Best way to look after hard drives (Lacie)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by portena, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. portena macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Hi there,

    My external hard drives are breeding. I've only ever bought Lacie and they've proven bullet proof for the years of use I've got out of them. Awesome product. I store our raw video footage on the majority of the drives (hence their breeding as they fill up fast) but once a drive is full I rarely have a need to use it again. They're there to back up the films and on the odd occasion that I want to go back and fetch something specifically.

    My question is, what's the best way to store these drives? Should I keep them plugged in so that they get turned on every day and "given a run" or should I unplug them and only turn them on when I specifically need to access something?

    and what's the consensus on the life of these drives ultimately? no-one seems to know..

    Thanks in advance.
  2. treestar macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010
    Keep them off and disconnected. Drive failure is usually measured by Mean Time Before Failure. I am pretty sure if they are lying dormant they are effectively frozen in time. Also, you'll be safe if there is a power surge.
  3. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Exactly. Magnetic media has a finite lifespan. Couldn't tell you what it is for modern hard drives though. Maybe 5-10 years if left powered off. Could be more. Particle polarization is strongest when freshly written and will slowly drift over time if not accessed.

    If something is really important, maybe consider copying it to a new HD (or rotating a couple of HDs so you don't have to keep buying new) to keep the magnetic bits "fresh".

    You could also consider archival optical media, though may be cost prohibitive depending on how much you need to store. And again, still has a finite lifespan.
  4. portena thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2008

Share This Page