Saturday, August 23, 2008

Too Freakin' Fragile: Hard Disk Storage

Well, it was bound to happen. A few hundred gig into my archiving project, and my LaCie 120GB drive -- an otherwise fine product -- seems unable to boot. I don't believe there is a hard disk error, so i'm not in utter panic (yet), but there is mechanically something wrong with the electrical system here, probably in the enclosure... i'll see what I can get done next week... but the point here is important, and please don't miss it: hard disk technologies are fundamentally fragile. Disks crash. Things happen. I don't even know or care what - i'm just saying I have a few terrabytes worth of MiniDV cassettes here with me, and I feel a hell of a lot more comfortable with the long term storage of video on those tapes than I do of a couple gigantic 1TB hard disks, each holding about half my archive. I love having them online, no doubt. But I love having an archive on tape too. And I'm not all that excited about a tapeless future where I just dump my videos (and photos and music, of course), onto big drives. Until I have something more like an affordable TB Raid (you know, a few hundred dollars), I like having tapes. And in the meantime, I'm still going to dump my video onto drives so I can play with it, but the tapes remain, and i will continue shooting tapes for my most important stuff. I'll still experiment, but no full adoption just yet.

Now, back to my sick hard disk. Just when i needed it to work...


Jason Painter said...

You probably should look at the Drobo. It protects your data despite hard drive failures.

I have the same drive and it died recently. Luckily it turned out to be the drive, not the housing. Now I've got a nice 500Gb in the housing.

Sky said...

I spent a ton of hours dumping my tapes from iMovie onto a Western Digital 1TB firewire drive and now I can no longer access the drive. Boy, I would be really upset if I loss my kids material, but thanks to MiniDV, I have retained those priceless events. Granted, I could have bought another disk to backup the disk, but that's just way too much maintance for me. I'm still not convinced that flash recording is ready to capture precious moments.