Chris J Powell

Grrrr…Technology I Forsake YOU!!!

Why is it that just when you think that you have everything “technology wise” running smoothly and efficiently that there is something that pops up and raises its head like an ugly spectre and has you consider life as a Luddite.  Much of my day yesterday was spent scraping together the remnants of Hard Drives that failed in my NAS system that just up and quit yesterday.

To go a little more in depth about my latest technology blunder that has me cursing under my breath and not so much under my breath is the recovery of 3 TB of data that mysteriously disappeared when my NAS went south yesterday.  Before people start to question my lack of RAID, and solid back up procedures…I have already heard it from my Facebook friends and through private messages all over the place.  I know that I need to have a better backup strategy.

Luckily, my photos and music were already stored on another drive but these are both being backed up to DVD today and then stored away.  These things alone amount to over 900GB for me so for those out there saying that I should back up to the cloud…I say this…sure that would work and I would love to BUT…are you paying my Amazon Cloud Storage bill?  I seem to have really bad luck with drives though as my office desk is becoming a burial ground for failed drives and amazingly enough it is not one brand that it keeps happening to me with…I have had Western Digital (Blue, Black and Green), Samsung, Seagate and Fujitsu all go south on me in the past 18 months.

So I am left with the question of…what am I doing that is causing so many hard drive failures?  The loss of my latest two drives probably stems from the adventures of a young kitten about a year ago that saw the cords hanging from the shelf on which the NAS was placed and pulled down the whole setup sending it 6 feet to the ground…that I get but I have had (as you can see from the image above) 7 HDD failures in 18 months.  Some were on very old drives (like the 250GB Samsung Drive that was my primary OS Drive for nearly 8 years but it finally died) or the Western Digital Blue that I purchased and it literally lasted 1 week before it started spitting out bad sectors.

I have a top of the line tower now that has 5 Fans and liquid cooling for the CPU so Heat should not be the cause.  I tend to keep my office exactly the same and not move things around much so it should not be bumps and bangs.  Because my computer is kept in the basement there is an outside chance that humidity could be an issue but with Central Air now that should be mitigated some what.

I am at a loss for words.  The most common drives that seem to fail are the 500GB drives from Western Digital.  They are shot out at incredible prices and in all honesty…they have truly become a throw away (but I never do) purchase.

So for now at least, my hopes of creating a fully functional Private Cloud while on my holidays is at some what of a standstill.  While I could simply go out and purchase a new NAS and complete the diagnostics on the Drives to make sure that I will not have another failure in a week or so…I am thinking that I will look into the building of a “Home Server” that will as a DIY project for the coming weeks.  Something that will better suite my own needs and let me grow the Personal Cloud.  Considering how affordable USB Drives have become I was actually thinking of doing something like the “daisy chain” efforts that was demonstrated over at

image 93 NASLite   DIY NAS

Of course I am not one to just copy any project directly…no I want to dive into the full on construction of the Case, customize either freeNAS or build out a full Amazon EC2 Private Cloud using Ubuntu and OpenStack.  Either way…I couldn’t really say good bye to my Technology.


Chris J Powell

2 thoughts on “Grrrr…Technology I Forsake YOU!!!

  1. If you’re going to build your own storage server, check out OpenIndiana (that’s what they’re calling the free version of Solaris these days) and an install package called napp-it. The install couldn’t be simpler. Download OpenIndiana and install it, accepting the defaults – nothing special there. Then open a command prompt and type a single command that goes out on the net, grabs the napp-it package and installs it. From there on out, you use the server’s web front end from a browser on another workstation. It’s easy to set up Windows shares and all kinds of other services. The web interface is great. Top it all off with the fact that OE uses ZFS – the most reliable file system around. Build your RAID-Z arrays and setup your storage/shares and you’re good to go.

    Sure, I can hear other folks squawking: RAID and a good file system are no replacement for a good backup – even ZFS and RAID-Z. And they’re right. However, when you’re dealing with stuff that is not mission critical, you can take a much more laissez faire approach. I built a home server like this with 16 TB of storage for about $2,000 over a year ago. It has run slick as greased lightning since day 1. Because of the way I organized the storage, and the fact that I put in a good Intel NIC, the server will push close to the theoretical max data throughput for 1 GigE over my network. I routinely get 100+ MB/sec transfer rates to and from the server over my home network.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.