Do I really have to be worried with HD failure?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by xi mezmerize ix, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. xi mezmerize ix macrumors 6502a

    xi mezmerize ix

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    #1
    I am going to be getting an external drive for back up and storage for movies. If I back up about once a week and occassionally watch movies of the drive will I have to really worry about it failing or is that not too much use and failure is unlikely?
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    Every drive will fail. If you're willing to accept the risk that your external drive (or internal drive) might fail at the least opportune moment, don't sweat it.

    The best thing you can do is keep multiple backups.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #3
    You have a bigger chance to win the jackpot in lottery than both drives failing at the same time. All drives will die eventually
     
  4. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

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    #4
    :rolleyes:

    Then I'd better buy a lottery ticket. I work in I.T. and I've seen it happen twice...

    If you have less than three levels of redundancy, you are probably going to lose data at some point.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    Seen what? Main HD and backup HD dying at the same second? The chance for that is fairly tiny. If you have the exact same data on two HDs, it's highly unlikely that you are going to lose ANY data. Of course that might happen but then you should just shoot your brains out because life seems to be too risky for you :p

    If we are going to talk about possibilities and what is the most SECURE way to backup, then you should use two online services and have at least three HDs in different locations (e.g. home, work and car).

    Of course the more the better but two HDs failing at the same time, especially when the other one is used like once a week and then kept unpowered, sounds very doubtful. Depends on that data you have too. If it's your precious pics of your kids, then it might be a good idea to invest on another HD but then it must be kept out of the house because in case of fire all HDs will die.

    If one HD fails, you buy a new one. That is part of the cycle of course as otherwise you only have one HD and if it fails, you lose everything. Of course it's just my opinion
     
  6. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #6
    If you count less than 30 seconds, then yes I've experienced it. :mad:

    I had just completed a clone. Verified it was good. Then booted to the internal HD. It then failed. When I went to boot from the clone I just made that HD failed as well. Luckily in this case, I had another clone that was a week old and was able to boot from it. (And I did an immediate clone.)

    That's why I now have three backup clones. And offsite. Data is just too important these days.

    So very true.

    Agree. At least two backups IMHO.
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G4

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    #7
    "If I back up about once a week and occassionally watch movies of the drive will I have to really worry about it failing or is that not too much use and failure is unlikely?"

    A good question.

    There are those who are fanatically devoted to the "Time Machine concept" that you MUST have a backup running continuously 24/7 as you use the computer.

    I'm not one of those.

    A once-a-week backup using clone software like CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper! will constitute more than the overwhelming majority of personal computer users do to protect themselves against data loss.

    If you shorten that to a routine of once-every-three-or-four-days, you'll be even more protected.

    If you haven't yet bought a backup drive, I would suggest this:
    1. Get one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Syba-Connecla...?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1253062702&sr=1-22
    2. Pick up a PAIR of "bare" hard drives. I think Seagates are some of the better ones being sold right now. Check newegg.com or dealmac for good prices.
    3. Use the SATA dock and CarbonCopyCloner to clone your "main drive" to each backup drive.
    4. Do your backups in rotation -- that is, drive one today, drive two four days from now, drive one eight days, etc.
    5. For even more protection, keep one of the backup drives "off-site" -- in a location OTHER THAN where the computer is, to ensure against fire, theft, etc. (even a fireproof data safe in the basement might work)

    The opening thread title asks:
    Do I really have to be worried with HD failure?

    Answer:
    No -- not if you back up.

    Once you _start_ to back up, you introduce a measure of insurance against hard drive data loss. The very fact that one DOES back up -- even if infrequently -- is much more important, and offers much more of a chance of recovery (in the event of HD failure), than not doing so at all!
     
  8. akm3 macrumors 68020

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    #8
    The bigger problem in your scenario is theft. You lose your main and 'backup' in one swoop.

    3-2-1

    3 backups on at least 2 different media with at least 1 offsite copy.
     
  9. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #9
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #10
    Sad thing about FireWire is that it's harder to find and costs some extra :( USB still beats FW400 though (480Mbit/s vs 400Mbit/s). I find USB being just fine, backed up 50GB 15 mins ago (been awhile since I ran CCC last time :D). Unless you backup a lot data often, USB does the job fine. The first backup takes a long time anyway so e.g. leaving it running overnight is a good idea.

    Why can't Apple just put eSATA in Macs :mad:
     
  11. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    #11
    Nope. FW400 still beats USB for throughput. You can easily get sustained 320Mb/s with a FW400 drive, but I've yet to see more than 240Mb/s peak with a USB drive.

    I've booted and run Macs off both USB and FW 400 drives and the FW 400 are noticeably snappier.

    It's because FW is peer-to-peer but transfer via USB is handled by the computer CPU.
     
  12. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #12
    Beat me to it! :D

    Also, when I clone using CCC, I do complete clones and not incremental ones. I alternate between three external HDs.

    When you clone 400GB plus each time, there is a huge difference between FW and USB. Well worth the extra cost for FW IMHO. :)
     
  13. xi mezmerize ix thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xi mezmerize ix

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    #13
    Im looking into getting a hard drive enclosure with firewire 800 and buying the drive separately (probably seagate) cuz i found cheap prices.
     
  14. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #14
    In the past I had cases for each HD. Did that twice (two sets of 4 external HDs). All with FW.

    Probably won't do it again.

    Now I use this type of device.

    Easy to switch HDs. Purchased a cheap plastic cover for each HD. Like this method better than enclosures.

    YMMV.
     
  15. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #15
    Sure, the chance the two fail simultaneously is slim. A far more likely scenario is having your backup drive fail, then when you dither in replacing it your internal drive fails as well.
     
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G4

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    #16
    "Sure, the chance the two fail simultaneously is slim. A far more likely scenario is having your backup drive fail, then when you dither in replacing it your internal drive fails as well."

    That's why you keep a SECOND (or even third) backup, and rotate them accordingly. :)

    This is where having "bare drives" to use with a docking station really shines.
     
  17. xi mezmerize ix thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xi mezmerize ix

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    #17
    No one really answered my question. I was wondering just about the external drive. With the use I described that would I put on it, would it be more or less likely to fail?
     
  18. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #18
    Several people answered your question. There really isn't any "more or less likely" to fail, because it is going to fail.
     
  19. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #19
    Nobody knows. It can fail even if it's barely in use. Eventually it will fail, that's for sure. When? If I knew, I would be a rich man
     
  20. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #20
    Your hard drive _will_ fail one day. It is quite unavoidable. Hard drives don't last forever. If you back up once a week, obviously you could lose whatever was added to your hard drive in that week. So your backup strategy shouldn't be "once a week", but every time that you added something to your hard drive that would hurt you if you lost it much more than the time you use for backups.

    So if you just downloaded $10 worth of music from iTunes - don't bother backing it up right now, worst case you lose $10, so what. If you downloaded 500 photos from your camera that are irreplaceable - backup right now. If you are working on a report that needs to be done by Friday morning and if you lose it you will lose your job - attach the hard drive and let TimeMachine do its hourly backups.
     
  21. Fishrrman macrumors G4

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    #21
    "No one really answered my question. I was wondering just about the external drive. With the use I described that would I put on it, would it be more or less likely to fail?"

    Here's the answer:
    It WILL fail -- eventually. No one alive can tell you just _when_ that will occur.

    Here's the solution:
    DON'T rely on only a single backup.

    Keep at least TWO backups.

    Keep one backup AT A DIFFERENT LOCATION than where your computer and regular backup are. I've come to the conclusion that a small fireproof "data safe" down in the cellar gives you a better chance for data recovery after a catastrophe (fire, etc.) than nothing at all. If possible, keep your off-site backup in a different building altogether.

    Even better might be two "on-site" backups (that you rotate) plus your off-site backup. That's about as much protection as an end-user can be reasonably expected to maintain.
     
  22. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #22
    Bottom line...

    Always best to error on the safe side. Backup. Backup. Backup.

    As has been said, all HDs fail eventually. It's just a matter of when.
     

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