + Lodestar x2 Guidecam, Canon EOS 1000D (Astrodon Modded), QHY5 Guidecamera. Pulsar 2.2m Automated Observatory.

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