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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008
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Storing your data long-term
Is it necessary to always keep external hard drives powered on? Is there any time limit that they can be off? I store movies on my external hard drives. I don't want to lose any of my data.
The answer to your first question is no. You don't need to keep an external hard drive plugged in. The data remains on the drive even when powered off.
I like to store my external hard drives out of the way. I don't like them cluttering my desk space. I just pull them out when I need them. So, don't be afraid to unplug them.
Your second question speaks to longevity. No storage medium lasts forever. It will degrade overtime. And you will lose data. You can't just save and forget it.
A hard drive's lifespan varies by how much it's used. A regularly used hard drive can last three or more years. Stored on a shelf, it could last 20 years. But that is under ideal conditions. Environment, handling and other factors will affect longevity.
Hard drives last longer than most other media. CDs and DVDs tend to go bad after a few years. They're not meant for long-term storage. Thumb drives can retain data for around 10 years. But again, that's under ideal conditions.
Storing your data
It sounds like you plan to store your movies for a long time. I wouldn't rely on those estimated lifespans. Just when you think your data is safe, it isn't. A lot can go wrong with any storage solution.
When it comes to storage, diversification is key. For long-term storage, you'll want to save data in multiple places. This will help protect against accidents.
You probably don't have four or five external hard drives lying around. That many hard drives would also be expensive. So, you'll need to look at other media as well.
Pick out your favorites
I would start with triage. Dump your movie collection onto the external hard drives you have. And then go through them and pick the most important ones. Save those to a thumb drive or DVD.
Also, think about keeping a backup outside of your home. No one ever anticipates a fire or flood. But those things happen. If all your backups are in the house, you could lose everything.
You can decide where to store this offsite backup. A safe-deposit box is a good choice. But an easier solution would be online backups. And you can back up video to these services. Try services like Carbonite (one of my advertisers), SOS Online Backup and iDrive.
More tips on storage:
• What you need to know about network-attached storage
• Storing photos in an extreme environment
Tough times? I have help
The economy is sliding, and taking some of my listeners with it. A lot of people are interested in making money on the Internet. They want to save money, too.
I've got a bunch of ideas on my new Money Center. For instance, I have links to many free programs. Whatever you need to do, you should find a free program. I've got free coupons, and lots of other free stuff.
Want some extra cash? I have many links to legitimate opportunities. Unlike the offers in spam, these have been vetted. They're Kim safe!
• Free Download of the Day: Desktops are easy to clutter with files, folders and shortcuts. Magic Folder will help you get and stay organized.
Tomorrow's Tip, in your e-mail: Cellular broadband without a contract.
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