Mysterious drive deaths

Adel Gabot

Expansion 3.5 Pkg WW


I can’t figure it out.

I’ve been having a lot of external disk drives dying on me recently. As in a lot, and I’ve been pushed to the absolute limit, with no extras, no slack.

It started first with my 4TB Seagate Central NAS drive. It just quit on me. One morning, it wasn’t on my desktop, and when I went to check, it wouldn’t even light up. I tried different power supplies to hopefully revive it, but nada. That particularly hurt, as my entire media library was housed in its massive size. I had to rebuild the library from scratch. (The silver lining was, I got rid of all the detritus I collected over the years and just kept the files I really really liked.)

Then went my 2TB GoFlex Desk a few months later. This was also a painful loss, as I had invested in an very expensive Thunderbolt adaptor for it so I could extract the then-fastest access speeds from the drive. I’d been using it as a data archive and a place to dump all the bits and pieces of miscellany I collected here and there. Now it was dead, or close it it. I was able to revive it, but it’s now dog-slow, as in it takes hours to copy a simple MP3, making it practically useless. In the meantime I have a very expensive Thunderbolt adapter as a paperweight.

Then it was my 2TB Buffalo CloudStation NAS drive’s turn to bite the bullet. It just went belly-up, and no amount of repair and restore could bring it back to life. That makes a total of 8TB of storage gone so far.

Next to go was my GoFlex Satellite, a 500GB portable drive that had wifi circuitry and a battery built into its small frame I was using for my mobile needs. It was nice. I just had to turn it on and then slip it back into my bag, and I had oodles of storage space for my iPad and iPhone. That was also painful, because of the battery and wifi it cost nearly P10k back then.

Then, a couple of months ago, my venerable old dedicated Time Machine backup drive, a big, bulky 750GB Western Digital (was it WD? Or was it Seagate? I can’t even remember; gotta check) went dead after many faithful years of service, leaving me without reliable backup for my iMac. (I had to buy a new 1TB portable drive to take up the slack and revert to after-update backups instead of the automatic every-hour-on-the-hour backups I’d gotten accustomed to. As a result, I had some extra space, so I doled out my media library around my drives so I wouldn’t have them all in one basket this time.)

Next on the dead pile was a 500GB internal 2.5″ laptop drive I had housed in a cheap CDR-King enclosure which I had been using as one of my Media Drives. This one was for my various media downloads from YouTube, Vimeo and many other sources, so it wasn’t that painful a loss. But still.

Last week, the little old white Seagate external I’d been using to backup my laptops with Time Machine died too. It was just 256GB, but it was enough for the occasional backup of my MacBooks. Thing was, I actually managed to restore it over the weekend, so it was just a near-miss this time. It’s working fine so far.

Finally, I also had another near-miss just last Tuesday with my main system on the iMac, the big kahuna. I’ve been noticing a slowdown in operation over the past week, and it had progressively gotten worse until I was seeing the spinning beach ball much too often. As in every other click of the mouse. I did a quick check, and I was informed by Disk Utility to back up the 1TB home drive immediately and restore the system from my backup. Ugh. So I erased the hard disk, reinstalled Sierra from my bootable USB drive and restored my setup from my Time Machine backup. Took me almost the whole damn day, but I got it done.

So there. I don’t know why this is happening to me. Either my system is just getting old, or something nefarious is occurring. It just feels weird that this is all happening to me within a short period.


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