Cloud backup saves the day

I’ve had a rash of hard drive failures at home recently.  In one case, having a backup of the files in the cloud, saved me from losing 40 gigs of data.

The first hard drive that went bad was one that I was using with my Media Center PC.  I had repurposed an internal drive from my server by putting it into a USB drive enclosure.  Media Center was using it to store the recorded TV video files.  Since these files weren’t that critical, I wasn’t worried about backing them up.  When this drive failed, Media Center started using the other drive that was in the machine.MacMini

The other hard drive that failed was one that I had setup for use with our Mac Mini.  The drive was another external drive in a USB enclosure and I was using it for our iTunes library as well as the Time Machine backup.  mozylogoLuckily, I had setup Mozy to do backups on the Mac last spring.  Mozy is a service that allows you to backup files from your machine to their machines via the net.  The home version that I use ($5/month) is rather simple and pretty much just works.   (Mozy allowed me to backup the external hard drive, while Carbonite would only let me backup the first hard drive, for whatever reason.)

So, I bought a new hard drive (1TB/7200RPM/32MB cache --  from Micro Center for $84!) and put that in my server.  I then took two drives out of the server and passed them down to the other machines.

After I got the repurposed drive set up on my Mac, I went to Mozy and downloaded my files using their web restore.  I had to wait a couple of hours while they were gathering up the files I requested and zipped them up into .DMG files.  Each file was around 1.5 gigs, which made downloading the files a little easier (I didn’t have to worry about downloading 40 gigs via one file).  I then opened them on my Mac and copied the individual files from the .DMG to the new drive.  Pretty easy.

As a side note – when I pulled these bad drives out of their cases, I was surprised to note that both drives had 2006 manufacture dates.  These were from two different manufacturers too.  I’ve heard that the average age for a drive is three years, at least I heard this a few years ago, not sure if this was anecdotal or actual industry figures.

Print | posted @ Thursday, December 3, 2009 7:19 PM