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 Post subject: Magnetic Data Loss in Hard Disk Drives
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:10 pm
Posts: 31
I've just read that the data on hard disk drives can 'fade' over time unless rewritten fairly regularly.

I have several external drives just sitting on shelves, and at least two internal ones in a PC that hasn't been powered on for several years, each containing backups I thought I could rely on!

Do I need to get software such as this, or can anyone suggest a better solution? The ancient PC runs NT4, which (unsurprisingly) isn't even supported by the aforementioned software.

Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks.

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Magnetic Data Loss in Hard Disk Drives
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:44 am
Posts: 5751
There is no need for any such "refresh" programs, especially considering they absolutely cannot refresh all of the magnetic data anyway. Here is a relevant citation on the subject written by a former HDD engineer: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en# ... fCIyPj7poJ

The biggest problem I've seen with older drives that are allowed to sit non-operating for extended periods of time is stiction. Fortunately that can often be overcome by mechanical means.

As with all discussions of data storage, having multiple, reliable, off-line backups are your best insurance. If you have important data on older drives it might be a good idea to make backups on newer drives. As older interfaces and systems become obsolete, it is often difficult to find a compatible system, controller card, cables, etc. to make an older drive work at all. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Magnetic Data Loss in Hard Disk Drives
 Post Posted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:10 pm
Posts: 31
Thank you Scott,

That's a relief. I'll boot up the old machine and make backups to a newer drive as you suggest (the existing backups are on a separate internal drive in the same PC).

Regards,

Mike


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