BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!

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WGH

BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« on: 23 Mar 2020, 12:53 am »
I have been playing with computers since the stone age, progressing from Fortran IV to CP/M to DOS to all the Windows releases. All those systems have one thing in common - inevitable catastrophic hardware failure with potential loss of data.

Last Saturday as I was booting my music server in preparation for a listening session with a friend it happened to me again (but it has been a long time). The dreaded "Please Insert Disk" boot drive error... C drive was missing. I re-configured interconnects for a fun afternoon and also discovered the Oppo BDP-103 really sounds horrible on it's own, the digital out into a DAC is much better although still not at the same level as my server.

The SSD that failed was a 9 year old OCZ Vertex 3. The day before it was working perfectly, the next day nada. That is how failure works with computers.

I have always been a fan of image backups, these days I use the free Paragon Backup & Recovery Community Edition
https://www.paragon-software.com/free/br-free/#

I periodically backup to a USB hard drive, the server backup was only a month old and it only holds the OS, JRiver, and Tidal. All I needed was a new hard drive. I took the opportunity to up grade the main computer with a new 1 TB Samsung 860 EVO (super fast) and put the server image on the existing 500 GB Samsung 850 EVO which is slightly slower but not noticeable in the server. Moving two operating systems between two SSD's took a few hours but when I plugged the restored SSD into the music server it booted like nothing happened. A few Windows and music file updates and the server is faster than ever. The Samsung SSD's are a lot faster than a 9 year old OCZ, all in all a win-win.

The only glitch was Paragon put the music server image on a separate 60 GB partition, the same size of the old OCZ SSD, leaving the remaining 440 GB unused and unassigned. I could have used it as a "D" drive but instead I used the 10 day trial version of Paragon Hard Disk Manager Advanced to make one big C drive, it worked perfectly.
https://www.paragon-software.com/home/hdm-windows/#

Now that many people have more free time there is no excuse not to do a little preventive maintenance unless you really enjoy reinstalling your favorite operating system, re-tweeking, updating music files and so on. You can thank me later.

Wayne

Digi-G

Re: BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« Reply #1 on: 25 Mar 2020, 04:28 pm »
I'll thank you NOW.  Thanks for the reminder.  Starting backup now.

Regarding computer failures, especially hard drives with moving parts, I've always said it's not a matter of "if" but "when" it will fail.

toocool4

Re: BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« Reply #2 on: 25 Mar 2020, 04:59 pm »
I store all my data on an external RAID 5 NAS Server, I had a drive die not long ago after about 10 years. I just popped out the dead drive pop an new one in and the RAID re-build itself.

With my OS on my laptop, funny enough like you my OCZ Extreme died about a month ago the drive is from about 2010. On my Mac I run a complete image backup every last Saturday of the month with Carbon Copy Cloner. Like you I bought a Samsung 1TB SSD to replace the 240GB OCZ. I put in the new drive booted up on an external firewire drive and cloned back my OS. Everything was back up and running in no time.

I definitely recommend running external RAID NAS for your data, minimum RAID 1 but I recommend RAID 5. RAID means no down time.  :thumb:

ctviggen

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Re: BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« Reply #3 on: 25 Mar 2020, 05:38 pm »
Another possibility is something like unraid, though you need an entire computer for that. This is what I use.  I have 15TB of data and TWO parity drives.

Of course, nothing prevents a real failure, like the motherboard. 

For that, I backup the most important stuff to a large 6TB (I think -- the sizes keep getting bigger) drive periodically.  I have one I keep hidden at home and another I take to work.

WGH

Re: BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« Reply #4 on: 25 Mar 2020, 06:26 pm »
Good backup plan, Raid is good unless there is a lightning strike close by resulting in a surge not even a UPS power conditioner can handle, you can't unplug everything if you are sleeping or not home. All my operating system images, data, ripped and downloaded music are on separate removable USB HDD's that are always unplugged when not in use.

I had to use my music backups a few times due to operator error (mine). Accidentally deleting files while cleaning up directories is surprisingly easy to do.  :duh:

Stu Pitt

Re: BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« Reply #5 on: 25 Mar 2020, 10:17 pm »
Good backup plan, Raid is good unless there is a lightning strike close by resulting in a surge not even a UPS power conditioner can handle, you can't unplug everything if you are sleeping or not home. All my operating system images, data, ripped and downloaded music are on separate removable USB HDD's that are always unplugged when not in use.

I had to use my music backups a few times due to operator error (mine). Accidentally deleting files while cleaning up directories is surprisingly easy to do.  :duh:
I have a dedicated USB hard drive for backup too. It’s the only purpose it serves and stays unplugged except for backups. I back up to it whenever I’ve got enough new data to warrant it. Or when there’s something very important. If it’s not connected, it can’t get zapped.

I probably should get another one and store that at someone else’s house in case of disaster like fire. My sister in law had a fire a few years ago and lost everything. Important scanned documents and the like would’ve been accessible if she had a backup off site. The cloud works too, but I’m not a fan.

FullRangeMan

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Re: BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« Reply #6 on: 26 Mar 2020, 02:21 am »
The SSD that failed was a 9 year old OCZ Vertex 3. The day before it was working perfectly, the next day nada. That is how failure works with computers.
STM planned obsolescence.

dB Cooper

Re: BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« Reply #7 on: 26 Mar 2020, 03:07 am »
For archiving purposes, there is still a place for optical media although only Blu-Ray is really practical. A double layer Blu Ray 50GB disc will hold ~45GB of data once formatted. I fit my entire lossless audio library onto about five discs. (Since Tidal, my rate of accumulation of media has dropped quite a bit.) Keep them in a cool, and for ultimate safety, remote place (like your safety deposit box) and they'll probably outlast you or me and you can retrieve them if your house burns down or is hit by an asteroid..

WGH

Re: BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« Reply #8 on: 26 Mar 2020, 03:52 am »
The SSD that failed was a 9 year old OCZ Vertex 3. The day before it was working perfectly, the next day nada. That is how failure works with computers.
STM planned obsolescence.

It's more likely I tortured it to death, I'm surprised it lasted this long. As everyone knows, music servers sound better with clean power and separate power supplies for each internal component. The OCZ SSD was first powered with an Anker 5v, 2a external battery, better sound than the motherboard's switching power but got tired of always recharging. Moved to a TeraDak U9 linear power supply using the USB out (5v, 1a) for over 3 years but in hindsight maybe not enough amps. Final power supply was an Acopean B5G400 (5v, 4a) linear regulated power supply, plenty of reserve power here, the old SSD was perkier (like dating a younger woman) but could only keep it up for so long and died.

FullRangeMan

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Re: BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« Reply #9 on: 26 Mar 2020, 05:45 am »
Its too bad, in 1998 a IBM tech man told me that the prediction of defects in Ramac HDs recently installed in our company was 1 defect every 125 years, but SSD have no mobile parts.

Tone Depth

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Re: BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« Reply #10 on: 2 Apr 2020, 11:35 pm »
Congrats on your recovery! Do you have an opinion on backing up to a HDD vs. a SSD? That's a thought that has popped into my mind on occasion.


I periodically backup to a USB hard drive, the server backup was only a month old and it only holds the OS, JRiver, and Tidal. All I needed was a new hard drive. I took the opportunity to up grade the main computer with a new 1 TB Samsung 860 EVO (super fast) and put the server image on the existing 500 GB Samsung 850 EVO which is slightly slower but not noticeable in the server. Moving two operating systems between two SSD's took a few hours but when I plugged the restored SSD into the music server it booted like nothing happened. A few Windows and music file updates and the server is faster than ever. The Samsung SSD's are a lot faster than a 9 year old OCZ, all in all a win-win.

The only glitch was Paragon put the music server image on a separate 60 GB partition, the same size of the old OCZ SSD, leaving the remaining 440 GB unused and unassigned. I could have used it as a "D" drive but instead I used the 10 day trial version of Paragon Hard Disk Manager Advanced to make one big C drive, it worked perfectly.
https://www.paragon-software.com/home/hdm-windows/#

Wayne

WGH

Re: BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 12:57 am »
I back up to HDD because I have plenty laying around, modern SSD's are just as good but the backup speed will be determined by the USB buss (2.0 vs. 3.0), in my case there would be no speed advantage because of my slow USB 2.0.

Backups on a SSD that are refreshed regularly are not a problem. Data retention in an unplugged SSD may be as little as 1 year or as long as 10 years but nobody knows for sure because they are too new and memory is getting better all the time, it's a moving target. Google "SSD data retention" for a range of opinions.

https://blog.elcomsoft.com/2019/01/why-ssds-die-a-sudden-death-and-how-to-deal-with-it/
"Samsung Evo 840, one of the early SSD drives based on planar TLC flash, was an excellent example. The manufacturer was overly optimistic when estimating lifespan of the then-new TLC flash cells. The cells degraded significantly faster than planned. Unable to withstand even the modest 20 to 30 program/erase cycles, the cells leaked charge in powered-off state extremely fast. Many users lost data from unpowered Evo 840 drives after only 30 days of storage."

FullRangeMan

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Re: BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 01:20 am »
It have to do with magnet fields in the near area of what?

Folsom

Re: BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 01:23 am »
Hmm, I would use an enterprise HDD that is reviewed well by people that run servers or something like that. You can get them with like 5-6 year warranties.

Philistine

Re: BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 01:38 pm »
I use a RAID 5 NAS, and Backblaze - Backblaze is inexpensive, $5 per month for 1TB, and gives you offsite backups.  All HD’s fail, just a question of when.

Folsom

Re: BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!
« Reply #15 on: Yesterday at 08:26 pm »
I use a RAID 5 NAS, and Backblaze - Backblaze is inexpensive, $5 per month for 1TB, and gives you offsite backups.  All HD’s fail, just a question of when.

I suppose that depends how you feel about offsite storage. But yes, they all fail! That's why I like ones with warranties, they're going to at least try to make it last that long.

We really do need better forms of storage that don't go bad. It's an awful lot of waste at this point retiring old HD's constantly.