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How do *you* archive data?


lost_soul

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Seeing as how there are a lot of creative people around here, I figured this would be a good discussion. If you have files you would like to save for decades like content you have made for the mod, how do you do this?

 

Do you use hard drives, flash memory, optical disks, or something else? Of course there is no right answer and each has advantages. I personally go with optical media because once you burn it and you confirm it was successful, it is pretty robust. Just don't scratch it. Even if you do, you may be able to retrieve the data by buffing out the scratches if they're not too deep. It cannot be deleted by software or infected with malware.

 

My second choice is hard drives because they're fast, and hold a lot of data, but if they fail, you're pretty much screwed. Also, watch out for magnets! lol I figure this could happen if you got careless and stored an HDD near some large unshielded speakers (say 12 inch) or so. I should have tried this with the 12s I gave awy and a 2 GB hard drive. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8olnVpjAWc

 

Flash memory seems like a cool idea because it takes up so much less physical space, but it can get accidentally deleted, and I've heard that the cells can discharge over long periods of time without use. Is that true?

 

I never messed with tape drives, but I've seen plenty of cassette players decide to eat tapes out of the blue to scare me away.

 

My current solution is a Blu-ray writer. I understand that the more data they pack on these optical disks though, the more harmful a scratch will be.

Edited by lost_soul

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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My essential stuff is on Dropbox and mirrored on three PCs. My only practical/inexpensive solution for my 1TB of home video files is hard drives (and if I ever get responsible, the duplicates HDs locked in a fireproof safe)

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Not so extremely important, yet significantly important stuff:

on 2,5er harddisks; they're cheap, small and hold now up to 1TB/piece or so;

backup the same stuff on three of them and package tight+safe: One at home in a small fire-proof safe (they can be bought cheaply); 2nd one at grandparents house, 3rd one with friends.

 

Really crucial stuff is transferred to Mdiscs ( http://millenniata.com/m-disc/ ) : They outlast every other optical backup medium outh there; a m-disc capable writer is only about 20 euros and the media themselves are also acceptably priced.

MDiscs hold just 4,7GB now, but can be read on all usual DVD drives.

Here, too, I have one copy at home in the firesafe, the other two are stored with friends or relatives.

 

Some online cloud storage service is also used for stuff that I need regularly and which is not security crucial.

 

If you really have to encrypt, do it right:

Paranoid use of three different progs with different passwords in series, do crypto-operations only in a dedicated machine/laptop without net-connection and a live-CD (have harddisk,or ssd, WLAN/Bluetooth-modules removed,if possible run on battery(TEMPEST)), and check for hardware keyloggers regularly or better hide/lock up the crypto machine.

Use long passwords(30+), and write them down so you not forget them: of course, no password fully written down anywhere (you could brak them up in like 5 pieces, write them in small print in books/magazines/letters whatever; have copies of them, also breaken up in individual pieces and unrecognizable as passwords stored out-house (if robbers/thieves/police raid you and take your stuff, you need copies of data AND passwords).

I have long passwords (100+) engraved in a stainless steel plate, hidden in a hidden stone, for example. This may be seen as overly strange or paranoid, but no fire, war, thief etc. will get them and they rest safe.

I could wirte more on security, but I doubt you need all that paranoia. Hopefully, we keep a more or less free world.

Edited by Outlooker

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly while bad people will find a way around the laws." - Plato

"When outmatched... cheat."— Batman

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External HDs ... you can get a 1TB brick for like $50 - $70 now, yes also multiply backed-up.

Every once & a while I'll put important things on DVDs and store them away as a 2ndary backup.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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DVDs - I have archives that go back to 1999. They were originally on CDs before I transferred them. I do a major round of archiving annually, although I write a cautionary DVD at the half-year point. There could be more, but the parallel DVD/HD structure has worked so far. Well, it could be undone by something major, but let's hope not.

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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my stuffs backed up over some cd's, dvd's, some online storage, website storage on more than one website and with different isp. found out that cd's start going corrupt after a certain number of years, my dad's got some of the early cd's and he was saying the other day that the silver surface in the plastic has faded and is no longer readable.

 

I've also got some stuff backed up on zip disks, they are still readable, even if the system is way out of date. And the stuffs recoverable if you have the right software even if the index system fails. its documents mainly as they dont need that much space.

Edited by stumpy
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Yeah, I still have a parallel ZIP drive that works too. Pretty sure I got it in '96. I was thinking of offering it free to one of those retro-computing folks on Youtube who run Amigas and Win9x machines. When you can get an 8 GB flash drive for so cheap, it is hard to justify keeping bulky stuff like this around.

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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I use DVD-RAM for optical storage - it's slow and more expensive than basic DVD+R media, but it supposedly lasts for a much longer time due to its particular phase-change technology. The multiple back-ups thing applies too, important stuff I will save on DVD-RAM, a USB tape drive which I bought second-hand, and cloud-based storage such as Dropbox or SpiderOak.

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I only save photos, and I keep a backup copy on an usb key and I backup the whole every year on optical disk... not really efficient but between the original on SD card, copy on an USB stick and the last year backup I'm quite safe I hope... well except if my house burns...

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It's interesting - I'm amassing an awful lot more data than I did maybe even a few years ago.

 

If I had data I really cared about I'd keep a physical copy (DVD or some such) off site. Currently I have data I'd be a bit sad to lose, but nothing vital - so a web server and a portable hard drive do belt and braces for me. Having two+ backups is smart. I dropped my backup drive mid restore from a OS reinstall once and lost everything. Doh. Lesson learned.

 

Is it me, or does Windows still basically provide no help at all if you want to back up your stuff or restore? It's common place in Linux Land and I think MacOSX too, to manage backups automagically out the box so it all just happens without you having to lift a finger.

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IIRC Windows 7 includes a backup utility that can help you snapshot the system, but it lacks some features. Let's say you save a partition from a 1 TB drive, but it only occupies 30 GB. Now you want to restore it to a 160 GB drive... too bad! We've used the Ultimate Boot CD before and it only saves the occupied space, making the above possible.

 

But I always keep user data on a separate partition from the OS. That way, you can snapshot the OS or the user data independently. If I install some updates that destroy my OS, I just rewrite the image with dd and it is as though nothing ever happened. You can have a bootable USB stick with the OS image on it. If the image is packed with gzip, it will restore *faster* because flash drives are pathetically slow and the compression makes reading more efficiant.

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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I do (fairly) regular backups of my partitions with Macrium Reflect. Just have to make sure I tick the check box saying 'Allow access to restricted folders' when I mount an image otherwise I can get barred from opening certain folders.

 

Overall v. happy with it, and it's been a life-saver on a couple of occasions when the laptop's got infected.

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I use Power Archiver's back scripts to backup my files and folders in a 7zip format, every day at 1 PM. It's backed up to my Google Drive folder which is then immediately uploaded to my Gmail account/google drive account, and I rely on Google's replication.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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