You took the words right out of my mouth :-).
I regularly remove drives from my old computers before I junk them. It's
surprising how many people sell fairly new computers cheap. They take
out the drives to protect their data and assume nobody wants a computer
with no drives. I bought my last one for $10 and stuffed two of my old
drives in it.
But the industry has reached the point where IDE drives no longer work.
SO I'll have to junk my collection and start anew.
There are a couple of boxes here in my home office, way back in a
closet, that must contain 30+ hard drives from the past 25 years.
I have never disposed of a computer/server without keeping the hard
"Lew Hodgett" wrote in message
SFWIW, the drive that just died was placed in service in 05/08 and
died 12/14, or 6-1/2 years .
Lew, the solid-state stuff in a computer will usually last many years
without trouble, but the electro-mechanical parts have shorter life cycles.
There's a reason that hard drive manufacturers offer only one-year to
three-year warranties except for the most expensive enterprise-level drives.
I generally keep my computers on a three- to five-year replacement cycle
(three for my work computers, five for a household computer). If a household
computer is running quite trouble-free but getting old, I'll generally just
replace the hard drive after five years as a matter of course. Power
supplies I run until I either (1) start having trouble with them or (2) need
more power on account of a power-hungry replacement video card. Fans get
noisy when they get old but they're cheap and easy to replace.
And I maintain a rigorous automated backup schedule. My backup system is a
two-drive RAID 1 system on my network (RAID 1: two physical drives, with the
same contents on each in case one of them fails), and daily backups of all
document directories are done every night, keeping up to two weeks of daily
backups. Periodically I archive one each of those daily backups onto a large
external hard drive and keep them up to a year. When I had an office
downtown I kept off-site office backups at home, and off-site home backups
at the office. Now that I'm working from my home office I just keep the
off-site backups in a different building on the property. This all sounds
like a lot of work, but once it was all set up I don't even have to think
about it - it just happens, except for the occasional archival and off-site
copies. I'm a professional software developer, so this is important for me
and worth the trouble. Even if I weren't, we now have large libraries of
digital photographs online, going back many years, and it would be terrible
to somehow lose all that history.
For a friend whose computer I maintain, I just put a large-capacity USB
drive in a slot on the back of the machine and set up a daily backup of his
personal file directories to the USB drive. He doesn't even know it's
happening, but if I need to wipe and re-setup his machine because of malware
or something like that, I've magically got all his files sitting right there
to be restored.
You could do the same. Use Windows Backup and either attach an external
USB-connected hard drive or plug in a big USB memory card. Don't put
yourself in a position where you might have to (might fail to) dodge another
bullet like that someday at much greater cost to yourself. I've personally
had hard drives fail so that not only would they not boot but they were not
even readable. If I hadn't been maintaining backups I'd have been thoroughly
I have several times unintentionally deleted a file. Fortunately, I
have always been able to recover it from a backup.
I use backuppc: http://backuppc.sourceforge.net/
Runs automatically every night on a linux server running RAID1 on two
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure,the creed of ignorance, and the
gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery"
Not before I recover the file. ;~) If I don't recover the file
immediately after I delete there is a good chance I meant to delete it.
I don't know about you but if I unintentionally delete a file I don't
wait to recover it. I'm not sure that I have ever deleted a file
without knowing it. I certainly have deleted the wrong one but I
immediately recover it.
That is just the way I do that, not necessarily the best for every body.
And what do you call it when your hard drive crashes -- or loses a
few sectors. Not as common as it used to be, but it still happens. Or
when the hard drive totally gives up the ghost.
That is "seriously losing" a file "through no action of your own"
Sometimes the data recovery boys can get it back for a (fairly hefty)
price. Sometimes they are gone forever.
I recommend "belt and suspenders" for anything important.
RAID 5 or better drive array, backed up to Network Attached Storage,
backed up to removeable hard drive kept off site.
For NAS we've been using Q-Nap raid boxes. At the one office the
entire server is also mirrored to a second identical server in the
opposite end of the building.
The other office has the second server in the same server rack. Both
servers have redundant power supplies, powered from 2 separate dual
conversion UPS units, on separate circuits, each on different phases
so even if one transformer dies we still have power to both servers.
The one office has been using WD Live drives for removeable drives,
the other office has been using USB SSDs.
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