It's more than a house. It's an adventure.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Got backups?

We all talk big about having backups of our important data. Most of us, I'm sure, don't actually do it. I've been trying for the past 3 months, but keep hitting a major snag.

I got a 200GB USB2 hard drive for Christmas last year. As my PC only has 160GB of space, total, I was finally in a position to make real, full backups! I hooked the drive up and got to work, starting with my digital photos. That went fine. Then I tried my 60GB MP3 collection. After a while, I locked up. Repeat this cycle a few more times. I always figured it was my off-brand USB2 card - I had had trouble with lockups when I first got it for my printer. I decided I could chug along for a while.

A few weeks ago, I tried again. Same results - I locked up hard when copying from my "media" drive. Whether I used the command line or Windows Explorer, I got lockups. I've been trying again this week. And, once again, the whole system locks. I started wondering if it might not be the USB card after all.

I have, in my PC, 2 80GB drives. My primary is a 2 or 3 year old Seagate 7200RPM model. The secondary is the original drive that came with the computer (now pushing 5 years old), a Western Digital 5400RPM model. The S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics come up showing no significant trouble with either drive, though the WD is a little less healthy - but still within normal parameters. So tonight I downloaded the WD diagnostic utility. Less than 10 minutes into running the "extended" guessed it, hard freeze.

I also was reminded last night that on rare occasions, while doing a mass update of ID3 tags in iTunes, I'd also been getting freezes. Interesting coincidence. Maybe it's a heat problem? Or just large amounts of disk access? I can copy small batches of files from the WD drive just fine - it's when I try to do more than 5 or 6 gigabytes that I get problems, when making my backups.

So, I'm testing now, copying about 14GB from my Seagate to the external drive. This has been running about 30 minutes now and so far, no problems.

So I guess I have to do my backups in small batches, and then abandon the WD drive? Seems like my only way out at this stage. I don't know that I can trust this old drive any longer. Right now, it's just freezing the computer - how long till it starts corrupting or losing my data?


  • I have a Soyo BayOne XP media card reader (internal) that connects via USB and every so often, it causes my PC to lock up in Windows mode. Fire it up in Linux, no problem. Go back to Windows, and no sound and none of the USB ports work UNTIL I unhook the reader from the mobo and reconnect it. Soyo fails to comment on this.

    By Blogger El Gee, at 3/31/2006 6:51 AM  

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