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Long term storage

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by Antares 531, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Antares 531

    Antares 531 Flightless Bird

    What is the best choice for long term storage of computer data files?
    I am running Windows 7 - 64, and have a lot of accounting, tax
    records, genealogy, pictures, etc., files that I would like to make
    back-ups onto some media that I could expect to be able to read on a
    new computer, 10 or more years in the future. Is there any storage
    media similar to the old style CDs that might be reliable for very
    long time spans?

    Gordon
     
  2. Seth

    Seth Flightless Bird

    "Antares 531" <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net> wrote in message
    news:eqv266pa0ho2f20uu5g52jjgghlvg56r7c@4ax.com...
    > What is the best choice for long term storage of computer data files?
    > I am running Windows 7 - 64, and have a lot of accounting, tax
    > records, genealogy, pictures, etc., files that I would like to make
    > back-ups onto some media that I could expect to be able to read on a
    > new computer, 10 or more years in the future. Is there any storage
    > media similar to the old style CDs that might be reliable for very
    > long time spans?


    I have 2 laptop hard drives and 1 SATA/USB dock. I back up stuff to the
    hard drive and the next time my wife is in the vicinity of the bank where we
    have a deposit box, she swaps drives.
     
  3. Antares 531

    Antares 531 Flightless Bird

    On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 13:13:49 -0400, "Seth"
    <sethNOSPAM@NOSPAMclcpro.com> wrote:

    >
    >"Antares 531" <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net> wrote in message
    >news:eqv266pa0ho2f20uu5g52jjgghlvg56r7c@4ax.com...
    >> What is the best choice for long term storage of computer data files?
    >> I am running Windows 7 - 64, and have a lot of accounting, tax
    >> records, genealogy, pictures, etc., files that I would like to make
    >> back-ups onto some media that I could expect to be able to read on a
    >> new computer, 10 or more years in the future. Is there any storage
    >> media similar to the old style CDs that might be reliable for very
    >> long time spans?

    >
    >I have 2 laptop hard drives and 1 SATA/USB dock. I back up stuff to the
    >hard drive and the next time my wife is in the vicinity of the bank where we
    >have a deposit box, she swaps drives.
    >

    This should work very well for short term storage. U use some USB
    Flash drives/Thumb drives, but I am very apprehensive about long term
    storage. Will my descendants be able to look at the genealogy files
    and photos that I have stored on these USB drives? I would like to
    find a storage medium that would let me put all these files onto it
    and feel sure that this storage medium could be read and the files
    opened some time far into the future. Is there any way to do this?
     
  4. Gene E. Bloch

    Gene E. Bloch Flightless Bird

    On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 13:24:51 -0500, Antares 531 wrote:

    > On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 13:13:49 -0400, "Seth"
    > <sethNOSPAM@NOSPAMclcpro.com> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>"Antares 531" <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net> wrote in message
    >>news:eqv266pa0ho2f20uu5g52jjgghlvg56r7c@4ax.com...
    >>> What is the best choice for long term storage of computer data files?
    >>> I am running Windows 7 - 64, and have a lot of accounting, tax
    >>> records, genealogy, pictures, etc., files that I would like to make
    >>> back-ups onto some media that I could expect to be able to read on a
    >>> new computer, 10 or more years in the future. Is there any storage
    >>> media similar to the old style CDs that might be reliable for very
    >>> long time spans?

    >>
    >>I have 2 laptop hard drives and 1 SATA/USB dock. I back up stuff to the
    >>hard drive and the next time my wife is in the vicinity of the bank where we
    >>have a deposit box, she swaps drives.
    >>

    > This should work very well for short term storage. U use some USB
    > Flash drives/Thumb drives, but I am very apprehensive about long term
    > storage. Will my descendants be able to look at the genealogy files
    > and photos that I have stored on these USB drives? I would like to
    > find a storage medium that would let me put all these files onto it
    > and feel sure that this storage medium could be read and the files
    > opened some time far into the future. Is there any way to do this?


    In the video groups (and probably others that I'm unaware of), people
    suggest several things:

    1. Writeable optical media are not long-term storage - they are subject to
    degeneration.

    2. Any media are subject to obsolescence (8-track tapes, anyone?)

    3. With media that might fade, it is suggested to recopy them from time to
    time. E.g., copy all of your DVDs to new ones every few years.

    4. When media are going obsolete, copy them to the latest media. For
    instance, copy all of your floppies or old mag-tape backups to hard drives
    while you still have a working way to read them. Other examples are MFM
    hard drives to IDE, IDE to SATA, and SATA to holographic (just kidding on
    that one).

    --
    Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
     
  5. johnbee

    johnbee Flightless Bird

    "Antares 531" <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net> wrote in message
    news:eqv266pa0ho2f20uu5g52jjgghlvg56r7c@4ax.com...
    > What is the best choice for long term storage of computer data files?
    > I am running Windows 7 - 64, and have a lot of accounting, tax
    > records, genealogy, pictures, etc., files that I would like to make
    > back-ups onto some media that I could expect to be able to read on a
    > new computer, 10 or more years in the future. Is there any storage
    > media similar to the old style CDs that might be reliable for very
    > long time spans?
    >
    > Gordon


    PC stuff fairly rapidly becomes obsolete. DVDs and blurays are fine at the
    moment, but untested as far as keeping for 20 years goes. As suggested by
    someone else, copy them every three years or so. If you are serious, choose
    a company which you think will not go bust, or will be taken over if it goes
    dodgy, and pay them to store it, accessible from the Web. Your ISP might be
    fine - if you are on on BT broadband, their service (free up to 5 gig and
    a fiver for more) might be OK because they might not go bust and are likely
    to keep the service going. Also. there is plenty on Wikipedia about the
    subject.

    I will tell you something extra for free that you might not get from
    elsewhere. Don't rely on one method. Flash drives are great at the moment,
    and while they will eventually wear out or become obsolete, are extremely
    useful for this sort of thing, although not dirt cheap. I read somewhere
    that there are cheap crap sticks which pretend to have a huge capacity but
    don't, so beware. Also, I think there are two types, one much longer
    lasting than the other, so that might need investigating. Anyway, use them
    as another method - it should be a doddle to copy them to whatever succeeds
    them.
     
  6. Ken Blake

    Ken Blake Flightless Bird

    On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 11:44:21 -0700, "Gene E. Bloch"
    <not-me@other.invalid> wrote:

    > On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 13:24:51 -0500, Antares 531 wrote:
    >
    > > On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 13:13:49 -0400, "Seth"
    > > <sethNOSPAM@NOSPAMclcpro.com> wrote:
    > >
    > >>
    > >>"Antares 531" <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net> wrote in message
    > >>news:eqv266pa0ho2f20uu5g52jjgghlvg56r7c@4ax.com...
    > >>> What is the best choice for long term storage of computer data files?
    > >>> I am running Windows 7 - 64, and have a lot of accounting, tax
    > >>> records, genealogy, pictures, etc., files that I would like to make
    > >>> back-ups onto some media that I could expect to be able to read on a
    > >>> new computer, 10 or more years in the future. Is there any storage
    > >>> media similar to the old style CDs that might be reliable for very
    > >>> long time spans?
    > >>
    > >>I have 2 laptop hard drives and 1 SATA/USB dock. I back up stuff to the
    > >>hard drive and the next time my wife is in the vicinity of the bank where we
    > >>have a deposit box, she swaps drives.
    > >>

    > > This should work very well for short term storage. U use some USB
    > > Flash drives/Thumb drives, but I am very apprehensive about long term
    > > storage. Will my descendants be able to look at the genealogy files
    > > and photos that I have stored on these USB drives? I would like to
    > > find a storage medium that would let me put all these files onto it
    > > and feel sure that this storage medium could be read and the files
    > > opened some time far into the future. Is there any way to do this?

    >
    > In the video groups (and probably others that I'm unaware of), people
    > suggest several things:
    >
    > 1. Writeable optical media are not long-term storage - they are subject to
    > degeneration.
    >
    > 2. Any media are subject to obsolescence (8-track tapes, anyone?)
    >
    > 3. With media that might fade, it is suggested to recopy them from time to
    > time. E.g., copy all of your DVDs to new ones every few years.
    >
    > 4. When media are going obsolete, copy them to the latest media. For
    > instance, copy all of your floppies or old mag-tape backups to hard drives
    > while you still have a working way to read them. Other examples are MFM
    > hard drives to IDE, IDE to SATA, and SATA to holographic (just kidding on
    > that one).



    Those are all good points that I agree with, but I'd add to add a
    fifth one (or a modification to number 4).

    Even for media not going obsolete, the magnetization doesn't last
    forever. So point 4 should also say (or add point 5) that all magnetic
    media is subject to fading and should be recopied periodically.

    So put that together with points 1 and 3, and essentially all media
    should be copied periodically.
     
  7. Gene E. Bloch

    Gene E. Bloch Flightless Bird

    On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 15:11:45 -0700, Ken Blake wrote:

    > On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 11:44:21 -0700, "Gene E. Bloch"
    > <not-me@other.invalid> wrote:
    >
    >> On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 13:24:51 -0500, Antares 531 wrote:
    >>
    >>> On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 13:13:49 -0400, "Seth"
    >>> <sethNOSPAM@NOSPAMclcpro.com> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>
    >>>>"Antares 531" <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net> wrote in message
    >>>>news:eqv266pa0ho2f20uu5g52jjgghlvg56r7c@4ax.com...
    >>>>> What is the best choice for long term storage of computer data files?
    >>>>> I am running Windows 7 - 64, and have a lot of accounting, tax
    >>>>> records, genealogy, pictures, etc., files that I would like to make
    >>>>> back-ups onto some media that I could expect to be able to read on a
    >>>>> new computer, 10 or more years in the future. Is there any storage
    >>>>> media similar to the old style CDs that might be reliable for very
    >>>>> long time spans?
    >>>>
    >>>>I have 2 laptop hard drives and 1 SATA/USB dock. I back up stuff to the
    >>>>hard drive and the next time my wife is in the vicinity of the bank where we
    >>>>have a deposit box, she swaps drives.
    >>>>
    >>> This should work very well for short term storage. U use some USB
    >>> Flash drives/Thumb drives, but I am very apprehensive about long term
    >>> storage. Will my descendants be able to look at the genealogy files
    >>> and photos that I have stored on these USB drives? I would like to
    >>> find a storage medium that would let me put all these files onto it
    >>> and feel sure that this storage medium could be read and the files
    >>> opened some time far into the future. Is there any way to do this?

    >>
    >> In the video groups (and probably others that I'm unaware of), people
    >> suggest several things:
    >>
    >> 1. Writeable optical media are not long-term storage - they are subject to
    >> degeneration.
    >>
    >> 2. Any media are subject to obsolescence (8-track tapes, anyone?)
    >>
    >> 3. With media that might fade, it is suggested to recopy them from time to
    >> time. E.g., copy all of your DVDs to new ones every few years.
    >>
    >> 4. When media are going obsolete, copy them to the latest media. For
    >> instance, copy all of your floppies or old mag-tape backups to hard drives
    >> while you still have a working way to read them. Other examples are MFM
    >> hard drives to IDE, IDE to SATA, and SATA to holographic (just kidding on
    >> that one).

    >
    >
    > Those are all good points that I agree with, but I'd add to add a
    > fifth one (or a modification to number 4).
    >
    > Even for media not going obsolete, the magnetization doesn't last
    > forever. So point 4 should also say (or add point 5) that all magnetic
    > media is subject to fading and should be recopied periodically.
    >
    > So put that together with points 1 and 3, and essentially all media
    > should be copied periodically.


    Good point, thanks.

    --
    Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
     
  8. Antares 531

    Antares 531 Flightless Bird

    On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 15:11:45 -0700, Ken Blake
    <kblake@this.is.invalid.com> wrote:

    >On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 11:44:21 -0700, "Gene E. Bloch"
    ><not-me@other.invalid> wrote:
    >
    >> On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 13:24:51 -0500, Antares 531 wrote:
    >>
    >> > On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 13:13:49 -0400, "Seth"
    >> > <sethNOSPAM@NOSPAMclcpro.com> wrote:
    >> >
    >> >>
    >> >>"Antares 531" <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net> wrote in message
    >> >>news:eqv266pa0ho2f20uu5g52jjgghlvg56r7c@4ax.com...
    >> >>> What is the best choice for long term storage of computer data files?
    >> >>> I am running Windows 7 - 64, and have a lot of accounting, tax
    >> >>> records, genealogy, pictures, etc., files that I would like to make
    >> >>> back-ups onto some media that I could expect to be able to read on a
    >> >>> new computer, 10 or more years in the future. Is there any storage
    >> >>> media similar to the old style CDs that might be reliable for very
    >> >>> long time spans?
    >> >>
    >> >>I have 2 laptop hard drives and 1 SATA/USB dock. I back up stuff to the
    >> >>hard drive and the next time my wife is in the vicinity of the bank where we
    >> >>have a deposit box, she swaps drives.
    >> >>
    >> > This should work very well for short term storage. U use some USB
    >> > Flash drives/Thumb drives, but I am very apprehensive about long term
    >> > storage. Will my descendants be able to look at the genealogy files
    >> > and photos that I have stored on these USB drives? I would like to
    >> > find a storage medium that would let me put all these files onto it
    >> > and feel sure that this storage medium could be read and the files
    >> > opened some time far into the future. Is there any way to do this?

    >>
    >> In the video groups (and probably others that I'm unaware of), people
    >> suggest several things:
    >>
    >> 1. Writeable optical media are not long-term storage - they are subject to
    >> degeneration.
    >>
    >> 2. Any media are subject to obsolescence (8-track tapes, anyone?)
    >>
    >> 3. With media that might fade, it is suggested to recopy them from time to
    >> time. E.g., copy all of your DVDs to new ones every few years.
    >>
    >> 4. When media are going obsolete, copy them to the latest media. For
    >> instance, copy all of your floppies or old mag-tape backups to hard drives
    >> while you still have a working way to read them. Other examples are MFM
    >> hard drives to IDE, IDE to SATA, and SATA to holographic (just kidding on
    >> that one).

    >
    >
    >Those are all good points that I agree with, but I'd add to add a
    >fifth one (or a modification to number 4).
    >
    >Even for media not going obsolete, the magnetization doesn't last
    >forever. So point 4 should also say (or add point 5) that all magnetic
    >media is subject to fading and should be recopied periodically.
    >
    >So put that together with points 1 and 3, and essentially all media
    >should be copied periodically.
    >

    Thanks, Ken, and the others who responded to this post. I guess there
    is no way to put things like old family pictures away for future
    generations to look at, like they did with those old paper photos in
    the days gone by. I wonder why some innovative person or company
    hasn't developed some means for such long term digital storage, along
    with a reader/interface that could easily be connected to any future
    computers. Seems possible???

    Gordon
     
  9. Gene E. Bloch

    Gene E. Bloch Flightless Bird

    On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 19:40:36 -0500, Antares 531 wrote:

    > On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 15:11:45 -0700, Ken Blake
    > <kblake@this.is.invalid.com> wrote:
    >
    >>On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 11:44:21 -0700, "Gene E. Bloch"
    >><not-me@other.invalid> wrote:
    >>
    >>> On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 13:24:51 -0500, Antares 531 wrote:
    >>>
    >>> > On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 13:13:49 -0400, "Seth"
    >>> > <sethNOSPAM@NOSPAMclcpro.com> wrote:
    >>> >
    >>> >>
    >>> >>"Antares 531" <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net> wrote in message
    >>> >>news:eqv266pa0ho2f20uu5g52jjgghlvg56r7c@4ax.com...
    >>> >>> What is the best choice for long term storage of computer data files?
    >>> >>> I am running Windows 7 - 64, and have a lot of accounting, tax
    >>> >>> records, genealogy, pictures, etc., files that I would like to make
    >>> >>> back-ups onto some media that I could expect to be able to read on a
    >>> >>> new computer, 10 or more years in the future. Is there any storage
    >>> >>> media similar to the old style CDs that might be reliable for very
    >>> >>> long time spans?
    >>> >>
    >>> >>I have 2 laptop hard drives and 1 SATA/USB dock. I back up stuff to the
    >>> >>hard drive and the next time my wife is in the vicinity of the bank where we
    >>> >>have a deposit box, she swaps drives.
    >>> >>
    >>> > This should work very well for short term storage. U use some USB
    >>> > Flash drives/Thumb drives, but I am very apprehensive about long term
    >>> > storage. Will my descendants be able to look at the genealogy files
    >>> > and photos that I have stored on these USB drives? I would like to
    >>> > find a storage medium that would let me put all these files onto it
    >>> > and feel sure that this storage medium could be read and the files
    >>> > opened some time far into the future. Is there any way to do this?
    >>>
    >>> In the video groups (and probably others that I'm unaware of), people
    >>> suggest several things:
    >>>
    >>> 1. Writeable optical media are not long-term storage - they are subject to
    >>> degeneration.
    >>>
    >>> 2. Any media are subject to obsolescence (8-track tapes, anyone?)
    >>>
    >>> 3. With media that might fade, it is suggested to recopy them from time to
    >>> time. E.g., copy all of your DVDs to new ones every few years.
    >>>
    >>> 4. When media are going obsolete, copy them to the latest media. For
    >>> instance, copy all of your floppies or old mag-tape backups to hard drives
    >>> while you still have a working way to read them. Other examples are MFM
    >>> hard drives to IDE, IDE to SATA, and SATA to holographic (just kidding on
    >>> that one).

    >>
    >>
    >>Those are all good points that I agree with, but I'd add to add a
    >>fifth one (or a modification to number 4).
    >>
    >>Even for media not going obsolete, the magnetization doesn't last
    >>forever. So point 4 should also say (or add point 5) that all magnetic
    >>media is subject to fading and should be recopied periodically.
    >>
    >>So put that together with points 1 and 3, and essentially all media
    >>should be copied periodically.
    >>

    > Thanks, Ken, and the others who responded to this post. I guess there
    > is no way to put things like old family pictures away for future
    > generations to look at, like they did with those old paper photos in
    > the days gone by. I wonder why some innovative person or company
    > hasn't developed some means for such long term digital storage, along
    > with a reader/interface that could easily be connected to any future
    > computers. Seems possible???
    >
    > Gordon


    Well, don't feel too bad - even film photos fade with time.

    Silver corrodes and dyes lose color...paper oxidizes...acetate film
    liquefies...

    Geez - I've been raining on parades today :)

    --
    Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
     
  10. Yousuf Khan

    Yousuf Khan Flightless Bird

    On 10/08/2010 12:37 PM, Antares 531 wrote:
    > What is the best choice for long term storage of computer data files?
    > I am running Windows 7 - 64, and have a lot of accounting, tax
    > records, genealogy, pictures, etc., files that I would like to make
    > back-ups onto some media that I could expect to be able to read on a
    > new computer, 10 or more years in the future. Is there any storage
    > media similar to the old style CDs that might be reliable for very
    > long time spans?
    >
    > Gordon


    I'd say your best bet is external hard drives, formatted to FAT or NTFS
    if any of your data files go over 2GB. Having a single large hard drive
    store a lot of stuff would make it less likely that you'll have lots of
    little optical disks floating around that can get lost.

    The a second reason I say that is because neither burned CD's nor DVD's
    are good long-term storage, and rewritable versions are even worse. I've
    had many issues with reading both CD's and DVD's after a few years. Even
    though you've heard that they say CD/DVD's should last hundreds of
    years, it's BS, many of them are already deteriorating. At least with a
    hard drive there is a lot of error correction built-in.

    Yousuf Khan
     
  11. Ken Blake

    Ken Blake Flightless Bird

    On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 18:24:43 -0700, "Gene E. Bloch"
    <not-me@other.invalid> wrote:


    > > Thanks, Ken, and the others who responded to this post. I guess there
    > > is no way to put things like old family pictures away for future
    > > generations to look at, like they did with those old paper photos in
    > > the days gone by. I wonder why some innovative person or company
    > > hasn't developed some means for such long term digital storage, along
    > > with a reader/interface that could easily be connected to any future
    > > computers. Seems possible???
    > >
    > > Gordon

    >
    > Well, don't feel too bad - even film photos fade with time.
    >
    > Silver corrodes and dyes lose color...paper oxidizes...acetate film
    > liquefies...



    Yes, yes, yes, yes.


    > Geez - I've been raining on parades today :)



    Actually magnetic digital media is *best*, if you copy it
    periodically. The copy is perfect, and even if doesn't last forever it
    can last for a while,


    And to reply to Antares, why not put the family pictures away on
    magnetic media? There's no guarantee that they will be lost, and you
    make periodic copies and ask the other generations to do the same,
    they can kept forever,
     
  12. Seth

    Seth Flightless Bird

    "Antares 531" <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net> wrote in message
    news:1o5366p6f5ef0f9cncmuoroavmrn8jk4sf@4ax.com...
    > On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 13:13:49 -0400, "Seth"
    > <sethNOSPAM@NOSPAMclcpro.com> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>"Antares 531" <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net> wrote in message
    >>news:eqv266pa0ho2f20uu5g52jjgghlvg56r7c@4ax.com...
    >>> What is the best choice for long term storage of computer data files?
    >>> I am running Windows 7 - 64, and have a lot of accounting, tax
    >>> records, genealogy, pictures, etc., files that I would like to make
    >>> back-ups onto some media that I could expect to be able to read on a
    >>> new computer, 10 or more years in the future. Is there any storage
    >>> media similar to the old style CDs that might be reliable for very
    >>> long time spans?

    >>
    >>I have 2 laptop hard drives and 1 SATA/USB dock. I back up stuff to the
    >>hard drive and the next time my wife is in the vicinity of the bank where
    >>we
    >>have a deposit box, she swaps drives.
    >>

    > This should work very well for short term storage. U use some USB
    > Flash drives/Thumb drives, but I am very apprehensive about long term
    > storage. Will my descendants be able to look at the genealogy files
    > and photos that I have stored on these USB drives? I would like to
    > find a storage medium that would let me put all these files onto it
    > and feel sure that this storage medium could be read and the files
    > opened some time far into the future. Is there any way to do this?


    My storage medium is "refreshed" each time I update it. As technology
    changes, I can just replace the storage medium while both are in
    co-existence (as SATA/USB is phased out, it will still be in wide-use as
    whatever is replacing it is just coming in).
     
  13. Ted

    Ted Flightless Bird

    On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 03:41:32 -0400 Yousuf Khan <bbbl67@spammenot.yahoo.com> wrote:

    > ....
    > The a second reason I say that is because neither burned CD's nor
    > DVD's are good long-term storage, and rewritable versions are even
    > worse. I've had many issues with reading both CD's and DVD's after a
    > few years.
    >....


    A few years ???

    I just had a re-writable DVD fail after just a few months!
    It was used for data backup (not the only backup, fortunately), and about 10% of
    the files became unreadable.

    Two rather older CD's have also partially failed.

    CD/DVD is NOT a good idea for long term data backup.

    Ted.
     
  14. Antares 531

    Antares 531 Flightless Bird

    On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 16:51 +0100 (BST), ted@nosuch.dom (Ted) wrote:

    >On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 03:41:32 -0400 Yousuf Khan <bbbl67@spammenot.yahoo.com> wrote:
    >
    >> ....
    >> The a second reason I say that is because neither burned CD's nor
    >> DVD's are good long-term storage, and rewritable versions are even
    >> worse. I've had many issues with reading both CD's and DVD's after a
    >> few years.
    >>....

    >
    >A few years ???
    >
    >I just had a re-writable DVD fail after just a few months!
    >It was used for data backup (not the only backup, fortunately), and about 10% of
    >the files became unreadable.
    >
    >Two rather older CD's have also partially failed.
    >
    >CD/DVD is NOT a good idea for long term data backup.
    >
    >Ted.
    >

    I've had a number of the same kind of problems. I even bought some
    hard drives and put them in external boxes. These worked very well for
    about 5 years, then one of the drives failed, and all the data on it
    was lost.

    Why doesn't someone "invent" a really reliable, economically
    practical, always readable backup system? I would think that something
    similar to a USB hub could serve as an interface between any such
    storage medium and all future computers. That is, when a new computer
    would no longer communicate with this "hub" and the backup media, a
    new hub could be purchased that would interface the new computer with
    the very old permanent storage media.

    I'm guessing the market for such a device would be humongous!

    Gordon
     
  15. Ted

    Ted Flightless Bird

    On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 11:09:13 -0500 Antares 531 <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net> wrote:

    > *From:-* Antares 531 <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net>
    > *Date:-* Wed, 11 Aug 2010 11:09:13 -0500
    >
    > On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 16:51 +0100 (BST), ted@nosuch.dom (Ted) wrote:
    >
    > >On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 03:41:32 -0400 Yousuf Khan

    > <bbbl67@spammenot.yahoo.com> wrote:
    > >
    > >> ....
    > >> The a second reason I say that is because neither burned CD's nor
    > >> DVD's are good long-term storage, and rewritable versions are even
    > >> worse. I've had many issues with reading both CD's and DVD's after

    > a >> few years.
    > >>....

    > >
    > >A few years ???
    > >
    > >I just had a re-writable DVD fail after just a few months!
    > >It was used for data backup (not the only backup, fortunately), and

    > about 10% of
    > >the files became unreadable.
    > >
    > >Two rather older CD's have also partially failed.
    > >
    > >CD/DVD is NOT a good idea for long term data backup.
    > >
    > >Ted.
    > >

    > I've had a number of the same kind of problems. I even bought some
    > hard drives and put them in external boxes. These worked very well for
    > about 5 years, then one of the drives failed, and all the data on it
    > was lost.
    >
    > Why doesn't someone "invent" a really reliable, economically
    > practical, always readable backup system? I would think that something
    > similar to a USB hub could serve as an interface between any such
    > storage medium and all future computers. That is, when a new computer
    > would no longer communicate with this "hub" and the backup media, a
    > new hub could be purchased that would interface the new computer with
    > the very old permanent storage media.
    >
    > I'm guessing the market for such a device would be humongous!
    >
    > Gordon


    Nice idea, but I can't see it ever working. Whatever someone came up with, it would
    soon be obsoleted by a "better" system, and the problem would just continue.

    I think the technology just move too fast, and is getting faster all the time. It's
    bad enough reading old data/hardware formats now, but what about in another 10
    years time?

    What would you do now with data archived on 8/5/3.5 floppies?

    What about tape drives and all the various formats that now cannot be read? (even
    assuming you still had the hardware to read them, would the drivers still work with
    Windows 7 and later OS ?)

    Can you still read MFM\SCSI\IDE HD's?

    How long before new super DVD drives lose the ability to read "archaic" CD's

    USB seems to be universal at the moment, but will probably die a quick death when
    xxxx storage get invented.

    If you want your digital photos to last a long time, maybe print them on very good
    quality paper and just hope they last as long as photos taken with "old fashioned
    cameras" used to.

    Ted.
     
  16. Antares 531

    Antares 531 Flightless Bird

    On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 17:39 +0100 (BST), ted@nosuch.dom (Ted) wrote:

    >On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 11:09:13 -0500 Antares 531 <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net> wrote:
    >
    >> *From:-* Antares 531 <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net>
    >> *Date:-* Wed, 11 Aug 2010 11:09:13 -0500
    >>
    >> On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 16:51 +0100 (BST), ted@nosuch.dom (Ted) wrote:
    >>
    >> >On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 03:41:32 -0400 Yousuf Khan

    >> <bbbl67@spammenot.yahoo.com> wrote:
    >> >
    >> >> ....
    >> >> The a second reason I say that is because neither burned CD's nor
    >> >> DVD's are good long-term storage, and rewritable versions are even
    >> >> worse. I've had many issues with reading both CD's and DVD's after

    >> a >> few years.
    >> >>....
    >> >
    >> >A few years ???
    >> >
    >> >I just had a re-writable DVD fail after just a few months!
    >> >It was used for data backup (not the only backup, fortunately), and

    >> about 10% of
    >> >the files became unreadable.
    >> >
    >> >Two rather older CD's have also partially failed.
    >> >
    >> >CD/DVD is NOT a good idea for long term data backup.
    >> >
    >> >Ted.
    >> >

    >> I've had a number of the same kind of problems. I even bought some
    >> hard drives and put them in external boxes. These worked very well for
    >> about 5 years, then one of the drives failed, and all the data on it
    >> was lost.
    >>
    >> Why doesn't someone "invent" a really reliable, economically
    >> practical, always readable backup system? I would think that something
    >> similar to a USB hub could serve as an interface between any such
    >> storage medium and all future computers. That is, when a new computer
    >> would no longer communicate with this "hub" and the backup media, a
    >> new hub could be purchased that would interface the new computer with
    >> the very old permanent storage media.
    >>
    >> I'm guessing the market for such a device would be humongous!
    >>
    >> Gordon

    >
    >Nice idea, but I can't see it ever working. Whatever someone came up with, it would
    >soon be obsoleted by a "better" system, and the problem would just continue.
    >
    >I think the technology just move too fast, and is getting faster all the time. It's
    >bad enough reading old data/hardware formats now, but what about in another 10
    >years time?
    >
    >What would you do now with data archived on 8/5/3.5 floppies?
    >
    >What about tape drives and all the various formats that now cannot be read? (even
    >assuming you still had the hardware to read them, would the drivers still work with
    >Windows 7 and later OS ?)
    >
    >Can you still read MFM\SCSI\IDE HD's?
    >
    >How long before new super DVD drives lose the ability to read "archaic" CD's
    >
    >USB seems to be universal at the moment, but will probably die a quick death when
    >xxxx storage get invented.
    >
    >If you want your digital photos to last a long time, maybe print them on very good
    >quality paper and just hope they last as long as photos taken with "old fashioned
    >cameras" used to.
    >
    >Ted.
    >

    You are right on most of the above, but I still think someone or some
    company could design a reliable, long-lasting storage media, then
    design an interface similar to a USB hub (not a USB hub, but something
    similar) that would handle any needed translation from old file format
    to whatever the new computer could use.

    The translation hub would have to be replaced each time computers
    changed enough to limit the ability to communicate with this
    translation hub. But replacing the translation hub should not be
    formidably expensive.

    If I had a translation hub such as this, that was designed to read
    those old 3.5 inch high density floppy discs, and if this hub was
    designed to connect to my computer using a Firewire connection, I
    could read those old floppy discs by putting them into an external
    drive that was designed for them.

    Then, when my present computer becomes obsolete and I replace it with
    a new one that uses totally different technology, this translation hub
    would have to be replaced. The replacement hub would still have to
    interact with the old 3.5 inch floppy drive, but it would communicate
    with the new computer by some new means.

    Gordon
     
  17. Ted

    Ted Flightless Bird

    On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 12:54:56 -0500 Antares 531 <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net> wrote:

    > ......
    > Then, when my present computer becomes obsolete and I replace it with
    > a new one that uses totally different technology, this translation hub
    > would have to be replaced. The replacement hub would still have to
    > interact with the old 3.5 inch floppy drive, but it would communicate
    > with the new computer by some new means.


    It does sound like a really interesting idea, if only someone with enough money was
    prepared to finance it's development.

    Dragons Den ??? :))

    Ted.
     
  18. Char Jackson

    Char Jackson Flightless Bird

    On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 12:54:56 -0500, Antares 531
    <gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net> wrote:

    >You are right on most of the above, but I still think someone or some
    >company could design a reliable, long-lasting storage media, then
    >design an interface similar to a USB hub (not a USB hub, but something
    >similar) that would handle any needed translation from old file format
    >to whatever the new computer could use.
    >
    >The translation hub would have to be replaced each time computers
    >changed enough to limit the ability to communicate with this
    >translation hub. But replacing the translation hub should not be
    >formidably expensive.
    >
    >If I had a translation hub such as this, that was designed to read
    >those old 3.5 inch high density floppy discs, and if this hub was
    >designed to connect to my computer using a Firewire connection, I
    >could read those old floppy discs by putting them into an external
    >drive that was designed for them.
    >
    >Then, when my present computer becomes obsolete and I replace it with
    >a new one that uses totally different technology, this translation hub
    >would have to be replaced. The replacement hub would still have to
    >interact with the old 3.5 inch floppy drive, but it would communicate
    >with the new computer by some new means.
    >
    >Gordon


    Why would you want such a thing? Who else would want such a thing? I
    can't imagine enough would be sold to break even on the development
    costs. I certainly wouldn't buy one.

    Looking at storage from a pure capacity perspective, floppies
    (8/5.25/3.5 inch) are obsolete because they just don't hold a
    meaningful amount of data by current standards. For a short time,
    archiving to CDs (650-700M8) seemed like a viable alternative, but
    they very quickly became too small, as well. Then there was archiving
    to DVDs (4.5-8.5G8), but that too was almost immediately too small to
    be convenient. Only the most barren system can be backed up to a DVD
    or two.

    So that leaves us with hard drives and their spinning platters that
    are fairly fragile, but it's still arguably the best we've got. Even
    there, capacity is a big issue. The biggest capacity is currently only
    2TB (1.8TB usable), so a system with a lot of data needs multiple
    drives, and then another set of multiple drives for backups, and
    perhaps a third set of drives for offsite backup, and so on. Flash
    (SSD) drives are showing promise, but aren't mainstream quite yet.

    I think the best you can do is, as others have said, stay on top of
    the technology curve by migrating your data every so often to newer
    technology so as to avoid stranding it on obsolete media.
     
  19. Antares 531

    Antares 531 Flightless Bird

    On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 13:50:16 -0500, Char Jackson <none@none.invalid>
    wrote:

    >On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 12:54:56 -0500, Antares 531
    ><gordonlrDELETE@swbell.net> wrote:
    >
    >>You are right on most of the above, but I still think someone or some
    >>company could design a reliable, long-lasting storage media, then
    >>design an interface similar to a USB hub (not a USB hub, but something
    >>similar) that would handle any needed translation from old file format
    >>to whatever the new computer could use.
    >>
    >>The translation hub would have to be replaced each time computers
    >>changed enough to limit the ability to communicate with this
    >>translation hub. But replacing the translation hub should not be
    >>formidably expensive.
    >>
    >>If I had a translation hub such as this, that was designed to read
    >>those old 3.5 inch high density floppy discs, and if this hub was
    >>designed to connect to my computer using a Firewire connection, I
    >>could read those old floppy discs by putting them into an external
    >>drive that was designed for them.
    >>
    >>Then, when my present computer becomes obsolete and I replace it with
    >>a new one that uses totally different technology, this translation hub
    >>would have to be replaced. The replacement hub would still have to
    >>interact with the old 3.5 inch floppy drive, but it would communicate
    >>with the new computer by some new means.
    >>
    >>Gordon

    >
    >Why would you want such a thing? Who else would want such a thing? I
    >can't imagine enough would be sold to break even on the development
    >costs. I certainly wouldn't buy one.
    >
    >Looking at storage from a pure capacity perspective, floppies
    >(8/5.25/3.5 inch) are obsolete because they just don't hold a
    >meaningful amount of data by current standards. For a short time,
    >archiving to CDs (650-700M8) seemed like a viable alternative, but
    >they very quickly became too small, as well. Then there was archiving
    >to DVDs (4.5-8.5G8), but that too was almost immediately too small to
    >be convenient. Only the most barren system can be backed up to a DVD
    >or two.
    >

    I think you may have missed my point, here. I was not advocating the
    use of floppies, or any other currently popular storage means. I was
    using the 3.5 inch floppy as an example.

    I was suggesting that someone or some company might develop a very
    reliable, very long lived storage means (maybe something that operates
    at the quark level) that could be used for decades or even centuries
    without losing the stored data. This device obviously could not be
    accessed straight forward by the later generation computers, but
    perhaps something like a (again, for example) USB hub might be
    developed as an interface means that could be replaced when the new
    computers needed a different setup to read this storage means. We
    could buy a new hub every few years, but would not have to buy new
    storage means for a long time, and our back-up storage process would
    be a lot less of a problem.
    >
    >So that leaves us with hard drives and their spinning platters that
    >are fairly fragile, but it's still arguably the best we've got. Even
    >there, capacity is a big issue. The biggest capacity is currently only
    >2TB (1.8TB usable), so a system with a lot of data needs multiple
    >drives, and then another set of multiple drives for backups, and
    >perhaps a third set of drives for offsite backup, and so on. Flash
    >(SSD) drives are showing promise, but aren't mainstream quite yet.
    >
    >I think the best you can do is, as others have said, stay on top of
    >the technology curve by migrating your data every so often to newer
    >technology so as to avoid stranding it on obsolete media.
     
  20. Lee Rowell

    Lee Rowell Flightless Bird

    You should back up to a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk designed to be
    played by a cartridge and needle at 16 2/3 rpm. Should be good for about
    40,000 years.

    > "Gene E. Bloch" <not-me@other.invalid> wrote in message
    > news:1ddb73dia96e1$.18c28evc68ht8$.dlg@40tude.net...
    > Well, don't feel too bad - even film photos fade with time.
    > Silver corrodes and dyes lose color...paper oxidizes...acetate film
    > liquefies...
    > Geez - I've been raining on parades today :)
    > Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)
     

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