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Hard Disk Preservation

MattC Avatar
9y, 6m agoPosted 9 years, 6 months ago
Hi all.

Odd one I bet you think...

Well I will probably be going away for a few years soon. I have an external 400GB hard disk with tonnes of family photos/videos mainly , a few music albums i've ripped etc, and a computer image for backup purposes. The main thing I am worried about is my photos!

I will not be taking the disk with me for fear I will lose it. I want to lock it away. How ever, how to look after it? What if it gets a bit damp in the cupboard I leave it? Orrr... a bug gets inside the disk and causes it to get dirty disc platters etc. Or it just gets old and creaky because it won't be touched for 2/3 years - see what I'm getting at?

So far, I have silica beads I think thats what they're called, to put near the hard disk to absorb moisture. I will probably plastic bag it very thick, bubble wrap it incase of knocks etc. Any other suggestions? I work in IT, but hard disks are never really archived away. They are just 'untouched'! The IT boss recommends burning it all to DVD, but that'll be super time consuming! I was thinking of sequential tape backup, but those sort of things aren't cheap!

I am looking basically for:

1. Ideas to preserve it.
2. Ideas to back it up, in case preservation fails.

I know discs can last in excess of 10 years (an old 6GB one is in use still right now!) but I've never left one untouched for such a period!

Thanks all - I like to leave REP ;-) :)
MattC Avatar
9y, 6m agoPosted 9 years, 6 months ago
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1 Like #1
[SIZE=2]If it's worth that much, back it up. 100 Taiyo Yuden DVDR for £25 or so, scan each one with cd-dvd speed to check quality.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]As for the hard disk itself: the units are sealed, and short of damaging the electrics with water, they're pretty hard to damage. Just put it in a cupboard, somewhere it won't get knocked, and it'll be fine.[/SIZE]
1 Like #2
Burning to DVD isn't a guarantee anyway.. Recordable media only has a certain life span.. Admittedly it's supposed to be more than the 2/3 years you're talking about.

How about buying a few extra external hard drives?

Have your main "master" external, and then just copy the lot onto each of the externals.. Maybe give each one to someone (different) you trust?

The more Hard drives you use, the better.. The chances of them all developing faults are pretty slim... My work is still(!) using PCs daily that are now coming up for their 7th birthday - complete with original HDs.

Cheers,
Gerard
#3
Cheers guys so far. Both repped.
I am considering a few extra HDD's!
I like to 'plan' for situations, so having disks in different locations, with people I can trust is a great idea.

Keep 'em comin'!
1 Like #4
For a start, be careful about where you tightly wrap it in bubble wrap/plastic bag etc and where it ends up...

You might end up giving good cause for condensation (even with silicone beads), which would be worse then just leaving it alone.

I would suggest just getting another drive and copying the information across, it's highly unlikely 2 x drives would die after not being used for a while.

Never heard of drives seizing up whilst not in use, and we have a few at work that sometimes don't get touched for a year or so, no effect with them and they are just laying around in a workshop.
#5
OOOO! I guess you're right.

What do they tell you to do with items that move from one environment to another fast. It builds up condensation. Is there a way to 'remove' it and then wrap it up you reckon?

I'm still pretty sure I want to wrap it lol!
#6
Think the best bet is just to leave it as is, but in a cardboard box with silicone beads.

Nothing is going to get to the platters, the drives are sealed.
#7
They are sealed pretty well I guess.

Box I reckon it'll be then.

My worry is though, it will be in a place that sometimes gets damp in winter though. I know its not the best place to put it, but security wise it is! Any further suggestions about that little area??
#8
Even in those conditions, the only problem you would get is if it were powered on whilst damp...

Just make sure that when it comes to being reunited with the drive, you bring it out and let it air in the conditions it will be used in, such as next to your PC.
1 Like #9
Put it in an antistatic bag with a few silica beads in a cardboard box. Get a second hard drive - internal or external, doesn't really matter, and make a backup onto that. Keep them at seperate locations in case of fire etc.
#10
Will definately get another Hard Disk!
Really appreciate advice people :)
#11
i heard bout some website which allows you to store data like a hard drive on thier web site. each person has thier own password and username. this way you can view it anywhere in the world and is pretty secure.
#12
You could try a belking HDD, I say this because belkin products have a lifetime guarantee.
If it was to be left in a house, could you not get a timer on a socket and make it boot the PC up every day and under the power options on the PC make it shut down after 5minutes? This would make it boot up and turn down everday or when ever you wanted it to!?
#13
pet3r
You could try a belking HDD, I say this because belkin products have a lifetime guarantee.
If it was to be left in a house, could you not get a timer on a socket and make it boot the PC up every day and under the power options on the PC make it shut down after 5minutes? This would make it boot up and turn down everday or when ever you wanted it to!?

The wear and tear effect that would have would most likely lessen the life of the drive...

Say the drive only has so long left on it, starting it up, shutting down etc would lessen that life. Better off just leaving it be and transfer the data back to your PC once you get back.
#14
Not sure if it is something you have looked at but I use a fireproof safe I got from tescos to store all my back up images from photography jobs I have done. So far I have had no problems with anything that has been stored in there.
#15
Hey Lynus may I ask how much it was? I was definately considering a firesafe!

Leaving my files on a webserver? Thanks for your ideas, I appreciate it, but being security concious, it's a big NO! Imagine if my account was breached! Plus uploading the few hundred GB....

As for lifetime warranty's - I don't care about the loss of a drive, rather the data. Lifetime warranty or not, they won't cover the data on the drive!

Keep em comin tho :thumbsup:
#16
Set up a raid configuration so if one drive fails you've always got a mirror image of the failed drive and then you can replace a failed drive etc.
#17
Iom-RF
Set up a raid configuration so if one drive fails you've always got a mirror image of the failed drive and then you can replace a failed drive etc.



depends on what RAID you use ;-)
#18
MattC
Hey Lynus may I ask how much it was? I was definately considering a firesafe!

Leaving my files on a webserver? Thanks for your ideas, I appreciate it, but being security concious, it's a big NO! Imagine if my account was breached! Plus uploading the few hundred GB....

As for lifetime warranty's - I don't care about the loss of a drive, rather the data. Lifetime warranty or not, they won't cover the data on the drive!

Keep em comin tho :thumbsup:

its good for pictures.
#19
Re dampness

What about those vacume packed bags?

You can buy them from Argos, ebay and most places now quite cheaply.

That would prevent dampness, and reserve it in its original state, plus it stops dust from getting in etc.

I would deffinatley recommend backing it up on to another HD, then maybe as an extra precaution put your most cherished items on to dvds/ cd roms - just incase...

Good luck with your move, I hope you find a solution!
#20
Edited due to a moment of madness
#21
MattC
Hey Lynus may I ask how much it was? I was definately considering a firesafe!

Leaving my files on a webserver? Thanks for your ideas, I appreciate it, but being security concious, it's a big NO! Imagine if my account was breached! Plus uploading the few hundred GB....

As for lifetime warranty's - I don't care about the loss of a drive, rather the data. Lifetime warranty or not, they won't cover the data on the drive!

Keep em comin tho :thumbsup:


Was about £20 - 30 can't be sure but item 200-5019 on tesco direct looks similar.

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