Ivan has a 2 drive NAS that has files he needs, but the RAID 1 hard drive are reading as corrupted. He believes it is the corruption of one, synced to the other. Leo says that the hardware is probably fine, there's just corruption in the files themselves. But it could be a physical issue making it worth using SpinRite to repair it. However, if the corruption has spread, that points to a software error in the files, not the hardware itself.
Adam wants to create a new RAID 5 array, but his current RAID 1 system went belly up as he was converting to RAID 5. Can he get his data back? Leo says probably not through the RAID itself. He could take one drive out and try to recover, but Adam may have been too deep in the conversion process to restore the data. But the good news is, that he can take the drive out and plug it into the existing PC and see the data. If the data is mirrored, it should be easy to recover with a utility like Recuva. EaseUS also has a free drive recovery tool. He can probably use those to see the files.
Leo advises to buy multiple smaller hard drives over one extremely large hard drive. The bigger the size, the higher the error rate...which can be catastrophic in the worst case scenario. In any case, move away from old spinning drives to faster Solid-state Drives (SSD), where the cost per gigabyte is getting conveniently cheaper. You may have so much storage in the future that you could forget to discipline yourself on cleaning out files!
Rick bought a Drobo 2, and it's a bit flakier than his gen 1 Drobo. If it gets jostled, it has to reboot and rebuild. He's concerned that it's a single point of failure and he'll lose his data. Leo says that Drobos are a RAID (called Beyond Raid) where if one drive fails, it rebuilds form the other drives. So it's not really a single point of failure. But if all the drives go bad, then he's in a world of hurt.
John bought an SSD from Intel a few years ago, and it installed a RAID program in the BIOS of his computer. Now he can't get rid of it. What can he do? Leo says he should just ignore it. Most modern BIOS / EFI support RAID, but it doesn't really take up any usable room. It's just a firmware feature, so he can ignore it. He shouldn't mess with his BIOS anyway.
Jake swapped out his smaller SSD with a larger one on his computer. Leo says that Jake could just keep that drive as his software only drive and then use the larger drive for data. He could even combine multiple drives into a RAID for redundancy. He should keep in mind that using RAID 0 may be fast, but it's also less reliable because if one drive fails, it all fails. RAID 1 would give him data security by making multiple copies of the same data. RAID 5 is what is common now, and that offers the best of both worlds.
Brian wants to upgrade his MacBook Pro RAID drive and wants the fastest drive possible. Leo says that a Thunderbolt 3 external drive would be the fastest he can get for it. Leo recommends the Envoy Pro EX from OWC. It's also bus powered. But a 6TB drive is over $1,000, so it's not cheap.
Chris wants to know if he can have a running backup that will enable him to reboot should the hard drive crash and just pick up right where he left off. Leo says he can do it by setting up a RAID running RAID 1. He can also run SuperDuper which can create bootable backups, but it's Mac only.
Here are a few suggestions from the chatroom:
Dave has gotten a notice that he will be upgraded to Windows 10 on a certain date unless he cancels it. So he did. Leo says that Microsoft is really pushing for users to upgrade to Windows 10, whether they want it or not, and less savvy computer users may find they've been upgraded without their notice. It's pretty nefarious. Users do need to agree to the EULA to use it, but that's after Microsoft has installed it and if you don't want Windows 10, you'll have to uninstall it.
Rob got an invitation to upgrade to Windows 10, it died right in the middle of the upgrade, and now he can't do anything. He tried to revert to Windows 7 but it won't work. He's heard that his RAID may be the culprit. Leo says if he can boot to his Windows 7 DVD, he should be able to format and reinstall. Leo believes that Rob's RAID array or his hard drive has likely failed. So he may have to rebuild everything.