As a dedicated Windows Insider (MVP) I run various Windows 10 Previews on 5 test PCs in my office. Of course, OS previews can (and sometimes do) fail or encounter install hiccups. That means I’m also dedicated to backing those systems up. I tend to take a snapshot after each feature upgrade, and at least once a week using scheduled Macrium Reflect backups. After installing Build 18917 on Wednesday (June 12) I made two moves. First, I cleaned up Windows.old and other remnants of the previous install using a new fave tool mdiskclean.exe. Second, I launched Macrium Reflect to make a post-upgrade OS image for the new install. This ended abruptly in failure when the target drive reported in as MIA. As it turns out, this led directly to my discovery that stuck rocker switch means new drive dock. Let me explain . . .
When a pair of external SATA drives go missing, troubleshooting leads me to replace a failing drive dock.
[Click image for full-size view. Image source: Newegg]
Why a Stuck Rocker Switch Means New Drive Dock
When Reflect reported that my customary backup target drive (G:, a Hitachi 4GB HGST HSN 724040ALE640 SATA 3 hard disk) was missing, I started troubleshooting. Immediately, I discovered two things. First, power to the drive dock was off. Second, I attempted to cycle power on the drive dock. That’s when I discovered that the power switch — a rocker switch, in fact — wouldn’t cycle into the “off” position. Also, jiggling the switch cycles power on and off rapidly and unpredictably. For me, a stuck rocker switch means new drive dock because I can’t take the chance that future backups might fail along with the stuck switch.
Ultimately, I was able to jiggle the switch just right to get the power to stay on. It has continued to work properly since, and I’ve got a current backup image for the system now. But I’ve also ordered a replacement dual dock from Amazon, which should show up in the next few days. I can’t abide the idea of relying on questionable hardware for backups (it defeats their purpose). So I’m replacing the current dual drive dock with a different model. Let’s compare prices for what I’m replacing (about $50 when I bought it from Newegg) with what I just ordered ($39 from Amazon because Newegg’s price for the same unit was over $100!).
I’m tempted to kick myself for not checking reviews when I made the original purchase. When I did so this morning, I observed that the Inatek FD2002 model that gets high marks and editor recommendations is the same dual dock I’ve got hooked up to my primary production PC already. I don’t see anything wrong with repeating a purchase that has worked well for me so far, especially when it’s $11 cheaper than the unit it’s replacing. And so it goes, here in WindowsWorld . . .