First "warning" from my HD backup

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JahnG
JahnG Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
First "warning" from my HD backup

For some years I have used two separate 2Tb Lacie ("Porshe design") USB3 HD:s as outer backups for my pictures. (Win 10 pro table top). Both HD:s are roughly halfway filled. (I have named the HD:s T1 and T2)

Normally I update my pictures to these HD:s perhaps one - two times a month , else the HD:s are not connected (= shut off). Until now both HD:s have worked flawlessly.

Today, after transferring a couple of folders to T2 (perhaps 1000 pictures) there was some trouble announced, and the transfer was discontinued. I deleted the discontinued folder from the HD (T2), and tried a new transfer, and now everything worked.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ERROR MESSAGES BELOW AR TRANSLATED FROM  FINNISH LANGUAGE WINDOWS 10 INTO ENGLISH, SO THE TEXT WILL NOT BE EXACTLY WHAT YOU SEE IT IN A ENGLISH SPEAKING WINDOWS.

Looking at "properties"/"tools"/"check" for T2 it was annonced that there were faults in the HD and please repair. After choosing "repair" it was annonced that the HD will be "checked and repaired".

Afterwards was displayed a text that Windows had successfully checked the HD and no faults had been found ? (I don't know if this mean that something WAS repaired by windows and THEN checked?

I also checked the other HD (T1) and it had no faults according to Windows "properties"/"tools"/"check".

Do you think that after this early warning it would be best to replace the HD (T2) ?

And do you think that outer USB 2Tb SSD:s are good enough by now for backup purposes, in case reasonably priced such 2Tb exists??

Jahn

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Austinian
MOD Austinian Forum Pro • Posts: 11,538
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup
2

JahnG wrote:

For some years I have used two separate 2Tb Lacie ("Porshe design") USB3 HD:s as outer backups for my pictures. (Win 10 pro table top). Both HD:s are roughly halfway filled. (I have named the HD:s T1 and T2)

Normally I update my pictures to these HD:s perhaps one - two times a month , else the HD:s are not connected (= shut off). Until now both HD:s have worked flawlessly.

Today, after transferring a couple of folders to T2 (perhaps 1000 pictures) there was some trouble announced, and the transfer was discontinued. I deleted the discontinued folder from the HD (T2), and tried a new transfer, and now everything worked.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ERROR MESSAGES BELOW AR TRANSLATED FROM FINNISH LANGUAGE WINDOWS 10 INTO ENGLISH, SO THE TEXT WILL NOT BE EXACTLY WHAT YOU SEE IT IN A ENGLISH SPEAKING WINDOWS.

Looking at "properties"/"tools"/"check" for T2 it was annonced that there were faults in the HD and please repair. After choosing "repair" it was annonced that the HD will be "checked and repaired".

Afterwards was displayed a text that Windows had successfully checked the HD and no faults had been found ? (I don't know if this mean that something WAS repaired by windows and THEN checked?

I also checked the other HD (T1) and it had no faults according to Windows "properties"/"tools"/"check".

Do you think that after this early warning it would be best to replace the HD (T2) ?

For me, any such warning would be a signal that something was definitely not right. I'd probably take that drive out of service until I did a full disk scan with a utility such as AOMEI Partition Assistant:

https://www.diskpart.com/help/check-bad-sector.html

And even after that I'd want to be sure I had at least two other verified backup drives.

And do you think that outer USB 2Tb SSD:s are good enough by now for backup purposes, in case reasonably priced such 2Tb exists??

My personal preference is to use multiple bare SATA desktop drives with a USB dock rather than purely-USB external drives, but that's just me.

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JahnG
OP JahnG Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup

Austinian wrote:

JahnG wrote:

For some years I have used two separate 2Tb Lacie ("Porshe design") USB3 HD:s as outer backups for my pictures. (Win 10 pro table top). Both HD:s are roughly halfway filled. (I have named the HD:s T1 and T2)

Normally I update my pictures to these HD:s perhaps one - two times a month , else the HD:s are not connected (= shut off). Until now both HD:s have worked flawlessly.

Today, after transferring a couple of folders to T2 (perhaps 1000 pictures) there was some trouble announced, and the transfer was discontinued. I deleted the discontinued folder from the HD (T2), and tried a new transfer, and now everything worked.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ERROR MESSAGES BELOW AR TRANSLATED FROM FINNISH LANGUAGE WINDOWS 10 INTO ENGLISH, SO THE TEXT WILL NOT BE EXACTLY WHAT YOU SEE IT IN A ENGLISH SPEAKING WINDOWS.

Looking at "properties"/"tools"/"check" for T2 it was annonced that there were faults in the HD and please repair. After choosing "repair" it was annonced that the HD will be "checked and repaired".

Afterwards was displayed a text that Windows had successfully checked the HD and no faults had been found ? (I don't know if this mean that something WAS repaired by windows and THEN checked?

I also checked the other HD (T1) and it had no faults according to Windows "properties"/"tools"/"check".

Do you think that after this early warning it would be best to replace the HD (T2) ?

For me, any such warning would be a signal that something was definitely not right. I'd probably take that drive out of service until I did a full disk scan with a utility such as AOMEI Partition Assistant:

https://www.diskpart.com/help/check-bad-sector.html

And even after that I'd want to be sure I had at least two other verified backup drives.

And do you think that outer USB 2Tb SSD:s are good enough by now for backup purposes, in case reasonably priced such 2Tb exists??

My personal preference is to use multiple bare SATA desktop drives with a USB dock rather than purely-USB external drives, but that's just me.

Thanks.

Yes I will probably replace that HD, as I too find this kind of warning disturbing in a backup disk that need to be reliable. Even after a disk scan I would be somewhat suspicious, but possibly I might use this disk in less critical use?

My personal preference is to use separate simple disks that can be kept in separate locations and in my view they are easiest to manage.

What I will look at is if similar USB, 2Tb SSD disks exist  for a reasonable price and if SSD disks already ar suitable for a reliable slightly longish backup ?  Has anybody experience?

Jahn

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a_c_skinner Forum Pro • Posts: 11,419
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup
3

SSD isn't the best thing for backup. Use normal spinning drives. There are people who will say SSD is less reliable for long term storage. If you can afford an SSD it makes more sense to spend the money on more duplicate backups on normal HDDs.

In any case backups don't need the ultimate reliability, they need to be duplicated.  Reliablity helps, but don't bargain on it.

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ggeinec Contributing Member • Posts: 795
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup

Austinian wrote:

... snipped ...

My personal preference is to use multiple bare SATA desktop drives with a USB dock rather than purely-USB external drives, but that's just me.

Do you have an example (link) to the kind of USB dock you are using?

Thanks!

Austinian
MOD Austinian Forum Pro • Posts: 11,538
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup
1

ggeinec wrote:

Austinian wrote:

... snipped ...

My personal preference is to use multiple bare SATA desktop drives with a USB dock rather than purely-USB external drives, but that's just me.

Do you have an example (link) to the kind of USB dock you are using?

As best I recall, this is it.

https://plugable.com/products/usbc-sata-v

Thanks!

You're welcome. I use it for storing laptop drive images from Macrium Reflect Free. On the desktop, I just connect standard SATA cables to the desktop drives.

(I should add that I agree with a_c_skinner's post; I use only HDDs for backup.)

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NickZ2016 Senior Member • Posts: 2,739
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup

That error could mean a hardware fault or it could just mean a bad write.

Power outage during use

Disconnecting the drive before ejecting.

Even a windows BSOD at the wrong time.

The problem with external drives is you never know what they put inside the box.

There are empty external boxes for almost anything . NVME,SATA 2.5 or 3.5"

The NVME don't even need a power supply.

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Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,856
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup
1

JahnG wrote:

Do you think that after this early warning it would be best to replace the HD (T2) ?

They're "just" backup drives.  Backup drives aren't as critical as your online storage because (a) if they fail you still have your online storage, and (b) if the online storage fails, you have more than one backup drive to rely on (or should, at any rate).

Given that, I'd just do a "full" reformat of the drive and put it back into the backup cycle to see if the problem reoccurs.  If it does, then consider tossing it.  For more confidence, do what I do: use a checksumming utility to create hashes of all the files on the drive and then verify them from time to time to make sure the drive hasn't corrupted any data.

And do you think that outer USB 2Tb SSD:s are good enough by now for backup purposes, in case reasonably priced such 2Tb exists??

SSD storage is still quite pricey compared to hard drives.  The benefit you get for the extra cost is performance, which is mostly irrelevant for backups since you don't have to sit around waiting for them to run.  If you can afford two 2TB SSDs then IMHO you'd be far better off spending the same amount of money on more HDD drives to put into a cycle of backups, especially if it meant you could store at least one of them offsite.  That will buy you a lot more real security for your data.

And yes, SSDs will inevitably loose data if they sit around on the shelf for too long.  It'll take longer for new SSDs to loose data, but sooner or later it will happen.  It might not be a problem if you're cycling them at monthly intervals so that they're connected to the computer and powered up to allow their controllers to scan for and rewrite degrading blocks - but it's something you need to be aware of.

a_c_skinner Forum Pro • Posts: 11,419
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup

How long would an SSD need to be powered up for?  It had never occurred to me before that the refreshing process might need a finite time.

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SirLataxe
SirLataxe Veteran Member • Posts: 3,972
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup

JahnG wrote:

For some years I have used two separate 2Tb Lacie ("Porshe design") USB3 HD:s as outer backups for my pictures. (Win 10 pro table top). Both HD:s are roughly halfway filled. (I have named the HD:s T1 and T2)

Normally I update my pictures to these HD:s perhaps one - two times a month , else the HD:s are not connected (= shut off). Until now both HD:s have worked flawlessly.

Today, after transferring a couple of folders to T2 (perhaps 1000 pictures) there was some trouble announced, and the transfer was discontinued. I deleted the discontinued folder from the HD (T2), and tried a new transfer, and now everything worked.

[snip]

Jahn

I have one of those Lacie drives that I periodically attach to the PC for use as a backup drive. One potential cause of the sort of Windows error message you got is a poor connection.  I'm careful never to unplug the cable from the Lacie drive, to give the cable socket of the drive the least stress.  I always plug and unplug the drive at the PC end of the cable.

I have other backup drives permanently connected to the PC but they have an on/off switch so that they aren't powered up most of the time (or available to any attack software - although I've never had such an incident).

I use Microsoft's synchtoy utility to do data backups and Macrium to back up disc images of the more complex stuff.

The Lacie drive has been in use for about 4 years and the Freecom drives anything from 20 years to 5 years, with no incident other than the sort of Windows message you got  .... but only when I first installed Win10 (not since).

I also use the Microsoft and the Adobe cloud backup services.

**********

Spinning hard discs generally seem resilient if you treat them well, meaning keep them clean, don't allow them to get too hot and look after the connection socket.

Making multiple backups, though, means you can use any backup media right up until it actually and fully fails. It's a waste of resource to throw it in the landfill just because you're worried it might fail "sometime" or because a sector or two go bad.

SirLataxe

JahnG
OP JahnG Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup

a_c_skinner wrote:

SSD isn't the best thing for backup. Use normal spinning drives. There are people who will say SSD is less reliable for long term storage. If you can afford an SSD it makes more sense to spend the money on more duplicate backups on normal HDDs.

In any case backups don't need the ultimate reliability, they need to be duplicated. Reliablity helps, but don't bargain on it.

Thanks.

I have had a slightly similar view.

Jahn

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JahnG
OP JahnG Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup

NickZ2016 wrote:

That error could mean a hardware fault or it could just mean a bad write.

Power outage during use

Disconnecting the drive before ejecting.

Even a windows BSOD at the wrong time.

The problem with external drives is you never know what they put inside the box.

There are empty external boxes for almost anything . NVME,SATA 2.5 or 3.5"

The NVME don't even need a power supply.

Thanks

Possibly a bad write.

At least no disconnecting issue as it happened in the middle of a write to the HD.

Jahn

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JahnG
OP JahnG Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup

Sean Nelson wrote:

JahnG wrote:

Do you think that after this early warning it would be best to replace the HD (T2) ?

They're "just" backup drives. Backup drives aren't as critical as your online storage because (a) if they fail you still have your online storage, and (b) if the online storage fails, you have more than one backup drive to rely on (or should, at any rate).

Given that, I'd just do a "full" reformat of the drive and put it back into the backup cycle to see if the problem reoccurs. If it does, then consider tossing it. For more confidence, do what I do: use a checksumming utility to create hashes of all the files on the drive and then verify them from time to time to make sure the drive hasn't corrupted any data.

Ok. The "checksumming utility" sounds interesting, is it some outer program that you place on every separate HD, or place on the C: drive  or is it something already available on Win 10 pro or...

And do you think that outer USB 2Tb SSD:s are good enough by now for backup purposes, in case reasonably priced such 2Tb exists??

SSD storage is still quite pricey compared to hard drives. The benefit you get for the extra cost is performance, which is mostly irrelevant for backups since you don't have to sit around waiting for them to run. If you can afford two 2TB SSDs then IMHO you'd be far better off spending the same amount of money on more HDD drives to put into a cycle of backups, especially if it meant you could store at least one of them offsite. That will buy you a lot more real security for your data.

And yes, SSDs will inevitably loose data if they sit around on the shelf for too long. It'll take longer for new SSDs to loose data, but sooner or later it will happen. It might not be a problem if you're cycling them at monthly intervals so that they're connected to the computer and powered up to allow their controllers to scan for and rewrite degrading blocks - but it's something you need to be aware of.

Ok., I wished to hear has something changed lately. I'll anyway get a new USB HD.

BTW my current USB HD:s are 2 TB, but I see there are now 4 TB HD:s (at Amazon) for a good price. Do you see any disadvantage going over to 4 TB disks instead of my current 2 TB disks for backup?

Jahn

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JahnG
OP JahnG Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup

SirLataxe wrote:

JahnG wrote:

For some years I have used two separate 2Tb Lacie ("Porshe design") USB3 HD:s as outer backups for my pictures. (Win 10 pro table top). Both HD:s are roughly halfway filled. (I have named the HD:s T1 and T2)

Normally I update my pictures to these HD:s perhaps one - two times a month , else the HD:s are not connected (= shut off). Until now both HD:s have worked flawlessly.

Today, after transferring a couple of folders to T2 (perhaps 1000 pictures) there was some trouble announced, and the transfer was discontinued. I deleted the discontinued folder from the HD (T2), and tried a new transfer, and now everything worked.

[snip]

Jahn

I have one of those Lacie drives that I periodically attach to the PC for use as a backup drive. One potential cause of the sort of Windows error message you got is a poor connection. I'm careful never to unplug the cable from the Lacie drive, to give the cable socket of the drive the least stress. I always plug and unplug the drive at the PC end of the cable.

I have other backup drives permanently connected to the PC but they have an on/off switch so that they aren't powered up most of the time (or available to any attack software - although I've never had such an incident).

I use Microsoft's synchtoy utility to do data backups and Macrium to back up disc images of the more complex stuff.

The Lacie drive has been in use for about 4 years and the Freecom drives anything from 20 years to 5 years, with no incident other than the sort of Windows message you got .... but only when I first installed Win10 (not since).

I also use the Microsoft and the Adobe cloud backup services.

**********

Spinning hard discs generally seem resilient if you treat them well, meaning keep them clean, don't allow them to get too hot and look after the connection socket.

Making multiple backups, though, means you can use any backup media right up until it actually and fully fails. It's a waste of resource to throw it in the landfill just because you're worried it might fail "sometime" or because a sector or two go bad.

SirLataxe

Thank you for the information and your views.

Jahn

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ggeinec Contributing Member • Posts: 795
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup

Austinian wrote:

ggeinec wrote:

Austinian wrote:

... snipped ...

My personal preference is to use multiple bare SATA desktop drives with a USB dock rather than purely-USB external drives, but that's just me.

Do you have an example (link) to the kind of USB dock you are using?

As best I recall, this is it.

https://plugable.com/products/usbc-sata-v

Thanks for that. I'm curious how you handle and store your bare drives between making images, and do you have particular preferences for HDDs or do you just look for good deals?

... snipped ...

You're welcome. I use it for storing laptop drive images from Macrium Reflect Free. On the desktop, I just connect standard SATA cables to the desktop drives.

(I should add that I agree with a_c_skinner's post; I use only HDDs for backup.)

That is similar to what I do. I write and verify separate Macrium Reflect Home drive images of the Windows NVME drive to two data drives inside the desktop, one an NVME drive and the other an SATA WD Black HDD. Then I copy both of those images to two separate USB 2.5" WD external HDDs.

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 17,126
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup

a_c_skinner wrote:

How long would an SSD need to be powered up for? It had never occurred to me before that the refreshing process might need a finite time.

The TRIM operation takes less than a few minutes after power-on. Page 11:

https://repository.stcloudstate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1113&context=msia_etds

Wear leveling and data amplification take longer, depending on SSD size and how many such operations are required. I wouldn't think it takes more than an hour. Sorry no reference.

Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,856
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup
1

a_c_skinner wrote:

How long would an SSD need to be powered up for? It had never occurred to me before that the refreshing process might need a finite time.

It's really unclear how long you need to leave power applied to an SSD in order to make sure it's had enough time to scan all its memory pages looking for blocks that need refreshing. It really depends on the firmware and how it manages the workload between host-initiated I/O and it's own internal housekeeping.

The way I'd approach it is to use a checksumming utility as I described in my post above. Running the utility to verify that all of the files' contents still match their checksums will force the SSD to read all the memory pages containing your data - as it does so it will naturally discover if any of those pages have any issues.

For an SSD drive that's installed in your system, running a full backup on it does the same thing by forcing the drive to read all of your data - something that might be worth doing if you've left a system turned off for an extended period (months or more) of time.

Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,856
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup
1

JahnG wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

For more confidence, do what I do: use a checksumming utility to create hashes of all the files on the drive and then verify them from time to time to make sure the drive hasn't corrupted any data.

Ok. The "checksumming utility" sounds interesting, is it some outer program that you place on every separate HD, or place on the C: drive or is it something already available on Win 10 pro or...

Google "checksum utility".  You put this program onto your system and run it to scan all the files you want to protect - it will produce a "checksum file" containing the hash values of all the files you scanned.   Then at a later date you run it again to rescan the files and ensure that their checksums still match the ones in the "checksum file".

JahnG
OP JahnG Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup

Sean Nelson wrote:

JahnG wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

For more confidence, do what I do: use a checksumming utility to create hashes of all the files on the drive and then verify them from time to time to make sure the drive hasn't corrupted any data.

Ok. The "checksumming utility" sounds interesting, is it some outer program that you place on every separate HD, or place on the C: drive or is it something already available on Win 10 pro or...

Google "checksum utility". You put this program onto your system and run it to scan all the files you want to protect - it will produce a "checksum file" containing the hash values of all the files you scanned. Then at a later date you run it again to rescan the files and ensure that their checksums still match the ones in the "checksum file".

Thanks

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Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,856
Re: First "warning" from my HD backup

JahnG wrote:

BTW my current USB HD:s are 2 TB, but I see there are now 4 TB HD:s (at Amazon) for a good price. Do you see any disadvantage going over to 4 TB disks instead of my current 2 TB disks for backup?

Sorry, forgot to answer this question...

I like larger backup drives because they let me keep more backup cycles.  If I ever get caught by a ransomware attack I need to go to a backup that was made before the system was infected, and that could be a month or more in the past.

I use 4TB drives for my backups in pairs for weekly and for monthly offsite backups, and that lets me keep backups of my active data for up to a year.  So my vote would be for the larger drives.

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