Larger capacity hard drives could mean more lost data

Larger capacity hard drives could mean more lost data

Posted on September 7th, 2011 by admin

Seagate just announced a 4TB external hard drive for data storage.


That is a HUGE amount of storage space.  We have seen dramatic price reductions in storage costs over the past few years and systems now are regularly shipping with 1TB drives when the standard just a few years ago was 160GB.  That is a 6.25 increase in capacity for nearly the same price!


What many people fail to plan for is drive failure.  All hard drives WILL fail, they are highly sophisticated engineered devices with many  moving parts that meet extreme tolerance criteria.

Hard drives usually spin at a rate of 7200 RPM, that is a whopping 120 revolutions PER SECOND!!!  At those speeds the slightest problem can be quickly manifested into a drive failure.

Hard drives typically do not die gracefully – they work and then they don’t, there is typically not a lot of warning and some symptoms of an impending failure actually cause users to repeatedly restart their computers placing even more stress on drives.

The vast majority of the value of your computer is in the data.  Hardware can be replaced but if the data is totally lost many irreplaceable files like pictures, music, and financial files can be lost forever.

Large storage space is great but make sure you have a good backup procedure to safeguard files that cannot be replaced.

We suggest to clients that they use a 1 – 2 – 3 type plan;

- One offsite storage location

- Two different media types, say a DVD and a hard drive

- Three physical copies

While this may sound excessive, you need to quantify the value of your data.  If the thousands of family photos, scanned family records, hundreds or thousands of music files cannot be easily replaced or ever replaced at all then a more robust back up strategy is needed.

Contact your local IT professional for advice on how to implement a cost effective backup plan.

See the story about Seagate’s new drives at: