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Refreshing data on a hard drive (to prevent it from "evaporating" over time)

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by lukair, Jan 29, 2011.

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  1. lukair

    lukair Thread Starter

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    Hello.

    I was recently made aware, that the data on the disc will vanish overtime due to the fact they are stored in a magnetic way, if the disc is not used internaly. This is the case with my 500GB Seagate disc, that I consider as data storage, and which is just laying on the shelf in a closet.

    I wanted to ask what I need to do to prevent it. Do I need only to READ the data off the disc, or do I have to RE-WRITE them to prevent this from happening ? If I only need to read them, is there a command in windows XP terminal, that I could use to do this ? I found a command for MAC to read the whole disc:
    sudo cat /dev/rdisk0> /dev/null
    but I can't find similar for Windows XP.

    The best soslution for me though, would be to use the software to scan the disc, as I want to do it from time to time, to check if everything with the disc is ok. So, would scanning of the whole disc using some software (to find bad secotrs) like for example "[email protected] Hard Disk Monitor" do the trick ? If it would coule be great, as I would cook 2 dishes on a 1 stove.

    Thanks guys
     
  2. Jack Hackett

    Jack Hackett

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    I have some old HDD's sitting in a dusty old cardboard box for over 5 years with data on, the data is still perfectly readable after all this time. no corruption of files whatsoever.
     
  3. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Though it is true that magnets weaken over time, it is not likely that the timeframe involved will be shorter than your lifetime.

    But if you really want to do something like this, a program called "SpinRite" does just that, based on the possibly ridiculous assumption that data read and then rewritten is somehow "stronger" than data that has not had this process applied to it. But it's one of those things that can't hurt, so why not?

    In my experience, the thing that kills hard drives is moisture. And I don't mean rain, but even the small amount in a supposedly dry, cool cellar. Most drives I have seen that fail surface tests have been stored, unsealed and unused for some period of time in a cool place.
     
  4. lukair

    lukair Thread Starter

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  5. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    I say anyone can put up a web page and say whatever they want.

    Your data will not "evaporate". The media will degrade or break down. It will also eventually be obsolete. The programs used to create / read the data will become obsolete. Files will corrupt. Hundreds of things are almost certain to happen long before your data "evaporates".
     
  6. lukair

    lukair Thread Starter

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    Thanks. I actually found many people react like you, so that indeed seems as it is not really something that is either common, or known (meaning, the problem is not existent).

    cheers
     
  7. FijiJohn

    FijiJohn

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
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    "Data you do not have in two places is data you do not care about." (I strongly prefer a double back up system for critical stuff. I used to work on multi-million dollar projects and it was VERY important to have a backup ready to go when needed.)

    I'm more worried about brain evaporation than HD data evaporation.
     
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