May 21, 2016

Backups

I've been a bit worried about my lack of backups lately since my WHS died. I still have one NAS but one of the two drives in it reports as being dead. (Probably I could get it back by hitting it with the handle of a screwdriver when the power is off; likely the problem is the seek head is jammed. But it's been months and it's RAID and I don't know what would happen after that. Not worth the risk.)

A better answer is to have some other backup. A while back I bought six 128G USB2 flash disks and this evening I rolled copies of a bunch of my anime onto three of them. But you'd be surprised how few series will fit on 128G. My Railgun directory is 71G all by itself.

So another visit to NewEgg was warranted, and by damn they were selling 512G USB3 flash drives for about $250 each. So I just ordered two of them, and they're supposed to arrive on Tuesday, and we'll see how it goes.

Turns out all the USB ports on my computer are USB 3. The new drives are nominally rated 250MB/s write speed. I don't expect to make that, but surely these will be faster than the USB2 sticks I bought last time, which have been averaging about 12MB/s.

One reason I won't reach 250MB/s is that my NAS, where my anime is stored, can't feed data to me that fast. But it surely can exceed 12 MB/s.

I hope.

Regardless, even if these new drives are not very fast, this is 1TB of reliable storage that can't lock up because of a sticking seek head. And that's worthwhile all by itself.

(Oh, and by the way: this post is not a request for suggestions or advice. Just thought I'd mention that.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 08:29 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
Post contains 307 words, total size 2 kb.

1 After suffering a couple of catastrophic disk failures, I now have (pauses to count) fifteen external drives ranging from 2TB to 5TB each.  Every few months I buy another one (they keep getting cheaper) and back up everything that's either new or important.

And so far I haven't needed any of them.

I used to back up to DVD-R, but hard disks are now cheaper and much easier.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at May 21, 2016 11:41 PM (PiXy!)

2 Individual large files will probably go as fast as the drive itself can support.  I have a USB3 flash drive with a sustained write speed of about 40MB/s, which is pretty nice if you're not sending tens of gigs around.  The read speed off that drive is somewhere north of 100MB/s, as far as I can tell.
What a time to be alive, huh?

Posted by: RickC at May 22, 2016 11:24 AM (FvJAK)

3

Transferring MKV files did go somewhat faster. What went slowly was my manga archives, which are swarms of JPG files. For instance, my Fairy Tail manga archive is 5600 files.

Another thing that helped was reformatting the flash drive to NTFS away from ex-FAT. FAT is a miserably badly designed disk format that dates back to when PC's had 16-bit processors and storage was floppy disks. ex-FAT is a modernized version designed to handle larger storage devices, but it still has serious problems. But the flash drives come with that format because it's more cross-platform.

NTFS is drastically better; not only is it more resilient but it's faster, too. And I don't care if Mac users have trouble reading my flash drives because I don't expect it will ever happen. Plus none of my Android devices have USB interfaces.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 22, 2016 12:27 PM (+rSRq)

4 I've found my USB3 storage devices have problems with very small things and very large things.  For example, sending 100 8mb music files, or a single 5GB F1 race, to a USB3 flash drive takes forever.

But 10 400mb MKVs?  No sweat.

Posted by: Wonderduck at May 22, 2016 07:54 PM (XQ5ac)

5

You were probably using ex-FAT. I think NTFS won't have a similar problem. (I sure hope not; all my manga JPGs are like 100 KB.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 22, 2016 08:54 PM (+rSRq)

6 Slightly OT heads up: My sister's laptop just automatically went into the Windows 10 update cycle. Apparently it doesn't prompt you anymore, you are supposed to go into the GWX nagware and "reschedule" your "scheduled" upgrade.

On my machines, I've disabled windows update and ripped out all the GWX.exe related updates, but my sister tends to go with default settings.

Posted by: EccentricOrbit at May 23, 2016 06:35 AM (GtPd7)

7 There have been "optional" updates the last couple of weeks relating to Win 10. From now on, it is my policy to click "get more information" for every optional update before allowing it to install.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 23, 2016 07:29 AM (+rSRq)

8 My policy is Windows 7, until they don't make anything for it anymore.

Posted by: ubu at May 23, 2016 09:38 AM (h7lSl)

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