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

I just went through a cyclic redundancy check issue with a WD 4 Tb drive. It worked fine most of the time then I would see an error. I tried ckdisk on it and it never finished. I also had virus scans just hang. Finally replaced the drive and all is well. I think there was something wrong with the control hardware/software but I could not track it down. My point is that you should keep a close eye on your drive. The problem may come back.
I have good luck with 1TB Fantom drives. For about 10 years i use one at work for backup and one at home. I use it for the music, pictures etc. In addition I have two backups (total of 4 Fantoms). I keep one at home and one at work just in case of fire or theft. I do backup from time to time alternating drives. Unpowered drives tend not to fail. As I said I have good luck because other people have failures with them. Same might be true with WD. I don't know if it is just particular batch or luck.
Agreed Dtc and the problem did come back. The drive is now useless so I have just ordered a replacement Seagate external drive. It is shame that the companies that sell the music downloads do not allow us to re-download in these circumstances although this would also be a major hassle so having decent back-up seems the only way to deal with this.
"Same might be true with WD. I don't know if it is just particular batch or luck.
Kijanki (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)"

WD used to be one of the best HD's you could get, and then, for whatever reason, the quality went downhill. I used to by custom PC's from this one company, because I used to be into flight simulators, and I remember when they were forced to drop WD altogether. But you're right. Even if the quality has gone down, that doesn't mean that every HD they make will fail.


Sorry. My comment about the HD being a fake was a joke. There's been a current rise in the number of counterfeit audio products. Cables mostly. I didn't think anyone would take it seriously.
Rlwainwright, most of the reputable cloud backup services offer options to "seed" the data on their system from a hard drive that you send them, and to send you a hard drive with data for restore. So you can skip the sometimes month-long process of backups over a slow Internet connection for Terabyte-quantity data.

Generally, though, this involves a fee (I've often seen between $100 and $200). But you have to factor in the value of your data, such as how much money you spent on the CD's and what your time was worth spending hundreds of hours over the course of years ripping those CD's. So it could easily be money well spent to provide another layer of protection to your data.

As a former computer professional and long-time audio enthusiast, my best advice to someone either already into computer audio or just starting out in it are:

1) Start with a multi-faceted backup plan. This means local and offsite backups. In my opinion, they should be automated (to ensure that they get done, and get done frequently). Crashplan and similar services (Mozy, Carbonite, etc) make this easy.
2) Understand that RAID (1/5/6/10) DOES NOT MEAN PROTECTION FROM MOST DATA LOSS SITUATIONS. It protects against ONE thing only: The loss of a single hard drive. And that assumes you can detect it and replace it in a timely fashion.
3) Use commercial-grade drives. For bang for the buck, I recommend Western Digital's SE drives. I've had several operating continuously for several years. I also use WD's RE3 and RE4 drives. Not cheap, but I've also never had one fail. Seagate has some nice drives, too. Check Newegg reviews and you'll find the drives that are the reliable workhorses.
4) BE ORGANIZED. This means having a consistent way of tagging the data from the start (especially important with Classical music, as that's still rather challenging to deal with, since much of our software and tags seem to be more designed for pop music).
5) Stay flexible. Don't start using a proprietary method for storing your data that can't easily be adapted to other software. This is where FLAC is very useful, as it's (almost) ubiquitous; the major exception is iTunes.
6) Don't lose sight of why you're doing this. Sit back, relax, and let the computer discover songs in your collection that you've forgotten about and never would have thought to play. Enjoy the ease with which you can select music to play, and even play throughout the house.