Your Hard Drive is Going to Die

It’s not if but soon. Hard drives fail, all the time, so back up your data. I’ve said it before, now go back up your data. Even new SSD (Solid State Drives) fail. If you know how SSDs work then you know they are constantly failing and that they have excellent error correcting electronics but one day they will get so bad that the error correcting can’t correct the errors.

I’ve lost data in hard drive failures. I now back up my data at least once a month. I back it up on two different USB connected hard drives. I keep the USB Hard Drives locked up and stored well away form the computer. And I keep old copies of the data. If the data on your hard drive get corrupted and you copy it onto the back up USB hard drive over the data that was there then you’ve lost the data anyway.

I also backup working files on thumb drives. It makes the files handy and if I write over a file with to many changes I can always pull an old copy off the thumb drive and start over.

At the last writers meeting we had a new guy. He’s making a graphic novel using a image program. He’s stuck, his hard drive died and he lost a lot of the old images so he has to make do with the images he has. The graphics program he uses has changed so it would be a major undertaking to make new images in the style of the old images.

I’m having trouble finding sympathy for the guy. I’ve lost data and I could not afford at the time to pay someone to get it back. Sometimes when a hard drives fail and even the best techs can’t get the data back. It’s also very expensive to recover data from a damaged hard drive.

USB thumb drives are cheap and have plenty of room for the files that you generate (you don’t need to backup everything). Even if it is a bunch of pictures there are 128 Gbyte thumb drives out there. Get two thumb drives and store them in different places. One glitch in the hard drive and you could lose all your children’s baby pictures.

There are four terabyte USB portable hard drives for sell. Stick with the two terabyte drives, I have heard that the three and four terabyte hard drives have problems. These drives are fast and hold a lot. Again get two to protect against fires and floods and store them in separate places. Think about getting a water proof and fire proof container to store them in.

On line or cloud storage is not the answer. If your files on your computer get corrupted and the computer syncs the files on the computer to the files on the cloud then the cloud stored files are damaged and no good. If a hacker gets mad at One Note or Google and develops a virus that start destroying cloud files you’re out of luck because all your files were in one place and that place got hacked.

It’s your data and it’s your responsiblity. Back it up.


Write on, draw on.  Professor Hyram Voltage

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