Any advice for keeping my backup drives in a car trunk?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by oxband, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. oxband macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2009
    I want a second place to keep my hard drives that is not my apartment. I'm going to use my car trunk. Any advice? I live in NYC and it gets hot in the summer. Should I put them in a lunch cooler?
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'm thinking that even in a "cooler" (which won't prevent interior temperatures from rising, but only slow down the "rate of the rise"), platter-based hard drives may end up having problems -- due to the fact that they have moving parts and lubrication inside.

    What I do:
    I keep my most important backups on USB flashdrives, which I then place in a ziploc bag along with a desiccant to (hopefully) reduce humidity.
    Then, I keep the bag inside the car interior (storage compartment in center console).

    I've been doing this for around a year now, through the heat of summer and cold of winter, and the drives seem to be doing fine.

    I'm thinking that the same strategy might work with a 2.5" form factor SSD as well.

    The downside:
    Limited storage space, unless you're willing to maintain a "flock of flash drives".

    But again, my intent is to protect only the most-important data from "home disasters".
    The rest of it -- well, it's expendable...
  3. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    I wouldn't. The inside of a car can get HOT. Heat, even if the chips aren't powered, can kill them faster than you think. If you MUST, make sure the data is encrypted, your "most important" data also likely contains data that could screw up your credit rating if it fell into the wrong hands.

    Do you have a friend that would hold them for you? If the data is encrypted, you shouldn't have a problem handing it over. You can also rent a box in a bank vault and keep them there.

    CrashPlan actually lets you use their app for free if you're not using their cloud-based service. You can use the app to back up your data to an external drive or even to storage that a friend has and is willing to let you use, they just need to have CrashPlan installed on their computer with the available storage and they then give you a code to enter to connect to their computer. This option is encrypted as well, and your friend can't access your data.
  4. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    I'm from The City and in Portland OR now. The habit I formed there and still use today is to keep a backup copy in a nearby bank's safe deposit box, stored in a static-free bag with a package of desiccant. Cheap, secure, climate-controlled storage. There's a Wells Fargo about 2 blocks from here, and they're open 7 days a week with extended hours. It's not my main bank, but traffic around here stinks often (I'm on an island and that's the only bank here) t'd I keep about $500 in an account for emergencies. There's nothing on those backups that can't wait until the morning IMHO if I need them. Cheers!
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    And when the car is stolen, trashed, impounded, or totaled in a wreck? A passive cooler has high installation values that slow the temperature change of something inside....not stop it. So I am not sure what good a passive cooler does in a day or so.
  6. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Storage data on USB flash drive for extended time is a major mistake because I put ALL of my pictures on USB Flash Drive and put in the backpack for several months until I need it...All pictures ARE gone for no reasons...I managed to get all of my pictures back using recovery data manager program. I now put them on the spared hard drive instead.
  7. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    I would use an onsite local backup and a cloud service like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive before resorting to using the trunk of my vehicle as a backup plan.
  8. oxband thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2009
    I'm talking about 8 TB's worth of data so I don't think i want to use Dropbox or Google Drive.
  9. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
  10. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Purchase a fireproof safe do not use your boot.
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "Storage data on USB flash drive for extended time is a major mistake because I put ALL of my pictures on USB Flash Drive and put in the backpack for several months until I need it...All pictures ARE gone for no reasons..."

    What I described above in post #2 was only one backup of several.
    If I were to detect a problem with the "car flashdrives", I would replace the problem unit immediately.
    I have other backups as well, one in a waterproof/fireproof box in the basement.
  12. zettabyte macrumors member


    Jun 6, 2015
    I agree. At this point with having to back up 8TB of Storage, I would resort to an online cloud back up like Crashplan, BackBlaze or Amazon. (Of course with an Unlimited plan.) Placing your data inside of a car is not very secure, at least to me. Especially in NYC? Even if you're on a budget, a Cloud based option is still affordable. Just skip out on that cup of coffee for a day and you'll be set.

    Anything off-site for a back up is an insurance policy and well worth it.
  13. Pndrgnsvc macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2008
    Georgetown, Texas
    How about encrypting the data and then storing the media with a friend or neighbor? You can also store encrypted data on Dropbox. Or, emailing the encrypted data to yourself? Perhaps it's worthwhile to set up a special gmail account/address just for this. That way, Google does the storage and since you've encrypted it at 256 bit AES (or better), you are secure (practically speaking) and your data is available 24/7.
  14. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014
    A lot of people do this, I have at times. Drives can handle temps far higher than a car's trunk, even in southern climates. My concern was always the bumping around. I don't know how well a parked head can hold its parked position.

    I certainly don't worry about my 6 TB of storage. I do worry about a gig that's really important and it resides on 2 separate backup drives (one off site) and the cloud. For a TB of images, I use the same approach without the cloud. The bulk of the rest is commercial video and music. Easily replaceable, normal on-site backup.

    You're in an area where a major calamity is your concern. If you're ever there, I suspect all that data won't be very high on your concerns list. If your lively hood depends on it, forget the car and get a safe deposit box. Cheap, climate controlled and probably more convenient than wherever your car is parked in NYC.
  15. Orr macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2013
    Bury them in the ground. Soil is moist and cool.
  16. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    With some of the offers for free cloud space with some hardware, it maybe beneficial to purchase some upgraded hardware and claim the free space.
  17. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
  18. Command macrumors regular


    Jan 23, 2015
    Safety deposit box.

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