Best Long Term media Storage Solution - DVD or Hard Drive?

Is there a general consensus on whether hard drives or DVDs are the better long term solution for digital media? If I were to go the hard drive route, I’d make sure it was mirrored. If the answer is hard drives over DVDs, are NAS or other SATA solutions better than external hard drives?

Here are my thoughts. It’s much easier to store media on hard drives, and the costs have come down tremendously. However, I worry that for long term storage purposes, the drives may still fail even if stored properly, especially if they are SATA instead of externals. From what I’ve read, DVD-Rs are not fail safe, but generally offer a better long term storage solution. But it takes much more time to burn backups and more space to store them than a few hard drives.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions.

I’d say buy a quality hard drive from either Seagate, Western digital or Samsung.

You are right about making sure its mirrored. That covers you if the drive goes bad.

Try getting two large drives and putting them in RAID 1 for an automatic seamless mirrored backup solution.

However, I would also say the following:

Get yourself a cheap drive bay HDD caddy / drawer thing and wack a third HDD into it.

Then make yourself a quick batch file to use “XCOPY” to copy across the entire content of your main media drive to the now removable drive.

Run this file, say once weekly or monthly and store the removable (caddied) Hard disk elsewhere.

You could even do that with just the one main drive rather than doing it as well as a RAID 1 mirror set up.

This covers you just incase something happens which destorys both drives in your PC, take for example a power surge or fire, water leak…

Heres how I store things:

I have 5 HDD’s altogether…

1 640GB called “System” - Windows drive & Software etc…

1 640GB called “Data” - Installation files for my software and all my documents etc…

1 640GB called “Media” - I keep my music, ripped films and family photo’s here.

Now my other two drives are attached to “drive drawers” which slide into a caddy in the front of my system.

These two drives are both 500GB and are called “Media Backup” & Data Backup".

I have coded 2 quick batch files to copy the contents of the relevent drive to the relevent backup drive. (Based on drive letters).

@ECHO OFF
ECHO ####################################
ECHO ###### MEDIA BACKUP BATCH JOB ######
ECHO ###### MEDIA BACKUP BATCH JOB ######
ECHO ###### MEDIA BACKUP BATCH JOB ######
ECHO ####################################
ECHO.
ECHO This batch file will copy all files and folders
ECHO on the Media drive to the Media backup drive
ECHO.
PAUSE
xcopy “D:” “H:” /e /h /k /y
ECHO ######BACKUP COMPLETE!######
PAUSE
EXIT

I simply put one of the backup drives in the slot, run the relevent batch file and it copies everything over to the backup drive, overwriting any existing data.

Sorry for the long winded post, but its far easier than I’ve probably made it sound :slight_smile:

I would agree, hard drives are the better storage solution.

DVD is not a storage medium, it is a content delivery medium, and as such, just like CD will be obsolete at some point. Sure that may be years or even decades in the future, but at some point, devices to play back those discs will be difficult to find.

The same may be true for hard drives, but I doubt that day will come before DVD.

Won’t get into the merits of longevity of individual drives versus discs. There are too many variables with media, storage and handling conditions. It is known that all hard drives at some point fail, so some planning will have to be done in your storage plan for disk cycling. This is somewhat offset by the low cost per gigabyte ratio.

Agree with all the above yadda-yadda, and just wanna comment that (apparently) a CD is likely to outlast a DVD.
I read that somewhere…and it seems logical, but a bit impractical.

I think the best bet for now is basic HD. Mirror + check these regularly. There will probably be something more stable soon.

EDIT: one more thing: I don´t see the sense of getting huge drives. I´d rather have a bunch of 250GB drives and mirror/replace them regularly. The chances of a TB drive going bad are the same as a 250GB…how much data do you wanna lose in one hit???

[QUOTE=deanimator;2292256]Agree with all the above yadda-yadda, and just wanna comment that (apparently) a CD is likely to outlast a DVD.
I read that somewhere…and it seems logical, but a bit impractical.

I think the best bet for now is basic HD. Mirror + check these regularly. There will probably be something more stable soon.

EDIT: one more thing: I don´t see the sense of getting huge drives. I´d rather have a bunch of 250GB drives and mirror/replace them regularly. The chances of a TB drive going bad are the same as a 250GB…how much data do you wanna lose in one hit???[/QUOTE]

I see your point in getting smaller discs to minimize possible losses. However, the price of large drives is good and it makes things much more simple and easier to keep track of when its all on one disc.

Like I said, so long as its all backed up, you shouldn’t be worrying about loosing one set. So long as you verify the integrity of your backup regularly.

In case of a RAID solution, only hardware RAID makes sense. :wink:

HDD caddy / drawer thing

What the hell is a HDD caddy / drawer thing, exactly?

:slight_smile:

I recently gave up on burning DVDs and now I want to back up to HDD instead. Anyone have suggestions for where I should begin reading? I build my own computers and am familiar with operation and maintenance of Win boxes but I don’t know anything about RAID or backup tech (other than burning to disc, heh) and such.

I bought a terabyte HDD for my burning box but that’s going to fill up eventually. How am I supposed to manage a HDD collection when it starts to get too big for a standard mobo? You know, when I run out of SATA ports? That gets me thinking, what’s the limit on the number of SATA devices? I had to buy a splitter for SATA power because the power supply only has one SATA plug. Can I do the same with SATA data ports coming off the mobo?