It hasn’t been a good week for my hard drives.

On Wednesday my old G-Raid…the one I bought four years ago…finally gave up the ghost. It had begun clicking over the weekend when I was copying footage to and from it, which is not a good sign. It did this before, when I owned it for about a year. But, I took it to G-tech in Santa Monica and in two days, I had it back in my hands. The same thing happened back then…clicking when copying.

Well, after a few days of the clicking…it decided not to show up on my desktop at all. Nor in the Disk Utility. And the warranty expired. So I cracked open the case, pulled out the two PATA drives and connected them both directly to the computer via a spare PATA firewire case I have lying about. One worked, the other did not. Dead drive. Fine, I relegated it as a Clone Drive for my G5 and tossed the bad drive in the trash.

Then comes Saturday.

I need to work one day this weekend on my current show, and I had copied all the media used in that project to my main S2VR Duo from Caldigit. I was editing fine on it with this project for weeks now. But on Saturday, it was acting up. Well, to be totally honest, it had been acting up for a while. A few months ago, I would try to copy large files to it and it would get only so far before it would hang…all the activity lights would stop, and one of them would remain solidly on. I would turn it off, back on, try again…hang. Since I always have a backup of my footage, I reformatted the drive, rebuilt the raid, and tried again. Nope…same error. I called CalDigit, they ran me through the paces of doing all that again, but also updating their drivers…tried again in vain. They figured it was a bad power converter and sent me a new power cord and brick. That did solve the issue.

Then it started again. Three weeks ago. Same issue. Any file larger than 2GB caused the drive to hang. Again, called CalDigit, directed to remove drivers, download and install new ones, in specific order. It worked. For a a couple. Then it was hanging again. So again, reformat, copy footage. Got it working…until the current issue this weekend.

I thought it might be the card, as my Dark Tower homemade RAID (my backup unit) had an issue starting up once…said the drives weren’t recognized. A restart solved that. Then I was gone all day today…at the beach. Came back, worked on m project for an hour…no issues. I thought all was well when…render caused the drive to hang. It seems that the drive needed to warm up before it decided to stop working.

Well, this is why I have backups. The Unit is under warranty, and drives do fail…fact of life. Time for a call to tech support to get this replaced. Thank goodness for warrantees. And…that goodness that I back up my footage. I do this because the Duo is a RAID 0 box, meaning one drive goes, they all go. If I had a nice fancy RAID 5 unit in here (a product on the horizon), then I wouldn’t be backing up like I do. But, I have the space, and I am paranoid.

This is just to let you all know that this stuff happens. Drive technology, as good as it is, isn’t infallible. I’m not mad, I’m not pulling my hair out…OK, I am a little miffed. But I have backups in place, so little time was lost on this.

MORAL? Always have a backup plan.

EDIT: Just got off the phone with Jon at CalDigit and a replacement plan is in place. Shipping back the Duo and the card so they can figure out what is going on.