External Hard Drive Note….

Let’s take a moment to talk about hard drives and their role with a NAS.

If you’ve caught my previous blog entries, then you’re aware I have a WAP bridge that also has a hard drive attached and performs as a NAS.

One thing I learned in all of this, not all external hard drives are created the same.

A few years ago I had picked up a Western Digital Passport 1TB external hard drive. Apparently it had a ‘green feature for saving power. Normally not a big deal if your mobile and plugging your hard drive into a laptop just long enough to do what you need to do. You keep it occupied while attached.

Fast forward to some later time in the future, you plug in the hard drive to a WAP bridge and try to use it as a NAS. It’s recognized and things look good. You step away for a half hour, come back to access the network and get to files on the NAS and, well, it’s not able to access the files.

You spend hours unplugging the hard drive, checking the data, realizing that it keeps disappearing, knowing that it doesn’t make sense UNTIL…..

You take the time to look up the particular make and model of the portable external hard drive you have and find out that it has an inherent feature for a power saving mode that, if dormant, makes the hard drive sleep. Not a huge issue with a hard drive when connected to a pc, but apparently the WAP bridge your using doesn’t have the right ‘nudge’ to wake the thing up again. Ugh.

So how to change that? Western Digital support says the hard drive has firmware and needs to be confirmed to be the latest. AND there is a specific utilities software package that has to be used to change the power saver /sleep option.

Needless to say I did both and turned off the power saving function.

Previous lesson learned: Update to the latest firmware especially when something isn’t operating the way you want.

Current lesson learned: Know your hardware.

Sometimes design ‘features’ have unintended consequences and can be a real PITA when they aren’t obvious.

And yes, it appears that the firmware update and using the utilities configuration to remove the sleep feature solved the problem with the hard drive worked. Yay for progress.

Author: 21Buzzards

Mid-life retired reservist in the corporate IT world parenting a grandchild. Sharing my evolution as age and priorities impact life.

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