Hard drive enclosures are not standardized?

July 10, 2013 at 09:33:49
Specs: Server 2003
I have 4 different enclosures and a dongle. It appears these enclosures are not compatible. If I connect a hard drive to one enclosure the drive partition is available. But if I connect that same drive to a different enclosure the partition is not available which makes me think the drive is bad and the data lost.

Is there a way to make the partition available using both enclosures? It'd be a shame to lose data because an enclosure failed.

Is this dependent on which enclosure was used to format the drive?

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July 10, 2013 at 10:07:58
Most enclosures have an upper limit on what drive capacity they will support, and this varies according to the manufacturer and/or the actual enclosure model.

The upper limit for a particular model is usually published by the manufacturer and is printed on the packaging or instructions, or on their website.

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July 10, 2013 at 10:40:10
It's more likely that the drive will fail before the enclosure. But in any case you won't lose any data because you keep backups of your server in more than one place, don't you?

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July 10, 2013 at 15:02:17
Thanks Phil22.

For example, I have 2 2TB drives. One WD and one Seagate. I have an element enclosure and a Seagate goflex.

A minute ago I tried to connect the WD hard drive using the Seagate enclosure. It recognizes that a partition exists but thinks the hard drive is empty and wants to format the drive. Then I connected the same hard drive using the element enclosure and now I can see my data. Then I connected a different Seagate enclosure to this same drive and the same thing happened...the drive is empty and needs formatting. This from an enclosure that was reading a different 2tb drive a minute ago.

I also have another drive rescued from a video receiver. It can only be read by one of the Seagate enclosures and no other enclosures...

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July 10, 2013 at 15:13:04
Thanks ijack. I am currently recovering all my data because of a server 2003 fail.

That's when I noticed this flaky enclosure read issue. My plan was to replace the ps in my server and then manually mirror my data from 1 server hard drive to one external enclosure. But if I do things this way what do I do if my data is only available if my enclosure works.

See, I just found that in one of my enclosures all my data appears lost because the SATA power connector has cracked and won't spin the drive. It looks like the drive can't be read using a different enclosure...

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July 10, 2013 at 23:33:50
I realize what you are saying, but how would you deal with the situation where the drive fails, rather than the enclosure? You need a good plan to deal with that eventuality; use the same procedure to cover the possibility of an enclosure failing. Luckily your current failure is easily fixed.

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July 11, 2013 at 08:42:12
I thought a good plan was mirroring my data using my server and w2k3. But that plan resulted in 2 mirrors being non-redundant without my knowledge. I'm not completely confident that no data was lost.

So then, I planned on manually mirroring my drives. But now it appears that this will work only as long as each particular enclosure connector works.

So what do I do? Buy double the enclosures to eliminate the enclosure read issue?

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July 14, 2013 at 07:23:58
Could this be a driver issue?

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July 15, 2013 at 07:44:12
If it were me, I'd buy a NAS device with RAID capabilities. You could then backup your server to the RAID nightly.

I would run a RAID 1 (mirror) on both the server and on the NAS. Unless of course you buy a NAS with more than 2 drives bays in which case you could run a 5, or a variant of the 1 (ie: RAID 10, a RAID 1 with a hot spare, etc)

The reason you want a RAID 1 on the server is so even if you lose a drive, the server continues working without issue until you replace the defunct drive and rebuild your RAID. Which is to say, no downtime.

I wouldn't monkey around with USB/SATA enclosures and single drives for any reason.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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