Proper location for long term storage?

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

I have been keeping my very valuable disks, both program and data, in a
"fireproof" safe in my apartment - but far away from the computer and
regular usb backup drives.

The safe, which also had a sizable quantity of cash stored there, has
become damp and musty. A humidistat read 60% humidity inside the safe
which I think was from the large amount of cash in the safe.

Obviously, this is not a good system as I'm under an impression that
disks should not get damp :-)

Is it really better to keep valuable disks in a safe or would it be just
as good to keep them on a bookcase shelf?

Louise
20 answers Last reply
More about proper location long term storage
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    I think the better plan is to just give me the musty, stinky, moldy
    cash. Viola, your problem is solved.

    Irwin
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <MPG.1c5b2df058691b879897c9@news-server.nyc.rr.com>,
    Louise <none@nospam.com> wrote:
    >I have been keeping my very valuable disks, both program and data, in a
    >"fireproof" safe in my apartment - but far away from the computer and
    >regular usb backup drives.
    >
    >The safe, which also had a sizable quantity of cash stored there, has
    >become damp and musty. A humidistat read 60% humidity inside the safe
    >which I think was from the large amount of cash in the safe.
    >
    >Obviously, this is not a good system as I'm under an impression that
    >disks should not get damp :-)
    >
    >Is it really better to keep valuable disks in a safe or would it be just
    >as good to keep them on a bookcase shelf?
    >
    >Louise
    >


    Inexpensive document safes are frequently intended to protect only
    documents and are based on chemistry that emits water in a fire and
    the ducuments, after a fire, are safe but damp. It sounds like you
    might have one of these. These boxes destroy tapes and CDs in a fire.

    You shoud have multiple copies of your backups and one set shuould
    be taken of-site. Taking them home, from work, or vice versa.

    backups should be stored in reasonably constant temp and humidity.

    It isn't rocket science.


    --

    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Louise" <none@nospam.com> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1c5b2df058691b879897c9@news-server.nyc.rr.com...
    >I have been keeping my very valuable disks, both program and data, in a
    > "fireproof" safe in my apartment - but far away from the computer and
    > regular usb backup drives.
    >
    > The safe, which also had a sizable quantity of cash stored there, has
    > become damp and musty. A humidistat read 60% humidity inside the safe
    > which I think was from the large amount of cash in the safe.
    >
    > Obviously, this is not a good system as I'm under an impression that
    > disks should not get damp :-)
    >
    > Is it really better to keep valuable disks in a safe or would it be just
    > as good to keep them on a bookcase shelf?


    Buy a large bag of Cat Litter Crystals/Silica Gel, fill a few old socks and
    put them in the safe. Dry the crystals out in an oven every so often as
    required - or find out where the dampness is coming from.
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <1106340909.661393.41160@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
    ebct@hotmail.com says...
    > I think the better plan is to just give me the musty, stinky, moldy
    > cash. Viola, your problem is solved.
    >
    > Irwin
    >
    >
    Why didn't I think of that :-)

    Louise
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <css2hd$l6n$1@panix5.panix.com>, adykes@panix.com says...
    > In article <MPG.1c5b2df058691b879897c9@news-server.nyc.rr.com>,
    > Louise <none@nospam.com> wrote:
    > >I have been keeping my very valuable disks, both program and data, in a
    > >"fireproof" safe in my apartment - but far away from the computer and
    > >regular usb backup drives.
    > >
    > >The safe, which also had a sizable quantity of cash stored there, has
    > >become damp and musty. A humidistat read 60% humidity inside the safe
    > >which I think was from the large amount of cash in the safe.
    > >
    > >Obviously, this is not a good system as I'm under an impression that
    > >disks should not get damp :-)
    > >
    > >Is it really better to keep valuable disks in a safe or would it be just
    > >as good to keep them on a bookcase shelf?
    > >
    > >Louise
    > >
    >
    >
    > Inexpensive document safes are frequently intended to protect only
    > documents and are based on chemistry that emits water in a fire and
    > the ducuments, after a fire, are safe but damp. It sounds like you
    > might have one of these. These boxes destroy tapes and CDs in a fire.
    >
    > You shoud have multiple copies of your backups and one set shuould
    > be taken of-site. Taking them home, from work, or vice versa.
    >
    > backups should be stored in reasonably constant temp and humidity.
    >
    > It isn't rocket science.
    >
    >
    >
    Major problem is that home and work are in the same location. Therefore
    very frequent offsite updates are not practical.

    The safe is a Sentry made for the home/office. They say "2 hour fire
    protection" and "water resistant".
    http://www.sentrysafe.com/Products.asp?m=A3810

    How would I know whether it is designed to emit water - they certainly
    don't say anything to indicate that and they do say it's water
    resistant.

    Although a bookcase would provide relative temperature and humidity
    constancy living in the northeast does present temperature and humidity
    changes. It also provides absolutely no fire protection.

    Louise
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    [This followup was posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage and a copy
    was sent to the cited author.]

    In article <css2hd$l6n$1@panix5.panix.com>, adykes@panix.com says...
    > In article <MPG.1c5b2df058691b879897c9@news-server.nyc.rr.com>,
    > Louise <none@nospam.com> wrote:
    > >I have been keeping my very valuable disks, both program and data, in a
    > >"fireproof" safe in my apartment - but far away from the computer and
    > >regular usb backup drives.
    > >
    > >The safe, which also had a sizable quantity of cash stored there, has
    > >become damp and musty. A humidistat read 60% humidity inside the safe
    > >which I think was from the large amount of cash in the safe.
    > >
    > >Obviously, this is not a good system as I'm under an impression that
    > >disks should not get damp :-)
    > >
    > >Is it really better to keep valuable disks in a safe or would it be just
    > >as good to keep them on a bookcase shelf?
    > >
    > >Louise
    > >
    >
    >
    > Inexpensive document safes are frequently intended to protect only
    > documents and are based on chemistry that emits water in a fire and
    > the ducuments, after a fire, are safe but damp. It sounds like you
    > might have one of these. These boxes destroy tapes and CDs in a fire.
    >
    > You shoud have multiple copies of your backups and one set shuould
    > be taken of-site. Taking them home, from work, or vice versa.
    >
    > backups should be stored in reasonably constant temp and humidity.
    >
    > It isn't rocket science.
    >
    >
    >
    I just found more information on the Sentry Safe site about how they
    work:
    "Next, the double walls filled with Survivacast® shield the contents
    from the heat of the fire. Survivacast is an insulation that
    encapsulates water. As the water converts to gas in the heat of the
    fire, an endothermic reaction occurs which absorbs the heat."

    Is this the water-emitting chemistry you were referring to? If so...the
    answer seems clear - this is NOT good fire protection

    Thanks for your help.

    Louise
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <MPG.1c5b781ba7a432c49897cc@news-server.nyc.rr.com>,
    Louise <none@nospam.com> wrote:
    >In article <css2hd$l6n$1@panix5.panix.com>, adykes@panix.com says...
    >> In article <MPG.1c5b2df058691b879897c9@news-server.nyc.rr.com>,
    >> Louise <none@nospam.com> wrote:
    >> >I have been keeping my very valuable disks, both program and data, in a
    >> >"fireproof" safe in my apartment - but far away from the computer and
    >> >regular usb backup drives.
    >> >
    >> >The safe, which also had a sizable quantity of cash stored there, has
    >> >become damp and musty. A humidistat read 60% humidity inside the safe
    >> >which I think was from the large amount of cash in the safe.
    >> >
    >> >Obviously, this is not a good system as I'm under an impression that
    >> >disks should not get damp :-)
    >> >
    >> >Is it really better to keep valuable disks in a safe or would it be just
    >> >as good to keep them on a bookcase shelf?
    >> >
    >> >Louise
    >> >
    >>
    >>
    >> Inexpensive document safes are frequently intended to protect only
    >> documents and are based on chemistry that emits water in a fire and
    >> the ducuments, after a fire, are safe but damp. It sounds like you
    >> might have one of these. These boxes destroy tapes and CDs in a fire.
    >>
    >> You shoud have multiple copies of your backups and one set shuould
    >> be taken of-site. Taking them home, from work, or vice versa.
    >>
    >> backups should be stored in reasonably constant temp and humidity.
    >>
    >> It isn't rocket science.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >Major problem is that home and work are in the same location. Therefore
    >very frequent offsite updates are not practical.
    >
    >The safe is a Sentry made for the home/office. They say "2 hour fire
    >protection" and "water resistant".
    >http://www.sentrysafe.com/Products.asp?m=A3810
    >


    >HOW would I know whether it is designed to emit water - they certainly
    >don't say anything to indicate that and they do say it's water
    >resistant.
    >
    >Although a bookcase would provide relative temperature and humidity
    >constancy living in the northeast does present temperature and humidity
    >changes. It also provides absolutely no fire protection.
    >
    >Louise

    If you RTFM for the product you'll find that the manufacturer
    specifically says NOT INTENDED FOR COMPUTER MEDIA. That would be a
    clue.

    A house is not particularly good for humidity unless an expensive
    humidy control system is installed and used. You'd know if you had one
    by the electric bill. Unless you use year-round HVAC there is too much
    temp variation.

    A bank safe deposit box is good. Bank vaults have a controlled
    environment.

    --

    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Louise <none@nospam.com> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1c5b2df058691b879897c9@news-server.nyc.rr.com...

    > I have been keeping my very valuable disks, both program
    > and data, in a "fireproof" safe in my apartment - but far
    > away from the computer and regular usb backup drives.

    > The safe, which also had a sizable quantity of cash stored there, has
    > become damp and musty. A humidistat read 60% humidity inside the
    > safe which I think was from the large amount of cash in the safe.

    Is that because its laundered money ? |-)

    > Obviously, this is not a good system as I'm under
    > an impression that disks should not get damp :-)

    Yeah, you can even get mould growth.

    > Is it really better to keep valuable disks in a safe

    Better to have some fire resistance.

    Obviously better offsite for that tho.

    > or would it be just as good to keep them on a bookcase shelf?

    Not for fire or theft.
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Louise wrote:
    > I have been keeping my very valuable disks, both program and data, in a
    > "fireproof" safe in my apartment - but far away from the computer and
    > regular usb backup drives.
    >
    > The safe, which also had a sizable quantity of cash stored there, has
    > become damp and musty. A humidistat read 60% humidity inside the safe
    > which I think was from the large amount of cash in the safe.
    >
    > Obviously, this is not a good system as I'm under an impression that
    > disks should not get damp :-)
    >
    > Is it really better to keep valuable disks in a safe or would it be just
    > as good to keep them on a bookcase shelf?
    >
    > Louise
    >

    Why not dry out the safe by using bags of dessicant? And, 60% R.H. is
    well within the non-operating specs for typical HDs.
    --
    Cheers, Bob
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <Q4-dnWDDT-zT82_cRVn-vA@comcast.com>,
    Bob Willard <BobwBSGS@TrashThis.comcast.net> wrote:
    >Louise wrote:
    >> I have been keeping my very valuable disks, both program and data, in a
    >> "fireproof" safe in my apartment - but far away from the computer and
    >> regular usb backup drives.
    >>
    >> The safe, which also had a sizable quantity of cash stored there, has
    >> become damp and musty. A humidistat read 60% humidity inside the safe
    >> which I think was from the large amount of cash in the safe.
    >>
    >> Obviously, this is not a good system as I'm under an impression that
    >> disks should not get damp :-)
    >>
    >> Is it really better to keep valuable disks in a safe or would it be just
    >> as good to keep them on a bookcase shelf?
    >>
    >> Louise
    >>
    >
    >Why not dry out the safe by using bags of dessicant? And, 60% R.H. is
    >well within the non-operating specs for typical HDs.
    >--
    >Cheers, Bob

    If these safes are in a fire it's as if the contents were
    steam-cleaned. Papers are OK but disks and tapes have been subject to
    extreme heat and humidity combination. To obsess over storage and then
    buy the wrong product isn't really productive.

    --

    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Previously Louise <none@nospam.com> wrote:
    > [This followup was posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage and a copy
    > was sent to the cited author.]
    [...]
    > I just found more information on the Sentry Safe site about how they
    > work:
    > "Next, the double walls filled with Survivacast® shield the contents
    > from the heat of the fire. Survivacast is an insulation that
    > encapsulates water. As the water converts to gas in the heat of the
    > fire, an endothermic reaction occurs which absorbs the heat."

    > Is this the water-emitting chemistry you were referring to? If so...the
    > answer seems clear - this is NOT good fire protection

    > Thanks for your help.

    One option would be to get an extra safe for the data carriers,
    one that is intended to be used for data carrier storage.

    They will be tested differently for fireproofness, as paper
    can stand much higher temperatures without being damaged.
    Storage devices are also sensitive to smoke, another thing
    that does not bother paper.

    Arno
    --
    For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
    GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
  12. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <35f5nfF4mo4qnU1@individual.net>,
    Arno Wagner <me@privacy.net> wrote:
    >Previously Louise <none@nospam.com> wrote:
    >> [This followup was posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage and a copy
    >> was sent to the cited author.]
    >[...]
    >> I just found more information on the Sentry Safe site about how they
    >> work:
    >> "Next, the double walls filled with Survivacast® shield the contents
    >> from the heat of the fire. Survivacast is an insulation that
    >> encapsulates water. As the water converts to gas in the heat of the
    >> fire, an endothermic reaction occurs which absorbs the heat."
    >
    >> Is this the water-emitting chemistry you were referring to? If so...the
    >> answer seems clear - this is NOT good fire protection
    >
    >> Thanks for your help.
    >
    >One option would be to get an extra safe for the data carriers,
    >one that is intended to be used for data carrier storage.
    >
    >They will be tested differently for fireproofness, as paper
    >can stand much higher temperatures without being damaged.
    >Storage devices are also sensitive to smoke, another thing
    >that does not bother paper.
    >
    >Arno
    >--
    >For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
    >GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
    > "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
    >
    >


    Companies that sell computer supplies to businesses have media storage
    products in thier catalogs. I do't get those catalogs anymore, but Global
    and Inmac are brands that come to mind. Here are some data storage products.

    http://www.inmac.co.uk/catalogue/office%20supplies/Storage%20and%20Security%20Devices/Fire%20Safes

    They have, I recall, lots of boxes that look like suitcases with various
    enviromental ratings for computer media storage.

    You can use these descriptions as a start for a google for other brands.

    If you look up "safes" in the yellow pages for a big city you'll find
    companies that sell big safes but would at least know what you were
    talking about if you call them to see what they had to offer for your
    needs.

    I'd assume a 2-hour data-grade box would survive 99% of the residental
    total fires.


    If what you are storing is personal I'd get a safe deposit box at the
    bank I did business with. If it's a small business I'd just put the
    daily backup tape in my jacket pocket so it went home with me each
    night, getting it offsite.

    For business, using tapes, if you rotate media on a weekly/monthly
    cycle then environemntal issues are not an issue as the data is
    written freshly each time, and readback verification will warn you if
    you have a problem.

    Ambient conditions begin to be important after a year or more, and for
    business you need a serious discussin with your accuountant or lawyer
    as to what data to keep and for how long before you spend bucks
    on a vault.
    --

    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
  13. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Louise" <none@nospam.com> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1c5b2df058691b879897c9@news-server.nyc.rr.com...

    > A humidistat read 60% humidity inside the safe
    > which I think was from the large amount of cash in the safe.

    You can get silica in cloth packets designed to absorb moisture. Put one of
    these in a clear plastic box and leave the lid off. Check water level when
    putting more into safe.

    Try local photographic shop for a source. Also used to dry flowers...

    http://www.romwell.com/books/craft/SilicaGel.htm
  14. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <HAJId.2398$JI4.288892@phobos.telenet-ops.be>,
    CWatters <colin.watters@pandoraBOX.be> wrote:
    >
    >"Louise" <none@nospam.com> wrote in message
    >news:MPG.1c5b2df058691b879897c9@news-server.nyc.rr.com...
    >
    >> A humidistat read 60% humidity inside the safe
    >> which I think was from the large amount of cash in the safe.
    >
    >You can get silica in cloth packets designed to absorb moisture. Put one of
    >these in a clear plastic box and leave the lid off. Check water level when
    >putting more into safe.
    >
    >Try local photographic shop for a source. Also used to dry flowers...
    >
    >http://www.romwell.com/books/craft/SilicaGel.htm
    >
    >


    60% humidity is fine. It's the variation that's a problem
    with archival storage. FOr the long term it Silica
    would have nno effect on RH, once it saturated.

    If we are talking about inexpensive document safes, in a fire the
    chemicals emit large amounts of water and saturate the contents.
    Add heat and stir.

    --

    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
  15. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <cstmpg$fvi$1@panix5.panix.com>, Al Dykes <adykes@panix.com>
    writes
    >In article <MPG.1c5b781ba7a432c49897cc@news-server.nyc.rr.com>,
    >Louise <none@nospam.com> wrote:

    snip

    >>Major problem is that home and work are in the same location. Therefore
    >>very frequent offsite updates are not practical.
    >>
    >>The safe is a Sentry made for the home/office. They say "2 hour fire
    >>protection" and "water resistant".
    >>http://www.sentrysafe.com/Products.asp?m=A3810
    >>
    >
    >
    >>HOW would I know whether it is designed to emit water - they certainly
    >>don't say anything to indicate that and they do say it's water
    >>resistant.
    >>
    >>Although a bookcase would provide relative temperature and humidity
    >>constancy living in the northeast does present temperature and humidity
    >>changes. It also provides absolutely no fire protection.
    >>
    >>Louise
    >
    >If you RTFM for the product you'll find that the manufacturer
    >specifically says NOT INTENDED FOR COMPUTER MEDIA. That would be a
    >clue.
    >
    >A house is not particularly good for humidity unless an expensive
    >humidy control system is installed and used. You'd know if you had one
    >by the electric bill. Unless you use year-round HVAC there is too much
    >temp variation.
    >
    >A bank safe deposit box is good. Bank vaults have a controlled
    >environment.
    >

    Backups to be effective have to have a proper rotation between (at
    least) father, son and grandfather, with at least an element of off-site
    storage.

    Backups have to be done regularly and restores tested on a regular
    basis.

    How much you spend depends upon what it would cost you if you lost your
    data.

    I know of one company that did the risk assessment and found that it
    would be out of business immediately if it lost its data. Spent a lot
    of money on a large (you could have hidden the IT department staff
    inside the safe) fire proof safe designed for data storage, with a
    large margin of for the period of fire and water that it had to survive.
    This was in the days of EDS disks, you know, 11 large dinner plate
    platters mounted on a spindle and when removed encased in a clear
    plastic cover. The Honeywell system did not provide for tape storage,
    EDS would be fine even for back up.

    One assumes that the safe and disks survived the fire and the fireman's
    water, but they did not survive the descent from the 5th floor IT suite
    to the lower basement, nor did the disks.

    I have heard rumours, but it could be an urban myth, that some companies
    had their IT sites and their off site storage in each of the twin
    towers.

    The lesson is to run a proper rotation of back-ups, do it frequently and
    rotate the media between off-site and on-site. Your off-site store
    should be far enough away that a single event will not wipe out your
    site and the off-line site. The off-site must not be so far away as to
    discourage the regular rotation. You may therefore be able to come to
    an agreement with a friend who lives reasonable close by that you
    provide off-site storage for each other.

    Then you may not need to keep the back-ups in a fire proof safe. You
    may need to keep them secure if the data, is sensitive or would be
    valuable to some person of evil intent if they got hold of the data.

    --
    Nicholas David Richards -

    "Où sont les neiges d'antan?"
  16. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <O5QYvXABB88BFAMt@salmiron.co.uk>,
    Nicholas D Richards <nicholas@salmiron.demon.co.uk> wrote:
    >In article <cstmpg$fvi$1@panix5.panix.com>, Al Dykes <adykes@panix.com>
    >writes
    >>In article <MPG.1c5b781ba7a432c49897cc@news-server.nyc.rr.com>,
    >>Louise <none@nospam.com> wrote:
    >
    >snip
    >
    >>>Major problem is that home and work are in the same location. Therefore
    >>>very frequent offsite updates are not practical.
    >>>
    >>>The safe is a Sentry made for the home/office. They say "2 hour fire
    >>>protection" and "water resistant".
    >>>http://www.sentrysafe.com/Products.asp?m=A3810
    >>>
    >>
    >>
    >>>HOW would I know whether it is designed to emit water - they certainly
    >>>don't say anything to indicate that and they do say it's water
    >>>resistant.
    >>>
    >>>Although a bookcase would provide relative temperature and humidity
    >>>constancy living in the northeast does present temperature and humidity
    >>>changes. It also provides absolutely no fire protection.
    >>>
    >>>Louise
    >>
    >>If you RTFM for the product you'll find that the manufacturer
    >>specifically says NOT INTENDED FOR COMPUTER MEDIA. That would be a
    >>clue.
    >>
    >>A house is not particularly good for humidity unless an expensive
    >>humidy control system is installed and used. You'd know if you had one
    >>by the electric bill. Unless you use year-round HVAC there is too much
    >>temp variation.
    >>
    >>A bank safe deposit box is good. Bank vaults have a controlled
    >>environment.
    >>
    >
    >Backups to be effective have to have a proper rotation between (at
    >least) father, son and grandfather, with at least an element of off-site
    >storage.
    >
    >Backups have to be done regularly and restores tested on a regular
    >basis.
    >
    >How much you spend depends upon what it would cost you if you lost your
    >data.
    >
    >I know of one company that did the risk assessment and found that it
    >would be out of business immediately if it lost its data. Spent a lot
    >of money on a large (you could have hidden the IT department staff
    >inside the safe) fire proof safe designed for data storage, with a
    >large margin of for the period of fire and water that it had to survive.
    >This was in the days of EDS disks, you know, 11 large dinner plate
    >platters mounted on a spindle and when removed encased in a clear
    >plastic cover. The Honeywell system did not provide for tape storage,
    >EDS would be fine even for back up.
    >
    >One assumes that the safe and disks survived the fire and the fireman's
    >water, but they did not survive the descent from the 5th floor IT suite
    >to the lower basement, nor did the disks.
    >
    >I have heard rumours, but it could be an urban myth, that some companies
    >had their IT sites and their off site storage in each of the twin
    >towers.

    The NYC offices of Sun Systems. A big office that had no offsite
    storage for the local data. It was a big office. I had not heard that
    teh "offsite" was the other building but it makes sense, or we are
    talking about different companies.


    >
    >The lesson is to run a proper rotation of back-ups, do it frequently and
    >rotate the media between off-site and on-site. Your off-site store
    >should be far enough away that a single event will not wipe out your
    >site and the off-line site. The off-site must not be so far away as to
    >discourage the regular rotation. You may therefore be able to come to
    >an agreement with a friend who lives reasonable close by that you
    >provide off-site storage for each other.
    >
    >Then you may not need to keep the back-ups in a fire proof safe. You
    >may need to keep them secure if the data, is sensitive or would be
    >valuable to some person of evil intent if they got hold of the data.
    >
    >--
    >Nicholas David Richards -


    The safe isn't important for disaster/recovery. Offsite is _very_
    important. I tell small business owners to get in the habit of taking
    their daily critical data backup home in their jacket pocket every
    day.

    In business it doesn't take a fire to make your computer systems
    inaccessable, at last for days. Weather can do it. In NYC, doing
    disaster recovery planning for Big Bank, I've seen buildings
    containing our datacenters put out of reach for hours to days for
    reasons like a power substation explosion that sprewed PCBs and
    asbestos all over the street in front of a datacenter building. The
    police blocked the entire area off for about a day. The bank had
    hotsites and switchover plans. The branch and ATM customers never
    noticed.

    I also had a client lose the use of his entire office space for a week
    because of a burnout fire on the floor below. My client had heavy,
    heavy smoke damage but no water or fire damage. Exposed tapes and
    floppies were unusable but the equipment was all OK after an expensive
    D/R cleanup. The client had his data offsite, but didn't need it.

    It's called business continuity planning. It starts with a look at
    what the critical aspect of the business is and then planing for the
    computers, paper files, and freqeuntly over looked, the people.
    Sometimes an "loss of income" insurance contract is part of a
    contingency plan.
    --

    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
  17. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <ct0ibb$fs6$1@panix5.panix.com>, Al Dykes <adykes@panix.com>
    writes
    >In article <O5QYvXABB88BFAMt@salmiron.co.uk>,
    >Nicholas D Richards <nicholas@salmiron.demon.co.uk> wrote:
    >>
    >>I have heard rumours, but it could be an urban myth, that some companies
    >>had their IT sites and their off site storage in each of the twin
    >>towers.
    >
    >The NYC offices of Sun Systems. A big office that had no offsite
    >storage for the local data. It was a big office. I had not heard that
    >teh "offsite" was the other building but it makes sense, or we are
    >talking about different companies.
    >

    I could not remember the name but now you mention it, it is the name I
    heard.

    >
    >
    >>
    >>The lesson is to run a proper rotation of back-ups, do it frequently and
    >>rotate the media between off-site and on-site. Your off-site store
    >>should be far enough away that a single event will not wipe out your
    >>site and the off-line site. The off-site must not be so far away as to
    >>discourage the regular rotation. You may therefore be able to come to
    >>an agreement with a friend who lives reasonable close by that you
    >>provide off-site storage for each other.
    >>
    >>Then you may not need to keep the back-ups in a fire proof safe. You
    >>may need to keep them secure if the data, is sensitive or would be
    >>valuable to some person of evil intent if they got hold of the data.
    >>
    >
    >
    >The safe isn't important for disaster/recovery.

    I totally agree, however a safe may be necessary for security or data
    protection reasons.

    >Offsite is _very_
    >important. I tell small business owners to get in the habit of taking
    >their daily critical data backup home in their jacket pocket every
    >day.
    >

    Going OTT now. When I started in this business I remember that IBM
    used to specify that EDS when taken off site had to be carried in
    specially shielded containers to protect them from stray magnetism.
    Mind you, you would have had a job getting one of those into your jacket
    pocket!

    Even punched cards were supposed to be carried in a protected
    environment. My first employer had a van whose environment was
    specially controlled to protect the cards that it transported. By the
    time I started it was recognised that this was OTT. It used to make me
    laugh, when we would correct a hand punched card by sticking the chard
    back in the card using a specially moistened finger.
    --
    Nicholas David Richards -

    "Où sont les neiges d'antan?"
  18. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <Q4-dnWDDT-zT82_cRVn-vA@comcast.com>,
    BobwBSGS@TrashThis.comcast.net says...
    > Louise wrote:
    > > I have been keeping my very valuable disks, both program and data, in a
    > > "fireproof" safe in my apartment - but far away from the computer and
    > > regular usb backup drives.
    > >
    > > The safe, which also had a sizable quantity of cash stored there, has
    > > become damp and musty. A humidistat read 60% humidity inside the safe
    > > which I think was from the large amount of cash in the safe.
    > >
    > > Obviously, this is not a good system as I'm under an impression that
    > > disks should not get damp :-)
    > >
    > > Is it really better to keep valuable disks in a safe or would it be just
    > > as good to keep them on a bookcase shelf?
    > >
    > > Louise
    > >
    >
    > Why not dry out the safe by using bags of dessicant? And, 60% R.H. is
    > well within the non-operating specs for typical HDs.
    >
    I have dried out the safe now and it's down to about 45% humidity.
    However, that doesn't answer the new information I received when I
    discovered that my safe was "safe" for paper in a fire, but not for data
    disks.

    Louise
  19. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <MPG.1c5dd8da14f45cff9897d3@news-server.nyc.rr.com>,
    Louise <none@nospam.com> wrote:
    >In article <Q4-dnWDDT-zT82_cRVn-vA@comcast.com>,
    >BobwBSGS@TrashThis.comcast.net says...
    >> Louise wrote:
    >> > I have been keeping my very valuable disks, both program and data, in a
    >> > "fireproof" safe in my apartment - but far away from the computer and
    >> > regular usb backup drives.
    >> >
    >> > The safe, which also had a sizable quantity of cash stored there, has
    >> > become damp and musty. A humidistat read 60% humidity inside the safe
    >> > which I think was from the large amount of cash in the safe.
    >> >
    >> > Obviously, this is not a good system as I'm under an impression that
    >> > disks should not get damp :-)
    >> >
    >> > Is it really better to keep valuable disks in a safe or would it be just
    >> > as good to keep them on a bookcase shelf?
    >> >
    >> > Louise
    >> >
    >>
    >> Why not dry out the safe by using bags of dessicant? And, 60% R.H. is
    >> well within the non-operating specs for typical HDs.
    >>
    >I have dried out the safe now and it's down to about 45% humidity.
    >However, that doesn't answer the new information I received when I
    >discovered that my safe was "safe" for paper in a fire, but not for data
    >disks.
    >
    >Louise


    What's your question ?

    BTW: Humidity has to be in a mid-range. Too low is almost as bad as
    too high. Constant temp and humity is called for in any discussion of
    media storage.


    --

    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
  20. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Fri, 21 Jan 2005 20:11:00 GMT, Louise <none@nospam.com> wrote:

    >The safe, which also had a sizable quantity of cash stored there, has
    >become damp and musty. A humidistat read 60% humidity inside the safe
    >which I think was from the large amount of cash in the safe.
    >
    >Obviously, this is not a good system as I'm under an impression that
    >disks should not get damp :-)

    Separate from the issue of whether this is appropriate for data
    storage or not, many safes have the ability to use a small heating
    device specifically for the purpose of keeping moisture low. One
    brand name is Goldenrod, and they typically go in the $20-40 range..

    Some folks do this themselves with several small wattage bulbs in
    series (say, 2 25W bulbs wired in series). The reduced voltage and
    current extends the lifetime on the bulbs pretty dramatically. Some
    also use christmas light strings. In any case, it's a good idea to
    keep the lights shielded to avoid scorching.

    Devices like this are much more practical than dessicant, as they
    require little to no maintenance and are very stable. My main
    experience is with gun safes, where you want to keep the metal dry and
    rust-free but not dry the wooden stocks excessively, and the Goldenrod
    works great.


    --
    Neil Maxwell - I don't speak for my employer
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