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    • economic
    • By economic 7th Feb 18, 10:23 PM
    • 2,937Posts
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    economic
    HDD or SSD for backup purposes?
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:23 PM
    HDD or SSD for backup purposes? 7th Feb 18 at 10:23 PM
    Hi

    In terms of reliability/longevity, which is superior for backups, a hard disk drive or a solid state drive?

    Ignoring price and data capacity etc. Just purely based on how long the drive lasts before breaking down, failure etc Given it will be used as a regular (every month) backup, which would be least likely to cause any sort of problem?

    Also any brand/model that anyone recommends?

    thanks
Page 1
    • debitcardmayhem
    • By debitcardmayhem 7th Feb 18, 10:35 PM
    • 8,493 Posts
    • 6,417 Thanks
    debitcardmayhem
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:35 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:35 PM
    You need two basically and an offsite solution too, how much do you want to backup monthly? What are you planning to use for Backup do you want to be able to restore individual files ? Too vague a question really
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 7th Feb 18, 11:20 PM
    • 1,234 Posts
    • 715 Thanks
    Neil Jones
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 11:20 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 11:20 PM
    Hi

    In terms of reliability/longevity, which is superior for backups, a hard disk drive or a solid state drive?

    Ignoring price and data capacity etc. Just purely based on how long the drive lasts before breaking down, failure etc Given it will be used as a regular (every month) backup, which would be least likely to cause any sort of problem?

    Also any brand/model that anyone recommends?

    thanks
    Originally posted by economic
    All other things being equal they should last the same amount of time.
    However that being said SSDs when they keel over and die literally die without warning, whereas hard drives tend to slow down.

    If something's that important to you that you cannot afford to lose, back it up, back it up and then back it up again. Your backup is only as good as your most recent one. I worked in consumer IT for years and the number of people who didn't bother backing anything up was scary. They only thought about it when it was too late and the drive was already dead.

    Most extreme example: Eight years worth of a customer's son growing up and pictures of a partner that had died a couple of years earlier (who apparently "did all this computer stuff") gone. The main hard drive with the pictures died (it was mechanically dead) and it later turned out the "backups" the deceased partner had been doing for years consisted of a bunch of shortcuts to the folders where the pictures were and not the pictures themselves.
    Last edited by Neil Jones; 07-02-2018 at 11:22 PM.
    • economic
    • By economic 7th Feb 18, 11:49 PM
    • 2,937 Posts
    • 1,577 Thanks
    economic
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 18, 11:49 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 18, 11:49 PM
    You need two basically and an offsite solution too, how much do you want to backup monthly? What are you planning to use for Backup do you want to be able to restore individual files ? Too vague a question really
    Originally posted by debitcardmayhem
    Just simple backup of the same folders every time i carry out the backup - which will be monthly. In total around 50gb of data so not massive amounts. Documents and photos mainly. Purely for the reason of hard drive failure / loss of data on the original.

    I was thinking of just one drive. Currently i backup on a pen drive so thought i would have a second as a proper drive. i dont like the idea of having my data in the cloud or anything like that.

    thanks
    • economic
    • By economic 7th Feb 18, 11:53 PM
    • 2,937 Posts
    • 1,577 Thanks
    economic
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 18, 11:53 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 18, 11:53 PM
    All other things being equal they should last the same amount of time.
    However that being said SSDs when they keel over and die literally die without warning, whereas hard drives tend to slow down.

    If something's that important to you that you cannot afford to lose, back it up, back it up and then back it up again. Your backup is only as good as your most recent one. I worked in consumer IT for years and the number of people who didn't bother backing anything up was scary. They only thought about it when it was too late and the drive was already dead.

    Most extreme example: Eight years worth of a customer's son growing up and pictures of a partner that had died a couple of years earlier (who apparently "did all this computer stuff") gone. The main hard drive with the pictures died (it was mechanically dead) and it later turned out the "backups" the deceased partner had been doing for years consisted of a bunch of shortcuts to the folders where the pictures were and not the pictures themselves.
    Originally posted by Neil Jones
    Thats a real shame and very sad. I never really took backing up seriously although i do backup occasionally. Time to take things more seriously.

    So do you suggest i go for a HDD rather then a SSD?
    • Uxb
    • By Uxb 8th Feb 18, 8:20 AM
    • 1,034 Posts
    • 1,089 Thanks
    Uxb
    • #6
    • 8th Feb 18, 8:20 AM
    • #6
    • 8th Feb 18, 8:20 AM
    I use 4 Western Digital elements portable USB3 1Tb and 2TB HDD drives.
    There are rotated out in sequence for doing the backups and one of them is stored elsewhere.
    I've never had one fail - mind you the drives themselves are kept carefully around the house - that means not dropped or slung about, and every time I do a 'safe remove' from the computer via the icon and not just yank out the USB connection, to minimise any possibility of data corruption.

    There is a subtle difference between "backup" and "replication" of your data.
    Replication is where you have several identical copies of hopefully your up-to-date data. This means of course that you need to copy your data daily. I have a permanently attached USB external drive on my desktop which I use for this. So I have 1 replicated copy.
    Then there is backup which is where you have multiple copies of your data as it was at the various times you took the copy. So you might have a copy of your data as it was 1 week ago, 4 weeks ago, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year etc and you should have multiple copies of each of these. Usually limited by the amount of disk space you have as storage before you have to delete older ones.

    Finally around once a year I do a DVD set of the most important data and keep it forever. This sort of guards against a file being unwittingly overwritten and then this overwrite not being noticed. This means the overwrite then gets copied progressively into the backups done over time and after a year the original file will have vanished from all of them.

    My PC's get used for my work and for running volunteer social clubs so my backup regime has to rather more rigorous and more like a proper business than you usually find in households.
    • wongataa
    • By wongataa 8th Feb 18, 8:22 AM
    • 1,286 Posts
    • 740 Thanks
    wongataa
    • #7
    • 8th Feb 18, 8:22 AM
    • #7
    • 8th Feb 18, 8:22 AM
    Go for HDD as they are cheaper and have higher capacities. Speed is less of an issue for backups.
    • scaredofdebt
    • By scaredofdebt 8th Feb 18, 8:31 AM
    • 979 Posts
    • 401 Thanks
    scaredofdebt
    • #8
    • 8th Feb 18, 8:31 AM
    • #8
    • 8th Feb 18, 8:31 AM
    If you are not doing a lot of writing to it, SSD is probably more reliable as their longevity is based on how many reads/writes you do. This article is of interest:

    https://therevisionist.org/reviews/ssd-vs-hdd-one-reliable/

    Of course if the data is important you should have 3 backups, one off-site, so both HDD and SDD would be an option (with cloud perhaps for the offsite).

    Anecdotally I have had HDDs fail on me but never and SSD, but I have only been using SSD for about 8 years, HDD much longer.
    Make 2018 in 2018 Challenge - Total to date 1,049
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 8th Feb 18, 8:53 AM
    • 1,947 Posts
    • 1,286 Thanks
    Tom99
    • #9
    • 8th Feb 18, 8:53 AM
    • #9
    • 8th Feb 18, 8:53 AM
    Just simple backup of the same folders every time i carry out the backup - which will be monthly. In total around 50gb of data so not massive amounts. Documents and photos mainly. Purely for the reason of hard drive failure / loss of data on the original.

    thanks
    Originally posted by economic
    If you use mirror instead of back-up ie just add new or changed files, the amount of disk activity will be very small. I do that once a week for all my files and the copying takes a lot less than one minute since only 50-100 files will have changed in the week.
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 8th Feb 18, 9:27 AM
    • 8,074 Posts
    • 5,840 Thanks
    esuhl
    A failed HDD is usually easier/cheaper to recover than a failed SSD. From what I've read (and my experience of HDDs), HDDs are more likely to become temperamental before they fail (giving you a chance to recover data), whereas SSDs are more likely to fail suddenly.

    Go for HDD as they are cheaper and have higher capacities. Speed is less of an issue for backups.
    Originally posted by wongataa
    ^^ This, too. No need to waste money on an SSD as a backup device.
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 8th Feb 18, 10:59 AM
    • 4,261 Posts
    • 4,303 Thanks
    DoaM
    If you use mirror instead of back-up
    Originally posted by Tom99
    In my mind "mirror" means make the back-up look like the current status ... not good IMHO.

    I have a HDD connected via USB and use SyncToy for my back-ups. I have this set to "contribute" so it only writes anything that is new or has changed (same name, different date/time stamp). That way anything that I've deleted from my current folders still exists in the back-up unless I manually delete it.
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    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 8th Feb 18, 11:55 AM
    • 9,046 Posts
    • 9,944 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    Hi

    In terms of reliability/longevity, which is superior for backups, a hard disk drive or a solid state drive?

    Ignoring price and data capacity etc. Just purely based on how long the drive lasts before breaking down, failure etc Given it will be used as a regular (every month) backup, which would be least likely to cause any sort of problem?
    Originally posted by economic
    It doesnt matter since as said you should have at least two plus another kept offsite be that physical in another location or in the cloud.
    The saying goes something like "your data doesn't exist unless its been backed up 3 times"

    Relying on just one single device / method to get you out of trouble will bit you in the posterior one day.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 8th Feb 18, 11:56 AM
    • 9,046 Posts
    • 9,944 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    If you use mirror instead of back-up ie just add new or changed files, the amount of disk activity will be very small. I do that once a week for all my files and the copying takes a lot less than one minute since only 50-100 files will have changed in the week.
    Originally posted by Tom99
    Mirror is not backup. In some ways its worse than not doing it as it makes you think you've backed up w hen you haven't.
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 8th Feb 18, 12:20 PM
    • 1,947 Posts
    • 1,286 Thanks
    Tom99
    Mirror is not backup. In some ways its worse than not doing it as it makes you think you've backed up w hen you haven't.
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    I don't understand that comment. Mirror means you have an exact copy of all you files on a removable drive, so just what you need if your hard drive fails, laptop is stolen or you need to reinstall the OS.
    Why would that be worse than doing nothing?
    • economic
    • By economic 8th Feb 18, 12:45 PM
    • 2,937 Posts
    • 1,577 Thanks
    economic
    It doesnt matter since as said you should have at least two plus another kept offsite be that physical in another location or in the cloud.
    The saying goes something like "your data doesn't exist unless its been backed up 3 times"

    Relying on just one single device / method to get you out of trouble will bit you in the posterior one day.
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    does the 3 include the original or is it 3 on top of the original?
    • bsod
    • By bsod 8th Feb 18, 5:10 PM
    • 1,222 Posts
    • 736 Thanks
    bsod
    if it is a 'saying', it's a dumb one, because it's clearly nonsense.

    keep it simple: one original, one (or more on your pen drives) backups on usb hard disk (not ssd). Safely remove and detach the backup drive when the backup has finished. It will probably outlive you unless you drop it .. and if it doesn't, you still have the original, and the pen drives. Next question: macrium (free)/copy&paste/or incremental batchfile.

    Asking about brand recommendations from strangers won't elicit a scientific response, but portable drives are handier than full size ones.
    Last edited by bsod; 08-02-2018 at 5:45 PM.
    Don't you dare criticise what you cannot understand
    • economic
    • By economic 8th Feb 18, 5:48 PM
    • 2,937 Posts
    • 1,577 Thanks
    economic
    if it is a 'saying', it's a dumb one, because it's clearly nonsense.

    keep it simple: one original, one (or more on your pen drives) backups on usb hard disk (not ssd). Safely remove and detach the backup drive when the backup has finished. It will probably outlive you unless you drop it .. and if it doesn't, you still have the original, and the pen drives. Next question: macrium (free)/copy&paste/or incremental batchfile.

    Asking about brand recommendations from strangers won't elicit a scientific response, but portable drives are handier than full size ones.
    Originally posted by bsod
    Can i ask why not SSD? I was thinking of SSD instead of a HDD.
    • bsod
    • By bsod 8th Feb 18, 5:55 PM
    • 1,222 Posts
    • 736 Thanks
    bsod
    on grounds of

    cost/capacity - one large capacity hdd can hold many disk images.
    limited writes
    suitability for the job - this is a backup drive, to be used for a few minutes once a month perhaps, where speed doesn't matter. The same money could be spent on more redundancy rather than more speed.

    but, if you have an internal physical boot drive, you could swap that with an ssd and use the old one as a backup device.
    Last edited by bsod; 08-02-2018 at 6:10 PM.
    Don't you dare criticise what you cannot understand
    • economic
    • By economic 8th Feb 18, 7:02 PM
    • 2,937 Posts
    • 1,577 Thanks
    economic
    on grounds of

    cost/capacity - one large capacity hdd can hold many disk images.
    limited writes
    suitability for the job - this is a backup drive, to be used for a few minutes once a month perhaps, where speed doesn't matter. The same money could be spent on more redundancy rather than more speed.

    but, if you have an internal physical boot drive, you could swap that with an ssd and use the old one as a backup device.
    Originally posted by bsod
    i see what you mean and i agree. HDD much cheaper - i was just worried about HDD failure but what are the chances of both backup HDD and internal PC hard drive going broke at the same time?

    I might buy an internal SSD and replace it with my HDD which is a bootable drive. But how can i make an internal HDD "external" so it can be plugged in externally and portable etc?
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 8th Feb 18, 9:32 PM
    • 1,234 Posts
    • 715 Thanks
    Neil Jones
    i see what you mean and i agree. HDD much cheaper - i was just worried about HDD failure but what are the chances of both backup HDD and internal PC hard drive going broke at the same time?
    Originally posted by economic
    Murphy's Law dictates that if anything can go wrong it will go wrong. Therefore as I said previously you need to back things up regularly and separately from the computer - if you have a break in for example and the computer gets nicked, if your backup drive is next to it it'll probably end up in the burglar's swag bag too.

    I might buy an internal SSD and replace it with my HDD which is a bootable drive. But how can i make an internal HDD "external" so it can be plugged in externally and portable etc?
    Take it out and put it in a caddy, like this:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/CiT-3-5-inch-SATA-Enclosure/dp/B00647A4KY

    Note that you won't be able to boot from the HDD while its in a caddy.
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