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best reliable data storage media?


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momtodogs momtodogs is offline
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01-Aug-2010, 03:04 PM #1
Question best reliable data storage media?
I apologize if this issue has been covered somewhere. I tried searching, but I am having trouble wording the search criteria.

I have been scanning/saving most of my documents, pictures, etc. to my hard drive. I usually shred the hardcopy paper. I have a lot of files that just need to be archived (might need someday), including photos and letters of my husband and my parents (all now deceased.) I back up to Mozy, daily, and to a Western Digital My Book, but I worry a lot (on meds for this ) about losing these precious memories.

Which storage media you recommend for long-term storage in a basic sized safe deposit box? Flash drive? CD or DVD? SD card?

I don't know whether there are any magnets in the surrounding boxes.

Thanks for your patience.
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desmin88 desmin88 is offline
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01-Aug-2010, 04:51 PM #2
If you ultra paranoid, use them all.

Backup to a flash drive, then to a CD, then to a DVD,then to a harddrive, then an SD card.
Then store each separate backup medium in a different secure place.

Then print out all of your needed data, put it in a fireproof case, and place it in your house attic.

If you do all this, i seriously doubt you will ever worry again.

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momtodogs momtodogs is offline
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01-Aug-2010, 05:33 PM #3
Smile Thanks for the diagnosis
I have experienced loss:

of irreplaceable family treasures, due to fire
my husband, in 2003, due to a sudden heart attack (with no warning). He was only 54.
my mother, in 2004
my father, in 2008

I am trying to save these treasures digitally (including some nonsense stories my father told us as children), so new generations who have not met these precious people, will know them.

Paranoid? Maybe.
Obsessive-Compulsive? Probably.
Designated family 'keeper'? Definitely.

I understand that you probably intended to be amusing, and I am always ready to see the funny side in my quirks ; but, I really would like a serious answer to my question.
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01-Aug-2010, 05:49 PM #4
I don't think that desmin88 intended to be funny. The point is the more back-up's you have the more likely one will survive. Which back up media is the most reliable is up for debate. But obviously one back up is not sufficient, so the more the better. And do not store them all in the same place.

P.S. Sorry to hear about your losses.
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01-Aug-2010, 06:26 PM #5
You may learn quite a bit reading these three pages:
- Long term (archival type) storage?
- Blu-ray disks for archival media?
- Are my old DVD archives safe?

In short, use multiple types of storage in multiple locations.
Best wishes in the future, and sorry to hear about your past losses.
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01-Aug-2010, 06:36 PM #6
The advice you were given is bang on. Digital media fails and its failure rate increases with its age. So best advice is, as stated, make more than one copy on more than one type of media. Check these archives on a regular basis, when one shows signs of failing (corrupted files, bad sectors ... etc) make a new copy from one of the other media archives.

Personally I wouldn't bother with flash drives, SD cards or the like. Safest would probably be to use a solid state removable hard drive (portable ones can be physically quite small ... an example on newwegg). Also as a backup to the HD I'd burn the archives onto DVD (CD's are just to small to be practical). The big thing to remember with DVD's is you get what you pay for. Cheap is cheap and not worth wasting time on. Personal choices for quality DVD media is Verbatim and Taiyo Yuden.

digitalFAQ.com - gives a good overview of digital media and how to choose quality

a final note is storage, remember DVD's don't like heat or sunlight as they cause the dyes used to break down faster
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desmin88 desmin88 is offline
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01-Aug-2010, 11:42 PM #7
@momtodogs

I was being completely serious.

To make your fear of fire destroying your data subside, put them in a fire proof casing.

Make a copy of all your data on various formats, CDs, DVDs,SSD,HDD, flash if you want to. Heck, maybe even a floppy drive. And dont forget hard copys on paper, those can be most secure if you protect them in a water proof-fire proof casing.

Basically, make copies of the data on tons of different storage mediums, and store them in a water proof, fire proof case. This is the best option to protect your data.
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02-Aug-2010, 01:59 AM #8
Yeah, ditto on the fire-proof safe.

This one is a good balance of size, rating (1-hour CD/DVD) and cost (about $60):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B00006IBHM

Worthwhile to have at least one of these, at one location.
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