RAID

Why can't I reformat my backup drives?

Synology DiskStation DS620slim 6-Bay NAS Enclosure

Episode 1712

Kyle from Oskaloosa, Iowa

Kyle has a home theater PC loaded with media and backups on ten different hard drives that he swaps out. Leo calls that a JBOD (just a bunch of discs). But Kyle is having an issue with the drives getting errors while erasing and starting a new backup. Leo says that the flaw could also be in the backups themselves. It also changed to MBR (master boot record) and cut the drive storage in half. He also can't reformat it with GUID using Windows 10. Is there a special utility he can use? Leo says there is an MBR to GUID command in Windows.

How Can I Get Data Off a Corrupted Drive?

SpinRite

Episode 1659

Ivan from Brisbane, AUS

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.

Can I Recover My Data From a Bad RAID Recovery?

Recuva

Episode 1648

Alan from Adelaide, AUS

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. 

Multiple Smaller Drives are More Reliable than 1 Massive Hard Drive

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!

What's a good alternative to Drobo?

Synology 4-bay RAID

Episode 1541

Rick from Edmonton, Canada

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.

Can I get rid of the RAID feature in my bios?

BIOS

Episode 1476

John from West Palm Beach, FL

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.

How can I make my SSD faster and more secure?

Intel SSD

Episode 1470

Jake from Dallas, TX

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.

Does Windows control my RAID?

Episode 1271

Dave from Crystal Lake, IL

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.