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Hard Drives for Archive

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Hi,

I wanted to Archive old code, VMs and server images from my home lab, thinking of copying to a hard drive and storing it. Also planning to archive old photos and videos to this drive.

Can the drive be left alone sitting in an external drive case for long periods of time without turning on? (Months, years..)

My question is does the hard drives be turned on time to time to keep it functioning?

I am tired of storing in Optical disks (DVDs, BDs).

Photos and videos (RAW files and now 4K video files) are the most that takes up space, I am in need to buying larger capacity HDDs. Instead of carrying over old stuff to the new one, I thought may be keep the old ones on the old HDD and use the new one for backing up new stuff until it gets filled up.

Any advice?

Thanks,
 

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Nope. Just wrap it in a ziplock bag and shove it in a suitcase or wardrobe with the right cables and adapter and everything should be fine so long as your house doesnt get flooded or blown away in a typhoon

though it might make more sense to have an external HDD you could plug into USB or get a USB HDD dock - which ever suit your purpose more. The bonus of having a USB HDD dock is you can slide different hard drives in once youre done backing stuff upto one - its great if you got a load of spare empty hard drives.
 
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With the ever-increasing sizes and decreasing prices of HDD's (and all disk/flash storage in general) there really is no reason for not buying what you need now and then getting more later on...

As for leaving the HDD's idle for a while, I have quite a bit of data on some old Raptor 10k SATA drives from way back in the early 90's, which I only connect thru a USB/SATA adapter bridge maybe once a year or so, and they have yet to fail to spin up. Given their limited use over the past 20 years, I hope they will last a long time, and I do think that firing them up once in a while is a good thing......

Having said that, I know they will eventually die at some point, so I also keep everything on them on a 2nd but newer HDD too.... which I will eventually replace with even newer ones, yada yada yada, so that way I always have another copy of the data on reasonably current-gen drives as well as the old ones.....
 
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Hard drives stored for a very long time can stick the heads to the disk, which causes problems; the higher the capacity of the disk, the more prevalent the problem.

I have some 20MB drives that were stored for 20+ years, and worked fine, but I doubt new disks will survive that.
The hardest part was finding an RLL controller card, lol.

Have you heard of M-DISC ?

They're supposedly good for 1000 years, although I'm sure you'd have to buy an old drive here then to read them. :)

I burn 3 copies of stuff I want to keep and hand off two copies to different friends to keep, against the random fire or flood.

I still have code from 1985 that I wrote in Basica, so there's hope. :)

I'm actually porting some of my old code to QB64; I wish I hadn't used so many assembler libraries, tho.
One of these days I'll figure out how to port x86 assembler to x64 assembler, but it's not easy, apparently. :)
 
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Have you heard of M-DISC ?

They're supposedly good for 1000 years, although I'm sure you'd have to buy an old drive here then to read them. :)
M-DISC's lifespan is nice, but capacity is still an issue. Even with a BD-XL drive, the most that you can cram on a disc is 100GB.

And then there's media cost. An M-DISC DVDR disc runs about $2 U.S. each; an MDISC BD-XL disc will set you back $29. For the price of a pack of 10 MDISC BD-XL discs (1TB of capacity), you could buy a 10TB hard drive.
 
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Thanks all.

Yeah I have old drives that I need to consolidate, once I consolidate, throw away stuff that I don't need, I can reuse the old drives for Archive purposes. Of course when I backup I always keep 3 copies, 1 on server, 1 on onsite backup drive and 1 on remote backup drive. I sync the remote drive once in a while.

There are few drives that I haven't spun up for a long time, may be I should go through them and start cleaning up.

I also have probably 1 or 2 brand new drives that I bought and never got to use it. So time to clean up.
 

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Use the cheapest HDDs you can find.

Get two HDDs of different make and model (so they won't die at the same time) and RAID 1 them using a cheap enclosure.

Ideally you'd have a third HDD that's stored at a different physical location in case of fire

Copy to new storage (using modern IO interface) every 10 years or so
 
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I just use clouds for backups.
 
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Yeah my most valuable pics are on this drive. 15 Years old now. It chirps and lags but never corrupts files.

125643
 
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i lost all my famely pictures on broken HDD once, clouds saved me.
 
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True. That is the reason to save multiple copies.
At that time AMD k5 cost 3000 euro OEM, you dont just run out buy spare Hdd´s.
And that was the last time i touched AMD, now im trying my luck again :)
 
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True. That is the reason to save multiple copies.
Yeah definitely. I keep backups of all my phones(just the pics) on 4 Internal Hard Drives. I do not use the cloud so need to make sure. My most important pics are stored on a DVD though. I just have more peace of mind because its non writable. Correct me if im wrong but logically the best choice seems to put files on a SSD and storing it in an anti static bag.
 
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Cloud is best option really since its stored multiple drives and multiple location's. Its not that bad price but that would be question of how much storage do you need?
 
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Cloud is best option really since its stored multiple drives and multiple location's. Its not that bad price but that would be question of how much storage do you need?
Yeah very true. My internet is far too slow for the cloud. OP should definitely consider though
 
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Cloud is best option really since its stored multiple drives and multiple location's. Its not that bad price but that would be question of how much storage do you need?
just photos and videos alone close to about 700 GB. Then all other older VMs and ISOs, movies and crap close to 3TB. Right now I am using 2 x 4TB drives in separate enclosures. May be I should start thrashing movie collections and store only the most important ones.
 
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