Highly Reliable Systems: Removable Disk Backup & Recovery


Frequently Asked Questions


Aren’t tape backups cheaper than hard drive backups per gigabyte?

Our experience has been the average backup tape lasts for no more than 50 uses (one use per week for 1 year). Compare that with hard drive backup. Hard drives last hundreds of thousands of uses (at least 3 years). … Continue reading


Aren’t tapes tougher? Can’t they withstand dropping and rough handling more readily than hard drive?

Tape vendors would certainly like you to think so. We don’t advise you to drop your High Rely Hard Drive Backup drives, but for testing purposes we’ve dropped High Rely media plenty of times and still had functional drives with … Continue reading


Can BNAS AMT (Mirrored) drive bays be used in JBOD mode?

The two BNAS drives which are normally mirrored via our AMT board (JM 393 chipset) can only be used as JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) aka “stand alone drives” if the SATA controller they are plugged into supports port … Continue reading


Can I Purchase These Products Outside the U.S.?

Thank You for your inquiry!  We really appreciate your interest.  You should know that we have relatively few resellers outside the U.S.A and Canada at this time. We also do not have overseas distributers.  We ARE willing to do direct … Continue reading


If tape is so terrible, why do so many people use it to back up their data?

It really just comes down to people not realizing that there is an alternative. At one time, it was unreasonably expensive to use anything else. Hard drives were also much more delicate and slow compared to sequential media. This article … Continue reading


What is the “shelf life” of an High Rely Hard Drive Backup as compared to tape?

Many tape vendors claim tape has a shelf life anywhere from 10 to 30 years. With over 20 years of real-world experience, we have not found this to be the case. We have been unable to find reliable statistics on … Continue reading



Remote Monitoring and Management of USB 3.0 and eSATA drives

Can USB 3.0 and eSATA drives be monitored and managed?  The 2 Bay HR, FirstRAID, and 2 Bay RAIDFrame models all have Automatic Mirroring Technology.  This means they are all intelligent Direct Attached Storage (DAS) devices with a high speed mirroring or RAID board.  There is an … Continue reading


Can I change out the hard drive in my High-Rely classic tray to a bigger one?

Yes usually. Most drives we tested are compatible and in this product line all the drives are SATA. When you buy the media directly from High Rely you may get better warranty support.


Can I remove the SATA drive inside the HR media tray and install it on a standard SATA controller?

Yes. The drive format of the High Rely classic hard drive (NTFS)is identical to that of a SATA. It should work with no additional partitioning or formatting. Obviously MPac and RAIDPac hard drives must be kept together with the RAID … Continue reading


Compatibility / Recommended Hardware Lists

The list that follows are drives that have been tested and are known to work with our systems. This list is not all inclusive and there may be drives that are not on this list that are compatible with our … Continue reading


Do I have to click the “Safely remove hardware” icon before turning the High-Rely key and removing the media?

It is always an extra safety precaution to notify the operating system on your server that you’ll be removing a drive. Newer operating systems (Windows 2003/2008, Vista, Windows 7) have improved on drive removablity and it has become less necessary … Continue reading


How do your Fast Backup Multi Drive Systems Connect to my Server?

For fast backup our DAS (Direct Attached Storage) systems outpeform most NAS devices and use eSATA, USB3, or on some products both.  USB3 device ports are backwards compatible with USB 2 ports so if the host doesn’t have USB3 or there are … Continue reading


Is eSATA signaling different than normal internal SATA?

Well sort of. The same signals and number of wires are used, but with iSATA, the transmission voltage from the host may range from 400 to 600 millivolts. The receiver must be able to decode voltages between 325 and 600mV. … Continue reading


NetSwap Email Alert Information

Alert email subject lines are of the form: <Device Name> Alert: <alert> The body of the email is of the form: Hostname : <hostname> IP Addr X: <ip addr for EthernetX> (1 or more of these lines) Date/Time: <date and … Continue reading


What is the largest media size I can use?

12TB is the largest hard drive size that has been tested in High-Rely classic Media. 2TB drives in MPac media (2 per cartridge for 4TB total), 12TB in RAIDPac Media (total 36TB with 3 drives in RAID0 mode). We are … Continue reading


What speed related issues should I be aware of?

Here is a generic list of a few speed related issues you may find with hard drive backups: Slower USB ports – If the HR subsystem is inadvertently using slower USB (1.0, 1.2, or 2.0) versus USB3.0 , it will … Continue reading


Which is better eSATA or USB3?

Both interfaces are faster than a typical 7200 RPM hard drive so it comes down mostly to compatibility. eSATA data rate is 3Gpbs and USB3 is 4.8Gbps but since USB3 requires a “bridge chip” to convert to native SATA anyway … Continue reading


Why do you require me to insert a key to unlock the media before I remove it?

The locking media is designed to prevent accidental removal of the media, which can result in data corruption. It also provides some measure of physical security. To have the key permanently handy, attach it to the case itself.



After power loss my NetSwap, BNAS, or WBA unit does not power on when power is restored

This situation has to do with a BIOS setting regarding which action to take following a loss of power.  Generally there are three states. Off | On | Last State.  Should your unit not power on following a power loss … Continue reading


Compatibility / Recommended Hardware Lists

The list that follows are drives that have been tested and are known to work with our systems. This list is not all inclusive and there may be drives that are not on this list that are compatible with our … Continue reading


Creating a NetSwap/RAIDFrame Restore Key from an ISO File

Follow the steps below to create a NetSwap/RAIDFrame Plus Restore Key from a NetSwap/RAIDFrame Plus Restore Key image.  You will need a USB Flash drive 2 gigabytes or greater in size. Download the High-Rely USB Installer Insert USB key drive … Continue reading


How do I make the alarm stop?

Push any button to stop the alarm.


How do I set the alarm threshold to a higher temperature?

Push the Set button twice to move past the Celsius/Fahrenheit option, then use the up and down buttons to select the alarm threshold. Finally, hold down the Set button for at least 2 seconds or until you hear a double … Continue reading


I clicked on “safely remove hardware” and was given a message that the drive cannot be safely removed?

This usually means you have a program or window open that is still referencing that drive letter. Close all open windows, including “My Computer” or Windows Explorer and wait a minute to see if you can safely remove hardware. Some … Continue reading


I don’t like the drive letter(s) my High-Rely hard drive backup system was given by the operating system.

1) Right click “My Computer” and select “Manage” 2) Choose “Disk Management” 3) Right click the volume associated with your High-Rely 4) Choose “Change Drive Letters and paths”. You will receive a warning that changing drive letters may affect programs, … Continue reading


NetSwap & RAIDFrame Series Firmware Change Log

Release 2.16 (December 12, 2018) Added support for Intel I219V network interface Linux kernel security updates: CVE-2017-5753 (Spectre V1), CVE-2017-5715 (Spectre V2), CVE-2017-5754 (Meltdown V3), CVE-2018-3639 (Spectre V4), CVE-2018-3665 (LazyFP), CVE-2018-3693 (BCBS), and others Samba security updates: CVE-2018-14629, CVE-2018-16481, CVE-2018-16851, … Continue reading


One of my drives alarms every time I power the unit up

This can be caused by an incorrect threshold setting. Follow these steps to reset the factory defaults: 1) Power down the unit 2) Hold down both arrow buttons simultaneously and power the unit up 3) Continue holding the buttons for … Continue reading


One of my High-Rely drives runs hotter than the others.

It is not unusual for some drives to run slightly hotter. We’ve noticed it’s usually the middle drives in a stack that run hotter. It’s not unusual for internally mounted HR drives (inside a PC) to run significantly hotter than … Continue reading


There is some type of alarm noise coming from my high-rely classic drive.

Each drive is equipped with a fan, a temperature alarm, and a temperature display. If the temperature of the hard drive backup exceeds the preset factory threshold (130*F), or if the fan stops turning, the alarm will sound.


USB Drives fall off line or disconnect after some time

Unfortunately there are a multitude of reasons why USB connected storage can fall off-line, many of which are not necessarily the USB device’s fault. With the introduction of USB 3.0 and its complex power saving schemes, this problem grew.    … Continue reading


What is a “normal” drive temperature?

This varies depending on the case, air flow, and the type of drives installed. Normal office environments see temperatures from about 75* to 99*F in the 5 or 7 bay units. Due to the heat of the CPU and other … Continue reading


What temperature should the alarm be set at to prevent damage to the drives?

Statistically, every degree of higher temperature shortens the life of the drive. To avoid damaging the hard drive, we recommend you set the temperature alarm to about 130*F. (it also helps avoid annoying alarms on hot days!)



Compatibility / Recommended Hardware Lists

The list that follows are drives that have been tested and are known to work with our systems. This list is not all inclusive and there may be drives that are not on this list that are compatible with our … Continue reading


Linux Support

Highly Reliable Systems endeavors to support as many systems as possible within our resources. LINUX is considered a crucial platform by HR and we are attempting to grow our support for it. Many LINUX’s may work with Silicon Image controllers … Continue reading


Mac OS X Support

Highly Reliable Systems endeavors to support as many systems as possible within our resources. Mac is considered a crucial platform by HR and we are attempting to grow our support for it. The High-Rely line of products are USB and … Continue reading


NOVELL Support

Highly Reliable Systems endeavors to support as many systems as possible within our resources. NOVELL is a well known platform among the computing server crowd. Presently, because of licensing, providing drivers for NOVELL is difficult. At this time, the only … Continue reading


VMWare ESX 3.5 Support

Highly Reliable Systems endeavors to support as many systems as possible within our resources. VMWare ESX 3.5 is a well known platform among the computing virtual server crowd. Presently, a working solution for High-Rely with this platform is offered here … Continue reading


What Backup Software should I use?

Most modern backup software can use hard drives as a destination. We like imaging solutions like StorageCraft Shadowprotect. http://www.storagecraft.com/


What operating systems are your solutions compatible with?

Microsoft Windows XP Professional Microsoft Windows Vista Microsoft Windows 7 Microsoft Windows 8 Microsoft Windows 10 Microsoft Windows 2003 Server Windows 2008 Server and variants Windows 2012 Server and variants We do not provide tech support the following operating systems, … Continue reading