Jump to content
Covecube Inc.
  • 0
gtaus

DrivePool for Data Storage Archive?

Question

I am looking for a better way to archive media files in storage. In the past, I used to burn backups to DVDs. With the larger media files of today, I have been saving files to 2 HDD's and placing them in the closet. But I read that HDDs degrade over time and can die in 4-6 years even in storage without being used. Is there a way to use DrivePool to create backup storage media that I could periodically reattach to my computer system and check for data integrity, and maybe catch and replace a failing drive before the files are lost?

My current idea is to take the old backup HDDs out of storage maybe every 2 years, transfer the files to DrivePool, and then copy back the files to 2 new HDDs (with DrivePool for those 2 HDDs using duplication). I would put the new backup HDDs back into storage and use the older HDDs in my current DrivePool (using duplication) so if an older HDD starts to fail, DrivePool would flag it and remove it for me.  Essentially, it would be a planned HDD replacement system as I don't trust HDDs of today for long term backup storage.

I don't want to reinvent the wheel, however, and if there is a better way to backup my media files for long term storage I would like to know how to do it even if I don't end up using DrivePool. Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

A properly manufactured HDD should not degrade in that short a time if kept well (e.g. dry, cool, dark). However, the magnetic patterns that store the data do slowly decay - whether the drive is in use or in storage - so good practice is to "refresh" hard drives every two or three years (i.e. check & re-write the contents). So your idea works well in that regard.

You might also wish to look at MultiPar which can create parity files that can be used to check and repair file damage of individual files/folders, and SnapRAID which does the same thing for entire/multiple drives - I know some DrivePool users rely on the latter for guarding their pools against "bit rot".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Thanks for the response. I'll look into MultiPar and SnapRAID to see how they work. FWIW, after I posted my question, I plugged in a 5 year old 5TB USB HDD and discovered it would not load up and I had no access to any data on that 5TB drive.

I did some research on YouTube and learned about a program called Hard Disk Sentinel. I removed the failed 5TB HDD from the USB enclosure and dropped the bare HDD into my desktop HDD caddy. After a period of time, it was able to load the directory and I could see my files. Hard Disk Sentinel reported that 5TB HDD had only 9% health and was in immediate danger of failing completely. For the past few days, I have been transferring files off that failing 5TB HDD onto my DrivePool, for storage into something more permanent later. I have moved about half the files off the failing HDD on to my DrivePool, and, so far, only a few directories/files have been unrecoverable. Point is, my theoretical question about failing HDDs in storage became a real life problem. So I am more serious than ever in finding a solution to long term data storage with the ability to recover lost/damaged files.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Glad to hear you've been able to recover (most of) the data so far. From past and painful experience I would not buy "external USB" HDD for any long-term use let alone storage; would rather buy a bare HDD and a decent enclosure separately.

If you're looking for new drives, you might find this article of interest: https://www.anandtech.com/show/12075/best-consumer-hdds - it also compares enterprise tier drives.

Possibly you might also be interested in the Data Hoarder subforum on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/DataHoarder/ - quite a busy place.

I looked at using Blu-Ray instead of DVD or HDD but if you go that route make sure you don't get any discs that mention LTH - that's organic dye and you do not want that for archiving. Also not to be confused with HTL which is non-organic and is apparently 25+ years if done right.

Honestly I think your plan of "planned HDD replacement" is probably the best KISS approach for a small number of drives. Since you mentioned using pairs of drives I'd suggest each drive being same size but a different brand (e.g. one brand X + one brand Y).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...