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Thread started 26 Dec 2013 (Thursday) 14:10
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Worst feeing in the world!!!

 
pwm2
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Dec 28, 2013 17:03 |  #31

monkey44 wrote in post #16560245 (external link)
I'd worry about DVD, and worry about flash drives, but worry less about HD or SSHD back-up and the price should not come into play much when you have your entire catalog - even family or work, or fun, whatever - the value is certainly worth the effort to save it more than once ... when you lose it, it's gone - done, over. No repeating the images - it's piece of history that will never appear again. So impossible to place a value on that ...

Note that a flash thumb drive is basically the same as an SSD. The main difference is that a SSD has a HDD-compatible interface (IDE or S-ATA), writes to multiple flash chips concurrently for larger transfer rates, and often have a bit fancier memory mapping for wear leveling, since a HDD tends to get way more writes than an USB flash drive.

But when it comes to storing an archival copy of photos, it really doesn't matter much if you use a thumb drive (flash), an SD card (flash), a CF card (flash) or an SSD (flash). The retention time for all the different flash media is about the same, since they are basically using identical flash memories internally but in different form factors and with different memory controllers and interfaces. They all need extra error recovery data (ECC) since the type of flash used can't be fully trusted.


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RTPVid
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Dec 29, 2013 09:38 |  #32

monkey44 wrote in post #16560245 (external link)
...My point mostly was it's relatively cheap to create back-up drives that will not lose your images.

I'd worry about DVD, and worry about flash drives, but worry less about HD or SSHD back-up and the price should not come into play much when you have your entire catalog - even family or work, or fun, whatever - the value is certainly worth the effort to save it more than once ... when you lose it, it's gone - done, over. No repeating the images - it's piece of history that will never appear again. So impossible to place a value on that ...

Agree with all of this. More below...

pwm2 wrote in post #16560273 (external link)
Note that a flash thumb drive is basically the same as an SSD. The main difference is that a SSD has a HDD-compatible interface (IDE or S-ATA), writes to multiple flash chips concurrently for larger transfer rates, and often have a bit fancier memory mapping for wear leveling, since a HDD tends to get way more writes than an USB flash drive.

But when it comes to storing an archival copy of photos, it really doesn't matter much if you use a thumb drive (flash), an SD card (flash), a CF card (flash) or an SSD (flash). The retention time for all the different flash media is about the same, since they are basically using identical flash memories internally but in different form factors and with different memory controllers and interfaces. They all need extra error recovery data (ECC) since the type of flash used can't be fully trusted.

I read somewhere that your typical USB plug-in flash memory (i.e. "flash drive", "thumb drive", etc.) is made from cheaper components that an SSD. This makes sense, since an SSD must perform nearly 100% reliably or no one would buy them, whereas a corrupted flash drive will merely be tossed in the trash (with a little grumbling about having to re-copy the files... most people use flash drives for transport, not for "one and only copy" storage... well, at least that is how I use them). Long way of saying, I would not use a flash drive for backup storage at all.

However, neither would I use an SSD for archival storage, but for a completely different reason. In the archival storage application, SSDs offer no advantage over traditional hard drives, and are MUCH more expensive. (Note my use of the term "archival"... this means mostly unattended long-term file archives.)


Tom

  
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Wilt
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Dec 29, 2013 12:41 |  #33

peeaanuut wrote in post #16555379 (external link)
many times when a HDD dies, its the motor and not the platters. A decent recovery expert can get that date off for you.

And sometimes the HDD itself is perfectly fine, but the controller electronics have gone bad. I had a Western Digital MyBook fail, I tore open the case and destructively pulled out the harddrive (no other way to open the case and unscrew the drive from it!), I then mounted the drive in one of the USB docks and all the data was accessible once more!


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pwm2
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Dec 29, 2013 13:24 |  #34

RTPVid wrote in post #16561532 (external link)
I read somewhere that your typical USB plug-in flash memory (i.e. "flash drive", "thumb drive", etc.) is made from cheaper components that an SSD. This makes sense, since an SSD must perform nearly 100% reliably or no one would buy them, whereas a corrupted flash drive will merely be tossed in the trash (with a little grumbling about having to re-copy the files... most people use flash drives for transport, not for "one and only copy" storage... well, at least that is how I use them). Long way of saying, I would not use a flash drive for backup storage at all.

There are no-name manufacturers who are willing to use non-tested memory in their products. But there are no-name manufacturers of trash of just about any type.

The cheaper factor involved in flash thumb drives is that they:
1) Often use very slow flash chips, which means that the write speed is very, very slow. The USB2 interface might manage up to about 40 MB/s for bulk transfers, while some USB thumb drives can only accept 1-2 MB/s. The slow flash cheaps aren't cheaper because they are bad, but because they are too slow to be used in lots of applications so the manfucaturers who makes them have to sell them at a lower price point just to get someone to buy the chips. And a large percent of USB thumb drive buyers never thinks about the write speed, so USB thumb drives are an excellent way to find customers for these slow flash chips.

2) Some USB thumb drives uses lousy memory controllers with bad wear leveling implementation. But archival storage doesn't have much use for extensive wear leveling since the thumb drive gets filled more and more without lots of erase cycles - it's the directory structure and the file allocation structure that has a number of rewrites. There might - just might - be USB thumb drives that doesn't verify each write to make sure the sector was usable, but that isn't an issue if getting a named drive. But such bad USB thumb drives aren't found under any known label unless buying faked USB thumb drives.

In the end - if you get a named USB thumb drive, you will get quite similar reliability as you get from an SSD drive. Just with a slower transfer speed.

It is only very expensive SSD drives that uses SLC-type flash memory, where each memory cell stores a single bit. The normal SSD uses same type of MLC flash memory as normal USB thumb drives, or normal memory cards. So each memory cell stores two - or maybe even three - bits of data. SLC can handle ten times as many rewrites before wearing out, since it is much simpler to detect charge/non-charge in a memory cell compared to measuring the amount of charge to decide if the cell represented 00/01/10/11 or maybe even 000/001/010/011/100/10​1/110/111. But look at the prices of SSD specifying SLC memory, and you would realize that they aren't the big sellers in the computer shop.

Another thing - normal thumb drives and SSD uses normal flash surface for wear leveling storage. Really good SSD uses F-RAM memory for the wear-leveling information, i.e. a non-volatile memory type that doesn't wear out. But that is also irrelevant for archival use - there just aren't enough rewrites in an archival media to make a difference.

So in the end: A USB thumb drive represents a good media for use as "one archival copy". The size also makes them excellent in situations where physical size is important - like when storing a backup at the bank. One problem right now is that the move from USB2 to USB3 means lots of USB thumb drives has prices matching an SSD - because to get the high transfer speeds, they need to compete for the same fast flash chips as used in the SSD. And a large USB thumb drive requires high-density flash chips, i.e. current-generation chips.

It's common to guarantee 10 years retention time from flash media. But that is often at maybe+40 or +60C. Every 10°C temperature higher halves the rentention time and every 10°C lower temperature doubles the retention time. Anyway - it's good to move the data to newer media every 5 years. Newer media has lower volume costs, refreshes the data and takes advantage of technological improvements (like newer interfaces, faster transfer speeds, ...)

But whatever media is used: there should obviously still exist multiple copies of important files. And it doesn't hurt if multiple media types are used.


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Daphatty
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Dec 30, 2013 17:11 |  #35

burnaz wrote in post #16557490 (external link)
It's a WD 500gb and it's about 2yrs old. It gave no signs of problems before. I just downloaded some Christmas pictures on it on December 25. I wanted to look and some pictures a day after and everything was showing up with a ? mark. My heart dropped as everything I clicked on was showing the same. I did removed the cover off it and bought a jumper and no luck reading the drive.

I'm taking the drive to a data recovery center today. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it can be saved and does not cost an arm and a leg.

BTW, free inspection and it's a local company in Pleasanton, Ca.

Damn. Had I seen this post sooner, and known you were local to the bay area, I would have recommended The Data Rescue Center (external link) in Livermore. They were able to clone data off of two drives that went bad in my Drobo. (The ****ing drobo NEVER even saw the failures until it was too late.) The repairs were expensive, but worth it.

Good luck with your retrieval!


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burnaz
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Jan 06, 2014 23:51 |  #36

The HDD was recovered! Got all my files back. Now I will buy two more drives and back up the back ups!!! Never will this happen to me again!




  
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morph2_7
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Jan 07, 2014 00:26 |  #37

I'm curious, how much did it cost you? (doesn't have to be an exact number)




  
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FarmerTed1971
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Jan 07, 2014 00:27 |  #38

Awesome news! Happy New Year.

So... how much did it cost you?


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burnaz
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Jan 07, 2014 00:36 |  #39

FarmerTed1971 wrote in post #16584417 (external link)
Awesome news! Happy New Year.

So... how much did it cost you?

$1600




  
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FarmerTed1971
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Jan 07, 2014 00:37 |  #40

Doh!

This is a good lesson to us all. Sorry you had to take one for the team.


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Jan 07, 2014 00:44 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #41

jeezus $1600? I had a burnt laptop recovered a year ago with cached memory and an 500gig Hdd
recovered and reset on a new drive for $700 phew that was steep, sorry you had to go thru it all.


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pwm2
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Jan 07, 2014 00:46 |  #42

burnaz wrote in post #16584431 (external link)
$1600

I'm happy that you got your images back, but of course sorry about the rather high cost of the recovery. I just hope this thread can help remind some people about the difference in cost between hoping for the best, and having an active plan to protect the data. External USB disks are almost thrown at us for free, compared to the recovery costs.


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Jan 07, 2014 02:25 as a reply to  @ pwm2's post |  #43

Just fulfilled my New Year's resolution: I already had double backups of all my photos on twin 4Tb drives, but they were both at home....uh, oh, what about fire and/or theft?

I could have gone cloud based but kept it simple and rented a safety deposit box at my bank for $35/year and store one drive there & plan to swap every month or two.




  
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Jan 07, 2014 15:14 |  #44

Happy the OP got his files back and I'm not at all surprised at the cost. It cost me nearly $3000 to have two drives dissected and the data restored. It really is a major surgery.

This thread inspired me to rethink my home storage and backup processes. I just purchased a Synology NAS for home which I will use for centralized Time Machine backups as well as storing my Lightroom library. I will also keep a pair of stand alone drives as a rotating external backup for the Time Machine and Lightroom files. Copies of the copies. Cheaper than a data restoration. :)


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RTPVid
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Jan 07, 2014 16:07 |  #45

Daphatty wrote in post #16586055 (external link)
Happy the OP got his files back and I'm not at all surprised at the cost. It cost me nearly $3000 to have two drives dissected and the data restored. It really is a major surgery.

This thread inspired me to rethink my home storage and backup processes. I just purchased a Synology NAS for home which I will use for centralized Time Machine backups as well as storing my Lightroom library. I will also keep a pair of stand alone drives as a rotating external backup for the Time Machine and Lightroom files. Copies of the copies. Cheaper than a data restoration. :)

Don't neglect to keep one of your copies off-site. (Here is a tale of woe about having all backups in the same place.)

Personally, I know I would not maintain an off-site backup. In other words, I would procrastinate so that in general, I would still have months of my recent files at risk. So, I use this cloud service (external link) as my off-site backup.


Tom

  
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