Wise to use HDD as offline storage?

columbus

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I'm a home PC user based in the UK. I run mainly office applications
and downloading music. No gaming or power PC stuff.

------

(A) My music is mainly on two or three 160 GB drives. Much of that
can be replaced.

(B) I have also got XP on a 15 GB system partition.

(C) Various downloaded programs, utilities and cache files take 45
GB on another partition.

My drives are ATA 3.5inch internal drives. I find it easy enough to
put them in or take them out of the PC cabinet without needing to get
an expensive USB attached hard drive.

------

I want to keep backup copies of the partitions used by the system (B
above) and downloaded programs (C above).

How viable is it for a user like me to use a HARD DRIVE (maybe 160 GB
or 200 GB) as a backup medium?

I would store the hard drive stored on a shelf away from the system.

Is it worth worrying that the hard drive could become problematic
when it gets put back in the system?

Is it likely that "normal shocks" in handling the hard drive could
damage my backup data stored on it?

In addition, sometimes I would want to archive away one set of
backups for two or three years.

Are there any alternatives to a hard drive which I should consider?
I'm attracted to a hard drive because the cost per GB is so good and
my backup data is available almost as soon as I plug in the offline
hard drive.

Would it be good value to get a DVD burner instead? How long might
it take to back up 15 GB to DVD? What about 50 GB?

Is DVD a better backup medium than a hard drive? Is DVD a better
archival medium than a hard drive?
 
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Columbus <hiss@mail.com> wrote:

> My drives are ATA 3.5inch internal drives. I find it easy enough to
> put them in or take them out of the PC cabinet without needing to get
> an expensive USB attached hard drive.
>
> I want to keep backup copies of the partitions used by the system (B
> above) and downloaded programs (C above).
>
> How viable is it for a user like me to use a HARD DRIVE (maybe 160 GB
> or 200 GB) as a backup medium?
>
> I would store the hard drive stored on a shelf away from the system.
>
> Is it worth worrying that the hard drive could become problematic
> when it gets put back in the system?
>
> Is it likely that "normal shocks" in handling the hard drive could
> damage my backup data stored on it?

Assuming your "normal" handling is careful, your data should be
reasonably safe. (I've had hard drives survive a fall to the floor, but
I don't count on being that lucky all the time.)

For regular hard drive swapping, consider a tray system. They cost some
money but save time and trouble and reduce wear and tear on the drives'
power and data connectors.


> In addition, sometimes I would want to archive away one set of
> backups for two or three years.
>
> Are there any alternatives to a hard drive which I should consider?
> I'm attracted to a hard drive because the cost per GB is so good and
> my backup data is available almost as soon as I plug in the offline
> hard drive.
>
> Would it be good value to get a DVD burner instead? How long might
> it take to back up 15 GB to DVD? What about 50 GB?
>
> Is DVD a better backup medium than a hard drive? Is DVD a better
> archival medium than a hard drive?

"We started changing the tapes eight or ten years ago. The first
transfers we made were all to DAT. We found that DAT started
deteriorating so we moved them to CDs. We didn't think that was
sufficient, so we moved to hard drives. That way it preserves it,
hopefully forever." Sun Records CEO Shelby Singleton, quoted by Mathew
Honan in Exhibitions of Sound
<http://playlistmag.com/features/2005/08/preserve3/index.php>.

The modern consensus seems to be that there is no permanent archival
medium, so archiving means a continual process of testing and copying
onto new media. If you use multiple hard drives, treat them kindly, and
run dignostics on them periodically, you can probably get three years
out of each drive before it needs replacing.
 
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In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage Columbus <hiss@mail.com> wrote:
> I'm a home PC user based in the UK. I run mainly office applications
> and downloading music. No gaming or power PC stuff.

> ------

> (A) My music is mainly on two or three 160 GB drives. Much of that
> can be replaced.

> (B) I have also got XP on a 15 GB system partition.

> (C) Various downloaded programs, utilities and cache files take 45
> GB on another partition.

> My drives are ATA 3.5inch internal drives. I find it easy enough to
> put them in or take them out of the PC cabinet without needing to get
> an expensive USB attached hard drive.

> ------

> I want to keep backup copies of the partitions used by the system (B
> above) and downloaded programs (C above).

> How viable is it for a user like me to use a HARD DRIVE (maybe 160 GB
> or 200 GB) as a backup medium?

> I would store the hard drive stored on a shelf away from the system.

> Is it worth worrying that the hard drive could become problematic
> when it gets put back in the system?

> Is it likely that "normal shocks" in handling the hard drive could
> damage my backup data stored on it?

Depends on what you consider "normal". Treat it like it was a raw egg
and you should be fine with regard to shock. Another danger is
electrostatic damage. Two choices: USB enclosure (preferrable) or
careful handling and storage, e.g. in the plastic shell Seagate
delivers its drives with (very useful!).

> In addition, sometimes I would want to archive away one set of
> backups for two or three years.

Possibly problematic, but less likely IMO. Way around this: Use
two drives from different manufacturere or better even three.
Many sysadmins also think that you should have at least three
independent backups.

> Are there any alternatives to a hard drive which I should consider?
> I'm attracted to a hard drive because the cost per GB is so good and
> my backup data is available almost as soon as I plug in the offline
> hard drive.

More robust alternatives: MOD (3.5"), DVD-RAM and professional tape.
Personally I have critical stuff (family photographs, code, etc)
on MOD (never lost a single bit in now 8 years), everything else
on HDDs in other computers.

> Would it be good value to get a DVD burner instead? How long might
> it take to back up 15 GB to DVD? What about 50 GB?

> Is DVD a better backup medium than a hard drive? Is DVD a better
> archival medium than a hard drive?

Forget about them. Some DVD/Burner/Speed combinations are pretty good,
many are catastrophic and manufactueres often change their disks
without changing the labels. Completely unusable for archiving,
mostly unusable for backups. Exception: DVD-RAM.

Arno
 
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In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage Neill Massello <neillmassello@earthlink.net> wrote:
> Columbus <hiss@mail.com> wrote:

[...]

> "We started changing the tapes eight or ten years ago. The first
> transfers we made were all to DAT. We found that DAT started
> deteriorating so we moved them to CDs. We didn't think that was
> sufficient, so we moved to hard drives. That way it preserves it,
> hopefully forever." Sun Records CEO Shelby Singleton, quoted by Mathew
> Honan in Exhibitions of Sound
> <http://playlistmag.com/features/2005/08/preserve3/index.php>.

> The modern consensus seems to be that there is no permanent archival
> medium, so archiving means a continual process of testing and copying
> onto new media. If you use multiple hard drives, treat them kindly, and
> run dignostics on them periodically, you can probably get three years
> out of each drive before it needs replacing.

Actually professional Tape (not DAT), MOD and with some limitations
(cartridge!) DVD-RAM all give >50 years. But neither of them are
cheap. You get what you pay for.

HDDs are most reliable when you have them in a redundant configuration
and test them periodically. Still, a single copy for long-term
archiving on a HDD is gone when you drop the disk if you are not
very lucky. A tape cartridge or a MOD or DVD-RAM in its cartridge
are very sturdy in comparison.

Arno
 
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Arno,
What MO drives and media you use - Fujitsu?

-- Pavel

"Arno Wagner" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message news:3m4kesF15gt2qU3@individual.net...
> In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage Columbus <hiss@mail.com> wrote:
>> I'm a home PC user based in the UK. I run mainly office applications
>> and downloading music. No gaming or power PC stuff.
>
>> ------
>
>> (A) My music is mainly on two or three 160 GB drives. Much of that
>> can be replaced.
>
>> (B) I have also got XP on a 15 GB system partition.
>
>> (C) Various downloaded programs, utilities and cache files take 45
>> GB on another partition.
>
>> My drives are ATA 3.5inch internal drives. I find it easy enough to
>> put them in or take them out of the PC cabinet without needing to get
>> an expensive USB attached hard drive.
>
>> ------
>
>> I want to keep backup copies of the partitions used by the system (B
>> above) and downloaded programs (C above).
>
>> How viable is it for a user like me to use a HARD DRIVE (maybe 160 GB
>> or 200 GB) as a backup medium?
>
>> I would store the hard drive stored on a shelf away from the system.
>
>> Is it worth worrying that the hard drive could become problematic
>> when it gets put back in the system?
>
>> Is it likely that "normal shocks" in handling the hard drive could
>> damage my backup data stored on it?
>
> Depends on what you consider "normal". Treat it like it was a raw egg
> and you should be fine with regard to shock. Another danger is
> electrostatic damage. Two choices: USB enclosure (preferrable) or
> careful handling and storage, e.g. in the plastic shell Seagate
> delivers its drives with (very useful!).
>
>> In addition, sometimes I would want to archive away one set of
>> backups for two or three years.
>
> Possibly problematic, but less likely IMO. Way around this: Use
> two drives from different manufacturere or better even three.
> Many sysadmins also think that you should have at least three
> independent backups.
>
>> Are there any alternatives to a hard drive which I should consider?
>> I'm attracted to a hard drive because the cost per GB is so good and
>> my backup data is available almost as soon as I plug in the offline
>> hard drive.
>
> More robust alternatives: MOD (3.5"), DVD-RAM and professional tape.
> Personally I have critical stuff (family photographs, code, etc)
> on MOD (never lost a single bit in now 8 years), everything else
> on HDDs in other computers.
>
>> Would it be good value to get a DVD burner instead? How long might
>> it take to back up 15 GB to DVD? What about 50 GB?
>
>> Is DVD a better backup medium than a hard drive? Is DVD a better
>> archival medium than a hard drive?
>
> Forget about them. Some DVD/Burner/Speed combinations are pretty good,
> many are catastrophic and manufactueres often change their disks
> without changing the labels. Completely unusable for archiving,
> mostly unusable for backups. Exception: DVD-RAM.
>
> Arno
 
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Archived from groups: alt.video.dvd.tech,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Tray system for HDDs - I have been using them for over 10 years, every
computer in the house (5) has a tray shell (housing) installed. It
takes literally about 15 seconds to switch drives - machines - OS
-whatever. Tray and housing combo costs about $15.00 at computer shows,
probably less online.

Regards,

Marv

Neill Massello wrote:
> Columbus <hiss@mail.com> wrote:
>
>
>>My drives are ATA 3.5inch internal drives. I find it easy enough to
>>put them in or take them out of the PC cabinet without needing to get
>>an expensive USB attached hard drive.
>>
>>I want to keep backup copies of the partitions used by the system (B
>>above) and downloaded programs (C above).
>>
>>How viable is it for a user like me to use a HARD DRIVE (maybe 160 GB
>>or 200 GB) as a backup medium?
>>
>>I would store the hard drive stored on a shelf away from the system.
>>
>>Is it worth worrying that the hard drive could become problematic
>>when it gets put back in the system?
>>
>>Is it likely that "normal shocks" in handling the hard drive could
>>damage my backup data stored on it?
>
>
> Assuming your "normal" handling is careful, your data should be
> reasonably safe. (I've had hard drives survive a fall to the floor, but
> I don't count on being that lucky all the time.)
>
> For regular hard drive swapping, consider a tray system. They cost some
> money but save time and trouble and reduce wear and tear on the drives'
> power and data connectors.
>
>
>
>>In addition, sometimes I would want to archive away one set of
>>backups for two or three years.
>>
>>Are there any alternatives to a hard drive which I should consider?
>>I'm attracted to a hard drive because the cost per GB is so good and
>>my backup data is available almost as soon as I plug in the offline
>>hard drive.
>>
>>Would it be good value to get a DVD burner instead? How long might
>>it take to back up 15 GB to DVD? What about 50 GB?
>>
>>Is DVD a better backup medium than a hard drive? Is DVD a better
>>archival medium than a hard drive?
>
>
> "We started changing the tapes eight or ten years ago. The first
> transfers we made were all to DAT. We found that DAT started
> deteriorating so we moved them to CDs. We didn't think that was
> sufficient, so we moved to hard drives. That way it preserves it,
> hopefully forever." Sun Records CEO Shelby Singleton, quoted by Mathew
> Honan in Exhibitions of Sound
> <http://playlistmag.com/features/2005/08/preserve3/index.php>.
>
> The modern consensus seems to be that there is no permanent archival
> medium, so archiving means a continual process of testing and copying
> onto new media. If you use multiple hard drives, treat them kindly, and
> run dignostics on them periodically, you can probably get three years
> out of each drive before it needs replacing.
>
 
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In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage Pavel A. <pavel_a@nowritemeno.com> wrote:
> Arno,
> What MO drives and media you use - Fujitsu?

The drive is an internal Fujitsu SCSI drive (640MB, in use for about
8 years now). Today I would likely get a 2.3GB drive (they are
fully backwards compatible) with IDE or USB2 interface, again
from Fujitsu.

I have media from several manufacturers, mostly Philips, some
Sony and some FujiFilm. It does not really matter, they all are
reliable. The only problem I ever had was with an excess of dust
in a disk (errors when writing, no data loss before) that was fixed
by cleaning the disk.

Arno
 
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Columbus <hiss@mail.com> wrote

> I'm a home PC user based in the UK. I run mainly office applications
> and downloading music. No gaming or power PC stuff.

> ------

> (A) My music is mainly on two or three 160 GB drives.
> Much of that can be replaced.

> (B) I have also got XP on a 15 GB system partition.

> (C) Various downloaded programs, utilities and
> cache files take 45 GB on another partition.

> My drives are ATA 3.5inch internal drives. I find it easy enough
> to put them in or take them out of the PC cabinet without needing
> to get an expensive USB attached hard drive.

> ------

> I want to keep backup copies of the partitions used by the
> system (B above) and downloaded programs (C above).

Is there much point with the C ? They age pretty
quickly and can be easily replaced if you need to.

Likely better to keep a list of them rather than backing them up.

> How viable is it for a user like me to use a HARD DRIVE
> (maybe 160 GB or 200 GB) as a backup medium?

Very viable.

> I would store the hard drive stored on a shelf away from the system.

That doesnt gain much backup wise, having it out of the
system. If it isnt hidden it may well get stolen with the
system and it obviously isnt protected against fire or flood etc.

> Is it worth worrying that the hard drive could become
> problematic when it gets put back in the system?

It shouldnt be if you use a formal standard like SATA.

> Is it likely that "normal shocks" in handling the hard
> drive could damage my backup data stored on it?

Yes, particularly if you are prone to dropping things.

Hard drives hate that.

> In addition, sometimes I would want to archive
> away one set of backups for two or three years.

> Are there any alternatives to a hard drive which I should consider?

Yes, DVDs are worth considering, particularly for the archive.

> I'm attracted to a hard drive because the cost per GB is so good and my
> backup data is available almost as soon as I plug in the offline hard drive.

And they are the fastest form of backup, both when doing
the backup and when getting something off the backup.

> Would it be good value to get a DVD burner instead?

Or have both. DVD burners are damned cheap now.

> How long might it take to back up 15 GB to DVD? What about 50 GB?

Really depend on the speed media you choose to use.

And the speed doesnt matter too much if you do it in DVD sized chunks.

> Is DVD a better backup medium than a hard drive?

Better in some ways, much easier to have the backup out of the house
for example. Worse in other ways, MUCH slower than a hard drive.

> Is DVD a better archival medium than a hard drive?

Yes, basically because it doesnt cost much to have more
than one copy on different media so one failure is just a
yawn. Much more expensive to do that with a hard drive.
 
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Columbus wrote:
> I'm a home PC user based in the UK. I run mainly office applications
> and downloading music. No gaming or power PC stuff.
>
> ------
>
> (A) My music is mainly on two or three 160 GB drives. Much of that
> can be replaced.
>
> (B) I have also got XP on a 15 GB system partition.
>
> (C) Various downloaded programs, utilities and cache files take 45
> GB on another partition.
>
> My drives are ATA 3.5inch internal drives. I find it easy enough to
> put them in or take them out of the PC cabinet without needing to get
> an expensive USB attached hard drive.
>

I use an external USB drive to do a full backup every 3 months and
incremental every week.

It has saved my butt in the past.......pretty easy and fast. DVD's are
good for archive purposes.

> ------
>
> I want to keep backup copies of the partitions used by the system (B
> above) and downloaded programs (C above).
>
> How viable is it for a user like me to use a HARD DRIVE (maybe 160 GB
> or 200 GB) as a backup medium?
>
> I would store the hard drive stored on a shelf away from the system.
>
> Is it worth worrying that the hard drive could become problematic
> when it gets put back in the system?
>
> Is it likely that "normal shocks" in handling the hard drive could
> damage my backup data stored on it?
>
> In addition, sometimes I would want to archive away one set of
> backups for two or three years.
>
> Are there any alternatives to a hard drive which I should consider?
> I'm attracted to a hard drive because the cost per GB is so good and
> my backup data is available almost as soon as I plug in the offline
> hard drive.
>
> Would it be good value to get a DVD burner instead? How long might
> it take to back up 15 GB to DVD? What about 50 GB?
>
> Is DVD a better backup medium than a hard drive? Is DVD a better
> archival medium than a hard drive?
 
G

Guest

Guest
Archived from groups: alt.video.dvd.tech,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

You are just speaking of two very different backup strategies. It is a
personal preference and you should use what you feel comfortable with.
Either one is "good"! Try them both and you will soon gravitate toward one
as "your" preferred method.

--
Regards,

Richard Urban
Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User

Quote from: George Ankner
"If you knew as much as you think you know,
You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!"

"Columbus" <hiss@mail.com> wrote in message
news:96B0CE7DE344461M2A@66.250.146.159...
> I'm a home PC user based in the UK. I run mainly office applications
> and downloading music. No gaming or power PC stuff.
>
> ------
>
> (A) My music is mainly on two or three 160 GB drives. Much of that
> can be replaced.
>
> (B) I have also got XP on a 15 GB system partition.
>
> (C) Various downloaded programs, utilities and cache files take 45
> GB on another partition.
>
> My drives are ATA 3.5inch internal drives. I find it easy enough to
> put them in or take them out of the PC cabinet without needing to get
> an expensive USB attached hard drive.
>
> ------
>
> I want to keep backup copies of the partitions used by the system (B
> above) and downloaded programs (C above).
>
> How viable is it for a user like me to use a HARD DRIVE (maybe 160 GB
> or 200 GB) as a backup medium?
>
> I would store the hard drive stored on a shelf away from the system.
>
> Is it worth worrying that the hard drive could become problematic
> when it gets put back in the system?
>
> Is it likely that "normal shocks" in handling the hard drive could
> damage my backup data stored on it?
>
> In addition, sometimes I would want to archive away one set of
> backups for two or three years.
>
> Are there any alternatives to a hard drive which I should consider?
> I'm attracted to a hard drive because the cost per GB is so good and
> my backup data is available almost as soon as I plug in the offline
> hard drive.
>
> Would it be good value to get a DVD burner instead? How long might
> it take to back up 15 GB to DVD? What about 50 GB?
>
> Is DVD a better backup medium than a hard drive? Is DVD a better
> archival medium than a hard drive?
 
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Arno Wagner wrote:

> In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage Neill Massello
> <neillmassello@earthlink.net> wrote:
>> Columbus <hiss@mail.com> wrote:
>
> [...]
>
>> "We started changing the tapes eight or ten years ago. The first
>> transfers we made were all to DAT. We found that DAT started
>> deteriorating so we moved them to CDs. We didn't think that was
>> sufficient, so we moved to hard drives. That way it preserves it,
>> hopefully forever." Sun Records CEO Shelby Singleton, quoted by Mathew
>> Honan in Exhibitions of Sound
>> <http://playlistmag.com/features/2005/08/preserve3/index.php>.
>
>> The modern consensus seems to be that there is no permanent archival
>> medium, so archiving means a continual process of testing and copying
>> onto new media. If you use multiple hard drives, treat them kindly, and
>> run dignostics on them periodically, you can probably get three years
>> out of each drive before it needs replacing.
>
> Actually professional Tape (not DAT), MOD and with some limitations
> (cartridge!) DVD-RAM all give >50 years. But neither of them are
> cheap. You get what you pay for.

The chemistry of DVD-RAM is the same as for DVR-RW. If one lasts 50 years
the other will last 50 years. What's different is the formatting.

> HDDs are most reliable when you have them in a redundant configuration
> and test them periodically. Still, a single copy for long-term
> archiving on a HDD is gone when you drop the disk if you are not
> very lucky. A tape cartridge or a MOD or DVD-RAM in its cartridge
> are very sturdy in comparison.

There are few cartridge-loading DVD-RAM drives available these days. In any
case the protection provided by the cartridge is overrated. I remember a
fellow giving a demonstration of an MO drive a while back who was puzzled
because it wasn't working. I opened the slider on his cartridge while he
was down the hall finding the tech and found that the cartridge was full of
coffee.

Further, a powered-down contemporary disk in a shock-mounted carrier will
take quite a lot of abuse.

> Arno

--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
 
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In article <ODgkPQAoFHA.2080@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl>,
richardurbanREMOVETHIS@hotmail.com says...
> You are just speaking of two very different backup strategies. It is a
> personal preference and you should use what you feel comfortable with.
> Either one is "good"! Try them both and you will soon gravitate toward one
> as "your" preferred method.

I agree, I've used Tape for years, and also installation of a spare
drive in each system. Nightly backups to the spare drive, then copy to
tape. As the portable drive have become cheaper I've gone to purchasing
external FireWire/USB2 drives that I can move around if needed. In many
cases I leave one connected to a server and then backup across the
network to that device and then back that device up to tape.

I like the idea of using a drive caddy, but it's easier to just grab a
FireWire/USB2 external drive any more, and the user doesn't have to do
anything with their case.

--

spam999free@rrohio.com
remove 999 in order to email me
 
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Thanks Arno. I'm looking at MO for a long time
but still undecided. 2.3 GB is less than 4.7 of DVD,
They are not only expensive but also not easy to buy,
most stores where I live don't sell them.
Also, Iomega from time to time tries to win the market =
their newest product looks interesting but again, it's future is not clear.

--PA

"Arno Wagner" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message news:3m54f4F14la8sU2@individual.net...
> In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage Pavel A. <pavel_a@nowritemeno.com> wrote:
>> Arno,
>> What MO drives and media you use - Fujitsu?
>
> The drive is an internal Fujitsu SCSI drive (640MB, in use for about
> 8 years now). Today I would likely get a 2.3GB drive (they are
> fully backwards compatible) with IDE or USB2 interface, again
> from Fujitsu.
>
> I have media from several manufacturers, mostly Philips, some
> Sony and some FujiFilm. It does not really matter, they all are
> reliable. The only problem I ever had was with an excess of dust
> in a disk (errors when writing, no data loss before) that was fixed
> by cleaning the disk.
>
> Arno
>
>
>
 
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"Arno Wagner" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
news:3m4kesF15gt2qU3@individual.net...
> In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage Columbus <hiss@mail.com> wrote:
>> I'm a home PC user based in the UK. I run mainly office applications
>> and downloading music. No gaming or power PC stuff.
>
>> ------
>
>> (A) My music is mainly on two or three 160 GB drives. Much of that
>> can be replaced.
>
>> (B) I have also got XP on a 15 GB system partition.
>
>> (C) Various downloaded programs, utilities and cache files take 45
>> GB on another partition.
>
>> My drives are ATA 3.5inch internal drives. I find it easy enough to
>> put them in or take them out of the PC cabinet without needing to get
>> an expensive USB attached hard drive.
>
>> ------
>
>> I want to keep backup copies of the partitions used by the system (B
>> above) and downloaded programs (C above).
>
>> How viable is it for a user like me to use a HARD DRIVE (maybe 160 GB
>> or 200 GB) as a backup medium?
>
>> I would store the hard drive stored on a shelf away from the system.
>
>> Is it worth worrying that the hard drive could become problematic
>> when it gets put back in the system?
>
>> Is it likely that "normal shocks" in handling the hard drive could
>> damage my backup data stored on it?
>
> Depends on what you consider "normal". Treat it like it was a raw egg
> and you should be fine with regard to shock. Another danger is
> electrostatic damage. Two choices: USB enclosure (preferrable) or
> careful handling and storage, e.g. in the plastic shell Seagate
> delivers its drives with (very useful!).
>
>> In addition, sometimes I would want to archive away one set of
>> backups for two or three years.
>
> Possibly problematic, but less likely IMO. Way around this: Use
> two drives from different manufacturere or better even three.
> Many sysadmins also think that you should have at least three
> independent backups.
>
>> Are there any alternatives to a hard drive which I should consider?
>> I'm attracted to a hard drive because the cost per GB is so good and
>> my backup data is available almost as soon as I plug in the offline
>> hard drive.
>
> More robust alternatives: MOD (3.5"), DVD-RAM and professional tape.
> Personally I have critical stuff (family photographs, code, etc)
> on MOD (never lost a single bit in now 8 years), everything else
> on HDDs in other computers.
>
>> Would it be good value to get a DVD burner instead? How long might
>> it take to back up 15 GB to DVD? What about 50 GB?
>
>> Is DVD a better backup medium than a hard drive? Is DVD a better
>> archival medium than a hard drive?
>
> Forget about them. Some DVD/Burner/Speed combinations are pretty good,


> many are catastrophic and manufactueres often change their disks
> without changing the labels.

Arno - I'd like to understand what effect this point has. Is it intended to
mean that a given backup set may be unreadable at some future time because
you may be trying to use a DVD reader that is incompatible with the DVD
disc?

Thanks

Completely unusable for archiving,
> mostly unusable for backups. Exception: DVD-RAM.
>
Arno -
> Arno
 
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Arno Wagner <me@privacy.net> wrote:

> I have media from several manufacturers, mostly Philips, some
> Sony and some FujiFilm. It does not really matter, they all are
> reliable.

MO media is reliable, but the drives are slowly disappearing. Once
Fujitsu stops making them, the MO storage method will become practically
unreliable for archival purposes. Whatever its technical merits, MO was
never really embraced in the marketplace and is now fading away.
 
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In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage Pavel A. <pavel_a@nowritemeno.com> wrote:
> Thanks Arno. I'm looking at MO for a long time
> but still undecided. 2.3 GB is less than 4.7 of DVD,
> They are not only expensive but also not easy to buy,
> most stores where I live don't sell them.
> Also, Iomega from time to time tries to win the market =
> their newest product looks interesting but again, it's future is not clear.

Ok, let me comment on this:

Why if you want lots of unreliable storage, MOD is not for you.
If you wand a reasonable amount of very reliable storage, go
MOD and never look back. Frankly DVD is a waste of money at this
time. Store you data on HDDs instead, that is faster, more reliable,
cheaper and less effort. Iomega has a long history of truly bad
prooducts that are phased out at some time and then you can throw away
your media. I wasted enough money on now worthless Zip disks
and drives. These pople will not get any money or trust from me
again.

As for the problems in getting MOD, well, you need to mail-order.
You also need to mail-order the disks. But trust me, you will not
regret the decision if you really want something reliable. There
is really no product on the market that can compete in terms of
reliability and usability for long-term storage except maybe the
very expensive professional tape market. It is very telling that this
seemingly nice product is still around. Some people cannot afford to
loose their data.

Arno
 

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Arno Wagner <me@privacy.net> wrote:
> In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage Pavel A.
> <pavel_a@nowritemeno.com> wrote:
>> Thanks Arno. I'm looking at MO for a long time
>> but still undecided. 2.3 GB is less than 4.7 of DVD,
>> They are not only expensive but also not easy to buy,
>> most stores where I live don't sell them.
>> Also, Iomega from time to time tries to win the market =
>> their newest product looks interesting but again, it's future is not
>> clear.
>
> Ok, let me comment on this:
>
> Why if you want lots of unreliable storage, MOD is not for you.
> If you wand a reasonable amount of very reliable storage, go
> MOD and never look back.

You'll be looking back when it turns out its just another
technology that never did manage to get up enough of
a head of steam to be viable over the longer term.

> Frankly DVD is a waste of money at this time.

Most say the same thing about MOD and when DVD continues to be
available and MOD doesnt, its you that will have wasted your money.

> Store you data on HDDs instead, that is faster, more reliable,
> cheaper and less effort. Iomega has a long history of truly bad
> prooducts that are phased out at some time and then you can throw away
> your media. I wasted enough money on now worthless Zip disks and drives.
> These pople will not get any money or trust from me again.

Many feel the same way about technology that never does
get up enough of a head of steam to have a decent future.

> As for the problems in getting MOD, well, you need to mail-order.
> You also need to mail-order the disks. But trust me, you will not
> regret the decision if you really want something reliable.

We'll see, when its no longer available by mail order either.

> There is really no product on the market that can compete in
> terms of reliability and usability for long-term storage except
> maybe the very expensive professional tape market.

Oh bullshit. You cant ignore DVD so glibly.

> It is very telling that this seemingly nice product is still around.

Its actually sinking beneath the waves, just like every other
technology that never did get up a decent head of steam.

> Some people cannot afford to loose their data.

And some avoid that fine using hard drives and DVD.
 
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TonyB wrote:

> Arno Wagner <me@privacy.net> wrote:
>> In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage Pavel A.
>> <pavel_a@nowritemeno.com> wrote:
>>> Thanks Arno. I'm looking at MO for a long time
>>> but still undecided. 2.3 GB is less than 4.7 of DVD,
>>> They are not only expensive but also not easy to buy,
>>> most stores where I live don't sell them.
>>> Also, Iomega from time to time tries to win the market =
>>> their newest product looks interesting but again, it's future is not
>>> clear.
>>
>> Ok, let me comment on this:
>>
>> Why if you want lots of unreliable storage, MOD is not for you.
>> If you wand a reasonable amount of very reliable storage, go
>> MOD and never look back.
>
> You'll be looking back when it turns out its just another
> technology that never did manage to get up enough of
> a head of steam to be viable over the longer term.

Uh, MOD has been around longer than DVD or recordable CD. And those first
disks are still readable in current generation drives.

>> Frankly DVD is a waste of money at this time.
>
> Most say the same thing about MOD and when DVD continues to be
> available and MOD doesnt, its you that will have wasted your money.

And when will that be?

>> Store you data on HDDs instead, that is faster, more reliable,
>> cheaper and less effort. Iomega has a long history of truly bad
>> prooducts that are phased out at some time and then you can throw away
>> your media. I wasted enough money on now worthless Zip disks and drives.
>> These pople will not get any money or trust from me again.
>
> Many feel the same way about technology that never does
> get up enough of a head of steam to have a decent future.

MOD has plenty of "steam" in the professional market. Your argument would
apply equally well to, for example, LTO.

>> As for the problems in getting MOD, well, you need to mail-order.
>> You also need to mail-order the disks. But trust me, you will not
>> regret the decision if you really want something reliable.
>
> We'll see, when its no longer available by mail order either.

And when will that be?

>> There is really no product on the market that can compete in
>> terms of reliability and usability for long-term storage except
>> maybe the very expensive professional tape market.
>
> Oh bullshit. You cant ignore DVD so glibly.

Actually, he can. MO does have a track record. Recordable DVD's is much
shorter and Arno does have first hand experience with DVD failures so he is
speaking from experience.

>> It is very telling that this seemingly nice product is still around.
>
> Its actually sinking beneath the waves, just like every other
> technology that never did get up a decent head of steam.

It is? You have sales figures to support that argument?

>> Some people cannot afford to loose their data.
>
> And some avoid that fine using hard drives and DVD.

Depends on their needs. It's overkill for backup IMO but it's not overkill
for archival storage. The two are not the same.

--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
 
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fj wrote:

>
> "Arno Wagner" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
> news:3m4kesF15gt2qU3@individual.net...
>> In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage Columbus <hiss@mail.com> wrote:
>>> I'm a home PC user based in the UK. I run mainly office applications
>>> and downloading music. No gaming or power PC stuff.
>>
>>> ------
>>
>>> (A) My music is mainly on two or three 160 GB drives. Much of that
>>> can be replaced.
>>
>>> (B) I have also got XP on a 15 GB system partition.
>>
>>> (C) Various downloaded programs, utilities and cache files take 45
>>> GB on another partition.
>>
>>> My drives are ATA 3.5inch internal drives. I find it easy enough to
>>> put them in or take them out of the PC cabinet without needing to get
>>> an expensive USB attached hard drive.
>>
>>> ------
>>
>>> I want to keep backup copies of the partitions used by the system (B
>>> above) and downloaded programs (C above).
>>
>>> How viable is it for a user like me to use a HARD DRIVE (maybe 160 GB
>>> or 200 GB) as a backup medium?
>>
>>> I would store the hard drive stored on a shelf away from the system.
>>
>>> Is it worth worrying that the hard drive could become problematic
>>> when it gets put back in the system?
>>
>>> Is it likely that "normal shocks" in handling the hard drive could
>>> damage my backup data stored on it?
>>
>> Depends on what you consider "normal". Treat it like it was a raw egg
>> and you should be fine with regard to shock. Another danger is
>> electrostatic damage. Two choices: USB enclosure (preferrable) or
>> careful handling and storage, e.g. in the plastic shell Seagate
>> delivers its drives with (very useful!).
>>
>>> In addition, sometimes I would want to archive away one set of
>>> backups for two or three years.
>>
>> Possibly problematic, but less likely IMO. Way around this: Use
>> two drives from different manufacturere or better even three.
>> Many sysadmins also think that you should have at least three
>> independent backups.
>>
>>> Are there any alternatives to a hard drive which I should consider?
>>> I'm attracted to a hard drive because the cost per GB is so good and
>>> my backup data is available almost as soon as I plug in the offline
>>> hard drive.
>>
>> More robust alternatives: MOD (3.5"), DVD-RAM and professional tape.
>> Personally I have critical stuff (family photographs, code, etc)
>> on MOD (never lost a single bit in now 8 years), everything else
>> on HDDs in other computers.
>>
>>> Would it be good value to get a DVD burner instead? How long might
>>> it take to back up 15 GB to DVD? What about 50 GB?
>>
>>> Is DVD a better backup medium than a hard drive? Is DVD a better
>>> archival medium than a hard drive?
>>
>> Forget about them. Some DVD/Burner/Speed combinations are pretty good,
>
>
>> many are catastrophic and manufactueres often change their disks
>> without changing the labels.
>
> Arno - I'd like to understand what effect this point has. Is it intended
> to mean that a given backup set may be unreadable at some future time
> because you may be trying to use a DVD reader that is incompatible with
> the DVD disc?

There are three issues of which I am aware. Apparently some writers have
difficulty with some media. If the writer vendor changes the internals in
midstream he might change to some that don't work well with the media
you're using. Different media chemistries have different degrees of
stability--if the media vendor changes chemistry in midstream without
telling anybody then the new media may be significantly less reliable than
the old media. DVD and CD drives can suffer alignment problems--a disk
that is quite readable in one drive may not be readable at all in another
that is apparently the same, even though both drives can read disks that
they wrote.

This leaves totally aside the format wars.

> Thanks
>
> Completely unusable for archiving,
>> mostly unusable for backups. Exception: DVD-RAM.
>>
> Arno -
>> Arno

--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
 
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On Fri, 12 Aug 2005 20:17:56 +0100, Columbus <hiss@mail.com> wrote:

>I'm a home PC user based in the UK. I run mainly office applications
>and downloading music. No gaming or power PC stuff.

>(A) My music is mainly on two or three 160 GB drives. Much of that
>can be replaced.

>(B) I have also got XP on a 15 GB system partition.

>(C) Various downloaded programs, utilities and cache files take 45
>GB on another partition.

>My drives are ATA 3.5inch internal drives. I find it easy enough to
>put them in or take them out of the PC cabinet without needing to get
>an expensive USB attached hard drive.

>I want to keep backup copies of the partitions used by the system (B
>above) and downloaded programs (C above).

>How viable is it for a user like me to use a HARD DRIVE (maybe 160 GB
>or 200 GB) as a backup medium?

Caveats:

1) XP original (SP0) can't "see" HDs < 137G
2) XP installations do not survive file-level copying, must image
3) ATX "off" maintains power trickle; unsafe to remove IDE HDs
4) S-ATA hot-swappability requires S-ATA power connection
5) Single recent backup may contain pre-existing problems
6) HDs don't sem to like brackets and exclosures

So yes; you could use (say) BING from www.bootitng.com to image off C:
to another HD, as long as you unplug the PC from mains before
connecting and disconnecting the extra HD. Bear in mind the risk of
including problems within the backup, e.g. (say) a malware that
infected the system 29 days ago that has a 30-day payload fuse.

For the rest of the data, I'd do file-level copies rather than image
backups, so that the backups are browsable. For the same reason, I'd
keep data you wanted to browse, off the C: that you will image.

If copying files to CDR or DVDR, bear in mind that different file
system rules can knock file and path names around, attributes could
revert to read-only, and NTFS-specific metadata will typically be
lost. To preserve those things, consider first archiving within a
..zip (using something that manages the NTFS fluff, if that's important
to you) and then drop those .zip onto the CDR or DVDR.



>------------ ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
The most accurate diagnostic instrument
in medicine is the Retrospectoscope
>------------ ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
 
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"cquirke (MVP Windows shell/user)" <cquirkenews@nospam.mvps.org> wrote in
message news:v3luf192fl337ua69lb4t1l6sabm244623@4ax.com...
> On Fri, 12 Aug 2005 20:17:56 +0100, Columbus <hiss@mail.com> wrote:
>
>>I'm a home PC user based in the UK. I run mainly office applications
>>and downloading music. No gaming or power PC stuff.
>
>>(A) My music is mainly on two or three 160 GB drives. Much of that
>>can be replaced.
>
>>(B) I have also got XP on a 15 GB system partition.
>
>>(C) Various downloaded programs, utilities and cache files take 45
>>GB on another partition.
>
>>My drives are ATA 3.5inch internal drives. I find it easy enough to
>>put them in or take them out of the PC cabinet without needing to get
>>an expensive USB attached hard drive.
>
>>I want to keep backup copies of the partitions used by the system (B
>>above) and downloaded programs (C above).
>
>>How viable is it for a user like me to use a HARD DRIVE (maybe 160 GB
>>or 200 GB) as a backup medium?
>
> Caveats:
>
> 1) XP original (SP0) can't "see" HDs < 137G
> 2) XP installations do not survive file-level copying, must image
> 3) ATX "off" maintains power trickle; unsafe to remove IDE HDs
So, means you should remove the power cord before removing hard drives?
> 4) S-ATA hot-swappability requires S-ATA power connection
> 5) Single recent backup may contain pre-existing problems
Right. This 'simply' implies that you need to do a complete system backup
just after installing Windows and setting up your default applications.
Then, keep this known good backup separate from the on-going/periodic
backups, which can be used if you need to restore from hardware failure.
> 6) HDs don't sem to like brackets and exclosures
You're referring to heat - yes? I.e., the temperature of HDD's in external
enclosures run hotter than when installed in a professionally built PC?
How about the external enclosures with built in fans? [The ones that
actually have ventilation for moving new air in, hot air out]
Lastly, how about 2.5" harddrives? I've got one running in an aluminum case
made by IWILL. It runs cooler to the touch than the bottom of my notebook
where the hard drive is located. Are 2.5" HDD's any more susceptible to
heat induced errors than 3.5" ones?

Thanks
>
> So yes; you could use (say) BING from www.bootitng.com to image off C:
> to another HD, as long as you unplug the PC from mains before
> connecting and disconnecting the extra HD. Bear in mind the risk of
> including problems within the backup, e.g. (say) a malware that
> infected the system 29 days ago that has a 30-day payload fuse.
>
> For the rest of the data, I'd do file-level copies rather than image
> backups, so that the backups are browsable. For the same reason, I'd
> keep data you wanted to browse, off the C: that you will image.
>
> If copying files to CDR or DVDR, bear in mind that different file
> system rules can knock file and path names around, attributes could
> revert to read-only, and NTFS-specific metadata will typically be
> lost. To preserve those things, consider first archiving within a
> .zip (using something that manages the NTFS fluff, if that's important
> to you) and then drop those .zip onto the CDR or DVDR.
>
>
>
>>------------ ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
> The most accurate diagnostic instrument
> in medicine is the Retrospectoscope
>>------------ ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
 
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"fj" <jelenko@att.net> wrote in message
news:ufJLe.605703$cg1.442145@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
>
> "cquirke (MVP Windows shell/user)" <cquirkenews@nospam.mvps.org> wrote in
> message news:v3luf192fl337ua69lb4t1l6sabm244623@4ax.com...
> >
> > Caveats:
> >
> > 1) XP original (SP0) can't "see" HDs < 137G
over 137GB

> > 2) XP installations do not survive file-level copying, must image
> > 3) ATX "off" maintains power trickle; unsafe to remove IDE HDs

Nonsense. All the Molex are powered off.
The IDE ports are disabled. Only PS/2, USB, PCI, perhaps RAM are on.
Even disabling IDE channel in Device Manager allows hot swap.

> So, means you should remove the power cord before removing hard drives?
 
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On Sun, 14 Aug 2005 08:57:53 -0700, "Eric Gisin"
>"fj" <jelenko@att.net> wrote in message
>> "cquirke (MVP Windows shell/user)" <cquirkenews@nospam.mvps.org> wrote

>> > 3) ATX "off" maintains power trickle; unsafe to remove IDE HDs

>Nonsense. All the Molex are powered off.
>The IDE ports are disabled. Only PS/2, USB, PCI, perhaps RAM are on.
>Even disabling IDE channel in Device Manager allows hot swap.

That's an interesting assertion. I can meter molex power leads to
test those, but checking the data cables would be more difficult.

Given the risks involved, I'd like a couple of URLs on that?



>------------ ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
The most accurate diagnostic instrument
in medicine is the Retrospectoscope
>------------ ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
 
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cquirke (MVP Windows shell/user) <cquirkenews@nospam.mvps.org> wrote
> Columbus <hiss@mail.com> wrote

>> I'm a home PC user based in the UK. I run mainly office applications
>> and downloading music. No gaming or power PC stuff.
>
>> (A) My music is mainly on two or three 160 GB drives. Much of that
>> can be replaced.
>
>> (B) I have also got XP on a 15 GB system partition.
>
>> (C) Various downloaded programs, utilities and cache files take 45
>> GB on another partition.
>
>> My drives are ATA 3.5inch internal drives. I find it easy enough to
>> put them in or take them out of the PC cabinet without needing to get
>> an expensive USB attached hard drive.
>
>> I want to keep backup copies of the partitions used by the system (B
>> above) and downloaded programs (C above).
>
>> How viable is it for a user like me to use a HARD DRIVE (maybe 160 GB
>> or 200 GB) as a backup medium?

> Caveats:

> 1) XP original (SP0) can't "see" HDs < 137G

You've got that backwards. And they can see drives > 137G,
they'll just corrupt the data as access wraps at that point.

> 2) XP installations do not survive file-level copying, must image

Wrong. Have fun explaining xxclone.

And you dont need a bootable copy for backup anyway.

> 3) ATX "off" maintains power trickle; unsafe to remove IDE HDs

Wrong. And the worst you have to do is unplug
the power supply from the mains anyway.

> 4) S-ATA hot-swappability requires S-ATA power connection
> 5) Single recent backup may contain pre-existing problems
> 6) HDs don't sem to like brackets and exclosures

Bullshit.

> So yes; you could use (say) BING from www.bootitng.com to image
> off C: to another HD, as long as you unplug the PC from mains before
> connecting and disconnecting the extra HD. Bear in mind the risk of
> including problems within the backup, e.g. (say) a malware that
> infected the system 29 days ago that has a 30-day payload fuse.

> For the rest of the data, I'd do file-level copies rather
> than image backups, so that the backups are browsable.

Any decent imager allows you to browse the image.

> For the same reason, I'd keep data you wanted
> to browse, off the C: that you will image.

No need. Just use a decent imager.

> If copying files to CDR or DVDR, bear in mind that different file
> system rules can knock file and path names around, attributes could
> revert to read-only, and NTFS-specific metadata will typically be lost.

Another good reason for imaging with a decent imager.

> To preserve those things, consider first archiving within a .zip
> (using something that manages the NTFS fluff, if that's important
> to you) and then drop those .zip onto the CDR or DVDR.

Or use a decent imager.
 
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On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 05:08:14 +1000, "Rod Speed" <rod_speed@yahoo.com>
>cquirke (MVP Windows shell/user) <cquirkenews@nospam.mvps.org> wrote
>> Columbus <hiss@mail.com> wrote

>>> How viable is it for a user like me to use a HARD DRIVE (maybe 160 GB
>>> or 200 GB) as a backup medium?

>> Caveats:

>> 1) XP original (SP0) can't "see" HDs < 137G

>You've got that backwards. And they can see drives > 137G,
>they'll just corrupt the data as access wraps at that point.

Yes indeed; the < should be a >

It would be a lot safer if XP SP0 would simply refuse to "see" an
over-137G than appear to work and then barf the data, so I if
anything, your assertion re-inforces my caveat, unless partitioning
keeps the volumes that are used, short of that point.

>> 2) XP installations do not survive file-level copying, must image

>Wrong. Have fun explaining xxclone.

I haven't used XXClone, but I've certainly seen what happens when
methods that work flawlessly with Win9x installations are applied to
XP installations. The result doesn't boot, even if you get all the
boot code stuff spot on.

>And you dont need a bootable copy for backup anyway.

Depends why you are trying to backup, doesn't it? Someone backing up
the whole of C: is liable to expect a restore to be bootable.

>> 3) ATX "off" maintains power trickle; unsafe to remove IDE HDs

>Wrong. And the worst you have to do is unplug
>the power supply from the mains anyway.

I'd remove the mains; that's what I'm saying. ATX "off" definately
maintains a standby trickle of power to the system; what may be
debatable is whether this power goes to the HDs, via power leads or
via the data connections.

>> 4) S-ATA hot-swappability requires S-ATA power connection
>> 5) Single recent backup may contain pre-existing problems
>> 6) HDs don't sem to like brackets and exclosures

>Bullshit.

Speaking from experience, my friend. I see far more dead HDs from
brackets than I do from "normal" use; why that is, is open to
conjecture, but that's the mileage.

Or are you claiming it's "bullshit" that a malware can permeate a
system, and backups thereof, before hatching a destructive payload
several days later?

Or are you disputing Western Digital's advice NOT to hot-swap their
S-ATA drives if using the legacy power connectors they provide?

>> For the rest of the data, I'd do file-level copies rather
>> than image backups, so that the backups are browsable.

>Any decent imager allows you to browse the image.

OK, so don't use any of the indecent ones that abound.



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Reality is that which, when you stop believing
in it, does not go away (PKD)
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