• Hard drive failure. any tips?

    Posted by Peter Cassidy on December 16, 2022 at 7:55 pm

    I have not been in the workshop for a couple of days due to working out on site. i came in this afternoon to catch up on some paperwork and i am getting the computer “trying” to start up but not getting anywhere. i thought it was because it was so cold. (can’t afford to leave the heating on)
    it has a black screen and text but i did have a blue screen at one point. a guy i know said that it is a hard drive failure and nothing can be done. is he right? surely not?
    Has anyone had the same problem and been able to fix it?

    Gary Forbes replied 1 year, 3 months ago 8 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Chris Wilson

    December 16, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    Take to a proper computer tech. They will know. We get this from time to time. As much as windows is easy to use it’s updates drive me nuts and we have had a few times where it won’t restart after.

  • Robert Lambie

    December 18, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    nothing worse mate. as Chris says, take it to a professional and ask if they can do anything.
    it’s not worth messing around with, if it’s anything like ours, you can have many years of artwork files on it. how do you put a price on that?
    Once you are sorted, I would strongly advise on moving to a cloud-based storage system.

    • Colin Crabb

      December 19, 2022 at 9:14 am

      Should, never, never, never keep artwork files (and clients details / financials) on local machine, always on 2 x remote systems.

      Thats a NAS file system (aka file server) for everyday use, which has drive redundancy fail safes (mirrored and striped drives) AND this is then backed up to a cloud system (Blazeback is very good, low cost).

      Btw, A NAS file server can be made yourself, using an old PC and a bunch of drives, using FREENAS (now known as Truenas) open software as the controller, running off a USB stick to free disc space up – saves ££££ compared to buying a Microsoft server.

      • Mark Johnston

        December 19, 2022 at 11:04 pm

        great tip with blazeback Colin. i have just been looking there and they are really well priced.
        we are winding down for the chirstmas and i have been wanting to sort this out for a while now. 👍

  • Colin Crabb

    December 19, 2022 at 9:03 am

    Get a tech to check, (there has been 3 x windows updates in last 7days) hopefully its just bricked, and with a startup USB boot you’ll be able to get into the system – all is not lost yet!

  • David Hammond

    December 20, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    Agree with what Colin said, although a little late if the drives failed.

    Our set up is probably overkill-

    We’ve ran a Linux file server since 2014, and have archives going back until then, before that things were on CD’s.

    I’ve just upgraded the HDD’s in our server whilst upgrading to the 64bit OS, to 4TB drives. These are set up in a mirrored RAID, so should one drive fail, it’ll run off the 2nd, and once the damaged drive is replaced it’ll mirror across.

    In addition to that, the server makes backups to a removable hot drive, which we rotate across 4 drives, and are removed from the premises when not in use.

    The server backs up hourly, and daily, and weekly, to the local drive. IF the building burnt down, we’d have lost ~1 week of data, which for us isn’t the end of the world for us.

    However, I’ve implemented a backup to google cloud too going forward.

    All data we currently have on the server is in the cloud (about 50-60GB), we use a folder for each year’s work, so the 2023 folder will backup to the cloud regulalry, so if the place burnt down we’d not loose any data. Could restore from the local backup, and fill and gaps with the data from the cloud.

    Personally I wouldn’t rely solely on the Cloud as a backup, and retain a local backup system in place.

    I need to implement a more robust backup of CRM database though 🙂

    ** Many years ago I executed the command <i style=”font-weight: bold;”>sudo rm -R /* which erased everything off the server, luckily I managed to restore all the data from the local backup.

    • Colin Crabb

      December 20, 2022 at 5:17 pm

      Good man – not overkill, minimum standard!

      If your a Adobe user, you can also use Adobe bridge to file search btw – yup, you can see the file as pictures to local those images, you just don’t the the name of!

  • George Neagu

    December 24, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    1. Always back up your system. You can get a NAS with 2x hard drives (mirrored) for less than £500, depending on capacity. One reason I use iMac is due to its seamless backup/restore system but something similar can be achieved on Windows systems too.

    2. That’s not necessarily a HDD failure. A software issue can also be responsible for it.

    3. You have to post here some pictures so we can see what you get on the screen. Black or blue and some writing doesn’t help.

    4. Try to start the system in Safe Mode, google it. If it starts in Safe Mode, you most likely have a software issue. Otherwise, you might look at a hardware problem.

    5. If you believe the HDD is failing, stop fiddling with that computer. Instead, move to step 6.

    6. Remove the HDD from the dead computer, connect it to another working computer that has its own HDD, read and save your data.

    Nowadays, HDDs rarely, if ever, fail overnight. You get some warnings, you see some changes in your computer behavior before it fails completely.

  • Gary Forbes

    December 30, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    i am not very technical when it comes to things like this. I just have a portable backup drive that i copy everything onto periodically. i know it is not often enough, but any bank holiday weekends, or holidays like just now. i take the computer box home with me and back things up over the break period.
    i never seem to have the time at work and i feel better just bringing my main computer home with me. just in case there is a break in or something happens.
    I also have a large memory capacity USB stick that i carry around on a keyring. If i am working on something large, i always back it up as i am working on it and copy to my drive at home.

    i know it is not ideal, but i am a tiny company and it means i have no ongoing subscriptions to pay and easy for me to do.

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