Yesterday the the Seagate portable USB hard drive that serves as my Carbon Copy Cloner backup disk died a tragic death in grand fashion.
The first sign, although not entirely proven to be caused by the drive, was that my computer just flat out rebooted out of nowhere. When I look at the error report it seemed to be something to do with the USB hardware.
I went on working and later downloaded Roller Coaster Tycoon Classic from Steam. It was the first time I used Steam and I had to install their wacky app. I tried to eject the disk image and it wouldn't eject. I tried to reboot and it didn't happen. Disk Utility wouldn't completely start.
I was seriously worried that my computer was dying. I managed a clumsy reboot and it took forever to restart. When it did, I noticed that the drives on the disk failed to mount and could not be manually mounted. Also, there was more mysterious Disk Utility behavior related to the drive.
I unplugged it an restarted and things were back to normal. I am curious how a nearly dead USB drive could cause so much trouble. I always feel these portable USB drives are very short lived.
It will be nice when SSDs are cheaper. I think they will last a lot longer.
After much consideration on the topic of getting a potentially more stable NAS hard drive, I decided the best thing to do was just get another portable. This is just a backup disk after all.