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Prolonging hard drive lifespan and keeping data safe

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January 30, 2011 3:41:23 PM

Hi there. I have 3 backup drives as I am totally paranoid about losing precious pictures and other data after I lost a whole load of files when my old hard drive gave out. I have one hard drive which is external and is only plugged in when needed, one internal always connected to my PC and another which has my most precious pictures and files on it which never gets started up or moved. Will the one that is never used be OK or does it need starting every now and again? I dont know much about hard drives and whether they can lock up or anything. Also, how long can I expect my other 2 drives to last as they are getting on for about 4 years old now. Thanks.
a b G Storage
January 30, 2011 4:48:38 PM

Well 4 years is pretty old for an HDD. And an HDD's lifetime depends on its environment throughout its life. If the HDD ran in a constant stable environment meaning...it wasn't turned on and off to much, cool temperature, wasn't dropped or hit...etc then it should have a long life. Brand also means a lot, a good brand is likely to have better quality stuff.

And if I were you I would drop all that HDD backing up crap and use online storage like Carbonite or Mozy which backs up all your data that you designate every 12 hours or so...and I know Mozy costs a dirt cheap 50 or so bucks a year...and then you know your data is truly safe.
February 1, 2011 10:01:16 AM

Best way to keep data safe is use SSD, obviously its expensive, so is your using SATA, run your SATA and no more than 2 backups, one full weekly or something and the other an incremental backup to add to your full. This is what I do after loosing about 300GB of precious data a few years ago. Obviously the more backups you have the better it is, but you'll spend more time backing up than you will accessing data, one or two disks is sufficient, how you want to perform the backups are mostly down to personal preferance, (And previous loss!!!!!) :) 
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a c 302 G Storage
February 1, 2011 12:10:00 PM

blackhawk1928 said:
And if I were you I would drop all that HDD backing up crap and use online storage like Carbonite or Mozy which backs up all your data that you designate every 12 hours or so...and I know Mozy costs a dirt cheap 50 or so bucks a year...and then you know your data is truly safe.

Perhaps you should dial the intensity down when presenting an opinion. There are perfectly competent people around here who prefer to keep control of their own backups, instead of exposing them to the outside world where there is a risk that hackers may steal / trash said data.

There are legitimate arguments both ways, but calling an established practice "crap" because you happen to disagree is going too far.
a b G Storage
February 1, 2011 2:03:37 PM

WyomingKnott said:
Perhaps you should dial the intensity down when presenting an opinion. There are perfectly competent people around here who prefer to keep control of their own backups, instead of exposing them to the outside world where there is a risk that hackers may steal / trash said data.

There are legitimate arguments both ways, but calling an established practice "crap" because you happen to disagree is going too far.


^Uhm, I'm trying to help out, I didn't mean it in an "intense" way.

However, let me ask you this. Have you ever heard a word called Encryption? It might sound weird but data you backup on the internet via legitimate companies use this something called Encryption...its where your data is secured using a complex algorithm and key and you create a password. By your viewpoint, all your emails and passwords for all your accounts on the internet are vulnerable to hackers...unless you use some unknown company for your email its pretty much 100% safe from hackers...google, yahoo, Microsoft...etc...everything is highly encrypted. Tell me how many times you've seen or heard hackers actually hack somebody's email account lets say(I'll answer that for you actually...never), and I'm not talking about when somebody's account gets hacked due to their incredible stupidity like making a horrible password, but an actual hack where the encryption is successfully decrypted.? The weakest link in 99.99999%...100% actually lol, of hacked online accounts like emails is when the password is horrible, such as being way to short or using an actual word for it.

Backup companies like Mozy and Carbonite use industry standard encryption algorithms which are also used by governments, banks, corporations...etc. The data is secured usually with a 128bit or 256bit key. It would take a Super Computer hundreds if not thousands of years to decrypt a 128bit key depending on its type...Mozy uses 256bit keys which are exponentially more secure. Even the company itself doesn't know your password if you forget it, you're screwed, so you know its perfectly secure. So by your viewpoint, even the money in your bank is unsecure, you know what?...you should probably take out all money in your bank and store it as cash in your house...it should safer at your house which vulnerable to robbery, fire...etc right?

So essentially your argument may be valid but far reaching, unrealistic, and not worthy of consideration...at all. The backups you get from online services are much safer than home back ups can ever be...and more secure...and cheaper for you.
January 26, 2012 5:35:09 PM

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