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After switching to digital photography, I started archiving my old photos, initially on CD, then DVD. I'd thought it was a pretty secure long term storage solution. Then, IIRC, I'd read something casting doubts on that medium, and with a years' worth of photos taking more than one DVD and the collection piling up, decided that a remote hard drive was a pretty decent and reliable way to store data. Finally finished scanning my and my dad's slides from the last century so they're out there too.

Last night had a brief discussion with my kid who was apparently of the mind that there were significant concerns about that.

So, I thought, hey, it's midwinter for most of MVers and I'll bet they're low on things to argue about, Laughing emoticon Sooo, any thoughts?
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What kind of hard drive, exactly? Magnetic or SSD?

I would tend to believe that SSD has far more longevity than a spinning magnetic drive.
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The larger issue is connectivity -- whatever you choose, will you still be able to connect it (and read it) in 20 years? How about 50?

I have seen a lot of storage mediums come and go. The only way to keep stuff available is to keep moving it.
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I am fairly happy with this SanDisk SSD, but at only 2TB, it might not be big enough for archival duties.
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
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jess wrote:
I would tend to believe that SSD has far more longevity than a spinning magnetic drive.
Spinning at the moment. I'd fully expect to be moving stuff to the next best thing as time passes. I don't expect to be throwing it into a box for a couple of decades and having something to view it with. Makes sense now, but I do have a couple of small floppies that are useless...and fortunately don't have anything of great importance.

It's kind of amazing how rapidly things change (old fart talking here)....we still have photos of my great grandparents that survived getting smashed, or cut up by kids with scissors, that look pretty much as they did 80 years ago. Then we moved to colors which seemed like they'd last forever, until the colors faded leaving an orange-hued memento. VCR tapes went bad.... or the players died..... digital seems so much better-for now.

Ultimately, I have to wonder if anyone will even care what I work to preserve anyway. Up until now our kid seems to be totally without sentiment on these things, so guess it's safe to simply satisfy myself.
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UTC quote
jess wrote:
I am fairly happy with ......but at only 2TB, it might not be big enough for archival duties.
Actually 1TB is generous at the moment.....

FWIW my kid is of the impression that cloud storage is the most reliable but neither they or myself are quite ready to shell out $$ indefinitely. Something about holding things in your hand......
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You are successfully identifying (and grappling with) all of the important issues around digital archival storage -- including the question of whether or not it's even worth it.

I have definitely moved through the phases of being only dimly aware of the issues, to being hyper-aware of the issues, to acceptance of the inevitable demise of my data. At this point, I just need to keep it backed up long enough for it to be useful.

Cloud storage is a good option, assuming the company stays in business. But yeah, I'm not wild about paying a monthly fee for eternity.
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fledermaus wrote:
Actually 1TB is generous at the moment.....
Here's a 1TB version of the SanDisk SSD drive, currently going for $108.
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UTC quote
Fledermaus,

1. I think your child may act disinterested now. As time passes
they become more interested in their past and wish they had
more information. Sadly, in many cases, three generations out
everything is lost.
2. I expect Jess's call is the most accurate. Move the stuff around.

I was fortunate to have an Uncle (that I only met once at 13 years old)
who did the family tree back to 1783 using the Mormon Church's
nationwide burial records.

I have all my photos digitally on Flickr. Probably not best.

Bob Copeland
Minnesota
Here is my Dad (front lower right) in a one room school house in 
Canada 1914.
Here is my Dad (front lower right) in a one room school house in Canada 1914.
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UTC quote
Depending how important the data, I personally put a lot of weight on redundancy. Twice now I've had hard drives fail with no warning I was very glad to have a second copy to recover from!
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Bob Copeland wrote:
I have all my photos digitally on Flickr. Probably not best.
Photo websites, in particular, have a pretty terrible track record in terms of longevity. Flickr has been around for a while, but I think it's been reincarnated a few times along the way.

Quite a few photo services have been bought, sold, shut down, or just lost all their data through neglect.

On a sort-of related note, Modern Vespa is literally littered with old posts that are missing photos, all of them pointing at some offsite photo service that went out of business or the owner just let the account lapse. It makes me sad. Meanwhile, we're still hosting all the photos that people uploaded directly to Modern Vespa, and will continue to do so as long as Modern Vespa exists. I think it's costing me a total of about $1.50 per month to store ALL the uploaded attachments at this point. I am completely happy to pay that.
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Many moons ago, a way to archive images (and films) in a way that might last for a very long time was invented by the Thames TV Engineering Department in the UK. A prototype scanner was made, but the idea never took off.

It consisted of monochome film. Consider just one frame: The luminance (Y) signal would take up half the width in an anamorphic fashion (width reduced by 50%) and the colour difference channels ((B-Y) U and (R-Y) V) taking up the remaining two quarters of the frame (width reduced by 75%).

Being monochrome, no colour degradation is incurred, and the resolution is just determined by the quality of the film grain. Future generations, even aliens, should be able to make equipment to scan and re-form the images. The longevity just depends on the quality of the film substrate. The only downside is the colour space originally used might not be obvious.
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UTC quote
All my digital media; photos, music, movies, etc. is all on spinning external hard drives. (Seagate, I might add. A friend was telling me Seagate is notoriously unreliable. My response was that in nearly three decades Seagate has never failed me. IBM, Western Digital and Toshiba have all failed me, but never Seagate. )
Anyway. My data is currently residing on 12 TB drive, that I plan on replacing sometime next year with ~20 TB.
This is my pattern. Every few years I roughly double the capacity of my storage media. (It started with floppies in early 90's, then CDs, then hard drives) I then copy everything to the new drive, and put the old one into my old PC parts box, where it becomes an unofficial backup.
I have not lost data since the IBM DeskStar (I later learned it was commonly referred to as DeathStar due to frequent crashes) crashed. Taking with it my only copy of a song I downloaded from the good old mp3.com, on a dial up connection.
I miss that song. So if anyone has a copy of a song, that was recorded live by a band, whose name I don't remember, that never officially published the song. About a girlfriend from Dublin. That swears and spits, and got nine kids. Who spit into the face of the boys mama when the old lady asked if Ireland was a part of the UK. The girl that you can take out of Dublin, but you cannot take Dublin out of the girl. If you do have a copy, please let me know.

Online data storage is getting pretty cheap. It is probably the best option for future storage. ICloud from Apple, OneDrive from Microsoft, etc. will store few GB for free, with various expansion options. If you know the right magic you can rent few terabytes from Amazon Cloud Storage S3 for (relatively) little money. Yet another way is to get your own website. Godaddy, or similar hosting companies, will host up to 75 GB of data for less than 10 dollars per month.
The problem with online storage is that if the company you store your data with decides to change its business model you could lose your online data.
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UTC quote
All drives die.

Personally I use a NAS with a raid mirror. Currently spinning rust but probably next time I need to buy a drive it will be ssd
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You guys, or should I credit MV? are amazing. Where else can you throw out a random question and get a significant number of reasoned responses from people you can reasonably trust (yeah, I know, naïve of me Razz emoticon )

MV rocks!
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SteelBytes wrote:
Personally I use a NAS with a raid mirror.
Er, what?
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fledermaus wrote:
Er, what?
Network Attached Storage, meaning a hard drive storage system that can be accessed over ethernet. And he uses a redundant backup scheme called RAID (the meaning of the acronym isn't that important) in a configuration called "mirroring", where one backup drive is an exact copy of another backup drive, and they are kept in sync at all times.

It is a fairly well-regarded standard for spinning magnetic hard drive backup systems.
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jess wrote:
It is a fairly well-regarded standard for spinning magnetic hard drive backup systems.
Thanks for translating that into something even *I* can understand.
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UTC quote
SD or micro SD cards [cell phones] will last a few decades
Cheap & robust
Anything USB based is going to work for the foreseeable future

Sata ssd's are being replaced by NVME [pcie] in newer computers
I would go with the newer form factor
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Garthhh wrote:
SD or micro SD cards [cell phones] will last a few decades
Cheap & robust
Strongly disagree. SD cards and USB sticks do wear out.
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fledermaus wrote:
Thanks for translating that into something even *I* can understand.
personally I recommend this brand www.synology.com
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SteelBytes wrote:
Strongly disagree. SD cards and USB sticks do wear out.
Sitting in a drawer, or under constant use? Agree that flash on almost anything is subject to wear with use, but I'm skeptical that an SD card sitting in a drawer will suffer much damage for at least a decade and probably much more.
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jess wrote:
Sitting in a drawer, or under constant use? Agree that flash on almost anything is subject to wear with use, but I'm skeptical that an SD card sitting in a drawer will suffer much damage for at least a decade and probably much more.
In use. Fair point though, if someone is using for archiving in a drawer
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SteelBytes wrote:
In use. Fair point though, if someone is using for archiving in a drawer
I did a little digging (though didn't spend a lot of time on it) and there seems to be some thought out there that SD cards in general might last about 10 years, though some are rated for more. And of course, that's not while in use.

So it's not definitive, and I probably overstated it when I said "probably much more".
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jess wrote:
I did a little digging (though didn't spend a lot of time on it) and there seems to be some thought out there that SD cards in general might last about 10 years, though some are rated for more. And of course, that's not while in use.

So it's not definitive, and I probably overstated it when I said "probably much more".
It's all down to neutrinos...
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UTC quote
This user base is amazing. Not just good scooter info but a ton
of technological latest stuff. Jess and others have produced an
amazing form. So good on you guys. I am just riding along and
benefitting. You guys correctly diagnosed every thing that ever
went wrong on my Vespa. My dealer service department would
remark - who the hell do you know.

Credit where credit is due - you rascals.

Bob Copeland
I have often said, when I am to old to ride, I will sell everything except
my Dragon Red GTS300.  I will sit on it in the garage, smoke a cigar and remember the past.
I have often said, when I am to old to ride, I will sell everything except my Dragon Red GTS300. I will sit on it in the garage, smoke a cigar and remember the past.
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A word of caution if you are using SSD for long term shelf (unpowered) storage... the JEDEC spec for consumer SSD only requires that an SSD retain data integrity for 1 year when left in an unpowered state. I'd recommend that you power up your SSD drives at least once a year for a day or so. This will allow the FTL (flash translation layer) firmware to refresh the data on the drive to ensure its long term integrity.
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caschnd1 wrote:
A word of caution if you are using SSD for long term shelf (unpowered) storage... the JEDEC spec for consumer SSD only requires that an SSD retain data integrity for 1 year when left in an unpowered state. I'd recommend that you power up your SSD drives at least once a year for a day or so. This will allow the FTL (flash translation layer) firmware to refresh the data on the drive to ensure its long term integrity.
Interesting!
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This post is primarily mac-centric but applies to Windows users as well, tho I don't know the details. Ms Miguel and I have been using Apple's iCloud to back up our phones and computers. Together, we use 103 GB of 200 GB purchased (I just checked) and cost $3/month. Compared to hard drives, SSD, and USB sticks, I don't to maintain or worry about physical devices, power, or backup of the backup drives, or worry about them being stolen or going obsolete. I only back up my user data (photos/movies, music, my documents). The apps are easily downloaded if I need thru Apple's App Store. Based on the way I have my Macbook Airs set up, anything I do on my MacBook Air is backuped in less than one second, even if it's just a single key stroke. Another advantage to iCloud is that I have two identical MacBook Air but in different locations that use the same iCloud account so each MacBook Air has the same data and are synchronized within a second or so of any changes on either machine. This way I don't have to carry my laptop with me so it's less likely to get lost and banged around. My files are also automatically stored on my iPhone. I'm glad to provide more detail is anyone wants them.

I considering selling the my two Apple TimeCapsules. Let me know if you'd be interested in owning them. One is 2 TB, the other 3 TB.

Miguel
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I've got a mixture of multiple external drives and cloud storage. For cloud storage I've got a terabyte with my Microsoft office subscription plu I can "share" up to 5 activations with different emails each with its own terabyte. Others are on Apple iCloud, Amazon photos and Adobe cloud (primarily newer photos edited on my iPad). I'm reasonably confident that Apple, Adobe. Amazon and Microsoft will continue to be around. Every now and then I buy a new faster, better external drive and make copies of my photo files. Lately I've bee moving to SSD.
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Miguel beat me to it. I just recently upgraded my iCloud storage from 50GB ($1/month) to 200GB ($3/month).

I have a long history of prematurely killing hard drives for whatever reason. If it doesn't fail without warning, I lose it at the worst time (for external/portable devices).

I'm also fond of how my Apple devices get testy and poke me if I forget and go more than 2 weeks without backing up. It's saved me more than once.
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Get a 4 Bay nas and install 4-8tb drives and raid 5 them.

I work with 4k video so my storage needs are out of hand.

I have two 8 bay Synology Nas boxes with 10tb drives in them raided 5. Something like 120tb of storage in my place, if I used them separately. But I have one mirror the other for two copies locally. Which is actually bigger storage than my workplace, a major national sports network! Then I back a third copy up to the Internet using wasabi which costs about 135$ a month for 17tb of storage of just the raw unedited footage and project files in the "cloud".
⚠️ Last edited by swiss1939 on UTC; edited 2 times
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With the exception of Modern Vespa, I am suspicious of "The Cloud". Companies come and go, and so would my files. I currently use a one-disk NAS ( I know) and a USB connected disk. I backup my data disk using robocopy /mir at startup. A two or more disk NAS is in my future, but not the near future. Members of another forum I visit recommend three or more backups, plus one in the cloud. I don't see the point.
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Syd wrote:
Members of another forum I visit recommend three or more backups, plus one in the cloud. I don't see the point.
House fire
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SteelBytes wrote:
House fire
I get it, but...
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UTC quote
Syd wrote:
I get it, but...
But.. Until you need that backup.

I've dealt with complete loss of local storage enough times to not put a but in the equation.

If it's your livelihood, the extra expense is worth it.

Wasabi is actually pretty cheap in the grand scheme. It's cold storage so as long as you don't download it all the time, your costs are stable and low. It's basically AWS bucket.
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swiss1939 wrote:
But.. Until you need that backup.

I've dealt with complete loss of local storage enough times to not put a but in the equation.

If it's your livelihood, the extra expense is worth it.

Wasabi is actually pretty cheap in the grand scheme. It's cold storage so as long as you don't download it all the time, your costs are stable and low. It's basically AWS bucket.
That's what the guys are, that suggest multiple + cloud backups. Pro photographers. I'm not one, so when I go, no one cares.
@garthhh avatar
UTC

Addicted
2020 Liberty 150, 2020 MP3-500
Joined: UTC
Posts: 562
Location: Reno
 
Addicted
@garthhh avatar
2020 Liberty 150, 2020 MP3-500
Joined: UTC
Posts: 562
Location: Reno
UTC quote
SteelBytes wrote:
Strongly disagree. SD cards and USB sticks do wear out.
They have a limited number of writes, which isn't a concern for long term storage of image/sound files
@birdsnest avatar
UTC

Not So Moderator
VNB VSC 09C VMA VSX - vbc vmb
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8011
Location: Hustletown, TX
 
Not So Moderator
@birdsnest avatar
VNB VSC 09C VMA VSX - vbc vmb
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8011
Location: Hustletown, TX
UTC quote
I lost all my music files (personal not Itunes) off a mag drive. I was relieved that everything was backed up on another magnetic HD. Turns out that drive was toast too. Sent both drives to "IT professionls" to see if they could be recovered and the answer was a resounding no. (Lost alotta pics too.)

I do have ADATs of some of the stuff, but mostly it's just all gone to the either.

If I was still storing that kind of data it would all back up to multiple SSD and the cloud. Live and learn.

The funny thing is... I'm more bummed about some of the old pics on those drives than the recordings.
@jimc avatar
UTC

Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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Posts: 43418
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
 
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@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43418
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
UTC quote
Back in the day I recovered many old-style HDs which had data losses using Steve Gibson's Spinrite ( https://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm ). It is still good at 'keeping alive' old backups.

A new version is due 'sometime soon' to cope with modern local digital storage devices.
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