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Thread: Hard Drives

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by eolesen View Post
    Good luck with that approach...
    My experience from 20 years of computer use ...

    Anyway, I got several identical PCs (6 in fact) with 2 identical OS-HDDs in each of them and cross-cloned OSes (Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition x86 & Windows 7 Ultimate Edition x86), and each of my 2TB-HDDs is backed up fully on another 2TB-HDD ... freshly cloned every 9 months or so. Did I mention that I buy all of my stuff used? Except for the 6 x 2TB-HDDs which I bought new.
    Last edited by GoGoran; 12-22-2016 at 10:15 AM.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoGoran View Post
    My experience from 20 years of computer use ...

    Anyway, I got several identical PCs (6 in fact) with 2 identical OS-HDDs in each of them and cross-cloned OSes (Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition x86 & Windows 7 Ultimate Edition x86), and each of my 2TB-HDDs is backed up fully on another 2TB-HDD ... freshly cloned every 9 months or so. Did I mention that I buy all of my stuff used? Except for the 6 x 2TB-HDDs which I bought new.
    I've been using computers since punch cards (Why were there sequence number on cards? So you could reconstruct the deck after somebody dropped it! Happened to me...), and PCs since mass storage was an audio cassette tape. Using hard disks since about 1990, I think I might have had one outright fail on me. Others either gave plenty of warning, or I replaced them during an upgrade even though they were working OK. After all, if you keep a computer more than 3 years or so, the state of the practice in storage (among other things) will have moved on so an upgrade is in order, and I tend to keep a computer 5 years or more with minor upgrades along the line before tossing the motherboard etc. and jumping to the latest trailing edge.

    I've also found that I seldom use image backups, and because of all the Windows and other upgrades going on it's not worth going back to an image if it's more than a few months old. So I concentrate on backing up DATA regularly, and only pull images occasionally such as when I'm expecting a major Windows upgrade ("feature update" like the Anniversary Update last July) to give me a realistic "go back" option. Also, if you have an image of say a 1TB hard disk and want to restore to a new 4TB it gets tricky ... better to do a clean install and update of everything (do you REALLY need all of that software any more?) then restore the data. For most of us, PCs are one-off so it's not like the company maintaining a standard image for many identical computers.

  3. #13
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    Punch cards, lol...I remember a few times walking away from the old IBM monster with 3 feet of cards stacked to read into the front, just to come back a few minutes later and either have it jammed all to hell, or with cards shooting out the back all over the floor, instead of neatly stacked after being punched...ah, what fun it was having to put them all back in order...NOT!
    Neil

    Here at home, in the railroad mayhem capital of the world.

  4. #14

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    Personally, I've had not one, but TWO Seagate 1.5TB USB External drives fail on me in the past 4 years, so I won't ever go with them again. Thinking about WD for my next external drive, as the one I have now is about 5 years old now and still going.

    As an aside, there were no warning signs whatsoever that the drives were failing. All of a sudden, they were no longer accessible.

  5. #15
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    I have had only one hard drive fail on me. It went out about a year ago, after corrupting files at random. On the bright side, I was able to salvage most of my files from it, and it gave me a chance to upgrade to a better computer, since it came from a used one that still used an IDE (I think) connection to the hard drive, and they are no longer built. My first computer lasted over 10 years before the graphics card went out, although if it were any older, the keys would have been made of stone and the mouse would have been a living, breathing one

  6. #16
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    Apr 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by qballbandit View Post
    Punch cards, lol...I remember a few times walking away from the old IBM monster with 3 feet of cards stacked to read into the front, just to come back a few minutes later and either have it jammed all to hell, or with cards shooting out the back all over the floor, instead of neatly stacked after being punched...ah, what fun it was having to put them all back in order...NOT!
    That's giving me very, very bad flashbacks...

    Trouble with any hard drives these days is that you're lucky if the drive gives some clear indication of failure. The old days of the common head assembly fault that loudly went "ka-BANG-ka-BANG-ka-BANG" while trying to read was pretty drastic, but at least let you know right away. Most modern drives just silently go about their business until suddenly they don't. Sometimes they'll throw a diagnostic warning when the computer boots, or pop a notification in Windows if you're really lucky. A lot of them just get "slow" because they keep having read errors over and over -- and you might not even notice it unless you look at the Windows event log.

    Just no substitute for keeping regular backups of your data, preferably more than one copy. I really like the File History feature built into Windows 10 -- it keeps a running backup that Windows can restore from, a lot like Apple's Time Machine backup, although it can eat through disk space pretty fast if you let it back up everything on a system with a lot on it.

    Even with an auto-backup solution, it's still worth keeping extra copies of data on other drives, just in case. Roughly quarterly, I'll make a compressed archive of just my entire MSTS/Open Rails installation. Since a lot of what makes up routes and rolling stock is really just Unicode text files, it compresses fairly well. Good archive programs like 7zip and Winrar can also include recovery data and checksums, so that your compressed backup has more data-integrity protection.


    MSTS-Roundhouse

    On hiatus and moving to a new host -- Probably in 2021
    (Because 2020 has turned out to be b0rked beyond belief...
    )

  7. #17
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    Those were the days!! Punch cards and perforated tape all over the floor waiting to be swept up and reorganized!

    I think I miss some aspects, the huge "Disks" and tape reels that needed babysat and replaced. (CNR Stores Spadina Yard 1960s)

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