I purchased a Synology 1813+ in … 2013 (it took me a while to figure out that the last two digits in a Synology model number refers to the year), and in the last week or so I kept getting warnings about imminent failure of at least one hard drive.

We’re currently undergoing a small renovation, so my spare hard drive was in a box in a room in a pile of stuff, and I figured the Synology RAID would be able to handle a week’s delay. Today was the end of that week and I could no longer leave it, so I put in the spare drive and ordered two more from Memory Express.

Two things were interesting to me.

Firstly, I had a look at the receipt from when I ordered the two drives, after seeing the first failure, and was surprised to note that it was three years ago. That’s impressive. Secondly, the time between the initial purchase of the device (and drives from three different batches) to the first failure was five years. Five years.

Of course this means I should prepare myself for imminent failure due to wear of the other six drives, but I’m hopeful that they will fail with enough time in between for me to purchase additional drives and install them.

To the topic of the post, which is a public service announcement to check the health of your hard drives using SMART, I refer you to this article on Synology’s own blog:

Prevention is better than cure – minimizing the risk of data loss with 2 simple steps

While it is specific to their hardware, they point out the different types of warnings you can get, and what they mean.

And finally, I remind you the backup rule of three (taken from here):

  • 3 copies of anything you care about – Two isn’t enough if it’s important.
  • 2 different formats – Example: Dropbox+DVDs or Hard Drive+Memory Stick or CD+Crash Plan, or more
  • 1 off-site backup – If the house burns down, how will you get your memories back?

 

My laptop is backed up remotely to iCloud Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Backblaze. I use the NAS for local backups of my laptop and other machines on the network. My NAS is also backed up to Backblaze. There is no such thing as overkill when it comes to backups. The Great Data Loss Incident of 2007 still rings in my ears.

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