Are external hard discs reliable? Better to back up on DVDs?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by camilletom, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. camilletom macrumors member


    Jan 9, 2007
    I don't have alot of space on my iMac so I bought a Lacie external Hard Disc where I keep all of my music. I wonder if I should also back up all of my songs on DVDs in case the external hard disc DIES...
    Thanks in advance for your time.
  2. soberbrain macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2008
    You never know when a hard drive will die. I haven't had that happen to me, yet. ::knocks on wood::

    You could back up your music on DVDs every once in a while or buy another hard drive to back up music and all other personal data.
  3. iParis macrumors 68040


    Jul 29, 2008
    New Mexico
    Actually, I've been using an external hard drive for about a year.
    It holds my whole library and works great.
  4. MartyMoe macrumors regular


    That is a good idea, since all hard drives will fail eventually- whether it is just a corruption thing, or an actual mechanical failure, hard drives all fail. It is never pretty trying to explain to someone that their backups are gone... basically forever (unless they want to shell out a ton of money).

    I use an external drive, but I also burn to DVDs anything that will be crucial later. Never trust important backups to being in only one place.. unless you really don't mind losing stuff.
  5. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    If you're using an external drive for anything except a backup (and possibly even then), it should itself be backed up - Drives do fail
  6. muldul macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Sussex, England, UK
    Very true, i have had this happen to me many times, just make sure that the dvd you are backing up too is well protected from anything that may damage it (little sisters with sticky hands, Your cat:rolleyes:!)
  7. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    I've moved to using a mirrored RAID1 firewire drive for my backups for a couple reasons:

    1) DVDs also degrade and become unusable after awhile. With the cheap stuff that isn't listed as archival quality, I wouldn't bet on more than about 4-5 years of reliable storage. After that, the dyes tend to degrade enough that you lose data.

    2) A RAID1 backup drive protects from a drive failure via redundancy. If one fails, you will have some sort of window to recover the data from the second before it goes too.

    3) The point of a backup is to have redundancy, and recover old files you may have lost for whatever reason (in my case, user stupidity most of the time). If this is your main goal, then you don't have to ditch the idea of a HDD as a backup drive just because it will fail. All you need is for one of the two copies (the original or the backup) to not fail at the same time the other has failed. But this does mean you must use the drive regularly and backup regularly for it to make sense so you know that the drive hasn't failed between your last backup and when you need it.

    If you have smaller sets of data you want to archive, then yes, I would go for archival grade DVDs. You can at least expect those to stick around for a decade or two for the cheap archival, and then there are archival discs rated at up to 100 years. Do not expect standard off-the-shelf DVD-Rs to outlast a HDD, odds are that it won't.
  8. scotty96LSC macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    You have to have redundency when you are trying to preserve important information. A backup of a backup will never hurt. Backup to an external drive, then once in a while, or more often, backup that to a secondary drive. You will appreciate a backup when that drive goes kaboom on you.
  9. camilletom thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 9, 2007
    Thank you everyone for your support!!
    Ill now back up all of my music of DVDs...
    Hope it won't take too long.
    Does anyone know how much time it takes to burn on DVD full of music? (4,7Gb of music).

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