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Ecrix VXA-1 Firewire: shut off or leave on?


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We have a new Ecrix VXA-1 Firewire backing up our network every night. What is the received wisdom on the subject of

 

 

 

(a) leaving the tape in the drive, and

 

(B) shutting off the drive in the morning?

 

 

 

In other words, is there any benefit to ejecting the tape and shutting off the drive in the morning? Or is it ok the leave the tape in and the drive on more or less 24/7, letting it do its thing every night? What is normal practice here? (Leaving it on would actually seem like *less* wear and tear on the mechanism, superficially. I note that the tape appears to rewind when Retrospect is finished whether I eject the tape or not.) The FM has nothing to say on the subject. The obvious concerns about leaving the drive *on* are

 

 

 

i) power consumption

 

ii) heat wear on the tapes and drive

 

iii) moving parts in the drive

 

 

 

Thanks,

 

David

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi David

 

We also have an Ecrix VXA 1 Firewire and I've been leaving it on. At idle there's very little power consumed and more stable heat/temperature. Mostly though, it means I don't forget to turn it on the night we have a major crash. ;-) oops!

 

I'm curious what computer you are using as a server, is it a firewire machine or are you using a PCI card?

 

Are you having any problems?

 

Cheers

 

Jules

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Hi David

 

We also have an Ecrix VXA 1 Firewire and I've been leaving it on. At idle there's very little power consumed and more stable heat/temperature. Mostly though, it means I don't forget to turn it on the night we have a major crash. ;-) oops!

 

I'm curious what computer you are using as a server, is it a firewire machine or are you using a PCI card?

 

Are you having any problems?

 

Cheers

 

Jules

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Ecrix tech support eventually got back to me on this one. They made two points:

 

 

 

i) Ejecting the tape is a good idea, and they strongly recommend it. They said that important file catalog information is written to the header of the tape when it is ejected, and without that header the drive won't know where files are on the tape. (This may be pertinent to what happened to you.) They suggest telling Retrospect to eject the tape when finished, which is what I have been doing.

 

 

 

ii) They didn't have strong opinions about the effect on the life of the drive leaving it on vs. turning it off, so long as it is well-ventilated and not in too warm a room.

 

 

 

They also said that they would write up the answers to my questions and post them in their FAQ and readme for the drive. I haven't checked to see if they've done so yet.

 

 

 

The backup machine, by the way, is a B&W G3 -- on-board Firewire, not a card.

 

 

 

 

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