Hi. I am unsure of which method of backing up the contents of my HDD is better: in compressed (e.g. .zip) or uncompressed format.
For the compressed format:
- Less space hence CDs required.
- Faster completion times.
- Higher information density due to compression means that read/write errors, due to media, for example, would be more severe than uncompressed format. Having 1 byte of corrupted compressed data means you lose more than 1 byte of uncompressed data.
- The archive may not work at all. Then all your data is lost. But in uncompressed format, a corrupted file here and there is pretty isolated, it would not corrupt the rest of your stored data.
For the uncompressed format:
- Slower completion times.
- Because you involve more CDs in your backup process, this means that you increase the risk of corruption due to the occasional media defect.
- With more CDs involved, even though the errors would be contained to the affected files, it would be a major pain to shuffle backup and backup of backup CDs to get all the files.
- More space hence CDs required.
Which is the best means of data archival?