Home > Uncategorized > Bang! Goes the External Hard Drive

Bang! Goes the External Hard Drive

My 320GB external hard drive has died … RIP

A few years ago my laptop hard drive failed and then my external hard drive failed two weeks later which had my backup. I ended up losing everything and paying a data recovery company a few hundred pounds to recover the files. Ever since then I’ve been a bit anal about my backup process.

I used to have my own dedicated web server but recently scaled back to a hosting account as I don’t need the bandwidth any more — long story about celebrity fan sites and my tenuous involvement with one that consumed 360GB per month and at one point had over 4,000 unique visitors per day. Anyhow, my backup would start overnight as my desktop PC runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year … unless it’s a leap year.

My web server had a cron job setup to dump the MySQL databases every 1, 4 or 24 hours depending on the popularity of the site and the amount of changing data. My backup script on the PC would then FTP all of the web site files and database dumps down to my local PC, only updating the changed files. This would all be stored on a 250GB external hard drive along with other important stuff. I’d then replicate this using robocopy to another 320GB external hard drive so I had two copies of everything.

Today, my 320GB drive was turned off after far too many ‘Delayed Write Failure’ messages. It’s been bugging me for a few months but I only had time to diagnose the problem today. I ended up using the diagnostic tools from Western Digital to test the drive which it said had too many bad sectors. I think the drive was only 18 months old and it’s probably been complaining for 12 of those 18 months so it must have been a duff drive from the beginning.

I figured it was time to change my backup process though so I’ve signed up for Mozy and will see how it goes.

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  1. May 15, 2009 at 11:09 pm

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