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  1. #1
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Backed Up the Wazoo?

    Every so often I find a hard drive on sale and convince myself that of my main storage drives should be upgraded so I come home with yet another higher capacity drive.

    The other day I found a brand new 500GB 2.5" external hard drive in my drawer that I hadn't even used. I did a quick inventory and realized that I had amassed a LOT of drives (both 2.5" and 3.5") over the years and yet none had ever failed on me.

    So has anyone actually had a hard drive failure and if so, how old was the drive that failed? At my main business, we have some old computers (~10 years old) with original drives still going strong. They are used for specialized functions with old operating systems so they aren't worth upgrading anyway.

    Are we getting caught up in "backup mania" or is it really valid (enough to warrant 2 or more backups and/or equipment upgrades every couple years)? Or is equipment less reliable than before to warrant more frequent backups?
    Please do not edit or repost my images.

    See my website HERE.


    What's a Loupe for anyway?

  2. #2
    Learning more everyday! maplestreet's Avatar
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    Re: Backed Up the Wazoo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loupey
    Every so often I find a hard drive on sale and convince myself that of my main storage drives should be upgraded so I come home with yet another higher capacity drive.

    The other day I found a brand new 500GB 2.5" external hard drive in my drawer that I hadn't even used. I did a quick inventory and realized that I had amassed a LOT of drives (both 2.5" and 3.5") over the years and yet none had ever failed on me.

    So has anyone actually had a hard drive failure and if so, how old was the drive that failed? At my main business, we have some old computers (~10 years old) with original drives still going strong. They are used for specialized functions with old operating systems so they aren't worth upgrading anyway.

    Are we getting caught up in "backup mania" or is it really valid (enough to warrant 2 or more backups and/or equipment upgrades every couple years)? Or is equipment less reliable than before to warrant more frequent backups?
    I have had many a hard drive die on me but given the nature of my business (programming/web design) I put quite a strain on my hardware. When I was in college I worked in a Data Doctors shop and we would process 50+ data recovery's from failed drives a week minimum. I saw some very sad people when drvies failed so bad we were unable to recover anything from them. People lost thousands of pictures, documents, etc. etc. etc.

    Old style hard drives are very much the luck of the draw. It's a matter of having so many moving parts that can fail at any given time. You might have a hard drive that works under heavy strain for 10 years and still runs strong and you might have an expensive external Hard Drive that is used purely for backup and isn't even accessed that often that fails after a year and a half. (Which is exactly what just happened to one of my EHD's last month.)

    How long a drive lasts (other than pure luck) depends on a lot of factors like heat, dust, humidity, even the vibration caused by your fan or other periphrials can affect how long your HD lives. I've seen drives fried by the simple act of a kid pounding on a desk after getting killed in a game.

    That is the reason the industry is shifting to flash memory like SSD (Solid State Drives) the lack of moving parts equals a much longer life expectancy.

    So the answer is, yes, hard drives fail all the time and backing up seems tedious and unnecessary until one fails and you are thanking your lucky stars you have your data backed up. I honestly recommend (in lieu of buying backup after backup) simply using an online service like Carbonite, SOS or Crashplan. For around $50 a year (depending which one you go with) you get unilimited storage and you can be confident your data is safe and secure. Also the prices are falling every year.
    Bert

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    Canon 40D
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    -----------------------------------
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    EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Backed Up the Wazoo?

    I just have a 1.5TB external I back my photo's up to, that handles all my backup needs.

    I've seen a 60GB on its last leg, but it still allowed me to access data... Actually, it was just super loud and made a high pitched grinding whining noise, maybe it would have worked a while longer, but I didn't care to find out. I also saw a 10GB fail, and a 350MB fail, you can take a guess how old those are.

    I think its asinine to have excessive backup routine. If you have your stuff on two hard drives, that is good enough. They are NOT going to fail you simultaneously. The only thing you've got to worry about then, is a fire starting right next to your computer, or theft, if both drives happen to get stolen at the same time.

    *edit - aaah, I just remembered, my dad's 7200RPM 500GB in his laptop failed him, but that was a result of a bad south bridge frying the firmware on it. But it does go to show, HD failure is a lot more likely on a laptop, with a smaller drive that moves all the time, than a stationary desktop machine.
    .
    *edit - ooooh yeah and another 60GB, a 2.5" that also had a fried firmware. Geez, how could I forget these laptops? Still, those laptops gave plenty of notice that they were on their way out before they finally fried the HD's, when the HD's got fried nobody was surprised. It was a problem of the SB that managed the HD's, not the HD's themselves.

  4. #4
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Backed Up the Wazoo?

    I think its asinine to have excessive backup routine. If you have your stuff on two hard drives, that is good enough
    Excuse me while I rof,l

    I've had two drives in a 4-disk RAID array fail, losing all data.
    I've had multiple drive failures in a network server, not sure what the cause was, we lost the server and all its data though.

    Backup is essential if you value your data.
    I have a 2TB RAID NAS as my primary storage on the house LAN.
    The 1st NAS backs up my D: drive on the PC where my Lightroom data is daily.
    Next to it is a second 2TB RAID NAS to which it backs up every night.
    Next to that is a third 1.5TB NAS that backs up 2010-11 images from the 2nd NAS.

    I also buy a cheap 2TB hard disk whey they're on sale (under 100) and backup all the images from the NAS every 6 months or so. Which protects me from multiple failures.

    The only thing I'm not doing is an offsite backup from NAS to NAS, though I plan to do that once I get the power and LAN laid out to the garage.

    Call me asinine, if you like.
    But I've worked in IT for over 30 years and have learned not to trust it.
    PAul

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  5. #5
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Backed Up the Wazoo?

    Have you ever seen a situation in which the source and the backup both fail simultaneously? (*edit - two hard drives on a single striped raid would still be one source).

    The main storage of my images is on my primary desktop, which is backed up periodically to an external ESata drive, which is otherwise left off and stationary. It would be one heck of a struck-by-lightning coincidence that they both fail me at the same time, I am more worried about winning powerball than I am both drives failing me simultaneously. Hence, why I call it asinine.

  6. #6
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Backed Up the Wazoo?

    Gentlemen, thank you for your responses. It definitely presents a different perspective to what I have experienced to date.

    Now that I post this thread, I'm sure Mr. Murphy will strike my drives down. It reminds me that I should perform my rudimentary backup scheme (which I usually only do a couple times a year).

    I keep all my RAW files and processed files on 5 external 2.5" drives that I keep in my laptop case and with me at all times. These files I copy over to my 3.5" drives off-site (when I remember to do it ) That's about it.

    If only the manufacturers would stop making such cheap and cool-looking hard drives so I wouldn't keep buying new ones.
    Please do not edit or repost my images.

    See my website HERE.


    What's a Loupe for anyway?

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