Lightning strike destroyed my Raid array and music collection

This is likely to be the most effective of all available devices for surge protection but I believe they still don’t cover a direct lighting strike. If someone is going to spend money on protection, the service panel stuff is the way to go.

But I’ve been told by a few experts that the best protection of gear for a direct lightning strike is still the old fashioned air gap (unplugging gear from the wall).

A surge (like from a fallen power line, for example) and a direct lightning strike can be very different things. Surge protectors can help with the former (so can still be worth having) but can be useless with the latter.

Hope things work out for the OP. Very sad to read but thanks for sharing and reminding us of very important lessons.

long day in the office,
Just to thank everyone for their generous and supportive comments.
Quite humbling really that there is still some decency in humanity.

FreeNAS - yup that’s definitely where I am going

Now - have you all reviewed your backups ?

Tell what is super neat if you haven’t found them already is the little usb3 hdd caddies on ebay for less than a tenner. I grabbed one a while back, works a treat and you can just stuff any 2.5 sata hdd/ssd you have lying around into them and convert it to usb. Do your backup (Macrium highly recommended for whole disk imaging) and leave it in your desk at work or whatever.

Keep looking back on this and cant believe the timing, solid backups for ages, compromise it for work without thinking it through and bang.
Found a 128GB memory stick that I use in the car - Woohoo
Only about 2GB actually on it - Boo
Got my precious Immersion disks too
But wahaay -the rebuild has started, only 0.998TB to go

Lagavulin - mmmm

thanks again all


Funny that you mention un-plugging from the wall. My Dad (old man :wink:) taught me from a young age to power down and unplug as many household appliances as feasibly possible when an electrical storm was coming. I still do it to this day. My wife and her family think I’m an idiot.


Probably because they didn’t pay for any of it ! Funny how the people that paid for the stuff worry the most. Same problem at my end :grin:


Hi, first post here. This thread finally persuaded me to sign up.

I have had a PC wrecked by lightening twice. Both times the strike fried the motherboard. Luckily, this was years ago before I had the kind of massive music, video and photo collections that we all have these days and I had data backups to tape (remember that!)?. Anyway, both tines the surge came down the phone lines and fried the modem as well as the m/board. So as well as unplugging from the mains, it may be worth unplugging any ethernet connections from the modem/router you don’t need while away or when lightening threatens. I don’t unplug the phone line while away, or the router, because the CCTV needs them.

What I learnt was to backup my NAS to another one periodically and keep it, unconnected, in our detached garage. Photos are also backed up to the cloud - now those you really can’t replace.

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Argh! I know the feeling. I also lost my collection many years ago. Fortunately I kept the CD’s so it could be rebuilt.

Been doing this to extend the life of the otherwise-always-on equipment, but this is a much better reason!

My Synology DS918+ uses the Btrfs file system.

"As of version 4.12 of the Linux kernel, Btrfs implements the following features: Checksums on data and metadata (CRC-32C)"

My music is stored at a Synology NAS and backup on daily basis to Synology C2 Cloud backup. Works excellent. It is only not a free service.

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I back all my music up to my Dropbox account. Would probably take an eternity to re-download but at least I know it’s safe up there.

I use a hybrid backup strategy. All my music resides on a Synology NAS. I have a combination of CD rips and digital downloads. The CD rips are backed-up by the physical CDs. The digital downloads are backed up on Google Drive. I also rotate two external USB drives as backups for the whole NAS. This all works for my moderately-sized collection (~17k tracks), but it might have to be changed if I keep buying music at the current rate…

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Very sorry to hear this, when it happened to me, I found that my backups were incomplete - although my backup software reported no issues. Scotch did help with the pain, a little.

Like others, I have a few different backup strategies (RAID, rotate drives to and from safety deposit box, cloud storage).

One technique that I found helpful is to get a friend or family member who is technical (or semi technical) and agree to provide online storage to each other.

I happen to use ARQ, and a buddy and I both set up an SFTP server. ARQ encrypts the data with your user defined key… so even if I get nosy, I can’t see what my friend’s data is (and vice versa). ARQ allows you to set time and bandwidth limits, so neither one of our network gets hammered if I’m backing up a new 40 disk box set.

Again, sorry for your music loss…

The lesson here must be offsite backup.
Unplugging when you are away doesn’t help, a lightning strike can happen when you are there.
And local backup devices are vulnerable to many kinds of loss, electrical, water, fire, theft…

The people who operate cloud services thing in terms of what is the scope of a loss: drive, server, rack, room, building, region, state, country, continent. (Planetary loss is not yet covered.) Living in the U.S. has recently reminded us of earthquakes, wildfires, mudslides, hurricanes, flooding…

We amateurs should adopt a version of this thinking.

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Actually I didn’t sell the CDs - I donated them to local charity shops in batches some time back.
The SO actually has some CDs kept in the loft but oh dear what a load of tripe. Even she admits she would be embarrassed to donate them to charity now.

I have been working on the company NAS where the backup was stored to see if anything can be recovered, sadly it seems one single iSCSI machine backup obliterated my recovery chances.

A different take on the record/(film) industry and licensing would be - why are we as users paying for the same thing over and over at full price in different formats? Eg If I have the LP - why dont I get the CD and then the download at a reduced price as I already paid for the licence for the music and should just be paying for the media. Also why is a high def download direct from the artist eg Muse 50% more than the CDQ or mp3 one? The answer of course is obvious.

Still fretting about what to do about this, and just want to say again how much I appreciate everyones support here. Fortunately work is so busy right now that I am working 7days/week and it is keeping me distracted - for a while at least.

Jees - sorry to hear this and thanks for the warning. I have hung on to my CDs “just in case” but a separate backup would be a good idea for me too.

Sorry for your loss. Lightning fried my Synology 213 a while back, but the drives survived. I added a Surge-X suppressor to all of my Roon endpoints. I also keep 3 auto-sync backups on USB drives connected to my PCs around the house and one in my office… Expensive, but I sleep better.

I don’t say this to affect your sleep :sleeping: :grin:

But even those 6kV suppressors won’t help with a direct lightning strike. Only an air gap can be guaranteed to work (unplug from wall). They can help with other potential surges though, so not a waste at all.

Remember lightning is capable of jumping from cloud to cloud and to earth - a great distance. It can be the magnetic pulse that results from the strike that does the damage to media storage.

I had a friend in London whose house took a strike he told me, and while this was back in the 80’s there were no HDD’s or NAS’s back then, every cassette tape and video tape in the house was wiped - so an air gap is a good idea but not always.

THANK GOODNESS FOR VINYL :stuck_out_tongue:

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Vinyl can melt. Just give up and let’s go back to humming.


Hehe noted. I was only saying that an air gap may be better insurance than relying on a surge suppressor to save all your gear in a storm and direct lightning strike - better but not perfect.

But your point links directly to all the earlier great suggestions of having off-site offline backups.

Or just put it all in the cloud and worry less.