Iomega produce a range of high volume storage devices that can be used by the individual who wants to store large quantities of information at home or by the business looking to keep a tight control on their information across a networked office environment.
With this in mind they produce Networked Attached Storage devices (NAS) that allow those in either situation to control the flow to and from their systems using a simple external hard drive setup or a more advanced RAID array.
With either setup however problems can arise and it is not unheard of for such problems to arise if you are using an Iomega StorCenter 1TB system. The 1TB system comprises a pair of 500GB drives that can operate as two individual drives or as a RAID setup.
Many users use a RAID 1 setup for their StorCenter but this is the biggest problem. If one of the drives fails then the system cannot function on one drive alone and will not allow for the mirroring of data from one drive to the other.
With StorCenter setups (and this applies not only to the 1TB setup but this is the most commonly afflicted) the hard drives seem to be prone to simply no longer spinning up with no warning given. Some network setups allow for an email to be sent to an administrator to inform him or her of a problem but this setup does not and the storage system simply grinds to a halt.
It is unfortunate that when contacting Iomega regarding this problem that they are not in a position to help you with the recovery of your data. If your StorCenter is under warranty then they will request you return the array and they will replace the faulty hard drive or more often than not just sent a replacement drive directly to you. They have no procedure in place to help you recover lost data so unless you employ the services of a professional recovery company your data will be lost.
Iomega also now produce NAS devices under the name of Lenovo.
A common problem with these devices is their sudden disappearance from disk management on a variety of different versions of Windows as well as MAC OS.
Reasons for this range from the drives overheating within the unit, especially if there is more than one disk drive in the array, as well some media – for reasons unbeknownst to many technical personnel – seemingly deleting itself without the relevant commands being issued.
You will find that some individuals and indeed some websites on the Internet suggest removing the drives directly from the array and attaching them directly to the SATA port of your computer internally or using an external SATA to USB setup. Where some might see this as an easy fix in order to access the drive you should be aware that in doing so you could be exposing the disk drives to additional magnetic stimulus which can have the adverse effect of making the disk even harder – if not impossible – to read.
Other suggestions include using Iomega’s own software and Lenovo’s (called LenovoEMC) to try and reconstitute the disk but the problem here is that the software’s main function is to reformat the drive until it returns to a factory formatted state. In reformatting the drive or drives you are simply ridding the drive of any and all information contained therein which makes it very difficult – if not impossible – to retrieve.
A series of lights on the reverse of such an array will continually flicker to signify that the device is trying to recognize the hard disk drives even though they are showing up in the disk management setup on your Windows, Linux or OS system.
As is the case with many of these arrays when they begin to malfunction the chances of recovering your information lessens should you try and solve the problem yourself or using information passed on by third parties.