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LAURENT*

I'm looking to buy.........

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I'm looking to buy a 500 gig drive to store my crap on. I have a lot of stuff on a lot of different thumb drives and I want to unify data and put all of it in one place. I won't use it often I'll probably just update and once a month or something like that. Any advice? Any brands I should look at?  Anything at all? 

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Just go to Amazon and buy one of the 4TB ($125) or 2TB ($90) or 1TB($50) SATA hardrives. The pricing is done that way so that you buy the largest, the 4TB is worth it.

 

Remember it is storage so a SATA is good for it. The problem is that around 500GB SATA drives cost $30-$50 and at that price you could just buy the 1TB.

Also you would be surprised at how fast you fill a 4TB hardrive when you have one.

Edit:

Remember to format your new hard drive when you get it. They will be set to FAT limiting the sizes you can move and will have a smaller allocated size if you don't format before using it.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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And always remember: never store data on just one drive.

Ideally you have a mirrored RAID of at least 2 drives you store your data to constantly online with your PC, and regularly backup the data to a mirrored RAID drive you take offline afterwards.

If that sound to expensive (it kinda is), at least have a second drive to your data drive that you can make regular backups to and take offline as soon as the backup is done.

 

This way you loose less data should one of the drives fail, and you have some safety net should your PC be affected by a cryptolocker attack. The latter might be somewhat paranoid given these attacks are sometimes blown out of proportion, but if you ARE affected one day, you will be happy that at least your data is restorable... paying as far as I know is not a safe way to get your data back (aside from you supporting criminals).

 

USB Thumbdrives on the other hand are among the worst devices as long time data stores. Depending on the quality, and how you handle them, the are only reliable in getting broken after a year max. Sometimes you can make the drive usable again by completly wiping and formatting it, if its a software problem. But your data is then gone too of course.

So moving away from storing data on thumbdrives -> very good idea IMO. If you have an external HD, and buy a SATA HD and an external drive bay casing separately, you have a very good chance the HD is still going strong when the external casing will inevitable fail one day. Buy a new drive casing and plonk the drive into that.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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For backup, the standard computer system backup rule is 3-2-1. At least three copies, at least two media, at least one off site.

In businesses, a system of D2D2T (Disk to Disk to Tape) is common. That's the original copy, a copy made to another disk in the server room, and a tape backup that gets stored somewhere else.

 

As for a drive to put all your stuff on, if all that stuff is software source code (since you're asking in a game developer forum) there are many services that will offer free version control online. Assembla (that used to have a link at the bottom of the page...) offers a free private source code repository up to 500MB and up to 2 users.

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Really wish that the idea of RAID having anything to do with the discussion of backup would die already.

 

RAID is unrelated to backup. Storing a file on a RAID drive Is not a backup. If it is only stored on the RAID drive then the data has not been backed up.

 

Sure, it is protected against a hardware fault of a drive going south, but it isn't well protected against error or mistakes. If you format your drive, then the computer happily wipes the data off both drives for you. If your RAID controller itself goes south on you, then your data in the RAID can be destroyed. A RAID drive is still a single logical drive even if it is on multiple disks. If it is on one drive then you're not backed up.

 

Can it be useful that one or more of your copies of the data is stored on a RAID? Sure - They're great for ensuring uptime and performance, but that still isn't a backup.

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On 26.7.2017 at 11:13 AM, Talroth said:

Really wish that the idea of RAID having anything to do with the discussion of backup would die already.

 

RAID is unrelated to backup. Storing a file on a RAID drive Is not a backup. If it is only stored on the RAID drive then the data has not been backed up.

 

Sure, it is protected against a hardware fault of a drive going south, but it isn't well protected against error or mistakes. If you format your drive, then the computer happily wipes the data off both drives for you. If your RAID controller itself goes south on you, then your data in the RAID can be destroyed. A RAID drive is still a single logical drive even if it is on multiple disks. If it is on one drive then you're not backed up.

 

Can it be useful that one or more of your copies of the data is stored on a RAID? Sure - They're great for ensuring uptime and performance, but that still isn't a backup.

 

I don't know who you a refering to... I never said RAID equals a backup. But any drive that is not in a RAID is a much higher risk for hardware failure. And that failure is not a question of if, but WHEN it will happen.

 

Maybe not that important to people that are only occasionally using their PCs, and without the budget or the financial stakes of a professional. That is why I said 'ideally'. Because before you invest into a RAID, you should probably invest into a Backup drive.

A professional that invests many grands into a workstation without a RAID Data drive -> Fail in my opinion. For some hundred bucks you will not loose a single hour of work should a drive fail. As soon as that happens, the additional drive has paid for itself.

 

As to online sources like github or assembla... these are GREAT for low budget backuping of your data. They are really great against common household risks like fire or flooding, which might affect your computer AND your backup drive should you store it at home. On the flipside, these services AFAIK do not guarantee a backup with their free plan. So should their site ever have a failure (hopefully they HAVE a RAID in their servers, so not that likely), or become victim of an attack, your data is more exposed.

I once used to have a rented server... only found out the guys had ZERO backup after the disks failed. Lucky I only used it as an svn server, and had all the data still on a local disk (history was gone though). Stupid that I didn't notice the absence of a backup in the terms of service, but learned something from it: cheap server space online comes with strings attached. Learn what exactly you are getting into before entrusting it with your data.

Also depending on the kind of data, you might not want to host it on an outside storage site. That now is more me speaking as a professional developer working in the financial industry, still, while such a site most probably is much more secure than your homenetwork, again, it IS more exposed to attacks, and data might be stored in a location you don't want it to be stored in.

Long story short, I would use online services only 1) after I had a very good, very thourough read through their terms of service to make sure they backup their data, they guarantee that your data is secure and there are no hidden costs, and 2) after I made sure that I had an onsite backup too should the online service fail.

 

I now have a pretty powerful RAID NAS Device at home to host my svn server. Not a free solution, but still cheaper than paying for an svn server on the web. I take regular Backups to a drive I take offline afterwards. I know I am at risk should I ever be a victim of a fire in my flat, but on the other hand I know where my data is, instead of entrusting it to online services that might host it somewhere insecure or not back it up.

Of course, if I couldn't spend 600 bucks for a NAS Device and disks, and another 100 bucks on a backup drive, I'd probably also be using github or assembla and call it a day. Still much better than having no backup at all.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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Second to these backup suggestions. A long time ago when bitcoin was coming out, I thought it was neat and did cointap every day/had my computer mining pretty much all the time.

 

I lost that bitcoin wallet file in a hard drive crash, but if I had just saved a backup of the damn thing, it'd be worth several hundred million dollars now.

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11 minutes ago, conquestor3 said:

Second to these backup suggestions. A long time ago when bitcoin was coming out, I thought it was neat and did cointap every day/had my computer mining pretty much all the time.

 

I lost that bitcoin wallet file in a hard drive crash, but if I had just saved a backup of the damn thing, it'd be worth several hundred million dollars now.

hopefully you don't punch yourself in the balls every morning after that story.

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Tape is such a nightmare, though I have heard some funny stores about it. Folks tied one end of a tape reel to someones bumper and that person unknowingly drove off dragging a ridiculous amount of tape dangling down the road. Walking into the server room and seeing like god knows how many tape reels on shelves I know it had to be a nightmare for the guy that had to update them to disk. Thinking about tape just gives me anxiety.

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