Wait for inexpensive high storage ss HDs to come.
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While of course any hard drive can fail at any time, the frequent failures you appear to be describing should not be happening.
Have you been able to determine if the failures are due to the actual drive assembly that is installed within the external enclosure, or to the interface circuitry that is in the enclosure that is not part of the actual drive, or to the wall wart power supply that most of them use? If you have multiple failed drives of the same type, you may be able to determine that by swapping parts.
Are you using a quality surge suppressor for both the drive and the computer it is attached to?
Have you looked at the user comments on your particular drives at Newegg.com or elsewhere, to see if there are a high percentage of unfavorable comments, and/or reports of failures?
What are the particular makes and models that have failed?
Thanks for the response Al - Personally I think it is a failure of the actual drive assembly. I have several HD's that contain my library and nothing seems to work. The Drive Assembly is a Cavalry Raid 1 set-up and I am on my third set of HDs for it. Right now I have Western Digital Black HDs in the box and they are less than a year old.
I do have a surge protector on them. One thing not in my favor (Mexico) is a very high humidity and although I keep a fan on the HD unit it could be that the problem is in the humidity.
All in all I am very frustrated. I love my library (only about 1500 CDs) but it is a constant battle to keep it alive. Thank heaven I keep a single HD backup. It plays now but only one song at a time. At least the music is there!
Would that be this one, or this one?
The first one (more expensive) only has 1 feedback comment at NewEgg, which is positive. But the second one (less expensive) has seven comments, many of which describe serious problems.
Given also that WD Black HD's are generally excellent drives, IME and IMO, it sure sounds like the Cavalry unit may be the problem.
Also, my philosophy is that RAID 1 should not be counted on as a backup solution, or at least as the only backup solution, because it is conceivable that a failure of the RAID controller hardware, or the power supply, or the operating system, or a virus infection, could simultaneously corrupt or destroy both drives in the array. Thankfully you've recognized that possibility by keeping a separate single HD as an additional backup.
So I would think that the best approach to resolving these frustrating experiences would be to forget about RAID and simply store your music on at least two non-RAID external hard drives, preferably Western Digitals IMO. And preferably drives that are fully enclosed, as opposed to being dock-mounted, which may help with respect to the humidity situation.
I have come around to your way of thinking on the Raid configurations Al. The examples of Cavalry units that you referenced are not the same as mine. My Cavalry is a completlely enclosed unit with the two HDs in side. I think the answer is to make sure my back-up single HD is up to date and then copy it off on to another similar unit.
You have confirmed my thinking. Thank you for taking the time
I purchase WD Enterprise class drives only because of this very reason. They are not only Raid but also Server rated.
They come with 5 year warranties and I have yet to lose one even with them shutting down from overheating in my old computer case. They are much more expensive but worth it in my opinion.