By Dr. Mohammed Alo
“As an artistic and very creative physician (see my YouTube channel and subscribe), I almost had a complete meltdown last week when I thought my large backup storage drive failed. Anyone who knows me, knows I always have a camera attached to me. Ever since I was a kid. Always. I’ve been using cameras since I could walk and have created tons of very impressive photos and videos. Hence, archiving my pictures and videos, especially of family activities is crucial. Enter the near miss! (my best photos are on my Instagram, please follow)
I had just installed a new video card and noticed that my internal 1 terabyte hard drive had stopped working. I was devastated. I used that drive to temporarily store photos and videos on it that I was still editing. It had all of my 2016 media on it. I thought I had lost an entire year’s worth of work. I knew better, these old brick hard drives rarely failed, so I knew what I was going to do next. I took it out and tried different things, it turns out the connector was bad. So, I purchased a SATA to USB adapter and took my drive out, connected it to an external USB drive and copied all the info to my 2 external G-Tech 8 terabyte drive. All of 2016 was saved!
As soon as that catastrophe was averted, I noticed that my external G-Tech 8 terabyte drive stopped working. Not even a few days later. It had about 3 tb worth of photos and videos stored. This was my main archive. Like all of our family pictures. Ever. I really freaked out now. I tried different connectors, different plugs. Nothing. I was distraught. Of course, I didn’t panic and no one really knew that I was worried. I never get that excited.
Having been a computer repairman and having built custom computers my entire life, I decided to take it apart and pull out the drives. I knew this would void my warranty, but I had to do it. I pulled out the two 4 terabyte drives and plugged them into my new SATA to USB adapter and neither of them showed up. Because the G-Tech unit they were housed in uses some proprietary formatting, the computer couldn’t read them. So, I took apart the proprietary G-Tech unit, found the motherboard and microchips, cleaned off the contacts, made sure everything was grounded and put it all back together. I plugged it in and….. IT WORKED! So much relief. But there was still plenty of work to do. I knew it was only a matter of time before it failed completely.
I was pretty happy, all of my stuff was there. But I was also pretty determined to not let that ever happen again. So, I went into full research mode. I needed to find a solution that backed up my data here locally and to a cloud. I can’t have all our pictures and videos disappear again. Just the thought of that upsets my stomach. I researched every possible solution there was to storage. Being a scientist and needing to see research and evidence, I knew I would find the correct solution for me (and probably many of you).
The DAS I selected is the Drobo 5Dt which can store up to64 terabytes (and soon more) depending on how many hard drives you decide to put in it. It uses a proprietary software called BeyondRAID to duplicate and back up your files to itself in a safe way. You data will always exist and can never be lost. It can hold up to 5 drives. But you need at least 2 to get started. One serves as your main drive, while the other is the back up. As you add more drives, it rearranges itself to give you even more storage space. If you take out a smaller drive and add a bigger one, it’ll rebuild your storage capacity to use the new extra space. It also has a battery back up in case you lose power, you won’t lose any data. And it’s infinitely expandable!
Hopefully, this will save you lots of heartache and save your pictures and videos!”
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Dr. Alo is a cardiologist based out of Toledo, Ohio. Before going into medicine he was a computer and network engineer at NTC computers and has spent over thirty years building custom computers, upgrading them, and working on computer networks. He is a writer and publisher and has had his work published in many print and magazines. He also owns a digital media company called Zmedia (www.Zmedia.co) and produces film, video, music, and photos for his clients. You can subscribe to his medical YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/mohammedalo or his ZMedia channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kakVn7qdMAQ. You can also follow him on Instagram where he posts his favorite photos: https://www.instagram.com/dr.alo/