question about storing files on external hard drives?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by adammusic, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. adammusic macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2007
    so i just backed up everything onto one drive (lacie golden disk 500gb). i just read about hard drives dieing and losing info. this is stuff i cannot lose and have worked on for about 10 years. if i just kept this external on a shelf and rarely used long can i expect it to last. i took everything off my maxtor (250), western digital 250, and western digital passport 160. selling the maxtor and passport. how often should i update externals?
  2. adammusic thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2007
    or what is the most reliable form of storing precious files.
  3. bloogersnigen macrumors regular


    May 15, 2005
    Wherever the water flows
    CD/DVD/BRD/HDDVD are more reliable because their data is not meant to change. its meant to be burned and kept. Hard drives are meant to be written over so they are less permanent.
  4. adammusic thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2007
    how long should it last just sitting on a shelf?

    and whats the most reliable brand of dvds?
  5. robanga macrumors 68000


    Aug 25, 2007
    Another, although more expensive option that is less labor intensive than burning DVD's is backing up to a redundant hard drive. So basically having two drives and having one mirror the other or simply manually backing it up on a regular basis. Its highly unlikely the two drives would ever fail at the same time.

    In my case I even keep drive # 2 in the office when i am not backing it up. That protects the data from fires etc.
  6. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    I once had a hard drive that I used for a week loaded with stuff. Let it sit in the box on a shelf and took it out about a year later. Installed it in the computer and it was dead. I believe it was a Western Digital.

    As far as DVDs, just get a brand that you know such as Memorex or Sony. I've used both brands.
  7. n0d3 macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2006
    DVDs/CDs degrade over time due to the dye used in the disc. The most cost effective way to store your data will definitely be HDDs still.
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I think CDs are better than DVDs or harddisks. DVDs are more fragile than CDs.
  9. treehorn macrumors 6502


    Aug 21, 2007
    If it's really precious files we are talking here, I'd seriously do a triple back-up. Have them on a hard drive that you will access and use, back them up on a drive that is strictly for back-ups, and burned on a DVD (which, depending on how precious they are, you might just want to put a copy in a safe deposit box or at a friend's house in case of fire, etc).

    And if you do back up on DVD, do not put a paper label on them! In a few years chances are very strong that they will not work, and you'd have to use Goo Gone to get the labels off.
  10. amik macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007
    Good advice, this is what I do with my photo backups.
  11. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    cd's no fun lol

    here is what i do, i have my laptop drive which i keep important files. then a backup external. and then once every 6 months i burn data to dvd's

    wont it be nice to have blu-ray so i disk holds like 50 gigs lol

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