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Marty_Macfly

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 26, 2020
952
269
Hi All,


I have a 10 year old Western Digital back up drive, 1TB, with a magnetic spinning disk set up.

Very light usage, bit lax on backing up the laptops over the years! Not much of a tech user for the last decade.

Getting back into personal Computing for 2020 onwards, new laptop and iPad this year etc.


Questions:

1. Should I accept, due to age, I need to replace back up drive, light usage or not?

2. How old can one let this type of magnetic storage go, before replacing?


3. RE: NEW BACK UP DRIVES
- For max storage, are they still magnetic media? OR should I be looking at solid state back up drives as well, as a personal user?

- For Speed and robustness - is Solid state the way to go?



Hope you can advise

Regards
Martin
 

chabig

macrumors G4
Sep 6, 2002
11,293
8,993
Have a good backup plan to protect your data and then just let the drive run until it fails.

Hard drives still lead in cost per terabyte. Whether you replace it with another hard drive or an SSD depends on how much you’re willing to pay and how you use the drive. With very light use, I doubt you’ll benefit from an SSD.
 

0128672

Cancelled
Apr 16, 2020
5,962
4,783
Take a look at the storage options Apple offers on its site to get an idea of what's out there. You may find better prices elsewhere. I picked this one last winter in an Apple Store while getting something else and I've been very pleased with its speed:

G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE mobile USB-C Portable Hard Drive

1592751802213.png
 

ctjack

macrumors 65816
Mar 8, 2020
1,375
1,416
Your drive will work for ages. It really depends on the count of the bad sectors and hours it worked.
So if you just back up things once in a month, it may last you 20 years.
The best thing, which will tell you about the health of your drive is: S.M.A.R.T.
So SMART is information which keeps data about health. It even tracks how much your hdd was dropped.
I have used software "Victoria" under Windows, but not sure what is on the Mac. Anyway you will be good to find any software, with ability to read S.M.A.R.T data from hdd. You are interested in number of remapped sectors/bad sectors, so if they are higher than threshold, then it is close to fail.
Bad thing about ssd, they are less durable than HDD, and if it fails, you will likely lose your data.
While hdd can be even fired up or cracked, but you will still be able to recover your data.
 
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firedept

macrumors 603
Jul 8, 2011
6,278
1,130
Somewhere!
I have a G-Tech drive that is about 10 years old. Still works as good as the day I bought it from Apple. I will use it till it fails and then just replace it. As for SSD or spinner, I'd go spinner. They are cheaper, yes they are slower than SSD but will save you significant money. I use my drive to backup my computer once a month so it gets little use.
 
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Marty_Macfly

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 26, 2020
952
269
Your drive will work for ages. It really depends on the count of the bad sectors and hours it worked.
So if you just back up things once in a month, it may last you 20 years.
The best thing, which will tell you about the health of your drive is: S.M.A.R.T.
So SMART is information which keeps data about health. It even tracks how much your hdd was dropped.
I have used software "Victoria" under Windows, but not sure what is on the Mac. Anyway you will be good to find any software, with ability to read S.M.A.R.T data from hdd. You are interested in number of remapped sectors/bad sectors, so if they are higher than threshold, then it is close to fail.
Bad thing about ssd, they are less durable than HDD, and if it fails, you will likely lose your data.
While hdd can be even fired up or cracked, but you will still be able to recover your data.


Hi C,

Thanks for the sanity check :)

Cool, I’ll try that

Is that “Victoria” software easy to read - is it give simple - PASS/FAIL/REPLACE results?


Can I get it from Windows App Store?
 

Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
3,776
1,064
Personally, I'd say there's no real reason to go SSD for a backup drive unless you have cash to burn. Where backups are concerned, capacity > speed.
 
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Marty_Macfly

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 26, 2020
952
269
Bad thing about ssd, they are less durable than HDD, and if it fails, you will likely lose your data.
While hdd can be even fired up or cracked, but you will still be able to recover your data.


Great nod to “old tech” ?

Nice to see “old good” is still king ?
 

grmlin

macrumors 65816
Feb 16, 2015
1,108
775
I use mine until they die. ?‍♂️
But I also use an offsite online backup service, which I highly recommend!
 
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ctjack

macrumors 65816
Mar 8, 2020
1,375
1,416
Hi C,

Thanks for the sanity check :)

Cool, I’ll try that

Is that “Victoria” software easy to read - is it give simple - PASS/FAIL/REPLACE results?


Can I get it from Windows App Store?
You are welcome! ;)
I found easier software, called "HDDScan".
You will have something like this from it:
Screen Shot 2020-06-22 at 13.11.04.png

So basically if you are all green, then you are good. But if you have red and yellow like from the above picture, then you should look for another drive, as this one might fail. But it doesn't have to, still there is a chance. Depends on how bad your stats are.

Just download "HDDScan" and post your report here, so we could give some feedback.
 
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Marty_Macfly

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 26, 2020
952
269
You are welcome! ;)
I found easier software, called "HDDScan".
You will have something like this from it:
View attachment 925938
So basically if you are all green, then you are good. But if you have red and yellow like from the above picture, then you should look for another drive, as this one might fail. But it doesn't have to, still there is a chance. Depends on how bad your stats are.

Just download "HDDScan" and post your report here, so we could give some feedback.


Nice, thanks Jack ?

Can I download this app from the windows apps store?

Will take a look next time I fire up the the windows 10 machine :)
 

romanof

macrumors 6502
Jun 13, 2020
297
337
Texas
I can't recall the last time I had a drive die, but it has to be a decade or more. Unlike the old SCSI, PATA and early SATA, the ordinary drives now seem to have a lifetime far beyond the time when they are obsolete. That being said, multiple backups are not optional. I put all my data of importance in a couple of folders synced across several macs, so they get saved by several time machines. And once a month or so, an 'RV Backup" is made, that being where the drive is stored against total disaster in the home.

Ah. Memory comes back. Ten years or so ago, a friend with a six month old iMac had his WD drive roll over and croak. Warrantee fixed the hardware and time machine got him totally back up in an hour or so after it was returned.
 
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