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What are the problems with archiving on external hard drives?

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tim gallaher
What are the problems with archiving on external hard drives?
on Sep 3, 2015 at 1:26:56 am

I am in charge of archiving uncompressed audio files (and a few video files) for a small yet international school. I archive off site using stored, duplicate 2TB external hard drives, plus a third set on site. I add new data to the hard drives three times a year and the drives just sit unused the rest of the time in our off-site data storage facility. We haven't had any problems with this in 7 years, yet I've read that external hard drives are dangerous for archiving and that data can just disappear. I'm not understanding this warning because 1) no data (that I know of) has disappeared on us so far, 2) we are archiving in triplicate so the chances that all the same data would disappear are low and 3) hard drives were, just a few years ago, considered the wisest choice for archiving.

My question is this: in the experience of those on this site, is archiving on external hard drives actually risky or are these risks trumped up by folks trying to sell LTO tape options?

I don't see this question in my searches on here, but if this is a duplicate, my apologies.

Thanks much



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