Mar 25, 2017

Hard Drive Panic

OH NOES!! I just realized what the lifespan of a typical hard drive is. Here is a hint, my drives are ready to fail any second now.

Just for your own reference, the typical life of a normal hard drive is around 4 years. At that time there is a 20% failure rate. That doesn't mean your hard drive is going to take a dump after 4 years, but  it starts to get a bit shaky after that time.  The longer you go past that, the greater chance of an "oopsie" moment. There is good news; the price of hard drives is way low. At the time I am writing this has: 320 GB one for twenty bucks. That might seem like a small drive, but with so much information in the cloud & streamed nowadays it is probably enough for most people. If you need more space, they also have a 1 TB drive for fifty dollars.

So what am I getting at here, & (as usual) why do you care? I think I have a solution to these drive problems & I will share them with you.


Seriously, if your drives are over 3 years old, it's time to think about upgrading. You can take your old hard drives, after you copy the data to the new ones, & store them in a safe location. An unplugged hard drive will last for quite a while, so it is a good way to have an extra backup.

  • This might be a great time for a new SSD, before they get more pricy.
  • It would also be a great time for a new/different OS, or just a refresh of your current one.
  • It would also be a good addition to your 3-2-1 backup system.*
  • You could format your new drive for dual boot.**
  • You could use my awesome partition system.***

Whatever you chose to do, don't delay. I lost a Maxtor drive (why did they ever go out of business?) with all of my video footage I was editing once with no backup & I was a wee bit pissed to say the least. Save yourself the headache & hassles before it's too late.

*  Backups in 3 locations, 2 types of media, 1 offsite backup.
**  Create an NTFS partition for Win, a blank one for Linux, a 2GB for swap & 1 for your data.
***  I like to set a partition for Win (around 30GB) & use the rest of the drive for data, that way if I need to restore or replace the OS my data partition is safe.

Mar 10, 2017

My new server, what do I do with it?

I have my home server (Server 7) running now. I am unsure exactly what it's function will be in my home, it is a bit confusing to me still. I know what it's potential is; storage for backups & files, hosting a "family" web site, media server & many other things as well. There are a few problems with these options, though.

Since I was confused as to the role of my server & since it will probably be re-purposed soon anyway, I decideid on a "chaotic" theme. Running paint, misaligned letters & crackled paint are a few of the "problems" with my case design. I plan on doing some more to it to enhance the look.

Problem #1
The basic fact is that I do most of my computing in the cloud, I just don't keep a lot of local files anymore. I use a Roku box for entertainment loaded with: Hulu, Netflix & Amazon Video. This takes care of most of my entertainment. I also have Google Docs as well as several online "Drop Box like" services for file storage. I do have a LOT of DVD's that are ripped onto a media drive, that leads to...

Problem #2
I own a lot of DVD movies & have copies stored on a "media" drive. Problem here is that I ripped them a while back, before I needed HD playback so they are all low res rip's. So now I need to rip them all again in higher resolution, but the new Handbrake will not rip them due to copy protection. So, for now I'm stuck with low res movies.

Problem #3
"Failure is eminent!" The components I used in this build are old,  this server is going on 8 years old. Everything fails at some point & for backup or server drives I would really like to have new hardware. I don't want to put a lot of trust in such an old system. Plus I have an Apple Time Capsule for my everyday file backups.

So there it is, after all this time building computers, I finally have a server. It works too, I watched the "Matrix" on my Roku box off of Server 7 today & watching it made me realize just how complex that movie is. but that is another story...

Server 7 settings:

  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Intel Core i3 - 3.07 Ghz
  • 4 GB ram + 4 GB USB Boost
  • Nvidia GeForce GT330
  • 2.5 TB storage
  • !000 ethernet + WiFi
  • 3x eSata ports
Just about a week after Server 7 went online the mobo has gone to crap. It's randomly restarting and/or powering down. Not the power supply, I checked another one, so there it is. One week & it takes a dump. :P

I just got a new Segate 2TB cloud drive on clearance from Amazon to put my media on. I'll review it later.
R.I.P. Server 7, I barely new ya!