(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

Wireless Connection To An External Hard Drive

from the getting-better-all-the-time... dept

I have a fairly convoluted set of alternate backup systems that seems to get more complex every time I have yet another catastrophic hard drive failure (such as the latest, which occurred two weeks ago). Right now I have two external USB hard drives, one Mirra backup server, and an offsite service that scoops up data off of my computer every few hours and stores it in some hidden location. The second USB hard drive is because the latest hard drive failure (only a week after I had been told the machine had been "fixed") happened while I was away and didn't have access to the other USB hard drive that remained at home, or the Mirra server which only accepts backups on the local network. The offsite remote backup worked, but was slow and had limited space. So, I ended up with another external hard drive to save whatever data I could get off the old hard drive before it kicked it for good. When I got back home and went back to my old crappy desktop (which is here for just these circumstances) I discovered that the USB connections on this machine no longer work - so I can't actually access the data saved on the hard drive (though, I can access older data on the Mirra device). Unfortunately, I can't seem to get data from the hard drive to the Mirra device, so I'm basically stuck until I get my laptop back and it has a working USB system. With that backdrop in mind, it's great that Maxtor and Linksys are teaming up to offer a wireless way to connect to an external hard drive. Basically, they've created a bridge that lets an external hard drive connect directly to a wireless router (which, in some ways, just mimics what the Mirra backup server is supposed to do, though with fewer features). Either way, it looks like backup systems are getting easier and easier, meaning no one has any excuse not to have something set up these days. Of course, the next time my hard drive fails, I'm sure I'll need to pick up one of these new systems.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    dorpus, Jun 14th, 2004 @ 8:10pm

    How to reduce failure rates

    There is a simple step one can take to dramatically reduce hard drive failure rates, but one that most system administrators are unwilling to do, because it is too unmanly, or "they don't get paid enough", or because they would rather play with an expensive, complex toy... er, system. It's called regularly wiping down your server room with Windex. I've worked at over a dozen companies big and small, and every server room was always a tornado of swirling dust.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    dorpus, Jun 14th, 2004 @ 8:26pm

    Hmmm, good interview question?

    "Are you willing to wipe down the server room each week with Windex?"

    If that makes the applicant's neck bulge with veins the size of telephone cords, then you know you are dealing with just another bad sysadmin. ;-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    S Hawking, Jun 15th, 2004 @ 5:11am

    Wireless Connection To An External Hard Drive

    Is the new Apple Airport Express a more sophisticated version of this? It supports USB connections as well as a connection to your stereo as well as being extremely portable. I'm assuming of course, that you can connect a hard drive to the USB connection...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2004 @ 8:50am

    No Subject Given

    Jees, what do you do to your computers to get them in such a bad state - failing USB probably means you've just yanked cables out of the sockets willy nilly, and all those dying hard drives probably means heat issues.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Mike (profile), Jun 15th, 2004 @ 9:03am

    Re: No Subject Given

    With the USB thing, I had actually never used any USB devices on this machine. For the most part, it's just been used as a dumb terminal in the corner for internet access. For all I know, the USB never worked.

    As for the hard drives, who the hell knows. I've been trying everything, and each time the hard drive goes anyway. Toshiba is now suggesting that it may have been a combination of problems, including a bad system board and the hard drive not being properly installed (each and every time?!?).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Cyke, Jun 16th, 2004 @ 4:40am

    Re: No Subject Given

    "hard drive not being properly installed "

    Like what? Using 3" screws to tighten it down? lol What concerns me, is now we will probably have another security issue to deal with: stealing data from our hard drives, viruses, and all the other nasty stuff done right through the air :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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