Moments of terror – loosing a HDD and the key data… Well almost!

Wow - I've just had a few hours of terror as I cam home to hear my Maxtor Onetouch III 1TB external HDD clicking away and no longer in explorer... SCARY!

A few quick searches on the web and looks like I'm toast - so ironic as we have had a few HDD failures in our team over the last month.  I just knew I should have backed up all those new baby photos we had been taking (I'm a dad now for 3 months).

After looking on-line and deciding that a fee of up to $2,000 and a distinct lack or warranty cover from the vendor I decided that I should take my chances and pop off the lid...

It's was a luckily escape - I had the 2x500Gb drives configures in a Raid 0 set-up so when I disconnected the faulty unit and booted up the drive the the other one is working fine - so I'm mid back-up now.

I've only ever had two HDD issues and both have been external HDD units (actually both Maxtor units as well) I'm losing confidence and my wife is losing confidence in my ability to protect our key data.  All I can say is thank goodness I had it in Raid 0!

It does pose an issue what do I do now so a few questions I'd love input on:

  • Can I put an off the shelf SATA drive back in the enclosure to replace the toasted one?
  • If so can it be any SATA drive - I guess it must be the same size i.e. 500Gb

This is also the CHKDSK from my other external HDD - I use this as an offline back-up but as you can see it returns some data errors - should I throw it out?


Bottom line is how should I protect my home data what's a good solution that's not to crazy, caters for not too much intervention and will let me know an issue exists in advance?

Comments (7)

  1. Well it’s clear I celebrated too soon – I’ve lost at least 3 months of data, the entire (digital) life

  2. Hi Sean.

    Dont you mean Raid 1? Raid 0 is striped with no backup, and raid 1 is mirrored.



  3. Stuart says:

    I feel for you – I’m a new Dad too and I would be gutted if I lost my photos and videos. I’ve just recently put a backup plan into place and I keep two copies on seperate drives here and post all the nice/important photos online.

    Raid 0 isn’t fault tolerant so if you do get any data off the disk then it will be pure luck. Of course that depends on how Maxtor have implemented Raid 0 – a true Raid 0 array breaks up the files into fragments and ‘sprays’ then across the discs.

    Sounds like you need a Windows Home Server – that’s exactly what it’s designed to do!

  4. Rick H says:

    You need a Windows Home Server…  ( )

    Doesn’t help with your current data loss, but would protect you in the future…

  5. James B says:

    Rules of Data Protection

    1. Backup

    2. Backup

    3. Test Restore

    So for 25 cents spend a little time burning some DVD’s or DVD-DL.

    Spend $20 a month for secure, fast backups or archiving, we provide both as do others.

  6. szurgot says:

    Sorry you lost your data. You should look into Microsoft’s Windows Home Server. 🙂 It does what you need, mirroring and data consistency, as well as sharing of media (although I’m having a weird problem with the RTM losing some of my MP3s)

  7. David French says:

    …It’s was a luckily escape – I had the 2x500Gb drives configures in a Raid 0 …

    Unfortunately, this does not provide any fault tolerance from disk failure just better performance. In your case it doubles the chance of loss of data because either disk failing destroys the array. The RAID 1 option available on the Maxtor unit is preferable for resilience.

    I think this takes you into the forensic data recovery area and having to re-build the entire 2 disk array sector by sector (assuming that some forensic geek can read the sectors off the dead drive). I recommend that you do not write to the remaining drive of the array as you may  increase the rebuild effort.

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