External Drive Help

Hi All,

I had a surprise yesterday when my external drive - a Western Digital 1TB My Passport suddenly refused to recognise certain of my music folders (high-res and DSD downloads). I also received an error message - cyclic redundance check. Fortunately after running tools and check disk, the drive started working again and I re-imported the missing music files in JRiver.

This external drive is connected to my Baetis Server and plays music (mainly CDs ripped to FLAC using DB Poweramp) through the JRiver software. However, I am also starting to download more music over the web and this issue got me thinking as to how I might improve my back up system as these downloads have no physical media back up like a CD.

Currently as per Baetis` recommendations, I rip music to a separate external drive on my laptop using DB Poweramp or I download directly from websites like HD Tracks - in each case this music is transferred to My Passport External Drive. In addition, every time I download new music I manually copy across these files to a Seagate 4TB back-up hard drive.

Do you think I could be doing anything better in terms of handling files? I suspect it becomes a matter of how much redundancy I am prepared to pay for but interested to hear from people with more experience. It would also be great to be able to configure the Seagate back-up drive to copy certain files automatically from the My Passport drive but not sure this is possible.

Thanks in advance

The first thing I would recommend you do is get rid of any WD drives. They're very slow and extremely unreliable. There's not too many people that make HD's anymore, but of all the common brands, I think Seagate is the best. So, If it were me, I would just get Seagate drives, both internal and external. I would also get an good surge suppressor with a battery back up. You can get a nice one for about $100 to $150.
I have two of the QNAP NAS boxes with the same library on
each and keep them at different locations. They update
each other over ethernet (slow) or by my taking a 4tB HD
from one to the other.

I have a couple of the 1-2tB portable drives for casual

P.S.: I used them with a Baetis, too.
Thanks all - very helpful. I had not appreciated that the WD drives were unreliable. I will look into this. The QNAP looks a beast and I will read up more about this.

Kr4 - what have you moved on to after the Baetis?
Zd542, I disagree with the blanket statement that WD are unreliable. They make some great drives (as does Seagate). The key understanding is that all hard drives will fail eventually.

Consequently, an automated backup solution IS A MUST. I recommend Crashplan, which has unlimited backups to locally-connected drives, drives on your friends' computers (encrypted so that they can't see your data), and online at Crashplan's central data storage. They have unlimited data storage plan; I have easily 3-4 TB backed up on their servers (and my other computers in my private network).

I would invest the time to have a solid backup strategy before sinking any more money or time into music downloads or CD rips. It will pay dividends in the future, as you've just learned.

I also received an error message - cyclic redundance check
That's a hardware error where the data in a sector does not match up with the number stored for verification. You were lucky that it was recovered. The only thing that may have caused that is if you lost power while the drive was writing data that is not the fault of hardware. When the hard drive writes data it also counts the number of bits that are active. Then it writes that number at the end of the sector.

That said I would personally consider another back up drive/device. Assuming the crc error was NOT as a result of a power failure or maybe a static discharge causing the crc not to be written. Otherwise it could happen again and not be recoverable. But the fact that is was recoverable this time is a pretty good indication it MIGHT not hardware.

It seems as if you already have a back up of your WD Passport on the Seagate. I would suggest replacing the WD with a NAS that runs mirroring and keep the Seagate. I have an inexpensive Iomega NAS that mirrors and if I have a drive failure when I replace the faulty drive it will automatically restore the replacement drive. I personally have Seagate drives in mine. I also have it on a battery. As far as brand I will say if man made it - it will break. Over the last 20 years I have seen less failures with Seagate. I also have some WD 4gb disks that still work and they are over 12 yrs old. My recommendation is never to buy the least expensive but somewhere in the middle of the line up. The most expensive only features faster read and writes which not necessary for audio streamers.