The Vicissitudes Of Media

I had a really unpleasant surprise this week when my computer, while in the midst of prepping media for an editing gig, decided to stop seeing one of two drives in a striped RAID configuration.  To fix this I had to unplug the hard drives in the RAID, plug them in with different cables (just in case) copy off the data to a safe, albeit slow hard drive and reformat the media drives, plug them in again with fresh cables, copy the media back and prep a second RAID just in case the first one decided to off itself again.  This has been going on now for nearly 3 days.

What a nightmare.  I have a new 2TB Western Digital Caviar Black HDD that I just formatted and put into Rosewill RX358 V2 enclosure in case I need the extra space again, only this time I did the smart thing and got a drive with some speed.  This one is 7200rpm whereas the other drive, which is still going after a day and a half (with about 8 hours left it says)  is as slow as slow can be and is infuriating me and making my clients uncomfortable.  I really hate USB 2.0 as well.  It’s too slow for me.  I want a USB 3 card but what’s the point when most devices still don’t use the format?  The nice thing about the Rosewill drives is they come with a PCI slot cover with a SATA cable attached so I could run it to the motherboard (I still have two SATA slots left) instead of running it to USB, but to install that I’d have to pull an existing PCI card because I’m using every slot.  I think there’s one slot left but the video card in my machine is so big that it takes up the slot.  What I feel like I need is another 3 PCI slots!  In the meantime, I am using both my RAID cards so I at least I can feel like I’m getting my money’s worth there.

But let me get back to the inciting incident.  What happened?  I was using Plural Eyes to sync up some media, I was ingesting new video into Avid Media Composer from a firewire Mac Drive and I was doing nothing else.  Suddenly one of the two drives in my striped RAID went down.  It still showed up on the RAID software, but was grayed out.  I suppose the Mac drive might have confused my computer or something in as much as I need to use third party software just to look at it, but in the end I couldn’t take the chance that it was a one time snafoo.  I didn’t have a spare RAID with the space for the media I was working with so I had no choice but to copy it to the slow external drive.  Had I known that freeing up the space on what I now have as a second RAID wouldn’t take more than a few hours, I’d have done that and copied everything over that way.  It would have been a lot faster, but given the amount of time it took to set up those drives and the amount of time it takes to copy nearly 1TB of data, I don’t know if it’d have made a meaningful difference in the time it took to set up.  Anyway, the damn USB drive is transferring data at 6.39 MB/sec and has 174 GB to do.  That’s 178176 MB.  That’s a lot of seconds.

Or about 8 hours.  Take your pick.

Anyway, I have regrouped the drives as a new RAID, reformatted them and checked for errors.  No errors.  So they’re getting copied to.  The data is safe.  I’m just angry that it took so long to fix something on a time sensitive project that was already taking forever because of having to sync up the sound to the picture.  Ugh.


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