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Thread: What is the best storage media?

  1. #21
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    Nothing in a singular fashion is trustworthy over such a time span. It's not even worth debating. Why put all your trust in a singular media, as the need to periodically verify data integrity is the *only* way to guarantee it doesn't give bye-bye. I used to burn DVDs and said I would burn new ones every 6 months to a year. Never happened. Now even if you implemented *my* method, not mine actually, you could forego replacing the hard drive that failed. And your methodology is useless at that point. But replacing a hard drive is a hell of a lot easier and likely cheaper then stacks of DVDs. I don't know anyone who sits there and verifies their DVDs once a year or whatever. You can have duplicates of all your DVDs. But it's just too time consuming. It usually doesn't happen.

  2. #22
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    Another aspect is the expansion of cruft to fill the ever-increasing capacity of storage devices. 50 years from now, people will be asking about preserving their personal yottabytes (look it up) of data, most of which can be discarded without penalty.

    Today, I can carry around in one pocket storage equivalent to the largest tape libraries of the 1960s--maybe even all of them. 50 years from now, how much garbage will we generate to fill that ever-expanding void? Here's an article that should give you some pause.

  3. #23
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    A friend of mine just sent me this link from Seagate
    https://blog.seagate.com/craftsman-s...mr-test-units/

  4. #24
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    For my important data, I use a combination of hard drives and CD/DVD-r disks.

    Hard drives are much easier to access and store larger amounts of data, but the problem is that one erroneous write can wipe the entire thing out, and they really are not meant for long term storage.

    So basically, I burn archives to DVDs (or CDs for some smaller data) and then copy the same thing to an external hard drive. If I need to recall something, I go to the hard drive, but if something gets borked I can dig out the DVDs.

    I haven't really seen many meaningful long term storage comparisons between different CD/DVD/Blueray media. Basically avoid the really cheap store brands or no-names and there should not be much problem. I suspect single layer DVD-R would last longer than dual layer, it is usually a bit less expensive too.

    Compressing or providing some kind of CRC/checksum can save quite a bit of sanity and uncertainty. I have seen CD/DVD drives, hard drives, I/O chipsets, networks, CPUs, and RAM all flip bits for no good reason.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    Compressing or providing some kind of CRC/checksum can save quite a bit of sanity and uncertainty.
    Fixity checking -- yes

    https://blogs.loc.gov/thesignal/file...aft-2-5-14.pdf

    Compression -- NEVER

  6. #26
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    I just went through some CDROMs with photos written in 2005. Multiple read errors, and these were raw photos that are high data density. Same issue with a video DVD I made for my son's graduation back in 2005. Copies saved on hard disk drives from server storage are all still good. Right now I have a RAID5 array in a server running 24/7. Once a month I fire up the previous generation server which uses RAID1 and sync the data between them. Just bought a third server (single drive) to make data available ouside the house. It will sync to the other two servers.

    My caution covers both media stability and the possibility of ransomware, hence the server offline most of the time.

  7. #27
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    That does remind me that there ARE some valid issues with compression. I suspect many of us here have scrambled around to dig up some obscure briefly lived unarchiving tool before, or become frustrated when a file turns out to be a "helpful" self extracting executable that only runs under Windows 3.1 or some such. Or even worse yet, those pesky compressed Apple DiskCopy images that become uncompressable if you discard the resource fork.

    Both 7zip and Winrar have changed around their compression methods over their lifetime. Newer archives made with default settings will not open under older versions. I've also encountered some very old 7Zip files that won't open on newer versions, because technically 7zip files are just a container that can contain all kinds of different compression methods.

    Additionally, in huge archives with many similar but seperate files, using compression on each file can prevent de-duplication if your file system supports it. Some archive tools permit creating "compressed" file with no actual compression, which might be an option for some.

    Of course, if we are talking about backups, I'm sure Chuck could tell us all about proprietary backup formats with or without compression.

  8. #28
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    Yup--and the fun game happens when all you have is the backup, with no recognizable headers, with some unknown compression. Even when you think you know the backup program, you may have some guessing. For example, the tape backup on Win NT4 is called NTBACKUP, as is the similar program on 2K and XP, but they're mutually incompatible.

    Then there are the backup programs that have simply vanished from the face of the earth...

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    More important is whether any of you old geezers are still going to be relevant in 40 to 50 years.
    I'm not even relevant now.

    I use a mirrored Raid 1 NAS, hooked up to an APC to deal with most power outages (along with my router/wifi). I -should- be cloud backing up my nas but I haven't been, so instead I just keep hard drive copy of my NAS (every 6 months or year or so) in a fire safe. The Mirrored NAS + Cloud is the safest way to go (for data loss, maybe not security) though. I have all my data back to about 2000 when I started doing that. Stuff before 2000 unfortunately was backed up on tapes, which are unreadable now.
    -- Brian

    Working Systems: Apple IIe/II+/Mac+/Mac 512k, Atari 800/520STFM, Commodore 64/Amiga 3000/PET 4032/SX-64, IBM PS/1 2121-B82, Kaypro II, Osborne 1, Tandy 1000 SX, TI-99/4A, TRS-80 Model 4 GA
    Project Systems: Amstrad PCW 8256, Kaypro 2/84 (Bad Chips: 81-194, 81-189).

  10. #30

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    For personal archives, redundancy works for me. I don't have CD-ROMS or DVDs for this anymore. All my archives (about 750GB) are mirrored on Dropbox in the cloud, but also mirrored and synced on the working hard drives of three different computers, two at home, one on a laptop I travel with and one workstation at work.

    Tez
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


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