For several years now, I have been storing my digital assets on a RAID5 system. The first system was a box I build from old PC parts and a raid controller. It held a whopping 1 terabyte in storage. It was loud.
The second system was a ReadyNAS NV. This was a little shoebox size computer that held 4 drives. It worked remarkably well, even when I swapped out the original 250 gig drives with 1 terabyte drives (to make my total storage close to 3 terabytes). Great little unit, but it was slow (650mhz processor).
Last year I upgraded to a Synology DS1512. The first unit I got had a serious firmware issue, and they had to send me a new unit. It had been running flawlessly until about two weeks ago. Then, a drive failed….
No big deal. I had two drives fail on the readynas unit. You simply take up the disk, put in a new one, and it rebuilds itself…..no data lost. The synology unit should be the same. So, I proceeded to go on amazon and order a new drive…..then the improbable happened……a second drive failed.
Now, RAID5 is designed to handle one drive dying, not two. Technically, the drive didn’t completely die, the system map got screwed up somehow. Basically, the unit crashed miserably, and probably was not recoverable (didn’t even boot)
Luckily, over the summer, I got a two disk synology unit, and had been remotely syncing changes from the DS1512 to it. Plus I had also been using the readynas nv as a backup as well. So, I didn’t lose nearly 3 terabytes of songs, movies, books, and recordings.
Now, you probably don’t have a NAS. But you probably have a computer. You need to backup files now. Get a hard drive and use time machine on the Mac or whatever similar program exists for windows. Backup. Seriously consider getting a CrashPlan or similar service account.
You can never have too many backups.