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fredzfrog

What is the best long term storage medium for data?

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Well, as per the title, what is the best option?

 

DVD's are cheep, but last 5 years ish...

How long do hdd's store data for?

 

is there any other options?

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DVDs, if stored well will last longer than 5 years. I have DVDs that are at least 4 years old, on shitty RITEK media burnt with a first gen burner that are still perfectly readable. And think about how many burnt CDs you have that are that old or older and still work fine. Not saying I'd trust it for this long, but still.

 

HDDs should be fairly reliable as well. *probably* more reliable than DVDs I guess.

 

The other option would be online backups. There are plenty of free options here. You could use your web space...

 

It really depends how much you value your data, and how much you want to spend. I'd probably keep all the stuff you couldn't bear to lose on multiple formats, and off-site backups too if possible.

 

BTW, if you want a cheap DAT tape drive let me know...no tapes though.

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if you were to say, put a hdd into a bank safe, how long can you reasonably expect the data to still be on it? 10 years? 20? (assuming you still have a pc capable of reading said drive...

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Realistically, if you were going to these measures you would be silly to store anything for that long without verification every now and then, and probably move to another format as it becomes cost effective. Because as you say, you may not have the hardware to read the data otherwise.

 

How long? No idea, maybe try StorageReview...?

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I would say redundant hard drives.

 

but that's just me.

I would say redundant hard disk modules with a filesystem ontop of it that prevents the possibility of corruption. I.e - ZFS.

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What about tape, LTO and the likes?

By far and above better, cheaper, and longer term - but OP seemed freaked out about tape and doesn't want to spend.

 

z

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The cheapest consumer way is to have several backups in several formats. Throw it on a HDD, throw it on some DVDs, throw it on a flash drive, and store safely. Then every year or so make sure each one works.

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just burn and print all data to Hard drives, DVD's, Hard copy's, Tapes drives. Seal them in anti-static bags and foam packing and bring them to one of those big banks with safe deposit boxes.

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I know one bloke with a USB 2 Hard drive cradle. Just insert a bare 3.5" drive, copy to the media and unmount and unplug the drive.

 

http://ieba.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/crsu2_02sm.jpg

 

Place back in factory anti-static bag and place in fireproof safe for storage.

 

Hard drives are far cheaper than any other medium, if protected from damage the data 'should' last for years.

 

Then as data volumes increase copy the smaller /older drives to larger newer ones.

Rinse and repeat.

 

I'm looking forward the the ZFS NAS project though.

Edited by CptnChrysler

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Depends on how much data there is to archive.

Flash is great for smaller amounts of data, Hard drives for larger amounts.

 

Obviously storing bare Hard drives needs to be done with care so they are not subjected to heat, dust, vibration, moisture etc...

That's where the fireproof safe comes in handy.

 

There's no perfect data retention solution on the cheap, but this isn't bad a bad way to archive a home user's data, especially if the safe is in a relatives house (offsite storage).

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Fireproof safes aren't really. They're designed to protect paper documents for a certain period of time. A fireproof safe to store hard drives would be quite extravagent and expensive.

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True but they add a good degree of insulation for normal day to day temperature changes and ensure the drives wouldn't get knocked around.

You'll note I recommended off site storage, that's really the only way to prevent a fire taking everything out in one fell swoop.

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For most people, tape is too expensive and complex but if you want to backup stuff quickly - tape is great. We use 800GB LTO tapes at work but then we have back up a few hundred GB every day. LTO tapes are horribly expensive (not counting the SCSI interface card and drive).

Edited by Jeruselem

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Fireproof safes are great, just make sure they're waterproof as well. It's all good and well your safe contents survive the fire, but the fire fighters are prolly gonna hose it down at some stage...

 

Offiste storage with eSATA is my safe bet, regular backups will tell you if the HDD is getting naffed or not.

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