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  1. #1
    New Member XD7's Avatar
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    Long Term Data Storage Question

    Hello!

    I'm having trouble in choosing the ideal method to keep my data. As for now, I'm having a 250 disc-case full of DVDs which are full with files that are important to me. I want that data to be mobile, so I dont want a regular HDD. My question is if it's better to buy an external HDD of let's say 1TB or maybe 2 external HDD of 500GB or so... in order to place my data. My intention however, is not to periodically transfer information but to keep it as long as I can. I believe that HDD have a longer lifespan than DVDs and it would be alot more organized having all my things in one HDD rather than divided into 250 parts, but are those HDDs really fit to keep information for longer terms or not? If it helps in anyway, most of my data are video files.



    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Member CGR's Avatar
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    Ahh yes, the art of saving ones pr0n collection..

    I have found data archive grade DVD's to be the only longterm method for storing data. In the past I have had two drives with data on them, wrapped and packed in a box as storage in case I needed them. Well, after about two years I needed something from one of them and it was not accessible anymore.
    Main System:.................................................. ......................Second System:
    DFI BloodIron P35-T2RL w/ Q6600 GO@ 3.2 (9x360), 1.4v....DFI Ultra-D w/Opteron 170 @ 2.7
    G.skill 4GB (2x2gb).................................................. ..............G.Skill Extreme 2GB (2x1gb)
    HIS 4850 680/1108.................................................. .............Nvidia 7600GT
    WD VRaptor 300gb/Seagate 1TB..........................................Raptor 74gb/Seagate 200gb
    OCZ GameXtreme 600SLI


  3. #3
    New Member XD7's Avatar
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    So DVDs are the best way to keep data for long periods of time? I always thought that discs cant last much. Oh.. and that data isnt what you think it is, but it doesnt matter.

  4. #4
    Member CGR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XD7 View Post
    So DVDs are the best way to keep data for long periods of time? I always thought that discs cant last much. Oh.. and that data isnt what you think it is, but it doesnt matter.
    Archive grade DVD's. They cost more, but will supposedly last anywhere between 30 - 100 years depending on the brand you get.
    Main System:.................................................. ......................Second System:
    DFI BloodIron P35-T2RL w/ Q6600 GO@ 3.2 (9x360), 1.4v....DFI Ultra-D w/Opteron 170 @ 2.7
    G.skill 4GB (2x2gb).................................................. ..............G.Skill Extreme 2GB (2x1gb)
    HIS 4850 680/1108.................................................. .............Nvidia 7600GT
    WD VRaptor 300gb/Seagate 1TB..........................................Raptor 74gb/Seagate 200gb
    OCZ GameXtreme 600SLI


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGR View Post
    Ahh yes, the art of saving ones pr0n collection..

    I have found data archive grade DVD's to be the only longterm method for storing data. In the past I have had two drives with data on them, wrapped and packed in a box as storage in case I needed them. Well, after about two years I needed something from one of them and it was not accessible anymore.
    The problem there is that drives in storage are still vulnerable to magnetic fields, such as the constant 60 hz hum from your home wiring. Drives in a file server, OTOH tend to be more stable because of the active error correction.

    You can get those amazing Seagate vertical HDs with 1,200,000 MTBF for about $100 each (500 GB). Put four of them into a RAID level 1+0 array and there is a terabyte array that should remain stable for like 50 years. And your data will be instantly available when you need to access it.

  6. #6
    Member Maverick0984's Avatar
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    Disclaimer: RAID provides redundancy which is not to be confused with backup

    I'm against the storage on DVDs simply because of the fact that you either have to:

    a) Keep cases and cases of them lying around to backup all your data (at least I would).
    b) Buy expensive Blu-ray discs and a burner to get a bit better with the 50GB disc, but still have the same issues eventually occuring as in case a).

    Double, or even single hdd fault tolerance to me is a better investment. That being a RAID5 or some of the new fancy linux ran software RAID levels floating around out there. I would much rather take the risk of a RAID5 array and hoping that 2 drives don't die at concurrent times rather than carry cases and cases of DVDs hunting for what I want causing data extraction to take exponentially longer and exponentially more limited in use. If it means that much to you, then simply turn the array off while waiting for the new HDD to arrive, or have a hot spare ready to go. Get a good UPS and anti-shock system setup and you're protected from everything but fire/water/theft for the most part.

    Maybe I just have too much data I deem "important"...which make storage on DVD a pretty crazy idea for me.

    If it is something *highly* sensitive where you'd have to go as far as storing it in an external location protected from fire/disaster then obviously DVD is the only way to go. In that situation, there can't be a terrilbe amount of *highly* sensitive data in terms of GB/TB.

  7. #7
    Member CGR's Avatar
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    He seems he is talking about longterm. Any drive solution is not long term, especially when its being turned on and off, moved from place to place etc etc..
    Main System:.................................................. ......................Second System:
    DFI BloodIron P35-T2RL w/ Q6600 GO@ 3.2 (9x360), 1.4v....DFI Ultra-D w/Opteron 170 @ 2.7
    G.skill 4GB (2x2gb).................................................. ..............G.Skill Extreme 2GB (2x1gb)
    HIS 4850 680/1108.................................................. .............Nvidia 7600GT
    WD VRaptor 300gb/Seagate 1TB..........................................Raptor 74gb/Seagate 200gb
    OCZ GameXtreme 600SLI


  8. #8
    Member Maverick0984's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGR View Post
    He seems he is talking about longterm. Any drive solution is not long term, especially when its being turned on and off, moved from place to place etc etc..
    It all depends. I could argue otherwise.

  9. #9
    Member CGR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick0984 View Post
    It all depends. I could argue otherwise.
    How can you argue that? What drives have you had for over 10 years that you can still access data from?
    Main System:.................................................. ......................Second System:
    DFI BloodIron P35-T2RL w/ Q6600 GO@ 3.2 (9x360), 1.4v....DFI Ultra-D w/Opteron 170 @ 2.7
    G.skill 4GB (2x2gb).................................................. ..............G.Skill Extreme 2GB (2x1gb)
    HIS 4850 680/1108.................................................. .............Nvidia 7600GT
    WD VRaptor 300gb/Seagate 1TB..........................................Raptor 74gb/Seagate 200gb
    OCZ GameXtreme 600SLI


  10. #10
    Member Maverick0984's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGR View Post
    How can you argue that? What drives have you had for over 10 years that you can still access data from?
    The whole point is that you replace the drives as they fail...redundancy via RAID allows this...

    What happens if you step on the DVD? Redundant DVDs ?

    Honestly, the odds of breaking/damaging DVDs when you are carrying 250+ (quoted from OP) are much higher than breaking/damaging a HDD when you have 2-3 of them :x.

    Note: I have a huge RAID array, and about 600-650 DVDs of things stored, this is a completely objective opinion from someone who has/uses both.

  11. #11
    Member leftheaded's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGR View Post
    How can you argue that? What drives have you had for over 10 years that you can still access data from?
    you wouldn't archive the disks.. just the data. you have to keep migrating the data as you upgrade disks or they fail. if you have proper redundancy and backup plans, you should be able to keep you data forever.

    of course, this isn't very economic compared to archiving to DVDs, but since storage is so cheap and we all love building rigs here... "home servers", if you call them that, are becoming pretty popular I think.


  12. #12
    New Member XD7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGR View Post
    Any drive solution is not long term, especially when its being turned on and off, moved from place to place etc etc..
    If I buy an external HDD then it would most likely be turned off all the time except the time when I will transfer information to it. It will also stay in one place all the time and wont move much. Same with the discs actually, but the only thing that I see as troublesome is the change of temperatures through the years, but maybe I'm wrong.

  13. #13
    Member CGR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftheaded View Post
    you wouldn't archive the disks.. just the data. you have to keep migrating the data as you upgrade disks or they fail. if you have proper redundancy and backup plans, you should be able to keep you data forever.

    of course, this isn't very economic compared to archiving to DVDs, but since storage is so cheap and we all love building rigs here... "home servers", if you call them that, are becoming pretty popular I think.

    That is not how you store data over a long period of time. I certainly wouldnt send drives to Iron Mountain for them to store for up to 10 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by XD7
    If I buy an external HDD then it would most likely be turned off all the time except the time when I will transfer information to it. It will also stay in one place all the time and wont move much. Same with the discs actually, but the only thing that I see as troublesome is the change of temperatures through the years, but maybe I'm wrong.
    I have three external drives, which I turn on and off as needed. However that is not how I store long term data. Anything that I absolutely cannot lose, will go on archive DVD's, as its a reliable media over a drive, which can die at anytime.
    Main System:.................................................. ......................Second System:
    DFI BloodIron P35-T2RL w/ Q6600 GO@ 3.2 (9x360), 1.4v....DFI Ultra-D w/Opteron 170 @ 2.7
    G.skill 4GB (2x2gb).................................................. ..............G.Skill Extreme 2GB (2x1gb)
    HIS 4850 680/1108.................................................. .............Nvidia 7600GT
    WD VRaptor 300gb/Seagate 1TB..........................................Raptor 74gb/Seagate 200gb
    OCZ GameXtreme 600SLI


  14. #14
    Member xgtdec's Avatar
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    What about a nas solution, something from the Thecus rage perhaps

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