The disk was not spinning at all, so I had to send the drive to a specialist to recover the data as this drive was dead to the world.
The good news is they were able to save the data....for nearly $1400!!!! and this did not include a replacement drive.
Lesson learned - back up all data to DVD 1st, better yet, make two copies and save the 2nd disk in a safe place at another physical location.
...So the data is back. While resolving never to do this again, I did some research into Network Attached Storage devices (NAS). I was looking for a relatively simple, economical RAID solution. There are many solutions out there, but I discovered that the Linksys NSLU2 device has had some interesting possibilities and snagged one up with my Christmas money.
The NSLU2 with out-of-the-box settings is simple enough to configure, but be aware that this does not support FAT and NTFS formatted hard drives very well at all. An unadvertised fact is that this requires the Linux Ext3 file system to operate. This is fine by me, but I wish I had known this before had all of my recovered data save to an NTFS formatted drive (Doh!!!). I needed a 2nd hard drive anyway for this project, so I installed this and formatted the drive as required. The native firmware for this device does not offer RAID support, but I did not buy the NSLU2 for it's native firmware. The beauty of the NSLU2 is that the firmware that can be upgraded by 3rd party developers to do all this and so much more. Developers can then vastly increase the device's native capabilities.
For now, I have settled on a particular distribution call uNSLUng. There is a online community that support this and all other flavors here.
In a nutshell:
Unslung is one of the streams of replacement firmware for the NSLU2.
It is designed to allow you to expand the capabilities of your NSLU2, without losing the standard product functionality and still retain full compatibility with stock Linksys firmware.This can be configured as a media server for music, Tivo streams, a PBX box and so much more. My only need is for a mirrored RAID file server, and so this is what I am currently working on.
Presently, I am manually backing-up gigs and gigs files to DVD. When this is done, the work begins.
On another Linksys front:
I have a large Epson 7600 printer in our garage which I have been printing through an old PC connected to the printer (Also in the garage)
My experience with this has been horrible. I spoke with another user who only prints from the local printer (copying files to the PC, then printing, not printing through a shared printer) It is my experience that Epson printers just plain suck as network printers and I found myself taking a large chunk of time to get a simple job printed.
I hated having a junk PC taking space and eating power for such a simple task that really didn't work well for me. What I needed was a print server. Although I'd prefer a wireless device, i settled on a wired Linksys unit, the PSUS4.
After a few issues caused by user negligence (RTFM!) I got the device working and couldn't be happier. So far, network printing is a breeze.
The two above devices now take-up very little space in the garage and consume far less power. They take up less power than a flashlight and the NSLU2 is capable of running as a full-fledged Linux server. ...Whatta Bawgin!!
( I also have a wrt54 router updated with DDRT firmware that increases the router capabilities many times over what the device was designed to give out of the box. I have increased the wireless signal strength well enough to get a great signal on the other side of my house, going through many walls. )
...So it took up quite a chunk of change to get this far, but now I know I will never encounter data loss again. As the business grows, so will the potential for loss, lawsuits, and a much larger financial loss. Better now than later, so for that I am grateful.
There are other devices out there that accomplish the same task, but for my money, Linksys devices are great and allow 3rd party developers to make them capable of so much more.
These are great examples of what open-source software provide. The idea that you can take a device designed for one purpose, allow outside software developers to re-write the firmware and provide new features and capabilities, all for free (no paid upgrades, no licensing!) is amazing. I am a reluctant Windows user who for various reason will not go Mac. The concept of force upgrades that must be paid for and licensed is just not fair to the end user. I know that vendors need to make $$$ to survive, but at some point it just reaks of extortion, IMHO
My dream is for Adobe products to be fully ported into Linux, So that I can finally be rid of all licensing BS besides that which Adobe provides. better one nuisance than many.
I should post more about open source software. I have no idea how many readers that I attract would be interested in this, so any feedback is appreciated.