Hard drive woes 2012, part 2

Well, I can confirm that if you have one of the Lacie Network Space 2 2TB drives and you’re worried about your data, should you begin to get the old flashy light syndroome, you can rest in piece, as there’s a chance that your data is perfectly safe, albeit, coccooned in a little shitty box with incrediby sharp corners. All you have to do is get inside that box.

And it’s actually pretty easy to get inside. I’ll say from now though, that doing the following will almost certainly void your warranty, but if you’re like me, 2Tb of precious porn legitimate data is far more important than that. The case is relatively easy to open. There’s a little clip where the LED is. Just push it in, and the case will lift straight off. There are 4 screws keeping the drive on. These are standard screws, nothing to be worried about. Mine had a warranty sticker over one of the screws, which has been subsequently popped. Oh dear.

The drive then just slides backwards to disconnect it from the SATA fitting. That’s part one done, you should be left with a hard drive in your hand. The model in mine is a Seagate Barracuda Green. Other models may vary, but it’s just a bog standard drive. You’ll need to connect it to a SATA socket, both for power and data. Dependant on what you’re using from here, getting the data off it might be slightly different. I’ll write it how I did it, using Windows. the same should be possible on a Mac, and if you’re using Linux, you should already know what you’re doing.

Before you go ahead and do anything, first check your PC is recognising the drive correctly. To do this, right-click Computer, then Manage. Your normal drives will be there, along with the new drive, with several partitions listed as “RAW”. DO NOT DO ANYTHING ELSE AT THIS POINT. Windows cannot recognise the paritions, and naturally, tinkering around with them is going to be an entirely fruitless excercise. You’ve shown, however, that your data should be intact, and as I mentioned before, the drive is in a format that any Linux distribution should understand.

There are many ways to go from here. Personally, I chose the soft option. I downloaded a live Ubuntu CD, burned that, and booted from it. The 2Tb drive was recognised straight away, and I found the data store in /shares/1

I’m delighted I was able to get the data off the drive, hopefully this will help someone who has had a similar issue with their LaCie drive. I’m happy to answer comments if anyone has any queries.

Hard drive woes 2012, part 1…

Good lord, I bet you thought I’d fallen off the face of the earth. 2 months without an update. I’m afraid I’ve had another one of those “writers block” periods, where anything I write down blog-wise is just got enough to meet with my high standards of complete and utter tripe. Today, I shall strive to meet, nay even exceed my own lofty demands, as I begin to tell you, and explain in minute detail the problems I’ve currently been having when it comes to hard drives, or more exacter, my 2Tb LaCie Network Space 2 NAS drive.

To put it simply, a NAS drive is a network drive. A little box, whose sole purpose is to sit at one end of an ethernet connection, and serve me data.

“It’s easier than adding an internal drive to my computer”, I thought.

“It’ll be more convenient than leaving my computer on all the time”, I thought.

“It’ll be fun”, I thought.

To be fair, it was all of those three things, until Tuesday night. I’d been out to the Steak club. It’s not a club, but you can buy steaks for cheap. It was delicious. I returned home, and tried to access the drive through the network. Nothing. Not even the smallest hint of a sausage. Well, there was, because I could “ping” the drive on the network, but couldn’t access anything else. Not even the power button was responsive

“Joy”, I thought, as I ripped the power cable out of the back. It was then, when my nice little network drive, became nothing more than a solid, black brick. It would do one of two things, either start flashing red/blue after a few seconds, or slowly flash blue. I’ve left the drive in both of these modes for 24 hours, but still, nothing to report. Of course, just like any tech savvy idiot, I whinged on Twitter…

Bah. Looks like the NAS has given up the ghost. flashing red/blue light on Network Space 2 2Tb? Terminal?

Their reply was a little optimistic…

@mercuryvapour Hi, if its rhythmical red/blue/red/blue that means the automatic backup is in progress.

Yup, I checked the manual, and there it was, the flashing blue/red. I was almost excited, until I realised I’d left the drive in this state for 24 hours. I got back to them…

It is blue/red. Starts about 10 seconds after switch-on, been flashing like this for 24 hours, no other response from drive

I sat, and waited for what would hopefully be a nice, long list of steps I could get around this…

If the drive doesn’t work, you should get in contact with our support guys to investigate whats going on with it.

YE…. oh. You could almost hear my heart deflate, as I stared at the flashing box. It’s crypt of data, cuttently sealed, in a plastic shell, designed by Neil Poulton. the whole purpose of this blog entry is to see if anyone else has had the same problem, if they got around it, and if they avoided having to contact technical support…


If I need to crack it open, There’s just one drive in the box, so that should mean there’s no RAID shit to worry about. It’s either in ext3 or ext4 in XFS format (EDIT: SEE note below), which all versions of Linux should support. there are 10 partitions…

A couple of days before its death, I pulled the logfiles off it, though I doubt they’d give me any insight as to what’s wrong with it, they’ll at least give me some information on how the drive lived before it dies.

Line 57: May 26 23:24:29 NetworkSpace2 [DEBUG resource.handle_event@262] Updating [Disk 4 - /dev/sda - enabled]
	Line 60: May 26 23:24:29 NetworkSpace2 [DEBUG resource.set@460] Setting config value unicorn.storage.volume.root_device to [/dev/sda2]
	Line 65: May 26 23:24:30 NetworkSpace2 [DEBUG resource.handle_event@262] Updating [Volume 1 - /dev/sda9 - enabled]
	Line 66: May 26 23:24:30 NetworkSpace2 [DEBUG resource.handle_event@262] Updating [Volume 2 - /dev/sda8 - enabled]
	Line 67: May 26 23:24:30 NetworkSpace2 [DEBUG resource.handle_event@262] Updating [Volume 3 - /dev/sda7 - enabled]
	Line 68: May 26 23:24:31 NetworkSpace2 [DEBUG resource.handle_event@262] Updating [Volume 4 - /dev/sda6 - enabled]
	Line 69: May 26 23:24:31 NetworkSpace2 [DEBUG resource.handle_event@262] Updating [Volume 5 - /dev/sda5 - enabled]
	Line 70: May 26 23:24:31 NetworkSpace2 [DEBUG resource.handle_event@262] Updating [Volume 6 - /dev/sda4 - enabled]
	Line 71: May 26 23:24:31 NetworkSpace2 [DEBUG resource.handle_event@262] Updating [Volume 7 - /dev/sda3 - enabled]
	Line 72: May 26 23:24:32 NetworkSpace2 [DEBUG resource.handle_event@262] Updating [Volume 8 - /dev/sda2 - enabled]
	Line 74: May 26 23:24:32 NetworkSpace2 [DEBUG resource.handle_event@262] Updating [Volume 9 - /dev/sda10 - enabled]
	Line 75: May 26 23:24:33 NetworkSpace2 [DEBUG resource.handle_event@262] Updating [Volume 10 - /dev/sda1 - enabled]

I feel I’m going to have fun and games with this…

EDIT: The fun and games, of which there were none of, are described in the post following this one. I’m not up on my Linux filesystems, so I’m not sure if there’s a big difference between what I originally said (ext2/3) or XFS. It may be possible to read XFS partitions in Windows, but it’s probably easier, quicker and less time consuming to download a live Linux CD and go nuts with it from there.

Click, bzzzt

If you couldn’t tell, that subject is supposed to be the sound of my internet connection initializing itself, and bringing me back from the dark ages before the internet became an integral part of my life… it has been an awful few days without it. A couple of readers may want to know what happened, especially as this caused the house phone to also go down. If you don’t, that’s fine.

They day is Tuesday, November 09th, 2010. I’m sat in the pub, celebrating the win of £15 on the pub’s version of “Play Your Cards Right”. I feel my phone vibrating, as if to say I’ve received an email. Indeed, I had. It was informing me that one of the websites I host on my home connection had gone offline. Oh well, shit happens, and I continue to pour my winnings down my neck. I’d sort it when I get home.

Later on in the evening, I get a lift home from Chris’s dad, and I notice one of the cable companies’ vans attending to one of the boxes a few streets from Mercuryvapour Towers. Well, that was the problem, and surely the interwebs shall start flowing like beer from a keg. Several hours later, and still no internet, I hit the sack, expecting everything to be rectified in the morning.

I awake, and inspect the modem’s diagnostic lights. Still nothing. Still dead. Daddykins had to go out on Wednesday morning to run an errand. He phoned me to inform me that there were 4 vans around the box where our connection fed into. It did seem a bit odd to have that many vans attending to what I thought was a simple fault with the box. I don some clothes, and head off to the shops. This was also so I could have a quick look at what was going on. I walked past, and noticed that the workmen had removed the entire guts of the cabinet At this point, I didn’t actually know the reason why they removed it.

Later on in the afternoon, I went out to grab the local paper, and also to attempt to get a photo of the affected cabinet.

At this point, I didn’t actually know what had happened. It wasn’t until I got back inside and took a closer look at the photo that I noticed something… the privet around the top of the cabinet was burnt…

It turned out that the issue was caused by a catastrophic failure in the cabinet’s electrics that caused it to burst into flames. Unfortunately, the particular cabinet was out of range of the windowcam, though you do see the fence over the road reflecting some of the fire’s light, a load of smoke, and a fire engine attend the scene some 6 minutes later. I’d do a timelapse, but I can’t be arsed.

If it wasn’t for my mobile, there is a very strong chance I could have went insane.

The latest Hartlepool fire

It seems that every week, something in our “wonderful little fishing village” spontaneously combusts, meaning that a plume of smoke can be seen for miles around, and we get a few minutes of notoriety on the local telly.

A few days ago, this indeed happened, but it was over the other side of the town, and I didn’t find out about it until it was much too late. Thankfully, Andy the Iridium Fan caught what just happened to be my favourite image of everything ever…

Yes, it’s a ruined Philips Streetfighter! Well, I say ruined, would you believe, after all that, it still actually worked? Even the photocell functioned correctly! As much as I hate them, this has got to say something about their build quality. Oh, and you can click the image if you want to see the large version.

And, it would appear that my upload speed at home has been upgraded from 768k to 2Mb. Can someone hand me a tissue?

Goodbye my trusty friend…

Oh, I can’t believe this has just happened. In fact, I have a little lump in my throat as I type this, but I have broken my trusty little Acer camera, which has been the stalwart of my photography since winter 2006. Over those 4 years, it’s not been far from my pocket, capturing the entirety of my trips to Edinburgh, Paris and Berlin over those past 4 years, along with many thousands of other images which have resided mainly on my flickr account since then.It’s even seen uses in situations where my main camera is a bit too bulky to carry around

Unfortunately, as quickly as it came into my life, and filled it full of wonderment, it exited, and has already left a gaping hole. I was taking some random photos earlier, mainly of a delicious curry I’d made, complete with incredibly undercooked chillies, when the batteries ran out. “Gah”, I thought as the lens retracted, and the power went off.

I slapped it in my trouser pocket, and proceeded to take the charger upstairs with me. As I bent over, to plug it in, I heard a shuddering crack. Knowing that there was only one thing my pocket, except for my keys, I knew something had gone horribly, horribly wrong.

And, indeed it had. My faithful little Acer, had, for some reason, switched itself back on and the lens had fully extended while in my pocket. I’d say that I’d accidentally switched it on with my massive penis, but these jeans are quite thick and the “on” button is quite small, meaning that any accidental button pushing with my enormous phallus is highly unlikely.

I removed it from my pocket to find the lens jammed in partially, After switching it off and back on, the lens motor sounded particularly unhealthy, and the lens got stuck halfway. I was presented with a “lens error”, and the camera switched itself off.

I’ve enjoyed using it, and have put it through probably more than it was designed for. The case is scratched to hell and back. The lens cover itself would occasionally get stuck when opening, The screen’s cracked, and there’s dirt on the sensor, as shown here…

The dirt is that little dark patch on the left, in case you didn’t know, or are thick. As can be seen in that photo, however, is that even after that amount of time, it still takes a good picture.

The batteries are on charge, so hopefully after a small amount of charge, it’ll be good to go again. It’ll be a sad day when it finally enters that little bit of drawer space in the sky.