Tag Archives: HDD

Hard Drive Replacement – Microscrope Computer (Dell Optiplex GX620)

Dan noticed that the computer wouldn’t boot, so I looked into it a bit. When attempting to boot, the hard drive (HDD) was making a clicking noise; this is never a good sign.

I replaced the HDD with a clone of the existing (now dead) HDD that I had created back on 20150422 and everything is mostly back to normal.

What hasn’t returned to normal is the usage of Dropbox. Sometime this summer, Dropbox stopped supporting Windows XP and no longer allows usage of the Dropbox app on Windows XP computers. For the time being, this means that all files saved on this computer should be uploaded to Dropbox via a web browser.

Saving files to the Dropbox folder that still exists on this computer will NOT sync! That means they will NOT be backed up.

To resolve this issue, we would need to upgrade to Windows 7. Once I obtain a new backup HDD to create a new clone, I’ll attempt to upgrade this computer to Windows 7. The main reservation I have about this is that the two key pieces of software installed on this computer (Nikon Elements and SPOT) are extremely old and may not function on a newer Windows version. But, I guess we won’t know until we try!

Below are images of the steps I took to replace the dead HDD:









Server HDD Failure – Owl

Noticed that Owl (Synology DS1812+ server) was beeping.

I also noticed, just like the last time we had to replace a HDD in Owl, that I didn’t receive a notification email… As it turns out, this time the reason no notification email was received was due to the fact that I had changed my UW password and we use my UW account for authorizing usage of the UW email server through Owl. So, the emails Owl’s been trying to send have failed because the authorization password was no longer valid… Yikes!

Anyway, I’ve updated the password on Owl for using the UW email servers and swapped out the bad drive with a backup drive we keep on hand for just such an occasion. See the first post about this subject for a bit more detail on the process of swapping hard drives.


Unfortunately, the dead HDD is out of warranty, however we already have another backup drive on-hand.


Below are some screen caps of today’s incident:








Notice the empty slot in the graphical representation of the disk layout, as well as the “Available Slots” showing 1.





After replacing the HDD (but before the system has rebuilt the new HDD), the empty slot is now represented as a green block and the “Available Slots” is now zero and “Unused Disks” is now 1.



Server HDD Failure – Owl

We had our first true test of the Synology RAID redundancy with our Synology 1812+ server (Owl). One of the hard drives (HDD) failed. All of the other drives were fine, the data was intact and we had a new replacement HDD on hand. However, there was one shortcoming: no email notification of the drive failure. Luckily, the Synology server is next to Steven’s office and he could hear an audible beeping alerting him to the fact that something was wrong. In any case, the email notifications have been fixed and a replacement hard drive was added to the system. Here’s how these things were accomplished.


Fix email notifications

The system was previously set to use Steven’s Comcast SMTP server. Sending a test email from Owl failed, indicating authentication failure. I changed this to use the University of Washington’s email server for outgoing messages. Here’s how…

In the Synology Disk Station Manager (DSM):

Control Panel > Notifications

  • Service provider: Custom SMTP Server
  • SMTP server: smtp.washington.edu
  • SMTP port: 587
  • Username: myUWnetID@uw.edu
  • Password: myUWpassword

Interesting note, there’s a “Push Service” tab in the “Notifications” window. This allows you to have Synology send emails to email addresses when the server has an issue. This eliminates the need for the SMTP settings shown above which may not be easy to find and/or understand for a given email service provider. The “Push Service” appears to be much simpler and more user friendly to set up.


Hot Swap HDD

We’ve kept a backup HDD on hand for just this occasion, so the HDD failure wasn’t too concerning. Here’re the steps I followed to swap the HDD and have the Synology system initialize/build the new HDD:


Remove the dead HDD and put the new HDD in.



Initialize/build/repair the new HDD.

In Synology DSM:

Storage Manger > Volume

Notice, there should be eight drives listed, but since one has died, only seven are shown:








That’s it! Easy breezy!

I’ve checked with Seagate on the dead HDD and it is still under warranty. Will get that returned and also purchase a new backup drive to have on hand.