Backup disk failure

Tiras25
Tiras25 used Ask the Experts™
on
This looks bad. At my clients.. Disk Management doesn’t list the drive except to say “Disk 1 Unknown Unreadable”.  Trying to access F:\ (the drive letter) always fails, cannot see any directories or files under it.

Should I have someone on-site disconnect and reconnect the drive?
Should I try to check SMART data? (also how does one view SMART data in windows?)
It seems most likely the drive is dead, but the hardware manager lists the drive as working properly. (Probably working properly as in, still a working USB device, but the disk may still have failed)

How do you think I should proceed?
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EE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional
Commented:
Disconnect and reconnect couldn't hurt. Is this an external USB drive? Usually if an internal drive starts getting flaky, I would disconnect it from the drive cable and reconnect. You can stilll do that with a USB drive, but maybe not something you'd want your client to do themselves.

Still assuming its a USB drive, if you have another USB shell handy it might be worth trying the drive in a different shell.

If you do get the drive going, get it copied right away in case it flakes out again.

Author

Commented:
I will give it a try.  I also understand this is not a very mature method for backups but this is only for a small law firm with two users.  What can be improved here without spending too much $$ but have more reliable backup system?
Thanks!
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
what i would do  is :
-remove the drive from usb, and connect it directly to IDE or sata
-now test the drive, to know it's status - if bad, replace -  or try to repiar the problem
find the diags here :    http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287      
or run them from the ubcd :   http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      

-if you want  a faster backup, use eSata :
card :  http://www.cooldrives.com/sata-cards.html
enclosure : http://www.sataenclosure.com/

i have 2 of these AKASA  - they have USB2, and eSata possibility :  http://www.overclock.co.uk/product/Akasa-P2-Series-3.5inch-External-HDD-Enclosure,-for-e-SATA-&-USB-2.0,-Black_963.html
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Author

Commented:
Looks like reconnecting and powering off/on helped.  Copying data over now.

The eSata you mentioned.  I know it is faster.  But is it a more reliable way then just external USB drive?
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
eSata is in fact the same as Sata, so yes, i would think it is more reliable, but i could not find any info proving it
what i know, is that USB is widely used, and eSata is not

but using the above devices, you have the choice
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional
Commented:
There are "cloud" backup services that might be worth investigating. Iron mountain has one, for example. Just using an external USB has a lot of things that can go wrong with it... drive failure for one.

At the very least, they might look into a small SAN enclosure with two disks. Then at least they are protected from a drive failure.

Author

Commented:
I am thinking Mozy Pro.  Used for few small clients and maybe use for this one also..  What do you think about Mozy?
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional

Commented:
Mozy Pro almost seems like an online image to me, and not a copy. It is pretty good, but keep all your options in mind. Some reviewers don't like it and I agree with their reasons (such as if you accidentally delete a file on your system, it will eventually be deleted from your backup as well).

http://everydaysimplicity.blogspot.com/2008/07/computer-crash-1-mozypro-remote-backup.html
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13554_3-9752330-33.html

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