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Network Hard Drive

londonblue

Topgun Pilot
Joined
Feb 18, 2004
Messages
19,225
I have a problem with my network hard drive. Basically It's stopped working and I can't see it on my computer. The ethernet port lights are on and working, suggesting data is being transferred, but there is clearly an issue. The drive is connected via a switch rather than straight into the router.

I therefore need two bits of help. Firstly, does anyone have any idea how to fix it? And secondly, failing that I will need to buy a new one (and get all the data transferred). Does anyone have any suggestions of make and model?

The current NAS is a WD My Book Live.

Ideally I would like to transfer the data onto the new drive myself (should I not be able to fix it), but don't want to buy a whole load of stuff to dismantle the drive and connect it to the computer. The best solution would be to connect the old drive (in tact) via an ethernet cable, but it isn't that simple so if anyone knows how to do that, and can give step by step instructions of how to, including setting up the IP Addresses that would also be very useful.
 
First thing to test is that its on the network.

So for example your hard drive should have an IP address like 192.168.0.2 so you can try pinging it. You will of course need to know the IP Address of it, Im assuming its using the default one it came with, although they can pick them up dynamically.

You should be able to find the IP Address in your router or alternatively download advanced IP Scanner from here:

https://www.advanced-ip-scanner.com/

Run that and it will scan your network and show all devices connected to the network, if the hard drive shows up there you can assume its connected. You should be able to browse to its IP address then and it should have a webportal which may or may not show any issues with the drive.

If the drive itself is fine then you can get a USB dongle to attach to the drive directly and access files that way.

IF the Harddrive has failed, which they do from time to time, then thats a much nastier kettle of fish.

I personally use a Netgear ReadyNAS which allows redundancy on the drives, ie use 2 drives in raid so that should a drive fail you still have data on the other. I actually just have two drives as if they pop theres nothing I care about on there.

I always recommend people use an online back up too, I use crashplan myself which saved me when my PC had a power surge and fried both harddrives I had in there.
 
...oh and in line with normal IT advice, make sure you reboot everything...
 
In the end I tried something I should have tried before posting. I attached the NAS directly to the router rather than via a switch, and it worked fine, albeit without the LED on the front actually lighting up, but they fail quite regularly on WD hardware.

That suggested there was a problem with the switch rather than the drive. To prove my new theory I attached my Sonos sound bar directly to the router and noticed that the surround sound speakers kicked in. (They weren't working earlier, but I didn't realise since I wasn't watching anything where surround sound was that important.) Now I knew for sure that the problem was the switch, not the NAS. I went out and bought a new switch and, hey presto, all is now working again.

So on Monday I'm going to take the old switch back to Maplin and get my money back. The good news is the new one was about £12 cheaper and is a slightly upgraded version of the old one. I didn't realise just how expensive Maplin is, or is it just that I bought it in the city?

However, as I said to my wife, that has made me realise that I need to back everything up on a cloud somewhere because I can't really afford to lose it all. Even though the NAS wasn't at fault, if it ever is a problem I need to be able to fall back to something else quickly.

Can anyone recommend a decent cloud service? (I've currently got about 43Gb of data on my NAS.)
 
Thanks for that. I do have 2 questions:

  1. Both Backblaze and Crashplan seem to be charged in dollars. How much do you pay in sterling?
  2. Backblaze says you can backup external storage but Crashplan doesn't. I'd be amazed if it can't so can you let me know if it does?
 
One of my friends lost nearly everything when he had problems with his hard drive so I would recommend backing everything up somewhere.

I had a free Asus account, but you only get 6gb of data and now they want to charge people for using it.

Flickr gives you 1TB of free storage for pictures. The downside is anyone has access to your pictures. I back up my pictures I have posted on Facebook to Flickr and also to a 16GB USB drive. They are quite cheap to buy depending on the size, a great ask for a Christmas or birthday present, IMO

All the pics I have ever taken on a camera phone or my digital camera are also backed up on to a separate Kingston 2.0 64GB USB drive. I have 40 GB of pics on that drive. I have just purchased a Kingston 3.0 64GB USB drive, to back up the 2.0 USB drive.

I have heard about a USB drive that almost indestructible. Marcus Brigstock tested it on his Joy of Tech programme but I am not sure of the price.

Finally, if your laptop has a SD card slot, you could purchase a 64 GB SanDisk Extreme Pro for about £35. However, there are a lot of fake cards out there. Buy on somewhere like Amazon and choose the standard packaging so you know it is a real SanDisk product.

It sounds a bit long winded, but it is worth the effort to keep everything you want safe and sound. And once you have a system worked it is not that time consuming to do.

However, it did take me several months to collate everything from various places on my hard drive and on my devices to get them to the correct place and delete all the dups. Even so I managed to delete my pics of the Ricoh Arena off my camera before I'd saved them elsewhere.
 
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Thanks for that. I do have 2 questions:

  1. Both Backblaze and Crashplan seem to be charged in dollars. How much do you pay in sterling?
  2. Backblaze says you can backup external storage but Crashplan doesn't. I'd be amazed if it can't so can you let me know if it does?

Yep I can confirm that Crashplan does let you backup external storage. They're both US companies so charge in dollars, you'll just get it converted into sterling by your bank (with a nominal currency conversion fee I expect depending on what bank you are with). Both site offer a free trial so you can always try both and see if they tick all the boxes for you.
 
One of my friends lost nearly everything when he had problems with his hard drive so I would recommend backing everything up somewhere.

I had a free Asus account, but you only get 6gb of data and now they want to charge people for using it.

Flickr gives you 1TB of free storage for pictures. The downside is anyone has access to your pictures. I back up my pictures I have posted on Facebook to Flickr and also to a 16GB USB drive. They are quite cheap to buy depending on the size, a great ask for a Christmas or birthday present, IMO

All the pics I have ever taken on a camera phone or my digital camera are also backed up on to a separate Kingston 2.0 64GB USB drive. I have 40 GB of pics on that drive. I have just purchased a Kingston 3.0 64GB USB drive, to back up the 2.0 USB drive.

I have heard about a USB drive that almost indestructible. Marcus Brigstock tested it on his Joy of Tech programme but I am not sure of the price.

Finally, if your laptop has a SD card slot, you could purchase a 64 GB SanDisk Extreme Pro for about £35. However, there are a lot of fake cards out there. Buy on somewhere like Amazon and choose the standard packaging so you know it is a real SanDisk product.

It sounds a bit long winded, but it is worth the effort to keep everything you want safe and sound. And once you have a system worked it is not that time consuming to do.

However, it did take me several months to collate everything from various places on my hard drive and on my devices to get them to the correct place and delete all the dups. Even so I managed to delete my pics of the Ricoh Arena off my camera before I'd saved them elsewhere.

Thanks for that. For me that wouldn't be too much of an issue because everything I want to back up is on the same NAS, all in the folders I want them in.

Doing my own backup to another storage device is quite an interesting idea, and would work out cheaper in the long run. The only issue is how long it would take to transfer a whole load of music, photos and videos initially. That could take forever, but it might do to a cloud as well I suppose.
 
Yep I can confirm that Crashplan does let you backup external storage. They're both US companies so charge in dollars, you'll just get it converted into sterling by your bank (with a nominal currency conversion fee I expect depending on what bank you are with). Both site offer a free trial so you can always try both and see if they tick all the boxes for you.

Thanks for that Mr Plow. I thought as much, it's just Backblaze made a point of saying so on their website, Crashplan didn't.
 
Thanks for that. I do have 2 questions:

  1. Both Backblaze and Crashplan seem to be charged in dollars. How much do you pay in sterling?
  2. Backblaze says you can backup external storage but Crashplan doesn't. I'd be amazed if it can't so can you let me know if it does?

Gah, I meant to say bypass the switch.

I tried backblaze before crashplan and I didnt like backblaze, but cant remember why.

Crashplan is about 3 quid a month, its worth it though, I Would have lost all my photos going back 15 years without it.

Ive not used it to do my NAS The way I work is my PC has two drives for use and they are backed up to crashplan and tot the NAS. The NAS itself isnt backed up as there is nothing on there I cant lose. If I was worried about it I would be using a raid config to secure it.

Thanks for that. For me that wouldn't be too much of an issue because everything I want to back up is on the same NAS, all in the folders I want them in.

Doing my own backup to another storage device is quite an interesting idea
, and would work out cheaper in the long run. The only issue is how long it would take to transfer a whole load of music, photos and videos initially. That could take forever, but it might do to a cloud as well I suppose.

I would always do a local backup anyway.

I have heard stories of nearly all the online backups so wouldnt want them to be my sole repository. Same as you dont want only local backups in case of theft, fire etc.

More backups you can have the better.

What Ive done for a few customers recently is just move them onto Dropbox Pro. Works as a decent back up, but it is a bit more, £80 a year.
 
Gah, I meant to say bypass the switch.

I tried backblaze before crashplan and I didnt like backblaze, but cant remember why.

Crashplan is about 3 quid a month, its worth it though, I Would have lost all my photos going back 15 years without it.

Ive not used it to do my NAS The way I work is my PC has two drives for use and they are backed up to crashplan and tot the NAS. The NAS itself isnt backed up as there is nothing on there I cant lose. If I was worried about it I would be using a raid config to secure it.



I would always do a local backup anyway.

I have heard stories of nearly all the online backups so wouldnt want them to be my sole repository. Same as you dont want only local backups in case of theft, fire etc.

More backups you can have the better.

What Ive done for a few customers recently is just move them onto Dropbox Pro. Works as a decent back up, but it is a bit more, £80 a year.

Crashplan it is. And I think I'll pay for it through my business as it's mainly my accounts and tax returns I'm worried about.

Thanks for the advice. I think I'll also buy a 128GB USB Stick as well...
 
Double check the NAS option for Crashplan, Ive just opened mine and cant see an option for backing up my network mapped drives, only the local ones.
 
Thanks for that. For me that wouldn't be too much of an issue because everything I want to back up is on the same NAS, all in the folders I want them in.

Doing my own backup to another storage device is quite an interesting idea, and would work out cheaper in the long run. The only issue is how long it would take to transfer a whole load of music, photos and videos initially. That could take forever, but it might do to a cloud as well I suppose.

The latest 3.0 USB drives are claimed to be 10 times faster than the 2.0 version. And the latest Sandisk SD cards are supposed to be very fast as well. I don't know who long it would take to back up all your data, but you can let it run in the background.

The advantage of storing stuff locally, is you can keep it in a different location to the computer if you are worried about damage, fire and theft etc.

As another poster said, you can never have enough back ups.
 
Double check the NAS option for Crashplan, Ive just opened mine and cant see an option for backing up my network mapped drives, only the local ones.

Good spot. This is what they say on their website:

CrashPlan doesn't support backing up mapped drives on Windows. This is due to an OS-level restriction built into Windows. If you would like to back up a mapped drive on Windows, there is an unsupported method for doing so.

But, Backblaze don't either...back to square one!
 
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