Powering external drives

By on October 24, 2013 9:49:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Glazunov1

Join Date 08/2010
+26

I've got a very large collection of 50's and 60's jazz (and other stuff, too) on LP that's been slowly transferred to digital media. Thing is, I want to save it as such on an external drive, while pulling things off as-needed onto MP3 chips for my wife and I to hear in the car or at work.

 

The latter bit's of course no problem. But there's plenty of crap on the Web, as we all know. And when I read that storing stuff on an external drive that's been powered down means it will be corrupted pretty shortly, I tend to...wonder. Is it just the usual garbage? Extra grade garbage? Or is there some real sense to it? Granted, all things deteriorate in time; even Dick Clark finally died in his third millennium. But I want to know if I can safely transfer those LPs to a terrabyte drive, unplug it when full, store it, and replug it in, say, five years from now with expectations that everything that's still going to be listenable. And that I won't find my recordings of Lee Morgan and Sonny Stitt have decided to bite the big one.


In advance, thanks.

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October 24, 2013 10:20:26 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

 

By the nature of all hard drives containing moving parts, at some point they fail.   All of them.  As far as 'corrupting' data while being in a powered-down state?   I'll ask you this........what media do you know of that doesn't degrade over time?  Having said that, when you leave a computer system off for a while, does it just start corrupting data?  Not in my experience.

That is not to say that keeping a drive 'powered' will or won't decrease/increase its longevity.  At least not more/less than that of an LP...........of course in my opinion......

 

Here's the thing, every time you plug that drive in you may or may not get what you're looking for.  In my opinion it has more to do with the drive's internals starting up that can cause data loss/corruption rather than with being 'idle' (powered down).  For people really concerned with such a scenario I always suggest a few smaller drives.  That way, if one day when you plug the drive in and it gives you nothing, well then you haven't lost it all (as much). 

 

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October 24, 2013 10:49:46 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Why not use a SSD? No moving parts to worry about.

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October 24, 2013 11:03:00 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I have a cassette tape recording of my daughters when they were just little girls back in the late 70's early 80's. It sounds as good today as it did back then. My gut feeling here is that I doubt it will be a problem for you to store your collection over a very long period of time.      -- Ace -

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October 24, 2013 11:53:53 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting kona0197,

Why not use a SSD? No moving parts to worry about.

Last I looked a TB SSD is a bit on the expensive side...

 

Also not really relevant to his question, which is regarding the consequences of leaving a HD unpowered rather than concern over it wearing down after extensive usage.

 

Anyways, I wouldn't worry about it. Can't say I've ever left a drive idle for 5 years, but I've done more than 1 with no problem and there really isn't any particular reason an idle drive is going to go off and destroy itself if safely secured.

And if you're really worried about random, unlikely drive failure... Get two.

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October 24, 2013 11:57:15 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Is it just the usual garbage? Extra grade garbage? Or is there some real sense to it?

Extra grade garbage.

Nothing will happen to a powered down HD....as long as you don't drop it....burn it....or just plain lose it...

 

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October 25, 2013 12:00:50 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting AceMatrix,
I have a cassette tape recording of my daughters when they were just little girls back in the late 70's early 80's. It sounds as good today as it did back then. My gut feeling here is that I doubt it will be a problem for you to store your collection over a very long period of time. -- Ace -

Off-load it ASAP.

Magnetic tape is NOT eternal/immortal....

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October 25, 2013 12:17:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Jafo,


Is it just the usual garbage? Extra grade garbage? Or is there some real sense to it?

Extra grade garbage.

Nothing will happen to a powered down HD....as long as you don't drop it....burn it....or just plain lose it...

 

 

Thanks! That's what I needed to know.

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October 25, 2013 12:47:14 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,

Is it just the usual garbage? Extra grade garbage? Or is there some real sense to it?


Extra grade garbage.

Nothing will happen to a powered down HD....as long as you don't drop it....burn it....or just plain lose it...

 

And remember, platter drives are shipped/stored in anti-static packaging for good reasons. Don't zap the thing either......

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October 25, 2013 12:58:24 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Maybe off topic, but what pisses me off is that my new USB 3.0 2 TB external keeps going to sleep. Then I have to wait for it to spin up to access the files on it.

 

I am using a small utility that writes a small text file to it, then replaces it with another, every 2 minutes, to keep it awake. Dunno if that's a bad thing or not.

Opinions?

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October 25, 2013 1:19:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There's not much difference if the drive spins or not, what you want to avoid is constantly waking it up from spin-down. There's a limit to how many times you can do that (the head causes tear and wear on the drive itself). So just keep it running (more power, accessible) or not (1/10th of the power, no access). But don't wake it up every 2 minutes, or even every 10 minutes, or you're lowering the lifetime. This is less of an issue with more recent drives (new tech solutions).

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October 25, 2013 1:26:40 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

It don't go to sleep as long as I use the app to write to it every 2 minutes. It takes longer than 2 minutes to go to sleep.

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October 25, 2013 1:36:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting kona0197,

Why not use a SSD? No moving parts to worry about.

 

Last time I checked, SSDs have a much lower MTBF than hard drives.  In addition to being more expensive, they don't last.

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October 25, 2013 2:02:50 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

http://www.ssdreview.com/

 

"Kingston specified the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) with 1,000,000 hours."

"Samsung specifies a Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) of 1,500,000 hours."       

 

You asked:

How many years in 1,500,000 hours?

  • 170.984456011706 years

Long enough, I think.  

 

 

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October 25, 2013 5:10:25 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

If that were true, Jim no one would ever need to replace a hard drive. Don't just accept that number...check out under what conditions the testing was done. That number is simply unbelievable...even 17 years is unbelievable.

As for leaving it powered on or off? The_Monk has it right. The longer it's on, the more it spins. The more it spins, the more wear and tear. Therefore, like insurance and cars, the less you use it, the better it looks and the longer it lasts.

If you're worried about evaporation, have a copy on a hdd and a copy online...

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October 25, 2013 7:29:10 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I have a Western Digital 1TB external without an enclosure in storage. Basically I used it as an archive plus there is one program installed on it. Its wrapped in plastic and kept in a plastic container to prevent moisture from accumulating. Its been a little over a year now. What are the chances of the data being corrupted over that time. 

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October 25, 2013 7:35:20 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Static drives [ssd] have a typical life around 10 years of constant use.

Mechanical drives [platters] are open to the vagaries of mechanical/dynamic failure...anything from 0 to 10 years,with luck.

Merchanical dynamics simply has an extra level of potential failure.

Unnecessary wake-up cycles are exactly that....

unnecessary.

Don't use them.

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