It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The best way to store data externally?

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 08:23 AM
link   
Can anyone tell me the best way to back up your comupter data externally? Is it still zip discs or is there something better at this point.

Thanks




posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 08:30 AM
link   
-Burn it on DVD's
-Get an external HD, I have a WD MyBook 500GB and it's a lifesaver!
-Tape it. Magnetic tapes are very expensive, but some systems have a very large storage capacity.
-Memorystick and portable mini HD are also a good option if you don't need to backup more than a few GB



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 08:39 AM
link   
I can guarantee that I know less about this topic than you do, Jonna.

Thanks for posting on this, though. I'll be watching to see what kind of answers you get.


Basically, I can see two dimensions to the question:

1) How tough is the medium.

If I lose the storage device in the back of my "puttin' drawer" for two years, and a coke gets spilled on it, will it still be usable?


2) How easy is it to find playback equipment, and what will it be like in 10 years??

In the early 90's I worked for a company that backed up its data on a "removeable hard drive" that required a special player . . . I haven't seen that device, or the 5" by 5" transparent cartridges, ever since. Poor choice.



My answers:

-CD ROM seems pretty tough, and quite cheap. Yet the market is changing so fast, I have concerns that CD players will go the way of the Betamax videotape, or 8-track audio tape. I do some backups on it, but never the SOLE device anymore.

-Memory sticks, "travel drive," "zip drive" etc.
Plugs into a USB port, which has been the standard peripheral port for over a decade, and shows no sign of going away. The computer mouse itself plugs into a USB port . . .

They are tough, too. I got a free one which I carry on my keychain in my pocket, where it stands up to incredible abuse. The outer colored plastic has worn off, but it still has all my data, more than a CD can hold.

I expect MP3 style will become the primary archive for data as well as music, it's basically the same as a jumpdrive/travel drive . . . .

.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 08:53 AM
link   
An external HD is probably the best option (if price is not one).

They usually come in fairly hefty cases, have great storage capacity, have better than average transfer rates and have the potential for better warranties compared to other mediums.

External HDs can be accessed by any computer with either a USB connection or FireWire (it depends on the kind you buy [FW is faster BTW]).

I overheated my Maxtor OneTouch II a couple months ago and still managed to get all the data back undamaged and I even got the HD running again after a couple hours (I could've got a new one with the warranty though). Many come with software that can help you password protect data and mine even has software where you can choose what you want to back up and press a button every time you want to back that stuff up (I don't use it though).

So I guess the only disadvantages of external HDs is the price and the possibility of overheating if you misuse one with only an aluminum case to dispense heat (but remember the warranty).

I guess you could use DVDs, but the problem with them is you need a good burner and you would probably want RW DVDs so that you don’t have to keep buying them. That means their lives will be shorter though and they are easier to scratch.

If you want portability, a flash (usb) key (drive) would be the best, although external HDs are still portable.

Oh and here are some prices for external HDs:
BestBuy (This isn't advertising BTW just the quickest to get to)

It would appear that they range from 80-100 USD.

[edit on 1/9/06 by Thaumaturgus]



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 09:33 AM
link   
For anything that requires recurring backups I'll typically use rewritable DVDs.
@ 4.7Gb of storage you can fit quite a bit of data on them, even more if compressed into zip files. The dual-layer DVDs offer even higher storage capacities.

As mentioned, the USB drives are very durable and their storage capabilities will only continue to increase, the largest I've seen has an 8Gb capacity.

External hard drives are always a good choice, whether USB or Firewire, and for the most part you're limited only by the size of your wallet.

On a side note,
For critical data, that which you simply can not afford to lose, I would stress redundant backups on some form of physical media. (i.e. CD, DVD, Tape)

Off-site storage for these types of backups would be recommended, as well. Safe deposit box, etc.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 09:40 AM
link   
If its going to be a permanent backup that you're going to wipe off the hd, don't use DVDs or cds because they can become unplayable after a couple of years, I went through my collection and had half a dozen which had totally deteriorated and another half a dozen where the metal was disappearing but hadn't reached the burned area yet.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 10:09 AM
link   
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm thinking that zip is the way for me to go as it would allow me to continue to save the information (via the drive) while being able to store the discs at a different location. I get the feeling that cds/dvds would be far to annoying to back up all of the information that I need too and not as reliable.

PS I'm just thinking about the worst case scenerio, which would be a fire.

[edit on 1-9-2006 by Jonna]



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 10:28 AM
link   
Avoid ZIP-Disks like the plague, I've heard many horror stories about them failing. Not to mention its proprietary, so if the company goes belly up you loose all support and then your up the creek.

CDs and DVDs as already mentioned have a short lifespan and are prone to scratches which make them fancy coasters. Heat warps them, liquids peel the writable surface(esp any liquid containing ammonia), in short they are cheap for a reason.

I can't sing the praises of USB attached hard drives enough, I have several to move around music, software, and keep my most sensitive data safe from disaster. I highly suggest buying the enclosure and drive separately as then you can switch disks out without worrying about voiding a warranty or anything.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 10:55 AM
link   
The only way that I know of for long term storage is to be prepared to use multiple types of media. Let me explain.
When I first started doing CAD drawings the 1.44MB 3-1/2 floppy disks were pretty much all there was. I kept duplicate backups on these for a few years. When I got a CDRW drive I transferred them to CDs. I have several Cds that I burned in 1998 and they are still readable. Last year I got a DVDRW drive and transferred all of my backups to DVDs. See where this is going? I still have the drawings that I did in 1994 now on DVDs.

What ever you do do not use the Windows backup utility to save your data long term. I know of several people who have used it and have been sorry. A friend of mine found out that his backup files from Windows 95 couldn't be opened by his copy of Windows XP.

Save your files in their native uncompressed state. If you are keeping files long term make sure that when you change software versions you open them and re-save them in the new version's format. I would be more concerned with having the correct software to open your stored files than with having the correct hardware. I have seen a 5-1/2 Floppy Disc drive still being used on a Windows XP system.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 11:52 AM
link   
Simply select out what you want to store on CD or DVD (like pics, videos, music, etc). Make sure, that your written DVD will be compatible with Future drives, I prefer CD/DVD RW. Because data can be extracted.

However, important documents should always be backed up on Floppy disks (usually documents aren't too large). Some people use old HDD drives for this purpose, a 1OO MB drive can wait on a shelf inside a rack. Needed, pop it in the computer, and have it done.

People often use a secondary drive built in, separated from the system, and it only turns on rarely, when the computer is backing up files.

PS: 5O GB DVDs are coming soon!



posted on Sep, 3 2006 @ 03:57 PM
link   
I've been working a lot with backups and have found that a remote site is the best option, preferrably two. Either you have a reliable friend or you can use a service like I use (Box.net) which is very cheap. DVDs/CDs, harddrives, zip disks, floppys won't help you whenever your house get's robbed, flooded, hit by tornado, hurricane, fire, earthquake etc.



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 09:25 AM
link   
Just a word of warning. If you go for CD/DVD backup then don't buy the cheap ones! They can become unreadable in a matter of weeks. Back in the days when software piracy was in its infancy we only used Verbatim CD's. They came with a 100 year shelf life guarantee.

Back in those days I would buy 100 or 200 at a time and with burning maybe 1000 CDs I've never had a problem with Verbatim. Granted they haven't been around for 100 years, but neither will you


With no-name CDs and similar (unknow) labels I've had maybe 2-3 CDs in 10 not work at all, and pretty much all of them fail within a year. And I wouldn't go for the CD/DVD-RW because the more times you reuse them the bigger the chance of failure.

So burn it on high quality media and store it in a dry, dark place. If it's really important data you should burn 2-3 backups and store them in different places. My two cents=)



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 01:49 PM
link   
40 years lifespan for the average DVD and for phthalocyanine and azo DVD's your looking at 100+ years, so burn it.

Magnetic or electron based storage can and will fail before a DVD's light-sensitive dyes will. So if your smart, you go with the cheapest and longest lasting storage medium available, or get used to flushing your money down the cyber toilet and learning the hard way.



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 04:47 PM
link   

Originaly posted by Regenmacher
40 years lifespan for the average DVD and for phthalocyanine and azo DVD's your looking at 100+ years, so burn it.

Magnetic or electron based storage can and will fail before a DVD's light-sensitive dyes will.
How do they know that?

The oldest CDs are some 20 years old, those lifespans are estimates based on artificial aging of the disks.

At first they sought that the lifespan of a CD would be around 100 years, but that was changed when after 20 years they saw that some disks were in a much worse state than they should have been.

Also, some drives do not like some CDs, and the DVDs are even more sensitive to the drives where they are used.

And do not forget that a simple scratch can turn a DVD completely useless.


I think the best way, and that is why I use it, is with external hard disks connected through USB.

You can buy only a case prepared for any standard disk or you can buy it all pre-made. If you buy only the case you can buy any disk you want or use any disk you already have. Some cases are really easy to open and made in a way that you could use it with different disks easily.

There is also the possibility of buying a case for a 3.5" disk (the disks used on laptops). This cases have the added functionality of not needing (usually) any power supply, the USB connection has power enough for most 3.5" disks.

Also, you can buy, if you have that need, a case that goes into a 5 1/4 drive bay and that has a drawer-like mechanism to put a standard 5 1/4 disk on it, so you can make a backup and take the disk away.


CD and DVDs are good, but only if they are good.

They can auto-destroy themselves if they are not good, and remember that they should be stored away from Sun light, light can "eat" away a CD, I have seen it.

The solid-state drives are good, but they have a relatively low physical resistance.



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 07:27 PM
link   

Originally posted by ArMaP
How do they know that?


Magnetic data is a crappy long term storage medium and then to suggest that a person also become dependent on a specific hardware device is nuts.

The CD was introduced in 1982 and Laserdiscs have been around since the late 50's and orginals still work. Scratches can be polished and data transfered to a new disk cost pennies.

I have 100's of CD's from the 80's and I lost maybe 2 due to misuse and bad handling. Nowadays, I just use them as masters and burn compilations to new CD's. On the other hand, I have seen numerous hard drives fail or their data become corrupted.

A dollar DVD versus a new hard drive...do the math.







[edit on 5-9-2006 by Regenmacher]



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 08:15 PM
link   
External HDs are the way to go imo. They rawk



if you get a special kenwood one, you can plug it into your kenwood stereo in your car and bump 40 gigs of mp3s



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 04:27 PM
link   

Originally posted by Regenmacher
Magnetic data is a crappy long term storage medium and then to suggest that a person also become dependent on a specific hardware device is nuts.
But the most used backup media is the magnetic tape...

I still have some tapes recorded in the 60s by my father, and they are perfectly usable.

Although I hate floppy disks, I still have some tens of floppies that work, made around 1995.


Scratches can be polished and data transfered to a new disk cost pennies.
If you are lucky, if you are unlucky the scratch makes the disk unusable.


I have 100's of CD's from the 80's and I lost maybe 2 due to misuse and bad handling. Nowadays, I just use them as masters and burn compilations to new CD's. On the other hand, I have seen numerous hard drives fail or their data become corrupted.
I had more CD failures than hard disk failures, that is one of the reasons why I prefer hard disks.

I had some CDs that worked OK but when I changed the drive they did not worked any more. Fortunately, I had access to another with a CD drive from other manufacturer that could read those disks.

I have seen an original CD and a original DVD (not writable disks, those are more fragile) brake in a way nobody expected.

And I have never seen a hard disk fail without any warning, and I have never lost any data because of this.

But one of the reasons I use hard disks and that I forgot to mention is the possibility of updating the backups, that is something I need and the best way to do it is using a rewritable method.



A dollar DVD versus a new hard drive...do the math.
The price difference is not that big, and if you really need the data than price should not be the stronger argument.


One thing that should be clear is that if the data is really important than we should make more than one backup, preferably in different formats, redundancy is the best way of being safe.

Some people do not like it, but if the data that needs to be backed-up is in a human readable format, one of the best ways is to print it and put it in a safe way.



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 08:03 PM
link   

Originally posted by ArMaP
One thing that should be clear is that if the data is really important than we should make more than one backup, preferably in different formats, redundancy is the best way of being safe.


Redundancy is probably the best advice I have heard, if you have critical data that needs to be stored. As for non-critical data like music and vids, I just as soon burn it, cause I might not ever look back on it and its value will eventually approach near zero.

Volume Holographic Optical Storage Nanotechnology

[edit on 6-9-2006 by Regenmacher]



new topics

top topics



 
0

log in

join