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Hard disk drive failure

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:26 am
by tom hardwick
It had to happen of course, but I've just had my first HDD failure. It's over 10 years old and has been used a lot, so I can't complain.

Western Digital. 500gb. Made 21 Jan 2008 in Thailand, fitted by DVC into my Edius pc that I bought Feb 2008. The other two drives in the pc look to be just fine.

What about you guys .. had any drive failures in your time?

Re: Hard disk drive failure

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:39 am
by John Roberts
Not a single one, yet... *touches wood* :lol:

I have some ancient 80GB drives that I regularly use, but my oldest drive is actually a Samsung fitted to my desktop PC, which I use for all my film and music work as the data drive (leaving the system drive 'clean'). The PC is now 6.5 years old, but the drive was transferred from a previous PC, where it was used for exactly the same purpose, that failed after 7 years. I had the retailer fit the Samsung drive to the original PC when I bought it, and I swapped it (with some difficulty with connections and physical size) into the new PC when I bought that, because the retailer said it was 'too old' to be fitted to the second machine. Still going strong after nearly 14 years.

Oldest HDD still working but not used regularly is in an Amiga 1200HD from about 1995-ish.

Curiously a recent HDD health check revealed my newest HDD to be faring the worst of all, it re-writes data almost constantly and the culprit is the Windows 10 O/S. Thankfully I use an external drive for data.

Re: Hard disk drive failure

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:36 am
by TimStannard
The other day I discovered I couldn't read from a 2006 Hitachi 500GB Deskstar - one of a pile of disks I keep for archiving, but a full reformat and it appears to be fine again. About three years ago I had another of the same model and vintage.
I like to think I replace my main drives (ie those in daily use) every three to 5 years but i suspect I really take much longer between refreshes.

What I have noticed is that (at least in the businesses and schools I support) hard drive failures appear to be much rarer now than 10-15 years ago, and this is in a world where people tend to keep their PCs for longer (hardware limitations are no longer forcing upgrades)

Re: Hard disk drive failure

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:11 pm
by Alistair Biggar
I had a failure a few years ago which destroyed all my film clips. I have learned a hard lesson about securely backing up everything on a NAS drive just in case of failure in the future. I'm not sure if SSD drives are any more reliable. I just purchased a 1TB one at £125 for my C drive and cloned the old 125G drive on to it. From working in Video System support a while back, the best way to avoid this is to keep them running 24/7, but this could prove expensive for some. Drives do tend to fail on startup when they are "shocked" into boot up. Anyway just my tuppence worth.

Re: Hard disk drive failure

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:10 pm
by TimStannard
As a caveat to Alistair's post above: This only works if the NAS is set up with a RAID level that includes redundancy (eg RAID 1,5,6,10) and then only if a failed drive is replaced before a second drive fails.

With RAID 0 or JBOD (just a bunch of disks) a failed drive means, in the case of JBOD, anything on that disk is lost and, in the case of RAID 0, everything across ALL disk is lost!

Re: Hard disk drive failure

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 9:09 pm
by tom hardwick
Just as a post script to this, I used one of those simple HDD caddies to connect the failed drive through USB to my working laptop, just to see if I could retrieve any of the files. Sure enough, bit by bit, and by letting it cool down between bursts, I managed to retrieve all 450gb or so of info off it.

So just to say don't bin a 'failed' HDD, because by treating it gently you might just be able to get it to give up its contents, as I did.

Re: Hard disk drive failure

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 10:11 pm
by Dave Watterson
Good tip, Tom. Thanks.

It is also worth checking with your friendly local computer repair shop (if you are lucky enough to have one) since they may be able to rescue data from a damaged disc for a fair price. There are major Data Recovery companies who will bring two pantechnicons of gear, park outside and do their best to rescue data ... but the bill will blow your mind. You would do better just to re-shoot all your missing films !

Re: Hard disk drive failure

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:42 pm
by Stephen
windows 10 really punishes your drive so beware if you have ssds as they have a finite number of writes...
as we film makers tend to backup our footage to external drives (you do do backups dont you ?!!) with only the OS stored on the C drive (the ssd) it can now be replaced for 20 sobs or so and cloned back to square 1 in an hour or so...

struggling here with 25Tbs of data on drives dotted all over ... having started into film making straight to digital I never experienced the cutting room floor so I keep everything.... I know... I know....

Re: Hard disk drive failure

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:57 am
by John Roberts
Windoze 10 does seem to be a nightmare for drives, mine seems to run constantly doing one thing or another, in sharp contrast to my W7 machine. And I'm glad Stephen mentioned about SSD drives - I have heard the same; something to do with adjacent memory bits failing upon repeated rewrites, so I'm sticking with the tried and trusted HDDs for as long as possible.

I also keep everything but only average about 100GB per film and at my production rate of about a film per year my costs are reasonable :)

Re: Hard disk drive failure

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:40 pm
by TimStannard
I remember worrying when i saw the MTBR for SSDs, but so far, with several schools running SSDs for 3+ years, I've yet to have a failure. My own PC (3+years old - although I still think of it as new) is using an SSD for Windows + Application (not just several video editing and related applications, but all my business stuff as well - I could and should separate these functions to other PCs, but space, rather than cost, is the problem)
Whilst my captures are to mechanical drives, those for my current project are to a 720GB Intel SDD thingy on a card.
Timely reminder - I should cosider repalcing both SSDs. Thanks!

Re: Hard disk drive failure

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:46 am
by Michael Slowe
Are we talking external storage drives here as opposed to the drives actually in the computer, SSD or not? My computer drives are raided so would be unlikely to lose stuff unless all the drives failed at once. External drives are a different matter. I have a variety of these, merely used as archives of completed films, going back fifty years and these are hardly ever raided. I've just had my first failure, a dvBox 1.28Tb drive. Luckily I know what's on it as I print out a screen picture of the contents of all my drives, otherwise I would never know what's where. As I always try and have at least two copies of film files stored, all I have to do is get a new drive and put on it the lost files retrieved from various other drives.

I see that some of you keep all your shot footage! I know the pros do but I delete all unused footage once a film edit is completed. Sometimes I have reason to regret this but very rarely and I can't be bothered to have another collection of archived media. Goodness knows what happens when all this kit is so outdated nothing will play, I'll be dead and gone but it's sad to think that all my films will be likewise. The toughest of many an old man amongst us I fancy!

Re: Hard disk drive failure

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:48 am
by Michael Slowe
I meant "the thoughts" of us old men! By the way, I never put media on my computer drive, that's just for operation, what about other people?

Re: Hard disk drive failure

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:49 pm
by TimStannard
Michael,

I think we are talking about the reliability of individual drives. There is no difference between internal and external drives***. All my drives started life as internal to my PC but the majority now reside on a shelf and contain my archives. When archiving to them, or backing up current projects, I attach them to an exteral caddy -d does this make them internal or external drives? It doesn't matter.

You're correct that RAIDing (other than RAID 0) is probably the best way of protecting against failure - and, of course, you can do that externally in a NAS.

I agree entirely about keeping at least two copies on two separate disks. The important fact to remember here is that once one of your backup drives fails, you no longer have a backup drive!

Also, it's not a good idea to keep both copies in the same room (or even building) in case of catastrophe (fire, glacier, alien invasion).

Re: Hard disk drive failure

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:26 pm
by John Roberts
TimStannard wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:49 pm
Also, it's not a good idea to keep both copies in the same room (or even building) in case of catastrophe (fire, glacier, alien invasion).
I will add to that a nugget of information I gleaned many years ago from a computer expert - when using two backup drives DO NOT purchase identical make and model drives. Manufacturing faults that might cause one backup drive to fail could very well be replicated in an entire production batch, causing the second, and last, backup drive to similarly fail.

John

Re: Hard disk drive failure

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:12 pm
by Michael Slowe
Tim, alien invasion seems by far the most likely of your projected disasters. Sorry about my naming drives internal or external. I always regard the computer drive to be different from ones we attach temporarily for access to files not available from the computer.