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blw

Richmond, US
27117 posts

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"RE: DROBO SUCKS"

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Sat 15-Dec-12 08:52 PM

Without addressing the drobo, since I have zero experience with it, I will say that not backing up your data is a serious error, even with a perfect RAID implementation. (A point of reference: my day job is building a RAID NAS device, one of the big ones like what Jon mentioned, where loss of data is not realistic.) That's because RAID protects you against one kind of problem, but there are many other types. The most obvious example is that the RAID can protect you from a disk drive failure (or possibly two, if you're paranoid and willing to invest). But if you have a different type of problem, for example you delete the wrong file, the RAID system obediently deletes what amount to all of the copies - as quickly as possible. And you have no method of recovery. Other forms of this class of error are an OS or application bug, etc.

The way the mission critical businesses do things can be scaled down to folks like us:

- first, have your primary copy protected by RAID. That could be a mirror (RAID-1) or something more complex.

- next, make copies of your data occasionally. Ideally those are "snapshots" or "point-in-time copies" provided by your RAID or your operating system, but they could be DVDs or even other hard disks. This is crucial to protecting against the errors noted above.

- If you've done this much, you are still subject to certain types of disasters, for example if there's a fire in your office, chances are pretty good that either the heat or the firefighting methods will destroy all of the HDD, RAID and very possibly all of the copies.

- To get around this, the big businesses replicate their RAID volumes to another location, a "considerable" distance away. The NYC banks, for example, mostly replicate further away than NYC and often much further - one that I have worked with extensively has a backup data center in Nebraska, and others go across the Atlantic.

- Fortunately they also had off-site copies, meaning in that particular case magnetic tape stored literally under a mountain many miles away. We can simulate this by having a couple of HDD that get a copy, say, every week from the main RAID system, and then they are taken home or to the safe deposit box at the bank, etc. With two of them you can always have one at the bank even while you're loading up the other one.

So there you have it - four HDD and some software. Two in a mirror on your primary system. An offsite copy, possibly one that includes periodic snapshots, and another one that is in rotation with the offsite.

------

As far as your current predicament, there are services that specialize in recovering things like this. If Drobo themselves do not offer something like this (if it's their bug they ought to do something for you), there are plenty of others who do. They can usually recover stuff even from disk platters that are physically damaged, although there's a limit to that. (And there's a price, too.) I've seen data recovered from a disk that had a completely dead embedded controller (meaning the circuits glued to the bottom of the disk drive) - it did not even spin up. When they had the platters grafted onto a substitute controller, they discovered that there had also been a "head surface interaction" - what we more descriptively call "a head crash" in which the read/write heads physically land on and damage the recording surface on the platters. These folks were desperate, so they had their service recover all of the data that was actually on the HDD surfaces. They got something like 98% back, the lost parts being what was under the head crash. Clearly you should not have to go this far.

My guess is that if you haven't done too much to the remaining components, it's probably fairly straightforward for some expert to go in and liberate most of the data. I'd guess that it would cost $500-$2000 depending on just what went wrong. Quite a bit for an amateur and not really so bad for, say, a professional photographer.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

This is a hot, active topic! DROBO STINKS [View all] , mdonovan Gold Member, Fri 14-Dec-12 11:45 PM
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
15th Dec 2012
1
Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS mdonovan Gold Member
15th Dec 2012
2
Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
15th Dec 2012
3
Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS kj_fi Silver Member
15th Dec 2012
5
Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS esantos Moderator Nikonians Resources Writer. Recognized for his outstanding reviews on printers and printing articles. Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas, including Landscape Photography Awarded for his extraordinary accomplishments in Landscape Photography. His work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian.
15th Dec 2012
4
Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas
15th Dec 2012
6
Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS mdonovan Gold Member
16th Dec 2012
7
Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS jordivb
16th Dec 2012
8
Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS d1sahib
22nd Dec 2012
9
Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS david_mathre Platinum Member
23rd Dec 2012
10
Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS mdonovan Gold Member
24th Dec 2012
11
Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
24th Dec 2012
12
     Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS mdonovan Gold Member
24th Dec 2012
13
     Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS KolinP Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
27th Dec 2012
14
          Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS sabbey51 Gold Member
27th Dec 2012
15
     Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS pqtrths Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
24th Apr 2013
29
Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS nrothschild Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support
28th Dec 2012
16
Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
28th Dec 2012
17
     Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS nrothschild Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support
28th Dec 2012
18
          Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
28th Dec 2012
19
               Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS nrothschild Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support
28th Dec 2012
20
                    Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS david_mathre Platinum Member
28th Dec 2012
21
                         Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS nrothschild Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support
28th Dec 2012
22
                              Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS mdonovan Gold Member
12th Jan 2013
23
                                   Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS tmartin67
03rd Feb 2013
24
                                        Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS mdonovan Gold Member
06th Feb 2013
25
                                             Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS blossombogart Silver Member
19th Mar 2013
26
                                                  Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS Pdavid2 Silver Member
08th Apr 2013
27
Reply message RE: DROBO SUCKS Aubrey Silver Member
24th Apr 2013
28
Reply message RE: DROBO STINKS robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
09th May 2013
30
Reply message RE: DROBO STINKS JSG1967 Silver Member
21st Jun 2013
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Reply message RE: DROBO STINKS Wolphin Silver Member
08th Jul 2013
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Reply message RE: DROBO STINKS Aubrey Silver Member
09th Jul 2013
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     Reply message RE: DROBO STINKS Wolphin Silver Member
09th Jul 2013
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Reply message RE: DROBO STINKS RudyH Gold Member
23rd Jul 2013
35
Reply message RE: Use RAID 1 westcoast
06th Oct 2013
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Reply message RE: DROBO STINKS kholt Silver Member
13th Nov 2013
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Reply message RE: DROBO STINKS robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
31st Dec 2013
38