Power loss & hard drives, should I be worried?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by HiFiGuy528, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    HiFiGuy528

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #1
    I am using an external hard drive with Airport Extreme for Time Machine. Should I be worried about my data in an event of power loss because the drive is always mounted? Has anyone loss a drive due to power loss and what have you done to fix it or prevent it?

    What are you using as backup power and why?

    I know I can go with Drobo, but are there other lower cost options?
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    Yes, you do run the possibility of losing data in the event of a power loss without a UPS. There isn't a lot you can do about that. Even a RAID system could potentially be corrupted if disconnected suddenly. You should always maintain an off-site backup, and while I may not practice what I preach, that's the best route to safeguarding yourself from data loss. Even a UPS won't save you if your house burns down.

    Barring that, putting a UPS on at least one computer is a good plan.
     
  3. HiFiGuy528 thread starter macrumors 68000

    HiFiGuy528

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #3
    Well, I can't do anything about a house fire. I looked at a lot of UPS and most gives you a run time of a up to 10-15 minutes. That won't do me any good if I am not home to safely turn everything off when the power goes out.

    So you are saying that a Drobo may still lose everything if the hard drives inside fails due to abrupt power loss?

    The only way to preserve data is to back up on another external hard drive and store it in a safe deposit box? How long is the shelf life of a hard drive?
     
  4. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #4
    I use a APC 1000. It's large enough UPS to power my computer and monitor for 15-20 min but my system prefs will automatically shut everything down before the UPS is depleted. If I had open files they would be lost but I never do that. After speaking with two different electronics engineers, a UPS is not a totally safe solution but a good UPS is the best we can do.

    Another thing you can do with a UPS is power your modems, switches and cordless phone during a power outage.

    Keep an eye on the batteries; they don't last forever.
     
  5. HiFiGuy528 thread starter macrumors 68000

    HiFiGuy528

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #5
    Is that an OS X feature? I know there is a restart feature, but I don't recall seeing a shut down.
     
  6. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #6
    You should have greater reliability in all respects with a Drobo, but if a file is being written when the power goes out, your RAID array will be in the same position as any other hard drive.

    Shelf life is pretty much indefinite. Hard drives are measured by MTBF, or meant time between failures. I believe 600,000 hours is a fairly normal figure. (Bear in mind that statistically that's the number of hours before 50% of a given sample of drives have failed.) That amounts to over a year of constant use. When rarely used, a drive will last much longer.
     
  7. HiFiGuy528 thread starter macrumors 68000

    HiFiGuy528

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #7
    Another question.

    How does Time Machine via (hard drive & Airport Extreme) handle UPC configuration when they are in a different UPS, but the Cable modem is NOT on a UPS? Will the Mac tell the Time Machine & Airport Extreme to "disconnect" from all drives before shutting down?
     

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