Question Best medias for long term storage of files ?

cloudff7ps1

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I store my important files on DVD MDisc media but I plan to store these files on other
physical media as well, what is the most durable, weather and weather resistant
physical media to store the files? media that I don't need to constantly energize just save
 

Lutfij

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Discs are prone to scratching. If I were you, I'd look into a portable HDD/SSD or large capacity pen drives. Once data is moved onto them, disconnect and store them away from water, heat or toddlers who damage anything. I tend to work with SSD's/HDD's and a drive dock, once I've migrated what I need to migrate, I eject the drive from the OS, power down the dock and then remove the drive in question.
 

Tom cruise432

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Sep 13, 2022
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With so many internal moving parts, something will ultimately break down. Purchasing high-quality drives just makes sense, as it would with any storage medium used to hold crucial data. Even though HDDs have been around for a while, they are anticipated to continue being the most popular storage medium in 2022.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I store my important files on DVD MDisc media but I plan to store these files on other
physical media as well, what is the most durable, weather and weather resistant
physical media to store the files? media that I don't need to constantly energize just save
In the multiple threads you've had on this same topic in the last several years, which of your concerns have not been addressed?
 

Math Geek

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honestly NEVER had any media lose data on me. be it, cd/dvd, spinning hdd disconnected and sitting in a box or an ssd sitting in a box.


"long term" is relative as nothing is going to last 20 years or whatever. i had a lot of stuff on dvd for a while and moved it to a hdd as storage for a long time when those prices dropped. and moved it to an external ssd when they got cheap enough. it's not like you have to decide today and never ever change your mind and move it to other media.

keep in mind your burned dvd's don't last as long as pressed commercial ones. they can scratch and the layer that the laser etches its data onto degrades over time. sitting in a case in a box and never touched it will obviously last longer than one in regular use but it is not a long term solution for sure.

the gov and other entities that are interested in VERY long term storage still use good ol tape drives. that tells me it's likely the best they have found after testing :)
 
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BFG-9000

Distinguished
If history is any guide, then the actual best media for very long-term storage of data is engraving it into stone or shells. We have examples of engravings that have survived for nearly half a million years, by far predating the arrival of modern humans and even older than the oldest Neanderthal bones that have been found.

The oldest known rewritable long-term storage media is just 8,000 years old, and that's probably only because we didn't manage to invent writing until around then, and thus created a need to fix typos. The clay media can be rewritten as many times as needed until it is finalized by firing.

So if you are trying to leave a message for the lizard people who will arise long after the demise of humanity, etching it out in large print onto something like glass blocks is the way to go. It is very unlikely they would even notice there was data in a sequence of pits on a shard of DVD or even 5D optical data storage (the memory crystals put into Musk's Tesla in space and Microsoft's 10,000-year Git depository archive) because they would have to intentionally go looking for it and it may never occur to them to do so.

BTW just this year, Superworms have been discovered that can survive on just polystyrene. Just like a cow cannot actually digest cellulose but uses symbiotic bacteria in its gut to do it for them, bacteria that can generate enzymes that break down plastics also live in the gut of those Superworms. Why is this important? All of the coal in the world was deposited between 360 million and 200 million years ago because that was the time between when plants invented woody lignin (which allowed for the first trees) and bacteria + fungi developed a way to break it down into compost. It was expected that plastics would last for a similar length of time before evolution would figure out a way to break that down for food, but here we are not even a century after the introduction of plastics.

So it's glass or stone blocks, or fired clay if you don't need something quite so permanent.
 

USAFRet

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honestly NEVER had any media lose data on me. be it, cd/dvd, spinning hdd disconnected and sitting in a box or an ssd sitting in a box.


"long term" is relative as nothing is going to last 20 years or whatever. i had a lot of stuff on dvd for a while and moved it to a hdd as storage for a long time when those prices dropped. and moved it to an external ssd when they got cheap enough. it's not like you have to decide today and never ever change your mind and move it to other media.
I've had a CD delaminate, several other unreadable due to fungus, another literally explode in the DVD drive (this also killed the DVD drive).
And of course a few HDDs, a 960GB SSD.

Defense in depth.
Never keep valuable data on a single device.
And don't expect to 'save once and store on the shelf for a decade'.
 

Math Geek

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I've had a CD delaminate, several other unreadable due to fungus, another literally explode in the DVD drive (this also killed the DVD drive).
And of course a few HDDs, a 960GB SSD.

Defense in depth.
Never keep valuable data on a single device.
And don't expect to 'save once and store on the shelf for a decade'.
always good advice. my important stuff is in multiple places including a safe deposit box and fire proof safe in my house. this is not obviously my mp3 collection. that's on an external and a cloud storage service.

but anything REAL important should def be stored multiple ways in multiple places. one set in one place is asking for trouble.

guess i should note that i've not had any failures but then again not let anything sit for more than a year or so before moving it to a newer media. so that obviously effects how long it lasts.
 

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