Waking up this morning I had a shock when I sat down at my computer. The external drives were not mounted.


Not good.

My first though was to my backups — I had backups of both from less than a week ago so I’m pretty much set regardless, but it’s still nothing to sneeze at.

With a bit of digging I was able to narrow it down to my 2TB drive. If I removed that from the chain of FireWire drives the 1.5TB drive seemed to work just fine. At this point it’s clear it’s one of a few things: the drive, the controller or the power supply.

The drive was spinning just fine so it’s unlikely to be the power supply.

This left two possibilities.

My hunch was the controller. Why? Because the second drive in the chain wasn’t being seen by the computer.

Here’s where simple wins.

By stripping the drive out of the enclosure I was able to drop it into my SATA hard drive dock and — lo and behold — the drive was seen! Obviously the drive is just fine!

If I had something more complex, like a Drobo or something, and the backplane died I’d be S.O.L. until I received a new backplane. What I have, on the other hand, is simple commodity parts that I can mix and match to my heart’s content.

If the drive would have bit it all I would need to do is replace the drive with the equivalent backup in the same enclosure and I’d be back up to speed. In this case all I have to do is buy an enclosure — any will do — and I’ll likewise be good to go. An advantage is that I can still access the drive since there’s nothing proprietary about how things are stored on it!

Maybe if I was storing an enterprise’s worth of data I could use something better, but what I have now kicks butt!


…and everyone lived happily ever after.