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#217691 - 08/09/08 08:53 AM NAS
Riker Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 375
Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
If anyone is considering having a Network Attached Storage device, like I have in the D-Link DNS-323..here's a warning.. make sure you have a backup of all of your data some place else.

I had 2 X 500GB Seagate drives in a JBOD array, the Dlink crapped out.. my drives are fine.. but I have NO WAY of accessing the data on my own. Got a new DNS-323 thinking I'll just plug in my drives and voila.. not a chance.. they have to be reformatted..

So, my only recourse, is to have a data recovery company rebuild the jbod array and get my stuff off the drives..

The cost for that ? minimum $1,000.00 dollars.. Ya.. I'm not impressed right now..

The data ? 400GB of music, but more important, every single digital picture I took in the last 4 years..plus the very first 2 mini-dv tapes of my daughter when she was 3 years old.. That, I have to have back..

Just thought I would share that unfortunate experience here in the hopes it can be avoided in the future.

Riker
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Acoustic Zen Adagio, Veritas center, Axiom EP500, QS8s, Anthem AVM20, MC20,Adcom GFA7400

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#217692 - 08/09/08 09:02 AM Re: NAS [Re: Riker]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16259
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Sorry to hear about your unfortunate situation. \:\(

Yes, backup is critical to the longevity of your data. Don't leave your data in one place, even if that one place is a set of redundant drives (e.g. RAID1). I got bitten by a hard drive crash about 4 years ago and lost many family pictures. I've since learned.
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#217694 - 08/09/08 10:47 AM Re: NAS [Re: pmbuko]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
 Originally Posted By: pmbuko

Don't leave your data in one place


Including one physical location if the data is very important to you. I've seen many small fires (trashcans etc…) that did little damage to the room but destroyed computers and melted the plastic media stored in the room.
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#217695 - 08/09/08 11:07 AM Re: NAS [Re: Riker]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
You have my sympathies. I work in IT and so I know the importance of redundant (or double redundant) backups. I'm the DBA for my company and so I'm extremely picky when it comes to backup plans. Something like this demonstrates why companies spend tons of money on serious backup systems. Data is priceless.

My Photo + Music collection totals about 80GB. It all 'lives' on my notebook, but I keep two backup copies on two different external USB drives (one at home, one at work), and a third backup on an old Linux PC at home, just in case.

I don't know much about the DNS-323.... ok, reading about it...

D-Link's site says it's a RAID 1 array, which means your drives were just mirrored. Is that how you set up the RAID array? If so, that might be good, because there's no striping issues to deal with. If you were using a RAID 1 array, each of those 500gb drives should be an exact mirror of each other. If you know the drives are ok and it's just the controller that crapped out, your data might still be ok. Other RAID types stripe the data across multiple drives, and recovery is a bit more difficult with them. It depends on how the RAID 1 controller works (and I have no idea with the 323), but your data might be completely intact and easily accessible. Maybe.

Disclaimer: Ok, from here on out things could get dangerous. I'm *not* an expert on RAID arrays, but I know just enough to be dangerous. I can't promise that any of my advice will help, or maybe even further destroy your data. Take my advice with extreme caution....

Do you have a PC with a SATA controller? If so, remove one of the 500GB drives from the 323 and put it in your PC as a secondary drive. Boot with the PC's normal boot drive, of course, but that other drive should then be recognized by OS. You might get lucky and all of your files will be right there, and you could then just copy them somewhere else safe. I would think that this would be pretty safe to do, as either the data will be there or it won't. If that drive works, then the rest of your files ought to be on the second drive.

You could also try buying a second 323 and putting these drives in it and seeing if it would be able to read the data. Again, since we're not dealing with striping, it might just work. Of course, the danger here is that it would do some sort of auto-initialization and wipe out the data.

A third option would be to scour the net for details about how the 323 works. I'd bet that the 323 is a simple little Linux box. It's possible that you could find a group of tinkerers out there in another forum somewhere that could tell you how to re-build the array from an actual linux box and get your data back. That just depends on how much hardware you have lying around at home, and how confident you are in your abilities.

EDIT: Nevermind, I didnt' pay close enough attention to your post and now see that you were using them in a JBOD array.That changes things, since your data wasn't mirrored. There may still be ways to recover the data.

Seriously, Good Luck.
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#217696 - 08/09/08 11:20 AM Re: NAS [Re: PeterChenoweth]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Doing a google serach for 'rebuilding JBOD array' returns some results...

http://forums.nvidia.com/lofiversion/index.php?t16706.html

http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?t=496849

That second one points to software called GetDataBack:
http://www.download.com/GetDataBack-Data-Recovery/3000-2094_4-10061631.html

Might help...
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#217811 - 08/11/08 03:15 PM Re: NAS [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Riker Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 375
Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Thanks Peter.. appreciate your post. I am in IT as well, but it never occured to me that I would not be able to just plug them in another exact same device and see all my files. I actually did get a second dns-323 unit, but it would not recognize the drives until I formatted them..which I did not do of course.

I feel that my only safe alternative is to bring the drives in and have them recovered by a company that specializes in that line of work. I am very confident that I can get my data back.. but it's going to be hard to swallow the price tag of a grand.

Now I will have 2 dns devices and they will both have the same data.. and I am going to get an BD burner and burn it there as well..triple play.

Lesson is most definitively learned.
_________________________
Acoustic Zen Adagio, Veritas center, Axiom EP500, QS8s, Anthem AVM20, MC20,Adcom GFA7400

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#217832 - 08/11/08 11:21 PM Re: NAS [Re: Riker]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11144
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I've been worrying about losing my data lately. Right now I keep everything important on just one external hard drive. I think I need to at least make it RAID, and regularly backing up to DVD would be wise, I suppose. I still don't know exactly how I want to approach it.
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#217874 - 08/12/08 12:57 PM Re: NAS [Re: CV]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
Unless you have specialized needs like making constant changes to your data, the most effective way to backup is to an external hard drive.

From what I understand, raid becomes usefull in critical applications where you write lots of new data on an ongoing basis and/or need high availability of data. Something like a hospital where a disc crash could result in lost x-rays or scans, or a database application where you need to verify data as something moves through multiple processes.

What type, and how often you backup depends on how much your data changes. If it's music you rip once, you really don't need to back it up every week.

At work we do daily incremental bacups (stuff thats new each day) and weekly full backups (everything on a drive).

I havn't set myself any formal backup schedule for full backups, but once every 6 months might be a good start.
_________________________
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-------
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#217876 - 08/12/08 01:21 PM Re: NAS [Re: fredk]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6735
Loc: PEI, Canada
I've been experimenting with freeware backup programs to backup my data to an external hard drive in a scheduled nightly run. So far, I have not found a perfect solution.

Anybody have good ideas on an inexpensive software solution for this on XP? Ideally, I'd like to maintain a parallel image of my various data directories. I prefer not to deal with incremental backups where I have to figure out which historical backup date contains the file I need.

Hmmm, sounds like I am describing RAID 1. Maybe I should just do that again but external storage would be nice should my entire PC take a beating.
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With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#217877 - 08/12/08 01:23 PM Re: NAS [Re: Murph]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17741
Loc: NoVA
RAID is not a backup. RAID is redundancy, but if the data goes bad, it instantly goes bad on both disks.
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#217880 - 08/12/08 01:29 PM Re: NAS [Re: Ken.C]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6735
Loc: PEI, Canada
Good Point.

So any further suggestions on automating backups of personal data? I'm familiar with commercial grade products or at least I used to be years ago, but most 'low cost' stuff I'm finding seems centered on CD/DVD backup or incremental.

Sorry I'm hijacking here but it is more or less related for his future options.
_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#217881 - 08/12/08 01:31 PM Re: NAS [Re: Murph]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13318
Loc: Iowa
I would check out Lime Technologies Un-Raid servers.
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#217944 - 08/13/08 11:30 AM Re: NAS [Re: Murph]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
 Originally Posted By: Murph
Good Point.

So any further suggestions on automating backups of personal data? I'm familiar with commercial grade products or at least I used to be years ago, but most 'low cost' stuff I'm finding seems centered on CD/DVD backup or incremental.

Sorry I'm hijacking here but it is more or less related for his future options.


IMHO, the easiest and most cost effective way to backup your personal data is by using external USB hard drives. Standard USB drives. No mirroring or RAID arrays. KISS. You can get 500GB ones for $80. Nicer versions even come with automated backup software. Some even have a single-button you press to perform the backup automatically. If you have to evacuate your home you can easily grab the drive and take it with you.

The other nice thing about them is that you can do what the 'big boys' do and do off-site backups. You could easily keep an extra drive at a trusted friend's house, in a fireproof safe, or even in a safe deposit box at a bank. If something catastrophic happens to your home, your priceless photos, videos, and documents will be safe elsewhere.

I do not trust CD's or DVD's to archive important data. The media simply does not last. Not enough that I'd trust them, anyway. I've seen DVD's +/-R disks become unreadable in as little as 2 years.
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Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#217945 - 08/13/08 11:32 AM Re: NAS [Re: Ken.C]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
RAID is not a backup. RAID is redundancy, but if the data goes bad, it instantly goes bad on both disks.


This is true, but read/write speed is also a major reason to use certain RAID types.


_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#217946 - 08/13/08 11:44 AM Re: NAS [Re: PeterChenoweth]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
I agree with the Peters.

We have more than one computer on all the time at home (just don't start with me about electricity). I use the free version of SyncBack and like it very much. It enables me to set up scheduled backups or synchronizations between any folders anywhere on the network. Since internal storage is even cheaper than external USB drives, I just have everybody store their documents, music, pictures, etc. on the server and back it up every night to another drive on the network. I'm really happy with this software.

AND I periodically update an external USB drive for offsite backup. \:\)
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#217949 - 08/13/08 02:15 PM Re: NAS [Re: tomtuttle]
coldrick Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/24/08
Posts: 60
Loc: Tasmania, Australia
And for Mac folks, it's hard to go past SuperDuper for backups. I paid for my copies, I use the scheduling feature for automated backups.

Drobo looks interesting for redundancy: I think it's proprietary, not actually RAID-n, if that matters to you. And the latest version has Firewire 800.

Regards,
David

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#217950 - 08/13/08 02:53 PM Re: NAS [Re: Ken.C]
Lohengrin Offline
buff

Registered: 07/02/08
Posts: 52
Loc: Texas
As I mentioned in another thread, I use the HP MediaSmart Server at home. It does an automatic backup every night of any computer that is connected to the network. It saves (default) the last three days/weeks/months of backups.
I have it set up where it mirrors data (RAID 1) across all drives for regular storage of photos and important documents. Everything else (movies/music/etc.) is standard storage.
For redundancy I also copy photos and the occassional backup to a bookdrive and my laptop. Those copies are stored on the hard-drive at work as well.
At work, we use an offsite (online) backup for important data.
Yes, I have lost irreplaceable data before. It's amazing what a loss can do to your security.

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#217953 - 08/13/08 03:00 PM Re: NAS [Re: Lohengrin]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Lohengrin, as I was reading your post I was thinking to myself,'I bet this guy has lost some important data before.'

Then I got to the last sentence. Ha! ;\)

All it takes is one good 'awww *%#@' moment to change your view of backups forever.
_________________________
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SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#217960 - 08/13/08 04:39 PM Re: NAS [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Lohengrin Offline
buff

Registered: 07/02/08
Posts: 52
Loc: Texas
You think that sounds bad...

You should see my wife "clear" the house since the robbery. Scary.

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#218084 - 08/15/08 11:10 AM Re: NAS [Re: Lohengrin]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6735
Loc: PEI, Canada
Thanks Peter, I have an external drive that I am currently using in this manner. However, the software that came with it insist on a total backup of all my chosen folders every time.

I was experimenting with bunch of freeware software that runs a synch process every night so it only adds or deletes files that have changed. Kind of like Raid 1, but not instantaneous so if I accidentally destroy a file, I have a bit of a window to go get it from my backup.

The Freeware stuff works but each one had its own minor quirk so I was ready to buy something that comes recommended. I should have been more specific but was trying to leave it open as I would get more suggestions.

Thanks all.

Anywhooo, lots of good advice up there.
_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#221833 - 09/21/08 04:56 AM Re: NAS [Re: coldrick]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11144
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
 Originally Posted By: coldrick
Drobo looks interesting for redundancy: I think it's proprietary, not actually RAID-n, if that matters to you. And the latest version has Firewire 800.


I'm considering the Drobo. So no one here is using it?
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#221841 - 09/21/08 08:57 AM Re: NAS [Re: CV]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16259
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I'm not using it, but I would be if I had the money left over after having bought all the more important things on my list. Like a TV.
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"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#221842 - 09/21/08 09:25 AM Re: NAS [Re: CV]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10832
Loc: Central NH
Actually, I'm looking into the Drobo now that they've moved to Firewire 800 with the second generation...
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