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Question Looking to back up my data, need advice and suggestions

exploding_psu

Commendable
Jul 17, 2018
98
14
1,545
2
Alright, so bad news. I just did the worst cardinal sin of computing, not backing up my data. And now am really reaping what I sow.

Just the other day, my WD Passport External died all in a sudden. It's still relatively new, I still have the receipt and years worth of warranty and all. The drive stopped responding, and CRC check failed (or something like that, I never seen one of those errors really). Sentinel showed the drive as red (not just yellow, red). It's peculiar as the drive spends most of its time sitting on my desk, not much in a way of shock or something. And when I do take it with me I always put it in my backpack inside its soft case. I'm sure I've never dropped it, not a single time.

I've done everything imaginable to recover the files. The usual disk repair, stuck not responding (before it even starts). Trying numerous different cables and PCs, no dice. Connecting it to a Linux machine (as a last resort, was desperate), nothing at all. The frightening part is the drive used to be accessible, with only few folders being problematic (I was able to save a few files here). Then it gets worse, with the drive not showing up, and it struggles to light up/. It worsens to the point where the drive won't even spin now. No vibration, like nothing is being plugged in. No signs of life. That's when I said enough is enough, if anything, I'd just ruin the drive even more.

Lost plenty of irreplaceable pictures and videos, mostly old ones. But alas, it's too late now.

To prevent this from happening ever again, I'm backing up my data now. And I'd like to do it properly. But I do have few questions to ask.

What I'm gong to do is buy two hard drives to backup all my important data. Do the backup, unplug the hard drive and store it in a safe place. I have around 3 TB of data, give or take. The hard drive will only be used as a 'dead backup' (I don't know if there's a proper word for that, basically the hard drives will be filled up and never be accessed again. They won't be actively used). I've read the stickied post about drives for backup, and well, truth to be told that makes me even more confused. Different people swore with different drives.

My plan is to buy two internal 4 TB drives. The main reason is cost, compared to external drives internal SATA drives are much cheaper (e.g. I could get a 4TB internal for the price of a 3TB external drive), and as I'm only going to write once the ease of use provided by USB cables is irrelevant. I'd probably just buy the 5400 rpm ones, as speed doesn't really matter here. I'll probably buy one of the Seagate ones. The question is : can I just use any drive, or is there a special drive geared towards backup use that I need to look out for? Or maybe external drives are the way to go because of reasons I don't know yet? Of course by 'any' I mean a shiny new hard drive from well known vendor with good rep, not refurbished drives or anything.

Or maybe I'm missing out an important part of the process entirely?

Anyway, thank you for reading my 'rant', I just don't want this to happen again..
 

drtweak

Illustrious
Backups i tend to use what ever drive as it is only one when I am backing up. Depending on the amount of data you have I would highly recommend something like Carbonite or iDrive for offside online backup. No need to by a WD black/Red/Iron Wolf exct. A barracuda or Blue/Green drive will be fine. It sounds like your drive for bumped and the read/write heads got messed up. More than likely they scratched the surface of the platters inside and TKOed the drive i wouldn't be surprised.

What does HD Sentenial say anyways? It should have showed you that it was failing before it failed unless it was sudden damage.
 

exploding_psu

Commendable
Jul 17, 2018
98
14
1,545
2
Backups i tend to use what ever drive as it is only one when I am backing up. Depending on the amount of data you have I would highly recommend something like Carbonite or iDrive for offside online backup. No need to by a WD black/Red/Iron Wolf exct. A barracuda or Blue/Green drive will be fine. It sounds like your drive for bumped and the read/write heads got messed up. More than likely they scratched the surface of the platters inside and TKOed the drive i wouldn't be surprised.

What does HD Sentenial say anyways? It should have showed you that it was failing before it failed unless it was sudden damage.
Online backup eh? Well I've been thinking about that. Checked Google Drive plans (as that's what we use here at work) and, I'll be forth with you, the prices are rather... steep, for backing up files that won't be accessed often (if ever). $10 for 1 TB? I think I'll start doing the offline backup first...

Alright then, guess I'm set with the drive types. About the sentinel thing, I can't say much as I never checked the drive with the sentinel during its useful life. I only checked it after it started to slow down (which as I said, already all red. I can't remember what it said though, my bad). And obviously I can't run it at all now as the drive doesn't even spin anymore..

I would suggest you backup regularly rather then fill once and expect it to work in a year or two.
Keep the two drives in separate locations in case something happens to your house.
Wait, so there's a time limit when the data on the drive begins to 'fade'? What do I know.
This backup will be mostly composed of old media, photos and videos. The most important ones. There won't be new ones obviously so that's why I'm thinking of writing the data once...
 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator
I would not have all my backups offline. I'd want at least one of them still connected and being automatically updated to daily (I personally use Bvckup 2). With a live drive, you know the status of your files at all times. A good online cloud service is also recommended, though which one depends on how much data you have.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
125,894
4,366
159,940
19,724
Read through here, and scale up or down as desired:
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
Wait, so there's a time limit when the data on the drive begins to 'fade'? What do I know.
This backup will be mostly composed of old media, photos and videos. The most important ones. There won't be new ones obviously so that's why I'm thinking of writing the data once...
There's other factors as well, Sticking/seized bearing , where the heads are when you unplug the drive. If they are on the platters then they can get stuck there.

Why I don't like writing once - look up: hdd bit rot
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
125,894
4,366
159,940
19,724
Wait, so there's a time limit when the data on the drive begins to 'fade'? What do I know.
This backup will be mostly composed of old media, photos and videos. The most important ones. There won't be new ones obviously so that's why I'm thinking of writing the data once...
Write once and put it on the shelf for a couple of years.
Never touch it.

Then, in Summer 2022, you take the drive off the shelf and it does not read for whatever reason....
Then what do you do?
 

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