Lightning strike destroyed my Raid array and music collection

Just back from a holiday of a lifetime to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.

Seems the storms of a couple of weeks back in the UK destroyed quite a bit of electronics in the house, none of which I care about except for the fact it took out my QNAP based music collection.

Literally nothing saveable, 3 disks of 4 trashed (tried replacing boards) plus the QNAP controller - put some serious effort into recovery with an IT guru acquaintance - nada - talked to a DR company and they said most likely pointless as the field from the strike would have wrecked the magnetic media - and only a tiny amount stored elsewhere on PCs etc. Even more unbelieveably until just recently I used to keep a backup copy on one of the Company’s NAS for offsite backup but had to clear this down as we needed the space, never got around to making a new backup copy.


Just posting this here as a note to everyone to make sure you have your collection backed up OFFLINE somewhere, preferably in a different building and multiple copies too - it is only when it is gone you realise how much you lost, Do it NOW!


I agree, However, if you are going away for any length of time (“a couple of weeks”), I would advise you to power down and unplug all valuable electronics, especially your NAS, before leaving. There’s no reason to leave them vulnerable.


I feel for you @thegruf.
I often hear of fear of electrical strikes in the US, but in the UK I never felt it was a serious concern in this day and age and certainly never power NAS etc down when I go away. Now I’ll certainly think more carefully, and about backups.
Hope you manage to restore/piece together your collection. Maybe your work had a backup of the backup?

That’s really rotten. All users will be feeling for you. I hope you can establish a new collection soon. Is there any chance insurance could cover it ?

Thanks for thinking of others and warning us of the dangers of lightning strikes. My backup is kept on a separate machine at home but from the sounds of it that might not be enough.

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Typically for data to be considered secure/recoverable it should reside in 3 places, as a minimum I view this as:

  • Live data
  • Local backup
  • Offsite backup

A single RAIDed NAS can improve availability but should never be considered a backup.



Thanks for stepping up and warning people … Really sorry to hear your collection is gone.

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Carl - you’re not wrong ofc but how many of us think to do this with our music collection?
Actually the offsite backup at the company was mirrored so that was my 3 tiers.

That’s the point of the post really - lightning does strike so make sure you are protected folks.

I cannot stress the safety of an offline backup enough, this way it is invulnerable even to ransomware encryption.
An external disk or two costs naff all in the scheme of things.

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did consider that, but thought I might need to send a few GB of photos to it plus the kids use it remotely on occasion - as it was I never had the bandwidth so more salt in the wound

just kinda lost really - what the heck do I do? buy a bunch of cruddy cd collections off ebay which are probably nicked anyway? pay extortionate prices for downloads? just rely on Tidal (ugh)?

edit: this is a damn nice bottle of islay malt …

Do you even have a list of what you had? A horrible lesson to learn for anyone.

Thanks for posting this. Sorry for your loss. Good to emphasize that RAID is not a backup. Lots of raid horror stories on the web (google raid not a backup). I have 3 backups (off line) at 3 different locations, and I’m still paranoid.

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Sorry for your loss. And thanks for the reminder.

I’m quite good at unplugging everything when I go away for more than a day, but my offline backup is woefully out of date…

Sorry for the loss…a warning for others…having an (1) offline (2) powered down (3) backup set (4) in another location - is an ideal…not always possible but you should tick at least the first (3) of the boxes.

It also should be noted that no matter drives in your raid…it is NOT A BACKUP unless you have all replicated elsewhere.

I just had to upgrade my backup NAS drives from 2x6TB JBOD to 2 x12TB JBOD and the old drives will be archived…Disk is fairly cheap than to the prospect of totally starting again.

a warning too that disks need to be spun up from time to time to avoid seizing up and also note that SSD are also prone to failing if left powered off for long periods to to their NAND based chips needing power to maintain data over long periods.

a good view here

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Really sorry for your loss @thegruf I hope that Islay single malt is a good one, I’ll drink a Lagavulin for you tonight :tumbler_glass:

I haven’t updated my offline backup since before I joined Roon. I’m going home now to do it.

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My music is duplicated in various places so it would not have been a complete loss had it happened here but it is sobering to be reminded of what can happen. I do have an off site solution but I have never put it into action. Time to act.

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sorry indeed about your loss @thegruf :disappointed_relieved:

let’s post a feature request :wink:

@thegruf presumably the Roon database would be a list of all your music?

Wise words and thank you for prompting on the subject! It needs to be stated, once in awhile.
Sorry bout your collection of course, but it seems you are taking this with an admirable attitude.

Sorry to hear of your misfortune. Hopefully, you can reconstruct your collection from source media.

When you replace your array you might consider going the FreeNAS route ( IX Systems develops and maintains FreeNAS and has competitively priced SOHO arrays.

I went the home brew FreeNAS route a year ago because of concerns about the robustness of the Linux based appliances from Taiwan. None of the Linux based devices has check-summed metadata making them prone to in-place bit rot as the disks age. Also, none were using ECC memory or server grade processors designed to ensure reliable execution of long running processes.

Here in the US, lightening is a concern so I have either a UPS or a power conditioner on all expensive internal loads.

Since everything has a computer in it these days, I have whole house surge protection installed in the service panel. All services should use shared earthing points to prevent ground loops between power and TV antenna, cable TV, Internet, and phone services.

I sceond this, FreeNAS works well. I went with a FreeNAS Mini from iXSystems. Great support also.

Worst feeling in the world of digital storage. All that time and money and care…

You’re welcome to share my Plex library in the meantime. Sure you’ll find some stuff you lost in there. :slight_smile:

BTRFS Raid6 saved my butt during the last storm. A power surge nuked one of my drives but BTRFS was more than happy to rebalance and get back to it. Rockstor is a great OS if you prefer the whole GUI approach.