[SOLVED] Worth getting a used HDD for backup?

Lafong

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You can try to evaluate "good health", but good health can change to dead in seconds for no known reason.

The same can be said of a brand new drive.

The defense would be to have 2 backups.

I suppose the choice depends on the state of your finances and how much cheaper the used drive is.
 

punkncat

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I have utilized "used/refurbished" HDD in the past due to budgetary constraints. By and large I have had good results from doing so. Without getting too deep into the whole "proper backups" dialog. I would consider the value of the information you wish to keep and whether the cash outlay saved is worth possibly losing it. Even with a new storage drive, only one backup is typically not ideal.

Another method I have utilized where the space needed wasn't so large as to make it too inconvenient is to utilize burned DVD. I have most of my music catalogue backed up this way in addition to multiple locations.
 

punkncat

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OP, something I would point out in regard to buying a (less expensive) new drive. Many of the external USB style backup drives can be purchased cheaper than the drive that comes in them. The practice is called "shucking" and is totally worthwhile way to save some bucks. A word of warning though. ABSOLUTELY plug the drive in and check for operation BEFORE you take the enclosure apart. Once it's open, it's yours regardless.
 
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USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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OP, something I would point out in regard to buying a (less expensive) new drive. Many of the external USB style backup drives can be purchased cheaper than the drive that comes in them. The practice is called "shucking" and is totally worthwhile way to save some bucks. A word of warning though. ABSOLUTELY plug the drive in and check for operation BEFORE you take the enclosure apart. Once it's open, it's yours regardless.
Indeed.
I have this 8TB "external", $140 when I bought it.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CQJBSQL

Shucked, and it now lives in my NAS.

But I researched completely before buying this one, to verify that it can be shucked and used as a regular SATA drive.
Not all externals can.
 
Reactions: King_V
Feb 23, 2022
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You can try to evaluate "good health", but good health can change to dead in seconds for no known reason.

The same can be said of a brand new drive.

The defense would be to have 2 backups.

I suppose the choice depends on the state of your finances and how much cheaper the used drive is.
I will dedicate my HDD to a backup when i get an ssd, And the used one for another backup.
 
Jul 20, 2021
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Yes but make sure you also backup to the cloud like me with college work. I got both cloud and external storage for backing up important data.

But any drive can fail.
 
While people will say "device X can fail at any point in time for no apparent reason," statistically speaking devices tend to follow a bathtub curve when it comes to failure rates. That is, the device has a high chance to fail in the first 30 or so days. After that, it dramatically drops and stays that way for several years, in which case the failure rate starts creeping back up.

The low point in the bathtub curve tends to be several years, assuming regular usage. So if the drive is around 1 year old, it should be fine to use for a while.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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While people will say "device X can fail at any point in time for no apparent reason," statistically speaking devices tend to follow a bathtub curve when it comes to failure rates. That is, the device has a high chance to fail in the first 30 or so days. After that, it dramatically drops and stays that way for several years, in which case the failure rate starts creeping back up.

The low point in the bathtub curve tends to be several years, assuming regular usage. So if the drive is around 1 year old, it should be fine to use for a while.
Of my last 3 dead drives:
3TB WD Green - dead at 5 weeks
960GB SanDisk SSD - dead at 3 yrs, 33 days
16TB Toshiba Enterprise - dead at 7 months

and that Toshiba is on the most recent list from BackBlaze as having zero fails.

Good backups laugh at 'statistics'.
 

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