Single Status Update
My RAID1 array, designated to preserve some of my most irreplaceable data--including reports, photos, artworks, and Deus Vult II's assets--has shatted the bed for the last time.
A pair of WD Caviar Blacks of 640GB running at 7200RPM, it sat inside my main PC's since 2009.
It began two months ago with one of the drives intermittently "clicking" and losing data. Intel RST was able to rebuild data, but that same drive kept clicking... then as of two days ago, the entire array failed, attributable to the surviving drive unable to find an MBR.
Considering the nature of how spinning disks work, it's smart to not rely on them as exclusive backup, even in a closed redundancy system. A possibility negating this backup method is, if I get robbed... so much for RAID1.
Ever since the advent of cloud storage years ago, I practiced storing things in a combination of GMail, DropBox, GoogleDrive, and Skydrive, in those orders. Who stores all of their virtual eggs in one basket these days?
As Voldemort made good practice to back up himself with horcruxes, as Sauron made good practice to back himself up with The One Ring, I made good practice to store Deus Vult II's supporting assets in many places and persons. Should I die suddenly and the world most likely continue on without me, those people have been instructed to release the latest edition of whatever I shared them.
Now if I can remember all the songs I need to recover...
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I've had terrible experience with all computer optical disc drives
The drives themselves are to be considered disposable -even hi-end standalone CD players have a quite finite laser pickup life in the range of 2000 hours, burners have even less), and DO require periodic maintenance (cleaning the lens directly, not with a stupid "lens cleaning CD", and cleaning any contacts where flexy ribbon cables attach, those can go surprisingly bad).
The disks however, given high quality media and reasonable handling, can last a long, long time. The oldest CD-R I have is from 1994 (Golden TDK) and still read at full speed in all drives, showing how low the error rate is. For modern CD-Rs in cakes of 100 I have my doubts, though.
And, Doom Marine, a single BD-R disk would've saved at least your entire music collection ;-)
I jumped on the blu ray bandwagon already. Things seem to be working well. I have a CD-R from 2002 I made that still reads. Keep your discs in a dark temperature controlled environment and use reputable brands and you'll be fine I think. The super important stuff finds its way onto multiple discs and multiple types of media for me (not to mention multiple locations.. Huy's choice of cloud is a good way ensure your data's safety if your possessions are stolen or your house burns down.)
Cloud storage is great in the sense of decentralizing data storage; your stuff is almost everywhere with an internet connection. The downside is, if you're not paying monthly fees, then capacity isn't that great.
I scraped up about 5GB from DropBox, 10GB from SkyDrive, 5GB from GoogleDrive. For me, there is enough space, but I do have to choose which folder to leave behind, because there's no way that Music Folder is hopping on the cloud bus without a ticket.
Cloud storage is resilient up to the point of thermonuclear warfare... in which case, it's back to burning things on disks and burying it underneath the backyard for the next civilization to decipher.