What is safer & longer lasting storage

Steve Rimar

Member
Aug 28, 2010
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Data Stick, Memory Card, DVD, Hard Drive or ??????

This is for storage of pictures, videos, and Documents. Is one safer then another or longer lasting? The memory cards and data sticks are small and easy to store.
 

JManInPhoenix

Golden Member
Sep 25, 2013
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All are susceptible to corruption over time. I store all my music, photos, etc on several different things - cloud, magnetic hard drive, DVDs. Make sure you have multiple backups of your stuff.

I would say a magnetic hard drive is the safest storage medium - unless its near a big magnet :p
 

Anteaus

Platinum Member
Oct 28, 2010
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External hard drives definitely. Like JManInPhoenix said though, one copy is NOT a backup.
 

MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
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Frig, think one of my old 7 year old 4X1Tb WD HDD RE3's died last nite.

Ticks me off but they've been on a controller in Raid 1+0 that whole time but the RAID array still kicking fine.

Might be time to start sticking some 2TBs in there.

I'll leave it at that.

:)
 
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Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
17,484
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Data Stick, Memory Card, DVD, Hard Drive or ??????

This is for storage of pictures, videos, and Documents. Is one safer then another or longer lasting? The memory cards and data sticks are small and easy to store.
Multiple copies on multiple mediums. Period.

A good DVD or BD will last several years with good storage. An HDD might. A flash drive might. But if the storage environment is compromised, or not climate-controlled to begin with, then it's a roll of the dice.

A DVD or BD can degrade from temp or sunlight, or lose its seal. It will degrade from age regardless.

An HDD may have sectors which are worse than others. The magnetic field won't weaken with a good sector much over the course of years, but the whole surface of the platter can vary. I've experienced bit rot with healthy HDDs, on backups verified before being stored. Also, a stored HDDs could suffer mechanical maladies, as lube settles over long periods, and possibly hardens, depending on what they use.

A USB drive, SD card, etc., may have any variety of NAND types and qualities (could be top-bin 5k p/e MLC, or bottom-of-the-barrel 500 p/e TLC). As you use it, it wears, but you have no way to know how worn it is, and you don't know how well it handles aging. You could lose data by bad blocks developing, or sectors too worn out, and you just don't know. Over-provisioning tends to be minimal, and writes are synchronized, so you'll likely get much worse WA than a SATA SSD, unless it's only giant files like photos and videos.

That's not to say a given USB stick or HDD won't keep your data intact for 20 years. Just that you can't be certain enough of that to trust it.

Nothing beats multiple copies, the more the better, and managing those multiple copies over time, regardless of medium.
 
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MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
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Heh, that's a Zappa quote? pretty good not sure I'd seen that one before.

But I'm relatively new here.
 

greenhawk

Platinum Member
Feb 23, 2011
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it is a numbers game, the more the better. The number of locations helps as well (in case of theft or fire) but the most important thing is to check the data periodically to detect any issues developing and replace effected media.
 

ronbo613

Golden Member
Jan 9, 2010
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Hard drives backed up with other hard drives that are backed up by backup hard drives.

Like they say in the grocery business: "Rotate your stock"
 

FAQdaworld

Member
Jan 23, 2014
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"Redundancy is good, Redundancy is good"

Having multiple layers of redundancy is the best policy. Always assume that a drive *WILL* fail, not within the next week, but immediately after you place a file on it. Make multiple backups. I've learned this the hard way.

But to answer your question, I've had better luck with flash drives than I have with hard drives over the years.
 

MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
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"Redundancy is good, Redundancy is good"

Having multiple layers of redundancy is the best policy. Always assume that a drive *WILL* fail, not within the next week, but immediately after you place a file on it. Make multiple backups. I've learned this the hard way.

But to answer your question, I've had better luck with flash drives than I have with hard drives over the years.
Must be some really huge flash drives.
 

cruelmelissa

Junior Member
Feb 1, 2014
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Everything is relative as all of them will die one day evern if you take care of them in the best way you can do it. I think cloud is the best one at the moment. In general, I would advice to check the backups - everything you have and if necessary backup again and to several places at the same time to be on the side. I always do like this. As for the tool to back up, Acronis may be quite good or Crashplan.
 

Steve Rimar

Member
Aug 28, 2010
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Thanks for all the great information.

I was also thinking of a StarTech duplicator dock (SATDOCK2REU3 USB 3.0) to backup (Clone) hard drives but not sure how good they really are. There is some software that will backup and clone hard drives also. Acronis is one that many use. It would be nice to just replace a drive if the hard drive crashes without reloading the OS. I am currently using windows 7.
 

ronbo613

Golden Member
Jan 9, 2010
1,237
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Thanks for all the great information.

I was also thinking of a StarTech duplicator dock (SATDOCK2REU3 USB 3.0) to backup (Clone) hard drives but not sure how good they really are. There is some software that will backup and clone hard drives also. Acronis is one that many use. It would be nice to just replace a drive if the hard drive crashes without reloading the OS. I am currently using windows 7.

Cloning is a good idea for main(boot)drives. It may be overkill for backup storage for things like photo and video files, basic backup software will allow you to back up just the files and folders you need.

I used to clone my computer boot drive with Clonezilla or Acronis when I ran Windows XP, with Windows 7, I use the system imaging program for my main drive backup.
 

corkyg

Elite Member | Peripherals
Super Moderator
Mar 4, 2000
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+1 for planned redundancy. A good plan should also consider a dupicate set in offsite secure storage. I use a safety deposit box at my bank in addition to external HDDs for 3 computers at home.