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External Hard Drive Failure - Retrospect 6.5


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Hi... I hope others may learn something from my experience, or if I am wrong in my understanding, that I may be corrected.


I had been using Retrospect 6.5 with an IOGear external FireWire / USB 2.0 drive for a few months. The script that I have been using performs a recycle backup weekly, and normal backups every other day. The backups take place at night, so I very seldom see them first hand.


A few days ago the IOGear drive failed. There was a message that Retrospect failed in its backup attempt. The drive indicator light was acting peculiar, and periodically it would make disturbing mechanical noises (which we all know are a terminal sign for hard drives).


I thought it was just a drive failure.


After replacing that drive with another external drive set up with a FireWire connection, I thought I was back on track. This morning, however, I couldn't sleep and was on the computer when the scheduled backup began. For over 30 minutes the message "Preparing to Execute" was displayed in the Retrospect screen. The drive was being accessed continuously, and the case was pretty hot to touch. Not a good thing. I shut down Retrospect (eventually having to use Task Manager). The drive continued to show constant activity. I had to manually turn the drive off. I then restarted Windows. I was able to write to the drive with no problems after restart. So... I am pretty sure the drive is okay.


I searched the forum and saw a post that said Checkdisk should be run, and the system restore feature should be disabled for that drive. (I am currently running Checkdisk, and then will disable system restore.)


(I wanted to delete the backup I had created previously, and what appeared to be a second copy with a modified name that was created with the failed backup tonight. (Both were around 47GB.) Even after deleting both, emptying the trash can, and restarting Windows, the space they occupied was not released (available). I finally ended up reformatting the drive.)


I guess this also answers a question about why a "Normal" backup would take almost twice as long as a "Recycle" backup. I have been on my computer as much as 3 hours after a "Normal" backup was scheduled to start, and it is just finishing the first partition (approximately 20 GB). It only takes another hour to complete the remain partitions (approximately 30 GB). So.... I think it is safe to conclude that Retrospect is taking at least two solid hours of disk access time to complete "Preparing to Execute"


I don't want to point the finger at anyone in particular; but, the only program that uses that external drive(s) is Retrospect. If this is a problem with the system restore feature, Dantz should go out of their way to make sure that it is properly identified in their online resources and in the .pdf manual. I feel confident in stating that because of my use of Retrospect with both external hard drives, one of the drives is toast, and now I question the reliability of the second.


I would appreciate any comments, and in particular anything about common experiences.





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