Long Term Storage

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Long Term Storage

  • The problem I have with long term storage, is being able to have a working device in the future that can read the medium on which your data is stored.

    The magnetic hard drives are fine and durable, at least the platters generally are. It seems to be the disk heads or motors that fail. Once those fail, then years in the future, you won't be able to read any of your data.

    I'm still waiting for the day when I can recover the data off of all of my dead 3.5" hard drives by simply placing the hard drive or platters into some kind of magnetic scanner. I looked into "Data Doctors"/hard drive recovery specialists, and it turns out, all they do is try to find an identical model hard drive and swap out the components. I tried it a couple of times, with as close of matching model numbers as I could find, but neither worked. Why do hard drive manufactures make such small, completely incompatible changes like that?

    I should be able to take a platter out of the hard drive, place it on some kind of flatbed scanner, or like into a device with a CD tray, and it should be able to scan all the bits off of it. Maybe in the year 3510, like you said.

  • I think the idea of motors and physical things is fair, but some of that is looking back. Any disk (ish) tech is inherently not built for long term. We want some sort of WORM, optical storage, where the actual item can be read with different types of other tech. Likely anything other than optics are less reliable in the very long term.

  • "These days, I know many people have moved to secondary disk storage of some sort, often rotating data across a few disk types that give you recovery for days, weeks, or longer. I don't know how long term storage work in Azure or AWS, but I assume some sort of combination of technologies are in use. I also know I don't trust them completely to be readily available and recoverable after a few years."

    I am archiving personal data and digitizing photos and slides some of which are 100 years old.  This way I can share with multiple family members things that have been stored in boxes for decades.  My plan is to maintain multiple copies with regular alternated refreshing.  For reference, when trying to read 3.5" floppy disks that I think were from the late 1970's,  I had a failure rate of about 40% which convinces me that the regular refreshing is needed.   This would also provide the opportunity to implement new technology as it is available.  For safety, I would maintain at least three versions, so there is always a safety when overwriting and refreshing the oldest.


    Disaster Recovery = Backup ( Backup ( Your Backup ) )

  • I'm not an advocate of cryptocurrency or smart contract applications - but the underlying technology of publicly distributed ledgers and blockchains can be leveraged to protect digital records from disaster, censorship, and technological obsolesce. The application data can still be encrypted in a way that makes it unusable by anyone but holder(s) of the private key.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

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