Well, Dammit.

Got out of bed this morning (I’ve been sick for the past three days), walked into the office, and my external 250G hard drive (a Western Digital combo USB2/Firewire unit) is making “CLACK. CLACK. CLACK” noises. It’s dead.

I lost a bit of stuff obtained via BitTorrent, along with lots of PDF archive documents, some work I’d done scanning a 300-page book to release as a PDF (with the author’s permission), and worst of all, the 40G of scanned comic books I’d collected over the past three years. I have nobody to blame but myself – I had another external 250G disk here that I’d been intending to hang off the Airport Extreme and use for backup for months now, but I never got off my ass and set it up.

After I finished being angry about the dead drive (which was TWO MONTHS out of its one-year warranty), I hooked up the other disk and set up Time Machine to do backups of my internal drive for now.

Thanks to a consulting client of mine, I’ve got two 500G Hitachi SATA disks on the way that should be here early next week. I’ll be putting each of them in a gutted Sun 411 disk enclosure, replacing the internal SCSI bits with a Sabrent USB2 to SATA adapter.

Once those disks are ready, I’ll be dedicating one of them as a Time Machine backup disk, with the other in two partitions; one for “critical” data (will be backed up) and the other for non-critical data (not backed up). The single 500G external for Time Machine should be plenty to keep a “rescue” copy of all the data on my internal (250G) drive and the 250G “critical” external.

This will leave my current USB2-based external 250G disk that I’m using for Time Machine until the 500Gs get here; I’ll either keep it detatched and hook it up once a month for “last ditch” backups, or hang it off the old Dell SC420 in the other room that does nothing but rsnapshot backups of my colocated server in Austin.

2 thoughts on “Well, Dammit.

  1. Dude,

    This is were ZFS comes into its own..
    I got two 400GB Seagate SATA2 disks and after about two months one packed up for no reason. Did I lose any thing? No ! ZFS took care of it all no worries ;~)


  2. Yeah, I’d be using ZFS if it was production-quality on OSX. Unfortunately, it’s still very “developer beta”.

    My main system at home is a Mac, and Time Machine only works (for now) on HFS+. The Dell in the other room runs Solaris x86 with ZFS on all filesystems.

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