Store 10 GB data for 7-8 years, SSD?

Nenu

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I'm late to the party, but yeah...SSD and flash drives are a bad idea. Probably the worst media of all mentioned. Even powering it up every so often won't do it.
I wouldnt be so certain about SSDs, there is a higher risk sure, but given the different types of failure, using multiple methods is a good idea.

I've got an OCz Vertex 60GB SSD bought 11 years ago, I stopped using it around 8/9 years ago because it started to develop bad sectors.
Last year I found it and tried to boot it, it worked fine still with the old Windows 7 OS on it from my 2500K days.
Scandisk didnt find any new issues, no more bad sectors either.
Even the crappiest drive lasted 7+ years in a box without issue.
Its now one of my multiple backup drives for personal data I dont want to lose.

Note in my earlier post I suggested using 2 backups of each 3 media types.
Given the chance/types of failure on any of them this has the best chance of having intact data.
 

travm

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This data may be never accessed or may be accessed just a few times in that span of time.

That combined it is for a client (and only 10 gig) I would favorize physical support they will able easily to read it in 10 year's if they forgot about it

simple USB drive-flash disk being the first obvious option, .
The prevalence of this as an answer is concerning.
USB flash drives are short term reliable only. Completely unsuitable for long term storage. Like going fishing in your truck.
 

travm

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Hard rives that don't spin much scare me as much as anything else.
An unpowered spinning drive will maintain data integrity for a very long time. Just don't throw it in the lake. You will likely be able to recover the data but it will be expensive.
 

Tobit

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I vote for spinners and quality CD-R's.
 

LukeTbk

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The prevalence of this as an answer is concerning.
USB flash drives are short term reliable only. Completely unsuitable for long term storage. Like going fishing in your truck.
Wonder if by now there is some data, like asking 1,000 people to boot there 10-12 year's old Ipod and look if the data on it is corrupted or not.

I would imagine that having say 3 copy of 3 good quality new flash usb disk, virtually never use and well stored would have had a good chance to have at least one be readable with 0 corruption after only 10 year's (while in reality modern one seem to have expect 3 month and wish for more), but yes after reading simple regular HDD seem better in everyway here and you can assume they will still be easy to plug in a computer around in 10 year's.
 

travm

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Wonder if by now there is some data, like asking 1,000 people to boot there 10-12 year's old Ipod and look if the data on it is corrupted or not.

I would imagine that having say 3 copy of 3 good quality new flash usb disk, virtually never use and well stored would have had a good chance to have at least one be readable with 0 corruption after only 10 year's (while in reality modern one seem to have expect 3 month and wish for more), but yes after reading simple regular HDD seem better in everyway here and you can assume they will still be easy to plug in a computer around in 10 year's.
That wouldn't be a proper test.
An Ipad is constantly writing and rewriting its data. That isnt long term storage. You're confusing age, with storage. Flash media uses an electronic charge to hold the data in silicon. That charge fades with time. after 10 years, you are definately playing with fire. USB drives are also made as CHEAPLY as possible, with low quality components, and less likely to hold that charge.

A test for this is not required, and if you wished to conduct that test, it would not have anything to do with an ipad.
 

LukeTbk

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That wouldn't be a proper test.
An Ipad is constantly writing and rewriting its data. That isnt long term storage. You're confusing age, with storage. Flash media uses an electronic charge to hold the data in silicon. That charge fades with time. after 10 years, you are definately playing with fire. USB drives are also made as CHEAPLY as possible, with low quality components, and less likely to hold that charge.

A test for this is not required, and if you wished to conduct that test, it would not have anything to do with an ipad.
I think you misread or making a typo hear, Ipod is an important variable, because the 2006-2008 Ipod would not have been used (or charge) for years, unlike the Ipad.
 

travm

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I think you misread or making a typo hear, Ipod is an important variable, because the 2006-2008 Ipod would not have been used (or charge) for years, unlike the Ipad.
Your telling me, everyone bought ipods in 2006-2008, and then simply put them in a drawer? Also by simply turning it on, doesn't tell us that there is no data corruption. It might mostly work, but have corruption in a few rarely or even never used areas. That is not a data integrity test.

Ipad/Ipod, no difference. Its also no comparison to an SSD, or usb flash drive. There are many different kinds of flash memory, certified to various levels of integrity. The flash on an SSD will be low to mid grade, the flash on a USB disk will be as low as possibly (read cheap) for most.

Your logic is wrong. period. it is not a data integrity test.
 

LukeTbk

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Your telling me, everyone bought ipods in 2006-2008, and then simply put them in a drawer? Also by simply turning it on, doesn't tell us that there is no data corruption. It might mostly work, but have corruption in a few rarely or even never used areas. That is not a data integrity test.
No that finding enough of them that stopped using them around 2011, reading the music and other data with a device that can make an integrity test on them (by comparing with the same music file still on itunes for example)

I imagine there is very little data on longevity because I was totally wrong and not considered a good idea for mid let alone long term storage by anyone.
 

raz-0

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I have DOS games on compact disc that still all work flawlessly from the early 90s. So your article includes lies about the maximum life of disc media.
A factory pressed CD is not remotely the same stuff going on from a physcial construction and chemical process as a cd-r type or setup.

An unpowered spinning drive will maintain data integrity for a very long time. Just don't throw it in the lake. You will likely be able to recover the data but it will be expensive.
Beware oxidation. I have had hard drives that sat around unpowered that were unusable in much less than 10 years. My only guess is oxidation on the controller board. If you are going to try that, bag em and put in oxygen eaters.

I can say from experience, magnetic backup tape is reasonably sound at around the 7 year mark and that's from retention issues across multiple generations of media.

Amazon S3 mentioned above isn't exactly a bad answer. It's generally in line with where we've been moving to get away from tape for our compliance and retention needs.
 

les_garten

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I had no idea the can of worms I was opening! But this is a good thread.

So how about a proposal and a few questions

Proposal:
1) Enterprise level External HD -- Would a Good 2.5" do it?
2) Samsung External SSD
3) Couple of BluRay Copies on M-Disc(lasts 1000 years)

Power up the drives and runs some software routines on them once a year, like 3 days

What software?

What software to Burn the BluRays? IMGBurn?
 

travm

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Proposal:
1) Enterprise level External HD -- Would a Good 2.5" do it? - Yes. Enterprise level is likely unnecessary, but certainly no downside (aside from additional cost).
2) Samsung External SSD - No point IMO... Waste of an SSD.
3) Couple of BluRay Copies on M-Disc(lasts 1000 years) - 3 copies Minimum, stored in different locations. Cool, dry, no vermin, out of sunlight, etc.

Power up the drives and runs some software routines on them once a year, like 3 days

What software? Windows! (or linux). Using proprietary software, other than base level file management software, introduces an additional possible failure mode - loss of support from vendor. If you dont have and cant access the software required to read the discs, it was all for naught.

What software to Burn the BluRays? IMGBurn? Whatever you're comfortable with. BluRay hardware firmware does the actual business of writing the discs. Other software is all just UI, or heaven forbid, another layer of complexity that might require special software that you cant get in the future to read.
my $0.02, although i guess i need to round up to nickel ($0.05) now, since Canukistan doesn't use copper anymore.
 

les_garten

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my $0.02, although i guess i need to round up to nickel ($0.05) now, since Canukistan doesn't use copper anymore.
Windows system

I was referring to running some type of benchmark(or something else) to exercise the disks gently to keep the bearings on the HDD lubricated and the SSD charged and trim'd I guess.

Perhaps run scandisk or something
 

travm

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Windows system

I was referring to running some type of benchmark(or something else) to exercise the disks gently to keep the bearings on the HDD lubricated and the SSD charged and trim'd I guess.

Perhaps run scandisk or something
ahh,
Honestly, I'd pack them onto a shelf and forget about it. There might be a utility that does what you want. I see that step as introducing additional risk, vs adding some guarantee. Your optical media is most likely to last out of that list.
 

les_garten

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So they won't be on a shelf. Most likely Bank Deposit box. I think verifying the drives once a year wouldn't hurt. It would catch if one media failed. If the M-discs perform like they claim, even 1/100th of what they claim, should be good.

What 500GB to 1TB HDD would you guys point me toward?
 

pitingres

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I think I'd want to use hard drives with the lowest practical bit density, so 3.5" drives rather than the 2.5" units. I don't have any hard data on this, just a feeling.

I have (well, had) a handful of 3.5" 6 and 12GB (yes, GB) SCSI drives that came out of some Sun equipment that I last turned on about 5 years ago. Before getting rid of them a few months back, I powered a couple on and they were fine, and readable. A think a couple were Seagate and the rest were Fujitsu.
 

Nenu

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So they won't be on a shelf. Most likely Bank Deposit box. I think verifying the drives once a year wouldn't hurt. It would catch if one media failed. If the M-discs perform like they claim, even 1/100th of what they claim, should be good.

What 500GB to 1TB HDD would you guys point me toward?
I would choose a good grade, none helium, HGST (Hitachi) branded drive, larger than 2TB, 4TB or less. NAS drive or better.
Larger than 2TB so you get a more recent drive with better stability, but 4TB or less to not include tech that hasnt had time to be fully vetted yet.
Or if careful how you eventually use it, an HGST 8TB helium drive.

The reason for not choosing a helium drive despite them having better build quality, when the helium is gone they will run much hotter due to increased air friction.
Helium can migrate out over a long time and if a seal goes anywhere on the drive, you lose all of it.
Having said that, I have 3 helium drives and one runs a lot hotter than the others. They are live 24/7.
I'm sure it must have lost its helium.
It runs about 10C hotter but with a fan blowing over, it presents no problem. Temps are below 40C on hottest days (with a fan blowing over the drive), where room ambient exceeds 32C.

HGST / Hitachi have proven the most reliable of all drives I have used, I've had zero failures and plenty of other drives fail.
But I have no experience of drives newer than probably 5 years old, ie new designs by WD who bought Hitachi.
 

Keljian

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I had no idea the can of worms I was opening! But this is a good thread.

So how about a proposal and a few questions

Proposal:
1) Enterprise level External HD -- Would a Good 2.5" do it?
2) Samsung External SSD
3) Couple of BluRay Copies on M-Disc(lasts 1000 years)


Power up the drives and runs some software routines on them once a year, like 3 days

What software?

What software to Burn the BluRays? IMGBurn?

The external HDD - if stored as mentioned earlier with desiccant/airtight bags will be fine, and yes 2.5" would do. Humidity will kill the drive if it is not spinning and just stored. It won't need to be refreshed every year, maybe every 3-4 years if you want, but it should be fine without refreshing.Desiccant needs to be refreshed or changed every 2 years.

As an aside, I recommend you make two copies of the data on the actual drive if space is not at a premium.

The samsung external ssd will be fine if you run it and rewrite at least 1-2x a year, these are not designed for data storage though so I don't think this is worthwhile.

The blurays will be fine (suggest storage/desiccant as mentioned earlier) - normal windows can burn dvds, it would be enough. Humidity and mould may kill these. Trick here would be to have an external drive that you store similar to your hard drive earlier
 
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_Gea

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I would look at solutions that
- simply allow silent data errors without data loss
- is read only (protection against undetected modifications)
- report and auto repair them on regular checks
- optionally encrypted

A solution can be a ZFS pool from 3 drives in a 3 way mirror. For an additional security level, add copies=2.
Run a scrub at least once a year, maybe more often to verify data from checksums. Detected errors will be repaired automatically.

The read only protection against modification can be done with a ZFS snap.
This will protect data even with regular SSDs.

For a cloud backup, use an encrypted ZFS pool. Replicate to a file and upload to a cloud provider.
 

Keljian

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I would look at solutions that
- simply allow silent data errors without data loss
- is read only (protection against undetected modifications)
- report and auto repair them on regular checks
- optionally encrypted

A solution can be a ZFS pool from 3 drives in a 3 way mirror. For an additional security level, add copies=2.
Run a scrub at least once a year, maybe more often to verify data from checksums. Detected errors will be repaired automatically.

The read only protection against modification can be done with a ZFS snap.
This will protect data even with regular SSDs.

For a cloud backup, use an encrypted ZFS pool. Replicate to a file and upload to a cloud provider.
This is beyond the grasp of a lot of people.
 

Mchart

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Only 10GB? I'd just use a couple different technology styles of dual layer DVD's and call it a day. No reason to invest a bunch of money.

Optical media is generally fairly long lived. The issues you see are from bad batches generally. On average i'd say most people have CDR's that are nearing 20+ years old now, and DVDR's easily over a decade without any issues.
 

SamirD

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So I actually am doing the exact same thing as your friend, except I don't have all the data yet and it's a much larger data set (couple of TB vs GB).

Here are my thoughts from computing for long term storage since the mid-1990s:
  • Formats change - what was ubiquitous at one point will be obsolete at another (zip drive, jaz, syquest, syjet, CD-ROM, SCSI, IDE, etc). Work in a format that will hopefully still be around.
  • Magnetic media does not like to be off-line. I have had drives with only a couple of hundred power on hours fail when they were powered on after 5 years in storage. I wouldn't think about keeping the data off-line--if you want it to last, it needs to be online.
  • Consider the retrieval. Just like in a good backup system, think about the restoration. Will you have the equipment to read off of a drive that may have a different interface? Will usb-c to usb-a adapters be a pain to find? Can a cable, power supply, or other 'moving part' in the system cause a complete system failure?

I've actually read some fascinating documents on long-term archival and the challenges with digital. It seems digital is quite fragile when it comes to long-term archive. Paper can last well over 100 years without a sweat and so far, nothing digital is even close to that. So ironically, if this is going to be in a bank safety deposit box and it's not like a file cabinet when all the PDFs are printed out, my vote would actually be for just that--paper. Nothing needed to retrieve the data (you've got eyes), nothing special to store it aside from keeping it dry, and it's pretty cheap for the level of safety you get.

The only other thing I've found is that the only way to keep data archived is to keep it on-line. Buy a storage system just for this data, turn it on and have it run 24x7, replace drives inside of their warranty period with newer ones with warranty, and keep going. It's actually what we've done with our records which consist of 3x enterprise drives in usb enclosures with fans that are constantly on. I will swap out drives before their 5yr warranty runs out (usually at year 3) and then keep going. Because they're usb externals, even if the server they're connected to is destroyed, the data is back online fast. Plus, we can take them off site so if a physical site is destroyed, the data is still there. And we have backups--lots of them, mainly onto about a dozen+ nas units scattered in two different states. And we run comparisons using winmerge every so often to detect any bit rot. It's worked well. I started using this technique when my personal photography data usage broke 100GB.
 

SamirD

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I had no idea the can of worms I was opening! But this is a good thread.

So how about a proposal and a few questions

Proposal:
1) Enterprise level External HD -- Would a Good 2.5" do it?
2) Samsung External SSD
3) Couple of BluRay Copies on M-Disc(lasts 1000 years)


Power up the drives and runs some software routines on them once a year, like 3 days

What software?

What software to Burn the BluRays? IMGBurn?
It's a big one, and it's not an easy one to do successfully.

1. I would only look at enterprise grade, and if you can stomach it, sas vs sata as the sas drives are just better for this sort of thing. (But this does make retrieval harder.)
2. I wouldn't use an SSD. It's not a large enough data set that you can't wait the few minutes it would take to restore it from a hard drive backup.
3. I would use M-disc since it was designed for this. The problem is if a drive will be working and available when you need to retrieve it even if the disc is perfect.

With drives, I wouldn't use just one. I would use a minimum of 3x. And they would need to be compared to each other bit for bit to detect any bit rot. By using a minimum of 3 drives, it will be easy to see which drive has had a bit flip and then to copy back the uncorrupted file to restore the integrity. I would also compare with the M-disc version of the data, and at least 3x copies of this as well for the same reason (although corruption in the m-disc basically destroys that copy).

As far as writing the optical media, I'm not sure, but I would prep an iso and then write that iso using your favorite. (If blu-rays and m-disc write the same way as dvd/cd).

And I would use all this in conjunction with paper if it's possible, because nothing digital holds a candle to paper--history even shows that paper lasts as that's the medium where we've even found history.
 

Valnar

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I wouldnt be so certain about SSDs, there is a higher risk sure, but given the different types of failure, using multiple methods is a good idea.

I've got an OCz Vertex 60GB SSD bought 11 years ago, I stopped using it around 8/9 years ago because it started to develop bad sectors.
Last year I found it and tried to boot it, it worked fine still with the old Windows 7 OS on it from my 2500K days.
Scandisk didnt find any new issues, no more bad sectors either.
Even the crappiest drive lasted 7+ years in a box without issue.

I believe that drive has 34nm MLC NAND. In that case, the saying "they don't build them like that anymore" applies. You can't compare the robustness of that drive to a modern TLC/QLC drive.
 

Zepher

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I just read that data retention on consumer SSD's stored in your home will last over 10 years powered off with no data loss.
All of the other articles stating 52 weeks for consumer or 7 days for enterprise was extreme cases with the drives at their end of life stored at 50*C or so.
 

SamirD

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I just read that data retention on consumer SSD's stored in your home will last over 10 years powered off with no data loss.
All of the other articles stating 52 weeks for consumer or 7 days for enterprise was extreme cases with the drives at their end of life stored at 50*C or so.
I wouldn't be willing to bet the data on it though. Everyone's 'MTBF' and 'lifespan' numbers are usually way off of reality.
 

Zepher

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The oldest drives I owned that were powered down for over a decade were my Seagate Cheetahs. I think they were stored for 15 or so years.
When I powered them up a few years ago, one wouldn't spin and the other made a strange sound. I was able to get the non spinning one to spin after letting it sit in the freezer over night and copied the data from it.
The other one couldn't get any data from it, it would spin but make a strange repeating beeping sound every few seconds.


and this was the one from the freezer,
 

SamirD

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Yeah, I'm worried about my old Cyrix p166+ system. I haven't powered it up in about 10 years, but prior to that all 3x of the scsi drives and the controller worked fine (9GB x3, 2x 2nd gen Cheetah and one Quantum Atlas). The bigger problem is that it won't power up because the varta motherboard battery leaked. It's a supermicro board, but they said they can't fix it. :(
 

Nenu

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Similar with my Amiga A500 + SCSI hard drive.
I dont dare power it up!

ps
SamirD, you can replace the battery with anything the same voltage and it will be fine.
 

SamirD

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Similar with my Amiga A500 + SCSI hard drive.
I dont dare power it up!

ps
SamirD, you can replace the battery with anything the same voltage and it will be fine.
Thank you! I'll have to try that once I can restore that system and our 486, and our IBM PS/2 30-286 and all the others. :eek: I'll be busy for a few years once I get to all this stuff, haha.
 

Grebuloner

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3. I would use M-disc since it was designed for this. The problem is if a drive will be working and available when you need to retrieve it even if the disc is perfect.
MDisc would be the best, I agree. The retention time needed is only 10ish years; I'd say it's safe to say that a new external optical drive will be available to buy then, plus tons of used options on the 'bay and ubiquitous USB cable adapters.

You can still buy brand new USB 3.5" floppy drives, used functional 8"/5.25" internals are bountiful (you can't have mine!), and new floppies can be had.
 

SamirD

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MDisc would be the best, I agree. The retention time needed is only 10ish years; I'd say it's safe to say that a new external optical drive will be available to buy then, plus tons of used options on the 'bay and ubiquitous USB cable adapters.

You can still buy brand new USB 3.5" floppy drives, used functional 8"/5.25" internals are bountiful (you can't have mine!), and new floppies can be had.
I don't disagree with you on this, but from my experience when having to retrieve data like this, time is of the essence and you generally don't have any buffer for potential retrieval issues. I guess one could always contact a media conversion company, but that's yet another cog in the wheel.
 

Keljian

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I don't disagree with you on this, but from my experience when having to retrieve data like this, time is of the essence and you generally don't have any buffer for potential retrieval issues. I guess one could always contact a media conversion company, but that's yet another cog in the wheel.
I would say just buy two usb dvd/m-disc burners, and store them in ziplock bags with desiccant(changing it every 2-3 years), they should be fine over 10 years or more. Get two for redundancy.

With big enough desiccant pouches or regular changing of these, they would be fine for 20-25 years.
 

Deadjasper

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The very first flash drive I bought, a 512mb Simpletech, still has the original data that was put on it when it was new and it's still perfectly intact. This is in spite of the fact that it's been washed in the washing machine more time than I can count and abused to no end. Once it was plugged into a computer that was fried by a lightning strike and it survived perfectly intact, data and all. I'm not sure how old it is but it's way over 10 years old. I have no idea how well new ones today will stand up to the test of time but back in the stonage, they were built to last.
 
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