What if my USB flash drive dies


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Ok so I am currently testing the free version of unraid.  As with most, things have been going well.  With purchasing in mind I am just wondering what happens if my thumb drives dies on me (hardware wise)?  I realize that the software is linked with the drives GUID maiking it very difficult to impossible to illegal to copy the drive to another one.  So I am wondering if you have any policies with a situation like that.  Maybe I missed it somewhere within the site?  I know you offer a second drive at a discounted rate but I would want 2 drives to start off with.  If you do not have anything in place I would like to recommend one.  If the persons drives dies have them send it in as proof that it is dead.  Possibly you could still read the GUID from it?  Any ideas and/or comments would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.

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Ok sounds great.  Just want to be safe.  I know flash drives aren't really known for failing...but in time everything fails :)  I just want to safe that my forking out of $149 is safe.  I know it's not a ton of money..but when you are used to the linux world, anything over 50 cents for software seems like a lot. :o  Thanks for the quick reply...much appreciated.

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I can atest to what Tom is saying.  I recently had one of mine die and Tom replaced the key no questions asked.  Extremely promptly I must add.  Also, I'm by means an expert on flash drive longevity, but in my experience they die pretty easily.  2 out of the 3 I've owned died after about a year.

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Hah I recently was thinking about this since I've been dabbling with the free version for about a month now... guess what... one of my USB drives failed lol! I never had it happen before and was extremely surprised when it did. Of course this made me start thinking about what would happen if it did happen and made me second guess buying the Pro version of this software. I'm glad that there is an official answer to this problem and that there is in fact light at the end of the tunnel!

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Playing devils advocate again  :-X


Whilst the majority of users would be more than happy with this solution in a commercial environment it wouldn't fly. So the option of buying a backup license is the only viable one. A whilst the cost is more than reasonable it is still 100% more to cover a limitation of licensing.


Personally i find the solution fine but I couldn't recommend it to clients because of this as I would have real difficulty presenting unRAID as a serious commercial product in this light.

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I remember the days of dongles and software that would mark bad sectors on your hard drive.

I don't see using the USB key as that unreasonable to not recommend it to clients. But frankly, I do find it a hard sell.


Where I see an issue is the delay in getting a license should a business need it because the drive failed.

This has made my customers shy away from using it in a few installations.


In fact I've recommended it for projects with an embedded backup solution and an embedded video surveillance environment.

The lack of NFS, plugin capabiliry of the web server and delay in licensing is where the board members were having issues.


If there were someway to revoke a license or transfer it online in a moments notice then this should be an acceptable situation.

If it's stored somewhere it can be detected if someone is abusing the environment and stop giving out licenses.


As for the other parts, I'm sure they are in the pipeline.

I know for the video surveillance, they want to brand it with their own browser interface, so I'm not sure if it would ever fly there.



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  • 7 months later...
  • 4 months later...

I'm currently affected by just this very issue.  Been down since about 3:00CDT yesterday, waiting for a response from Tom.


It seems that some type of temporary "online" license would be helpful.  Say, a 10 day temporary key, requiring UNRAID to call home for authorization daily, issued instantly for a given GUID using your old key file and GUID as credentials for access to the temporary license generator.  This would then send Tom a notice, allowing him 10 days to get the new, permanent Key file to the user should he see fit, or to revoke the ability of the user to generate temporary keys should they be abusing it.


Update:  Tom came through with a new key just an hour after I posted this.   I still think some type of automated temporary key system is a good idea, but the down, at least for me, was minimal.


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  • 3 weeks later...

For example, I'm sure people are dying here and there at Microsoft, but there will be a Windows 7...


1.  Even if Tom went away and your USB stick broke, you would not lose your data.  You would be able to mount disks, 2 at a time, using the free license.


2. This came up once a long time ago.  Several people expressed confidence that if Tom disappeared, that someone would be able to create a version of unRAID that did not require the USB stick.  Most of the code is available as source code - only a few modules are proprietary as I understand it.


3.  If seriously concerned, you might consider buying a second unRAID license.  It's likely the best protection from Dr. Doom.

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With unRAID, you have a life time warranty (Tom's life time, in fact).




lol very well put :)


This is an age old argument of small and bespoke company products via big company products. Whilst with a big company a product may only have a finite life you can be certain there will be another one along from them to replace it. For most users this argument is of no real interest but what if someone wants 100 or 1000 licenses... the question becomes a bit more interesting.



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ROFL. If Tom lives longer than any us, we should be satisfied


hehe to true.


It is however still a valid question for any business considering a big rollout of unRAID. Whilst 1000 licenses may be relatively cheap a country wide rollout will not be a.k.a replacing it later would be a nightmare.


All this really needs is Tom to say Limetech LLC is more than Tom and were done with this one.

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