Backitup 2

Within this communication I essentially told you that my NAS Drive had died and I was reasonably convinced I had lost my data but had a plan to get it back.

I had originally thought I could plug the hard drives into a Sata socket and the PC would be able to read them. It didn’t. This was because they were in a RAID configuration and also Linux so I would need the iOmega NAS to be able to read them.

The data recovery software did manage to find half a terabyte of data but as I explained this wasn’t formatted well and the file names were missing, because the files were RAIDed. This was my last resort really. I have spent a LOT of time arranging the files into a decent directory structure and using decent naming conventions.

Next plan was to order exactly the same enclosure as the one that died and hope I could put my disks into it and it would read them for me to copy the files over to the new NAS drive. I found one on eBay but lost that auction at the last moment because I was busy at that time and my phone didn’t notify me. I was gutted about this.

So, I ordered the next best thing. A complete iOmega NAS drive the same as the one which died. There were no more enclosures on eBay. This was costly. However, it arrived and was as described.

The tricky bit now was wondering whether it would read my existing disks with the data, try to format them or just die in the process. I decided an order of operations which minimised my chances of data loss.

  • Turned of new Synology NAS.
  • Turned on new (but not quite) iOmega NAS. Plugged it into the network and tried to communicate with it without installing the CD based software. This worked.
  • I then called the iOmega NAS the same thing as the dead one. It was running a lower version of firmware and this bothered me slightly. The interface was different. I then turned it off.
  • I installed ONE old HDD into the second hand enclosure and turned it on while connected to the network. My plan was to try and log into the device before it decided to automatically format my data-filled drive.
  • Nothing happened. Just some flashing lights.
  • Next, I tried both old HDDs in the new enclosure and hoped. Once again . . . nothing.

I was quite distressed at this moment. The new enclosure wasn’t reading the old HDD at all and I didn’t think I would get my data back. Then I had an idea. Maybe, just maybe, the old iOmega enclosure would power up? I was convinced it was the power circuitry on the board that had died. I mean there was smoke last week.

So, I thought. I’d plug the new power cable into the old box with the HDDs just slotted in to see what would happen. The fucking thing only went and started and seemed to run just fine. I have no idea what happened last time. I don’t know what the smoke was. All I had to do now was hope that the old enclosure would survive for long enough for me to get data. In all it took about three hours to transfer everything to a HDD inside the PC. Then I had to transfer everything to the new NAS drive. This was quicker as I think it has a far better read-write rate than the old box.

So, the data was restored and I now had two copies.

I had formatted a plan. The Synology is to be the main NAS and storage centre in the house. I have also installed one of the HDD from the old enclosure into the PC and it will have only NAS drive data on it. I can used an FTP program to sync that once a month or so. This way I have a separate copy of the NAS data in a useable format. The next thing will be to get a large capacity USB memory stick and create a shortcut in in the new NAS so that whenever it is inserted into the USB port the NAS will automatically back itself up.

So, ultimately what happened:

  • Old NAS died (?) with smoke and then refused to power up.
  • Synology works really well with excellent data transfer rates.
  • New iOmega NAS works and is currently surplus, being an older model.
  • The old enclosure might be serviceable.
  • I might have just blown the fuse in the old power supply.
  • Enclosures aren’t meant to die, HDDs are.

This incident has caused me over a week’s worth of stress and worry.

I hope my new backitup plan will work. I’m working on two degrees of redundancy, I might include a third with cloud storage.


After my return from a trip to the Lake District, to be chronicled here at some point, I powered up the house. There’s quite a bit to do with IoT lights, Google Home, wireless speakers and the NAS Drive.

The NAS drive is where I have stored all my music, movies and photos for just over six years. I’ve replaced the hard disk drives once but never really thought I’d have a problem with it. So, I powered it up and went and did some stuff. When I got back to the black box I noticed there was no power light on. I checked the lead and socket power. It was all on. I pressed buttons but nothing. I then tried taking out the power lead from the box to then plug it back in. This was the second sign of trouble.

The power cable didn’t really want to leave the black box. When, after some good tugging, I got the lead out there followed a small spark, some smoke and general bad things that happen to electrical goods. Bugger.

After a quick check to see that it was definitely dead I panicked about getting the data off the HDDs. So, I ordered a USB Sata connection to join the drive to the PC. This seemed reasonable. When finally connected the PC didn’t want to read the HDD drive the drive was formatted in Linux and also had a RAID configuration. I was now starting to feel sick. The most recent photos are backed up in the cloud. But I have loads which are only on the NAS Drive. I thought I was protected because the HDD were in RAID1 configuration so the data should have been backed up in case of HDD failure.

More importantly I think was that my entire music library, along with the 100s of hours of organising it, was on the NAS. This has been a labour of love and the SONOS system uses the NAS as the music library along with iTunes [which I hate passionately].

The whole point of the RAID configuration was to make sure my data was safe. I hadn’t really considered the black box was going to be my downfall. It has died.

So, I now have some data recovery software and it has found 250GB of data but the file names are gone. I have those files transferred to the PC at the moment but my main hope is that I win a NAS enclosure the same as the one I did have. I will use this to get the data from the HDD assuming I can just plug the drives into the enclosure and it will be happy to let me read the data from them.

Reading online there are people who keep three or four copies of their data. This is something I am going to do in the future. I will have copies in the following locations:

  • PC
  • NAS Drive
  • Large capacity USB
  • Cloud

This will take a little organising but seeing as I was only at around half a terabyte on the old NAS I think I’ll be ok for a while. One of the disks I have taken out the old enclosure will be fitted into the PC and be used as the PC backup disk. I will use a USB stick plugged into the NAS to back that up and I will generally transfer stuff to the cloud as often as possible. I am currently a little sad about it all and I’m hoping that in a week’s time I’ll be fixed, up and running and generally a lot more cheery. There will be updates.

NAS Drive Failure

On a list of things you don’t want to read [first world problems] is:

Drive 2 on this device is at risk of failing, please replace.

I guess there are worse things that this such as:

Drive 2 has failed.

Both drives have failed.

But still, it was enough to make me worry a little. My data on the NAS is organised in Raid 1 configuration so that both drives are exact copies, just in case one of them fails.

I spent some time investigating new NAS drives and making sure that I have space to expand but I think that will have to wait a few years. I would like a three or four bay device with two 2TB drives to start. I would only use Raid 1, but this configuration could potentially give me 8TB of data storage. I currently have used about 0.5 TB on the current NAS and that is after two years of ownership so I shouldn’t worry too much about needing the space until my sons get older.

I ordered a Western Digital 1TB Red drive as the WD website said that it was a suitable HDD for the ix2 series of NAS. I had planned for the whole operation to take an hour but in reality it took about 10 minutes and that was with me taking my time. Really impressed with how simple it was to replaced the drive.

Here’s the NAS.

Iomega IX2-200 CLoud Edition

After removing the two screws on the base of the device I removed the old disk 2.

Sliding out old drive

Unscrewed the old HDD from the plastic casing.

Old HDD in enclosure

Screwed the new HDD into the casing.

WD Red

Slid the new HDD and casing into the NAS enclosure and replaced the screws in the bottom of the device.

WD into NAS

Placed NAS back in its place in the “tech corner” of the house and turned it on.

After a lot of drive reading and writing it was ready for log in access and the control panel said it was rebuilding data protection [most instructions I read had said I would have to authorise this action]. I will amend this once the data rebuild is complete.

This whole process was pretty simple and I’m impressed with Iomega for the drive and am feeling quite smug at the moment.

NAS Drive

For my birthday I bought a 2TB NAS unit. I spent ages looking at different types and was going to get a LG NAS until I saw an Iomega unit in PC World in BlueWater Shopping centre with quite a good price reduction. I did some internet searching that evening and went back the next day to buy the Iomega unit.

I got the Iomega StorCentre ix200 Cloud Edition there are some good things about it and some things that to be honest I don’t understand and can’t be bothered to invest the time to understand.

I use the NAS to store movies, iTunes libraries and eventually I will categorise all our photos on it. I can stream content to the PS3 and iPhones and laptop which is useful. I can also access it via the web should I feel like it! Here’s a list of functions I won’t be using:

  • Flickr upload folder – automatically uploads to Flickr
  • Bit Torrent download automatically
  • Time Machine
  • Print Server
  • Cloud backup
  • Facebook folder (see this about Facebook)
  • You Tube upload

I have the two 1TB drives configured as RAID0 at the moment which, as far as I understand it, means they copy each other for data redundancy. If I ever need the extra space I’ll turn that off as I also back up photos and video files to DVD. Can you have too much redundancy?