whats the solution for long term data storage, if good hard drives only last 3 to 5 years on average?

  theDarkness 01:46 01 Jun 2009

Just out of general interest. Surely the next technology to replace hard drive computer storage only just around the corner? If cd and dvd technology, admittedly by their manufacturers, can often claim a lifespan of up to 100 yrs (i think sony are stretching it a bit) there is surely something wrong. The real problem is that hard drives are getting so big now, with 300 to 400 gig drives at just over £30, that theres going to be an awful lot of unhappy people with potentially vast quantities of data lost when their drives do eventually give up on them. The majority are lazy and do not back up. Ok, so pc tech does advance at such a rapid rate, perhaps so much so that in 5 yrs users may actually have replaced their current hd just to keep up with tech long before they kick the bucket, and you could always backup to a 2nd hard drive since no 2 hard drives are likely to give up at exactly the same time- but surely something new and reliable is just around the corner to allow long term data storage far larger than what is currently on offer from blank cd and dvd? One of the only things we havent been able to truly solve perhaps is long term storage, when we are able to advance in so many other areas? Or are we set to stick to the disc format, with hundreds of once writable bluray discs ready to fill up your computer storage cupboard?

  jack 14:32 01 Jun 2009

Seem to be the way.
Other then that Hard drives and DVD's and keep replacing them whilst they ate still healthy.

  wiz-king 18:03 01 Jun 2009

I agree with Jack. A print from a lazer printer onto copier paper should be good for about 25-50 years. A tape recording of your mp3's should last at least 10, more likely 25 years. Inkjet prints should last 10 years.

  theDarkness 22:26 01 Jun 2009

such a pity. lol. Its too bad the physical aspect of hds (or anything computer related come to think of it) must always interfere. I really cant see us using the same technology once hard drives are 3x the size of what they are now, unless in relation to what we will be watching downloading or using on our super fast computers by then will not be deemed any larger in comparison to hd size to what we have now. It just seems odd to think that the lifespan of a cd is supposedly still way in advance of current hd technology. But thats perhaps the main problem, the most popular hard drive format, IDE, is not the latest technology. It seems IDE is on its way out according to this article, but i do not know if other types of hard drive, SATA etc, offer a longer lifespan in comparison click here

  wiz-king 05:46 02 Jun 2009

Tablets of stone seems a good idea - the words seem to linger long after the stone turns to dust.

  jack 07:19 02 Jun 2009

Such is the 'Transient' nature of magnetic/optical storage methods in perhaps a couple of hundred years the history of our times will be a grey hole
The period will become the 'Grey Ages'
Where the record of our times will be spasmodic and incomplete
Does FE have a comment I wonder?

  john bunyan 15:59 02 Jun 2009

I believe that final copies of Bills from Parmiament are still written on vellum, as they have been for hundreds of years. Difficult to get it though ........

  jack 17:40 02 Jun 2009

and USB devices and is beginning to be used in some lappies.
Still costly of course as with all thing electronic the price will come down.
So speculate in time what will say 1 terabyte solid drive cost and- what will its promoted life be?
Promote - reduce by 50% for practical purposes.

  theDarkness 02:58 03 Jun 2009

Haha. what brands of hard drive do everyone use, or have found to be the best in life expectancy? I have heard from various (mac) forums that maxtor make the cheapest yet most unreliable drives click here
I think maxtor have now been bought over by seagate according to that forum, so their reputation might get better if the forum is correct in maxtors quality of hd. i have a fairly new external hard drive from pc world (its.. a maxtor! Lol) and now dont know whether to trust the drive, if they do indeed have a far lower life expectancy. Im not sure if my drive was manufactured after the takeover or not, so no idea who really made the drive, or how to find out. Of course i always backup so have nothing to worry about, but i really would like to believe that my drive will last longer than one year. Lol! thats probably if im lucky. Ive only ever had one failing drive. It was a seagate, supposedly one of the best manufacturers, but ill admit the cause was likely an overheating desktop without the correct fan set up..

  theDarkness 15:26 03 Jun 2009

Some companies selling maxtors as both 'maxtor' and 'seagate' although theres no way of knowing which company manufactured the drive. the basic 500gb is the one i have here, probably maxtor as there are no other labels on the drive itself click here

  jack 16:48 03 Jun 2009

Not a lot very likely.
The point I strive to make is that such in the interdependerbilty fractionation of the electronics industry- with back street sheds in some place China- bashing out Chassis here - boards there - motor drive somewhere else and selling them to the top of the pile Co., who assemble then- My guess the drive does not know what it is until it sees the label on the box.
Oh - I'm a Maxtor then - I wish I was a Seagate ;-}

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