Question Aging backup harddrive?

YuliApp

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Ok bear with me, it might sound stupid but...
We've been reading stories about hard-drives not being good enough for long term storage, but how bad is it actually and what means it is not good? As in fading? Failing?

I have one harddrive now which has about 6 years old backup on it. It is already USB3, wd, etc etc, should be nothing strange. Problem i have that while i can read all of the data there, the reading is very slow (2-3MByte/s). Could it be sign of data faded on the storage and it needs more retries or different reading mode? The SMART shows nothing relevant and acoustically it is also not "retrying".

Observed on two hard-drives, but the second one mechanically failed so cannot go into more details on that one.

Any similar experience?
 
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igor_kavinski

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Please download Speedfan and post screenshot similar to the one shown in the above post.
 
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Shmee

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The slow reads could just be the drive is slow, as off the shelf USB drives often are, especially 2.5 inch drives. This could be made worse if you are reading lots of small files, or if the drive is degrading of course, as mentioned.

Generally, you want to have several working backup drives, with the data redundant. You never know when one drive might fail, get dropped, lost etc. I personally would avoid 2.5 inch HDDs, and likely off the shelf backup drives in general. I would buy a "more reliable" desktop drive, and put it in an external enclosure. This makes it easy to disassemble and possibly retrieve data if the USB controller fails.

Often times with external backup drives, there is no standard SATA connector on the internal drive, but instead a proprietary one connecting it to the USB controller. And they are much harder to take apart, and often "lower quality", though they are cheaper. Also, shorter warranty.
 

YuliApp

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The slow reads could just be the drive is slow, as off the shelf USB drives often are, especially 2.5 inch drives. This could be made worse if you are reading lots of small files, or if the drive is degrading of course, as mentioned.

Generally, you want to have several working backup drives, with the data redundant. You never know when one drive might fail, get dropped, lost etc. I personally would avoid 2.5 inch HDDs, and likely off the shelf backup drives in general. I would buy a "more reliable" desktop drive, and put it in an external enclosure. This makes it easy to disassemble and possibly retrieve data if the USB controller fails.

Often times with external backup drives, there is no standard SATA connector on the internal drive, but instead a proprietary one connecting it to the USB controller. And they are much harder to take apart, and often "lower quality", though they are cheaper. Also, shorter warranty.
there is regular 3,5" sata inside, i had 10s of them... I knew they were doing easily 30-50MB/s copying raw photos (around 40MB per file) . In this particular was usually blue or green wd
 
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YuliApp

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Please download Speedfan and post screenshot similar to the one shown in the above post.
wd2.jpgwd1.jpg
 

igor_kavinski

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I meant similar to this:

1648150923311.png

Sorry for not being clear. You will get that opened in a browser when you click "Perform an in-depth online analysis of this hard disk" button.
 

igor_kavinski

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SMART health seems great. Try plugging the HDD in a USB 3 port (blue one). Or if it is connected to the front port, try the PC's USB ports at the back.

Also, if it's reading thousands of small files, then I'm afraid it will never exceed 2-3 MB/s. That's beyond any HDD's capabilities.
 

YuliApp

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SMART health seems great. Try plugging the HDD in a USB 3 port (blue one). Or if it is connected to the front port, try the PC's USB ports at the back.

Also, if it's reading thousands of small files, then I'm afraid it will never exceed 2-3 MB/s. That's beyond any HDD's capabilities.
it is in back case, USB3 (blue) and tried another cable and power supply. same result. Files are around 20-40MB. 🤷‍♀️
I have to admit i do not have the original power supply anymore but i had 12V from PC as one option and 2A 12V power supply from another harddrive.
 

igor_kavinski

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What is the file extension or file type of the files being transferred? If they are archives (zip, rar, 7z etc.), the antivirus may be scanning them and slowing down the transfer rate.
 

YuliApp

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Can you connect the external drive to another available PC and confirm if it is still slow at copying files from it?
at the moment sadly not, have only one running without doing too much effort. I run some speed test and it looked fine first few seconds, but somehow scared to do more as i would not like to lose the drive now :-(.
I was more interested in if someone actually had the similar issue or explanation than really wanting to make it work. Might do more when i am sure it is all backed up on another place.

Thank you a lot for your effort so far. I appreciate it.
 

igor_kavinski

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If you can manage a 6TB or larger drive, you can clone this HDD to the blank one using Macrium Reflect. It does block copy so bypasses the file system and usually very fast (more than 100MB/s). If not and your internal HDD has enough space, you can use Reflect to create an image file of the 6TB drive with your RAW photo files. That should also be way faster and save your data. You can then copy that image file back to a blank drive.
 

YuliApp

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If you can manage a 6TB or larger drive, you can clone this HDD to the blank one using Macrium Reflect. It does block copy so bypasses the file system and usually very fast (more than 100MB/s). If not and your internal HDD has enough space, you can use Reflect to create an image file of the 6TB drive with your RAW photo files. That should also be way faster and save your data. You can then copy that image file back to a blank drive.
sadly no spare hdd now and no space. Reason i was touching it because my internal 6TB drive (WD Red) failed :-(.
I will look at the tool as soon as i find some alternative. this might be a better solution overall.
 

Shmee

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How full is the drive? Obviously drives will be slower as they fill up. Anyway, you are right that the first step should be to backup any important data.
 
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YuliApp

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How full is the drive? Obviously drives will be slower as they fill up. Anyway, you are right that the first step should be to backup any important data.
i have second backup on azure, but it is PIA to get it back, so yes, i treat it as the only backup now.
Drive is full, but i was expecting for reading it should never be that slow. Especially since i was not copying the latest files anyway.
 

Shmee

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Has the backup drive always seemed this slow, or slower than it should be? Or is this a recent thing? It is possible of course that there is some problem with the drive that isn't showing up when looking at SMART data, or it could just be a relatively slow bulk drive that is too full/fragmented, making matters worse.
 

YuliApp

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Dec 27, 2017
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Has the backup drive always seemed this slow, or slower than it should be? Or is this a recent thing? It is possible of course that there is some problem with the drive that isn't showing up when looking at SMART data, or it could just be a relatively slow bulk drive that is too full/fragmented, making matters worse.
Now you are really making me curious!
Tbh i was really expecting some logical quick answer like plates with high density lose magnetic level needing more time to read or whatever or actually that something shows on smart (could it be obstructed by USB reader? I never used smart on this drive before because HD Bench i was using for it didnt work).

Tempting to try something you recommend and investigate more.

As to your question, i never tried to recover anything from this harddrive before. So all i could say that writing to it was always quick.
It is likely not fragmented as it was just written but rarely anything deleted or overwritten.
 

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