[SOLVED] how often to replace cold storage hdds

Pc6777

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I have a few Seagate compute SMR drives that I will use for cold storage archival, I will rewrite them every year or 2(every year or 2 seems safe, correct me if im wrong). when do i need to buy new drives down the line to be safe? if i rewrite them every year or 2 can i go on 7 or 8 years with these drives for cold storage archival? or should I slowly replace them, buy one in 5 years, another 2 years later, and another 2 years after that?
 

popatim

Titan
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That depends on your backup policy, budget, risk tolerance, drive quality....

IMO, If you have 2 drives backing up the same data then I would use them until one showed signs of deterioration ( reallocated or uncorrectable sectors) or outright failure; you have the other one with a working backup plus the originals data files so your files are still 'safe'. Just make your 2nd backup copy asap.

If you only have 1 backup copy plus the originals then I would suggest a replacement policy similar to what you described but when you buy the replacement, keep this original backup drive as the 2nd backup and then just keep using it as described above.

If you only have 1 backup drive and no drive with the original files then this is not a good situation. One copy of files is not a backup. Get at least a second copy even if you must burn some dvd's. You never want to have important files in just 1 location/drive because sometimes they die with no warning or "life' happens (think fire, flood...); this is why it is recommended to keep the 2nd backup offsite.

I also would not wait a year between refreshing the drives. harddrives have bearing and sitting bearing might seize up. The longest I would suggest is 6 months.

Just my 2cents.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
That depends on your backup policy, budget, risk tolerance, drive quality....

IMO, If you have 2 drives backing up the same data then I would use them until one showed signs of deterioration ( reallocated or uncorrectable sectors) or outright failure; you have the other one with a working backup plus the originals data files so your files are still 'safe'. Just make your 2nd backup copy asap.

If you only have 1 backup copy plus the originals then I would suggest a replacement policy similar to what you described but when you buy the replacement, keep this original backup drive as the 2nd backup and then just keep using it as described above.

If you only have 1 backup drive and no drive with the original files then this is not a good situation. One copy of files is not a backup. Get at least a second copy even if you must burn some dvd's. You never want to have important files in just 1 location/drive because sometimes they die with no warning or "life' happens (think fire, flood...); this is why it is recommended to keep the 2nd backup offsite.

I also would not wait a year between refreshing the drives. harddrives have bearing and sitting bearing might seize up. The longest I would suggest is 6 months.

Just my 2cents.
 

Pc6777

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That depends on your backup policy, budget, risk tolerance, drive quality....

IMO, If you have 2 drives backing up the same data then I would use them until one showed signs of deterioration ( reallocated or uncorrectable sectors) or outright failure; you have the other one with a working backup plus the originals data files so your files are still 'safe'. Just make your 2nd backup copy asap.

If you only have 1 backup copy plus the originals then I would suggest a replacement policy similar to what you described but when you buy the replacement, keep this original backup drive as the 2nd backup and then just keep using it as described above.

If you only have 1 backup drive and no drive with the original files then this is not a good situation. One copy of files is not a backup. Get at least a second copy even if you must burn some dvd's. You never want to have important files in just 1 location/drive because sometimes they die with no warning or "life' happens (think fire, flood...); this is why it is recommended to keep the 2nd backup offsite.

I also would not wait a year between refreshing the drives. harddrives have bearing and sitting bearing might seize up. The longest I would suggest is 6 months.

Just my 2cents.
I will have one non smr drive connected to my pc with the original files that I will use , and 2 or 3 backups in cold storage, plus verbatim blu ray m discs BUT THEY ARE A LAST RESORT reading like 70 large discs would suck MASSIVLEY. and having to organize all the files. the drives are cheap smr drives, but i assume all drives have similar cold storage data retention and better drives are better for other reasons. these are my archival drives, and the same model in 8 terabyte that I will repurpose for something else after I retire it from archival. Seagate BarraCuda 4TB 5400 RPM 3.5" Hard Drives - Newegg.com I dont want any drives to ever get courupted from age related issues, how often would I have to replace in that scenario? and every 6 months I should rewrite or just power on? I was hoping it could last a year but if needed I will do what I must. I could keep a copy offsite no problem, but having to go to that location every 6 months to rewrite, well is doable I guess. i don't live in a flood zone and there is a fireproof safe I could use, obviously not as good as offsite but could "help". but I know really bad fires make everything inside those fireproof cases melt if the fire dept doesn't show up before it gets really big and hot.
 
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Pc6777

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Most hard disk drives (HDD) last between three and five years before some component fails. That doesn't always mean the drive is irrecoverably busted. But three to five years is still about how long they last, whether you're talking about an internal drive for a server or desktop, or an external hard disk drive.
I have been using been using 9-10 year old drives recently, no problems, does it just depend? is it a game of chance? a lot of people say 3-5 but I have drives much older than that, im thinking maybe newer high density drives dont last as long? im not going to run these 24 7 I will just leave in a box and rewrite/check twice a year.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
SMR drives have only been around for a few years but technology is not so dissimilar that data retention would be much different but I believe we've seen a higher then normal failure rate of those Seagate drives around the 4yr mark so I'd replace them then (4-5yrs) I have to anyways because my data starts to exceed the drive space by then. LoL

You could replace them every year if you want but that does nothing to eliminate a possible failure. Plan for failure and you'll be fine.
 

Pc6777

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SMR drives have only been around for a few years but technology is not so dissimilar that data retention would be much different but I believe we've seen a higher then normal failure rate of those Seagate drives around the 4yr mark so I'd replace them then (4-5yrs) I have to anyways because my data starts to exceed the drive space by then. LoL

You could replace them every year if you want but that does nothing to eliminate a possible failure. Plan for failure and you'll be fine.
I will make a note to replace in 2025-2026. They probably have higher failure rates beacause they are smr and the write head has to do more work. My main drive with all the data that I will be using is a wd elements shuck with some kind of server drive with non server drive firmware.
 

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