USB drive vs External drive Data Retention - Permanent storage


After a scare I had with my HDD drive (Disk read error - Press Ctrl-alt-del to reboot, which happened for the second time, although persistently) I decided to back up all my important stuff (like photos albums and videos) to another device.

Although I had that error once, it was almost one year ago, and after a night leaved off (the computer), the next day the problem was no more. This time, I had to switch the motherboard Sata slot, or it wouldn't work. Anyway, that really scared me.

So I want to buy a drive to permanently storage my important stuff, and I'm thinking of buying either a USB pen drive or an 2.5" external HDD.
It would be used, let's say, once every 3 months, to store photos and stufff like that?
Which of those devices should I buy? What concerns me the most is data retention. Which one would hold the data longer in an uncorrupted state? And by the way, are those pen read/write cycle each time I make a copy or open for example a folder?

(The device would remain at home safe in a drawer :) )

Thanks in advance

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  1. Do not trust external USB hard drives to store data reliably -- they fail far too often (just scan the forum). I would trust a USB memory stick over a USB hard drive. I often use hard drives for backup storage but attach them direct to my SATA connectors with an Icy Dock.

    For something like irreplaceable pictures, I would use a combination of a reliable cloud storage (some are free depending on the size Google Drive and Microsoft Live Sky Drive would be good choices) along with another form -- and what if you have a house fire? On premises storage needs off site backup.
  2. Thanks a lot, I think I will head to a USB drive then!
    About online storage, I've though of it, and I would do it.... if my internet connection was worth anything. xD
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