Most robust storage media?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by GanChan, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. GanChan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    #1
    I have built up a substantial collection of MP3 files -- most of which were ripped from CDs that I no longer have (I had to sell off most of my CD collection in response to a financial crisis). Since these are now my only copies of music I paid a lot of money for back in the day, you can see why I'd like to make sure I'm backing them up securely.

    If I can't pay the monthly fees for cloud backup of the whole collection, I'd like to at least use the longest-lasting, most durable physical media possible. I'm currently backing up to an external HD, but I'm wondering whether one or more flash drives would prove more reliable over time.

    Recordable optical discs supposedly have a limited shelf life, though I have some that still work fine after 10+ years.

    Opinions?
     
  2. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #2
    All HDDs will fail eventually, so there are no guarantees... ever
    Your best bet is redundancy... more than one backup, regardless of the media you use
     
  3. slothrob macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    #3
    Most of the optical disks I've recorded or been given over the years are now unreadable (at least partially). About half the hard disks I've ever owned have eventually failed or use a connector to which I no longer have a way to connect.

    I now use the two hard disk system, meaning anything precious is on two currently readable hard disks at a time (one in my computer and one external and not plugged in when not being used to avoid lightning damage, which once destroyed most of my electronics). If one fails or if I get rid of my computer everything gets copied over to a new second hard drive.
     
  4. mrbash macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #4
    I think the most durable storage system is Magnetic Tape.
     
  5. ICY DOCK macrumors newbie

    ICY DOCK

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    #5
    Hey GanChan,

    To expand on what MacDawg mentioned...you can use a RAID 1 system (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) as an example, the 1 standing for what level, in this case a mirror backup. So the RAID 1 requires at least two (preferably same size, same model) SATA disks to operate, where the drive will copy all the files to the second disk. The second will act as a backup in case the first drive fails or vice versa. There are also a great selection of removable enclosures that allow to accomplish this as well, allowing you to swap drives freely when needed.

    Hope this adds some more insight and options to your question!
     
  6. bmcgonag macrumors 65816

    bmcgonag

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    I would add that on top of redundant storage of your backups (more than 1 copy) keeping a copy off-site is always a winning idea. This depends on how valuable the info is to you as to how far you take it, but backup to 1 HDD that you keep at home, and another that you keep at your parents' house, a friend's house, your cousin's place in Shaboigen...or wherever...that way if one is damaged in a fire, flood, natural disaster, or stolen, you may still have the 2nd backup available.
     
  7. GanChan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    #7
    Thanks for the replies so far. I do have a second external hard drive I can use for redundancy, though it's getting a little old. Would it make more sense, do you think, for me to use a SS drive instead of a second hard drive, since they have no moving parts and would therefore (I assume) age more gracefully?
     
  8. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #8
    Not for the dollar amount you are looking to spend. I would invest in a few hard drive enclosures, if you don't want to go the raid route, and back them up on a regular basis. I would also keep one off site just in case something were to happen at your location.
     
  9. ICY DOCK macrumors newbie

    ICY DOCK

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    #9
    Hey GanChan,

    rhett7660 has a good point and also the SSD market isn't as developed as the HDD market at the moment, and not to mention SSD are limited in the amount of storage it has. HDD's now are starting to use 3TB drives, but with SSD's your going to have to pay a lot to get more storage space. The good way to go still is to have as many backups as possible, in multiple places.
     
  10. MacTribe macrumors member

    MacTribe

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #10
    I suggest you use an application called crashplan which is free to use.

    Several advantages and basically a combination of what all these lovely peeps above have said. You dont need to worry about raid storage either, if you prefer to keep it really simple.

    In a nutshell:​
    Its really smart. its self healing and you hardly know its ever running. you can backup to a friends machine online ie free online backup, you can backup to a local harddrive, it does versioning like time machine but better - its compressed.​

    I've used crashplan for years now, I haven't found anything better.
     
  11. bmcgonag macrumors 65816

    bmcgonag

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #11
    I really like the look of this. I hope it turns out to be a winner. I've just downloaded, will try it tonight.
     

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