I recenty placed all my personal documents and production samples and tools on a High Point Tech Raid Array. Now, let me tell you what happened, and list the reasons that these devices are phenomenally bad idea.

One would assume that a RAID array would remove the main point of failure from one’s information storage system: namely, hard drive failure. However, it turns out that the design of High Point Tech Raid Array creates amounts to a system even more likely to fail than an individual drive.

So what happened? I’m chugging along when all of a sudden the array fails. On reboot, it looks like the four-drive RAID-5 array has decided that it is actually two, two-drive RAID-5 arrays, a configuration that is impossible to recover from, since there is now more than one drive missing from each array.

The tech support mumbled something about a power problem, and sends me some internal programs used to rebuild arrays without destroying the contents. Great. I think I’m back in the saddle.

Unfortunately, in the process of failing, the array also managed to lose it’s partition information. Gulp.

No problem says tech support, and tells me of the recovery tool that they recomend for circumstances like this. Unfortunately, 4 days later, the recovery tool has recovered a completely unreadable partition.

None of this would have happened if I hadn’t used a HighPoint Tech 1640 4 drive SATA Raid array.

I suppose I should have know since this array does a some other very stupid things:

No power management.

This means that your hard drives are constantly chugging along at full power at all times, unless you power down your computer. There probably isn’t a better way to reduce the hours of reliable use of a personal hard drive than to keep it running all the time. In fact, some drives come with the requirement that you use them or less than 8 hours a day. And high capacity SATA drives, of the kind one would use with a tool like this, give off more heat, and require more cooling. I could not keep the drives cooled to a point that I felt comfortable using the regular case fans, so I purchase a large (i.e – 12″) heavy duty one, that kept the drives cool to the touch. But, it didn’t help me.

So there you go. I’m out pretty much everything I ever wrote/photographed/created. Highpoint Tech is a very bad idea if you want to keep data around for more than a couple of weeks.