Which is the safest medium for back-ups

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

I understand that back-ups or storing information to CD is not a long-term
answer, as the life of CDs is only about 5 years (?).
Is an external hard drive the answer, or does even this form of storage have
a limited life span?
Any advice appreciated.
Chrissss........
8 answers Last reply
More about which safest medium back
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    "Chrisssssss........." <chris@newsgroupinfo.wanadoo.co.uk> wrote:

    >I understand that back-ups or storing information to CD is not a long-term
    >answer, as the life of CDs is only about 5 years (?).
    >Is an external hard drive the answer, or does even this form of storage have
    >a limited life span?
    >Any advice appreciated.
    >Chrissss........
    >

    Hard drives are mechanical devices, and are prone to failure. I would
    not want to depend on a hard drive remaining usable for more than 5
    years of operational use. If the hard drive was not being used, and
    was properly stored in a sealed bag with some desiccant (sp?) then it
    should remain usable almost indefinitely, although long term aging
    effects may cause problems after 10 years or more.

    My best advice would be to use good quality CDR disks and to set up a
    procedure of validating the contents and copying them to new disks
    every 2 or 3 years.

    All of the information that I have seen regarding storage life
    indicates that CDR disks are superior (e.g. longer lasting) than CDRWs
    because of the different chemical used, and that there are very
    significant variations between brands of CDR disks.

    Good luck


    Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    --
    Microsoft MVP
    On-Line Help Computer Service
    http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

    In memory of a dear friend Alex Nichol MVP
    http://aumha.org/alex.htm
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    I would suggest investing in a good external backup drive in lieu
    of backing up files to a CD. Examples:

    Maxtor OneTouch II
    http://www.maxtor.com/portal/site/Maxtor/menuitem.ba88f6d7cf664718376049b291346068/?channelpath=/en_us/Products/External%20Hard%20Drives/OneTouch%20II%20Family/Maxtor%20OneTouch%20II%20FireWire%20and%20USB

    Western Digital Dual-Option Media Center
    http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=77

    Where to Buy
    http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/SubCategory.asp?SubCategory=414

    --
    Carey Frisch
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows XP - Shell/User
    Microsoft Newsgroups

    Get Windows XP Service Pack 2 with Advanced Security Technologies:
    http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/protect/windowsxp/choose.mspx

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Chrisssssss........." wrote:

    | I understand that back-ups or storing information to CD is not a long-term
    | answer, as the life of CDs is only about 5 years (?).
    | Is an external hard drive the answer, or does even this form of storage have
    | a limited life span?
    | Any advice appreciated.
    | Chrissss........


    ---
    avast! Antivirus: Outbound message clean.
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    avast! - copyright (c) 1988-2005 ALWIL Software.
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  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    "Chrisssssss........." <chris@newsgroupinfo.wanadoo.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:d60d9q$2cf$1@news7.svr.pol.co.uk...
    >I understand that back-ups or storing information to CD is not a long-term
    >answer, as the life of CDs is only about 5 years (?).
    > Is an external hard drive the answer, or does even this form of storage
    > have a limited life span?
    > Any advice appreciated.
    > Chrissss........
    >

    Think about what affordable storage options you had five years ago --
    floppies? tapes? And before that we had those wonderful 5 1/4" floppies.
    Even if floppies lasted forever, you'd probably want to transfer that data
    to something more modern, just because 3 1/2" floppy drives are starting to
    disappear and the 5 1/4's are all but gone.

    In 5 years (if not sooner) you're probably going to be in the same situation
    with the cds. DVDs are getting a lot more common now, but in 5 years, it
    might be yet another generation of storage.

    Hard drives are a good choice for backup of things you have on your
    computer, but making them the sole storage media would make me a bit
    nervous. All you need to do is drop one, and you're looking at expensive
    data recovery.
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    Chris;
    I would not store anything critical in a single place long term .
    If the data is critical, you need multiple back-ups in case the primary
    fails.
    Periodically backing up and keeping the last one or two in different
    locations is a more fool proof way to preserve important data.
    Technology changes alone can and do render old data inaccessible.
    Monitor back-up data carefully to ensure you still have viable data.

    There is no single media or media type that can be depended on to be the
    only source of critical data.

    --
    Jupiter Jones [MVP]
    http://www3.telus.net/dandemar
    In memory of our dear friend, MVP Alex Nichol
    http://www.dts-l.org


    "Chrisssssss........." <chris@newsgroupinfo.wanadoo.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:d60d9q$2cf$1@news7.svr.pol.co.uk...
    >I understand that back-ups or storing information to CD is not a long-term
    >answer, as the life of CDs is only about 5 years (?).
    > Is an external hard drive the answer, or does even this form of storage
    > have a limited life span?
    > Any advice appreciated.
    > Chrissss........
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    Thanks for the replies. No-one seems to have mentioned 'memory sticks' (or
    should they be called flash drives). As these are solid-state devices, how
    long is their shelf life? They are now getting bigger and cheaper and sound
    a good option to me.
    Chrisssss.........
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    On Fri, 13 May 2005 10:14:25 +0100, "Chrisssssss........."
    <chris@newsgroupinfo.wanadoo.co.uk> wrote:

    >Thanks for the replies. No-one seems to have mentioned 'memory sticks' (or
    >should they be called flash drives). As these are solid-state devices, how
    >long is their shelf life? They are now getting bigger and cheaper and sound
    >a good option to me.
    >Chrisssss.........
    >

    The term magnetic media might help to decide. Anything electronic can be
    affected by an external electromagnetic field.

    A simple magnet would demonstrate that. Just hold one up to the side of your
    monitor.

    Picture that happening with your data.

    A CD or DVD is only written electronically. I don't think the media on a CD or
    DVD can be modified by anything short of a lightning strike. But they can
    break. I'm in the process now of reordering an installation disk. Which I'll
    make a backup of after it's 1st use.
    Nice little crack that now extends half way across from the center.
    It's useless.

    And another hint. Use the backup to physically verify the data is accurate.
    Backing up bad data to a good disk helps no one. For the longest time I thought
    I'd bought a bad program because it failed in the same place every time. But
    only MY DVD was failing.
    Re-opened the original CD and found a nice little thumb print on it. I'd backed
    up whatever was under the thumb. The backup software just blindly grabbed what
    it saw with no warnings. That thumb print came from the manufacturer.

    With CD's and DVD's [good ones] selling for less than $1.00 a piece now if it's
    necessary and worth keeping, there's no reason to NOT make 2 backups when you
    make the 1st one.

    Why CD's and DVD's ? I can't say I've seen any mention of the next generation
    of external mass storage in the news yet. They're just making the current
    devices hold more and more data. ie: I still have a 250 meg HD, but it's
    useless on this ages computers. It was outdated on my P1 less than 7 years ago.
    I'm using a 150 gig now, and looking at 500 gig HD's.

    Even the CD's and DVD's are being made larger. ie: I have 750 meg CD's, but no
    software to read them on the XP OS. I lost a lot of software with that upgrade.
    The software that wrote it is incompatible with XP.
    --
    more pix @ http://members.toast.net/cbminfo/index.html
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    Normal magnets will not affect memory sticks which are just memory chips in
    a different package.

    --
    Regards,

    Richard Urban

    aka Crusty (-: Old B@stard :-)

    If you knew as much as you think you know,
    You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!


    "Husky" <cbminfo@toast.net> wrote in message
    news:8s59819e5b5bt46u477na6ipbup2abusqv@4ax.com...
    > On Fri, 13 May 2005 10:14:25 +0100, "Chrisssssss........."
    > <chris@newsgroupinfo.wanadoo.co.uk> wrote:
    >
    >>Thanks for the replies. No-one seems to have mentioned 'memory sticks' (or
    >>should they be called flash drives). As these are solid-state devices, how
    >>long is their shelf life? They are now getting bigger and cheaper and
    >>sound
    >>a good option to me.
    >>Chrisssss.........
    >>
    >
    > The term magnetic media might help to decide. Anything electronic can be
    > affected by an external electromagnetic field.
    >
    > A simple magnet would demonstrate that. Just hold one up to the side of
    > your
    > monitor.
    >
    > Picture that happening with your data.
    >
    > A CD or DVD is only written electronically. I don't think the media on a
    > CD or
    > DVD can be modified by anything short of a lightning strike. But they can
    > break. I'm in the process now of reordering an installation disk. Which
    > I'll
    > make a backup of after it's 1st use.
    > Nice little crack that now extends half way across from the center.
    > It's useless.
    >
    > And another hint. Use the backup to physically verify the data is
    > accurate.
    > Backing up bad data to a good disk helps no one. For the longest time I
    > thought
    > I'd bought a bad program because it failed in the same place every time.
    > But
    > only MY DVD was failing.
    > Re-opened the original CD and found a nice little thumb print on it. I'd
    > backed
    > up whatever was under the thumb. The backup software just blindly grabbed
    > what
    > it saw with no warnings. That thumb print came from the manufacturer.
    >
    > With CD's and DVD's [good ones] selling for less than $1.00 a piece now if
    > it's
    > necessary and worth keeping, there's no reason to NOT make 2 backups when
    > you
    > make the 1st one.
    >
    > Why CD's and DVD's ? I can't say I've seen any mention of the next
    > generation
    > of external mass storage in the news yet. They're just making the current
    > devices hold more and more data. ie: I still have a 250 meg HD, but it's
    > useless on this ages computers. It was outdated on my P1 less than 7 years
    > ago.
    > I'm using a 150 gig now, and looking at 500 gig HD's.
    >
    > Even the CD's and DVD's are being made larger. ie: I have 750 meg CD's,
    > but no
    > software to read them on the XP OS. I lost a lot of software with that
    > upgrade.
    > The software that wrote it is incompatible with XP.
    > --
    > more pix @ http://members.toast.net/cbminfo/index.html
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    What about abnormal magnets?
    K

    "Richard Urban" <richardurbanREMOVETHIS@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    > Normal magnets will not affect memory sticks which are just memory chips
    > in a different package.
    >
    > --
    > Regards,
    >
    > Richard Urban
    >
    > aka Crusty (-: Old B@stard :-)
    >
    > If you knew as much as you think you know,
    > You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!
    >
    >
    > "Husky" <cbminfo@toast.net> wrote in message
    > news:8s59819e5b5bt46u477na6ipbup2abusqv@4ax.com...
    >> On Fri, 13 May 2005 10:14:25 +0100, "Chrisssssss........."
    >> <chris@newsgroupinfo.wanadoo.co.uk> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Thanks for the replies. No-one seems to have mentioned 'memory sticks'
    >>>(or
    >>>should they be called flash drives). As these are solid-state devices,
    >>>how
    >>>long is their shelf life? They are now getting bigger and cheaper and
    >>>sound
    >>>a good option to me.
    >>>Chrisssss.........
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