First let me explain that I work from a home office and use a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device as the central storage location between my two computers. I’ve used the NAS for a little over 2 years and it’s very dependable, but one of it’s minor quirks is that it sometimes resets the system date and time to the original configuration date. That hoses up the date stamps on files. It’s a little annoying, so I went into the system to correct it and after clicking update –poof. Gone.
After some investigation and a short trip through the 7 stages of grief, I finally accepted my storage was fried. Some glitch must have been hanging in the balance and it just didn’t take much to tip it over the edge. Such is hardware life (of any sort really). But I wasn’t sweating the details. Why? Because since early 2010, I’ve been faithfully backing the NAS up to an online service.
And when I say faithfully, I ain’t kidding. It was bordering more on fanatical: nightly backups, weekly restoral tests from various locations and conditions, you name it, I did it. Well it all paid off – with one minor exception.
Tethered to my NAS was a little USB drive I picked up years earlier. I was using it to carry data around on road trips. When the NAS came into play, I plugged it into the NAS and simply mounted it as another drive and put some important, but little used files on there. I did not incorporate it into my back-up plan, because I knew I could just plug and play it into any Windows USB port. Wrong.
Seems that when tethering to an NAS, the drive is formatted in a XFS format which is basically a LINUX file system. Unknown to me (until this morning), most NAS devices use this system and Windows can’t read the files on those drives without some intervention by the device itself. I’m sure it was mentioned in the documentation, but user manuals are for wimps. Anyways, after jumping around through some online forums and sidestepping discussions (ahem – battles) of the merits of Windows v Linux, I found a solution and have happily recovered those files from the USB drive. Happy, but minus $99 samoleans and a few strands of precious hair.
You already know the moral of this story. Be the master of your disaster. Make a plan, don’t shortcut, and don’t make assumptions. Back up your data and back it up often. Your data and your significant other will thank you for it.