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HDDs are the new DVDs

What do you use DVD-Rs for these days? Sharing movies? Archiving data?

I’ve got something like 50-100 DVD-Rs. All carefully labelled; all sequentially numbered, with carefully organised folders inside. Photos, projects, annual email archives.. all boxed, indexed, and backed up, with a duplicate set of discs at another location.

So… as I build up data I want to store long-term, I save it to a folder (Music, Apps, Personal, etc). When that gets to around 4.7Gb, I organise a directory structure, burn it to DVD, burn a copy or two for backup, and make a note to take the backups next time I go away. And it takes time. Lots of time. And plenty of room for mistakes.

And now I’ve decided, in this era of 500Gb HDDs for under £50 – why bother?

I can have one HDD in my Media Center with the entire contents of all my DVD-Rs.
I can have a full backup at a friend’s/relative’s house, on one external HDD, also around £50
I can sync the backups easily using something like SyncBack, either by bringing the external drive round for a day, or over FTP/the internet
And when’s the last time I checked all my DVD-Rs are still error-free? I can error check an entire HDD monthly with a scheduled command.

So that’s decided. I’ve bought 2 x 500Gb Samsung Spinpoint T’s – actually quite small these days – and that’s my data archives for the next few years. And by the time they’re full, I’ll probably be able to pick up a 2-3Tb drive for less than these cost.

That’s a lot of photos.

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