June 03, 2011

Indiscretionary spending

I just put in an order with Newegg for a 2TB hard drive.

Deneb, my Windows Home Server, has 2 1-TB drives and 2 2-TB drives. It's also about 3 quarters full. It shows 1.6 TB free.

Which isn't as much as it looks, because most of what I put on it gets stored twice. That's effectively 800 GB.

So if I'm going to add storage, I pretty much have to do it now. One of the 1TB drives can't be removed because it has the OS on it. The other one can, though. I can use the control panel to tell WHS to move off that drive, which would probably take hours. Once it's unused, though, I can pop it and put the new 2TB drive in that bay, for an increment of 1 TB.

That will be enough free space to make me feel comfortable again.

It's got USB ports, and I could attach external USB drives to it for additional space, but I've had bad luck with lifespans of USB drives, and I don't want to use that solution unless there is no other choice. (And, please note that this post is not a request for suggestions or advice.)

I placed the order last night, and this morning I was informed that it shipped, via 3-day ground, from Baldwin CA.

UPS's tracking system doesn't show an estimated delivery, but it will probably be Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 06:02 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
Post contains 244 words, total size 1 kb.

1 The hard drive manufacturers giveth, and the torrents taketh away.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 04, 2011 04:47 AM (PiXy!)

2

The ultimate solution would be to roll a bunch of it off onto USB drives, and then delete it off the server.

I don't really need five different versions of Railgun, after all. (And a lot of other accumulated cruft, like partial downloads of series I gave up on.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 04, 2011 09:14 AM (+rSRq)

3 DVD-R is more economical than thumb drives, and possibly faster.

Posted by: Mauser at June 04, 2011 01:30 PM (cZPoz)

4 I recently reviewed some of the fansubs that I recorded to CD-R in 2003 or so, and already there was a significant rot. In Azumanga, I had to re-torrent 3 epiodes out of 26. It was not on BakaBt, phased out for DVD rips. Thank heavens for Chinese hoarders! They weren't completely junk CD-Rs, I thought. When Kodak specified PhotoCD and CD-R, they expected the life time of 100 years. But I think just about nobody in the world made CD-R blanks that good by the time 2000 rolled in. Looking at that, I do not trust DVD-Rs. I'll just store a copy locally and pay a couple of bucks for a copy in Amazon S3 cloud. The great advantage of this is that an automated process can verify SHA1 or other sums and flag any bit error for recovery. With CD-Rs, I would only know that anything rotted by the time I wanted my data.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at June 04, 2011 01:35 PM (9KseV)

5

Mauser, I don't use thumb drives. I use things like this.

That's 3TB for $160. Actually about 2.7 TB.

So 2700 gigabytes for $160 is about six cents per gigabyte. If a DVD-R is 4G, then it would have to cost less than 24 cents to be cost competitive.

And writing to the 3TB USB drive is faster and easier, and a USB hard drive doesn't suffer from bitrot to anything the same extent as optical drives.

Also please note the fine print about unwanted advice.

Another point: 2.7 TB is somewhere around 675 DVDs. How long does it take to burn 675 DVDs? Copying that much data  to the USB drive takes a few hours, but burning 675 DVDs would take weeks.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 04, 2011 01:53 PM (+rSRq)

6 Blu-Ray and HD-DVD were *supposed* to keep opticals competitive with HDD and ahead of flash... but, my understanding is that Sony never had any real interest in supporting PC users, only movie studios (and indeed, that may have been part of the skulduggery behind the sudden demise of HD-DVD).

The result?  Opticals are quickly becoming relegated to commercial movies and music, to the degree that those markets retain a physical presence (hey, they still make vinyl, for purists).  I have shelves full of old CDs and DVDs I burned 10 years ago; I rarely touch them (half of them are series--full of outdated commercials--that I can stream anytime that I like from Netflix), and frankly, outside of ISOs for things like emergency disks and backup copies of online-purchased software, I don't have a whole lot of need for a burner anymore.

In another 10 years, I suspect everything important to me will be on multiple HDDs, with an extra copy zapped onto flash as needed for portability (or locked in a fire safe holding "key documents" like insurance PDFs and old tax returns).

Posted by: BigD at June 04, 2011 03:39 PM (LjWr8)

7 Hmmm, I've never had bit-rot issues before, but now I'm concerned.  I wonder if there's a good program for checking file integrity on DVD's.

Before I got my 2T drive, I had to burn off any completed series I wanted to keep.  Although I'm beginning to wonder, considering how cheap SATA drives are, if I should just get another, and periodically temp install it and dump things onto that.  Of course, I've still got 643G free on the 1T partition my torrents are on.

On the other hand, I worry about having stuff on my drive considering how I lost everything while transitioning from Vuse to uTorrent.  (I blogged about how I got it all back.  I'm starting to work on reviews.)

Posted by: Mauser at June 05, 2011 09:33 PM (cZPoz)

8
Hmmm, I've never had bit-rot issues before, but now I'm concerned. I wonder if there's a good program for checking file integrity on DVD's.

I have a co-worker who... while I won't say he's documented every waking second of his childrens' lives, has a ton of pictures and video to store. He uses DVD-R backups, and verifies all the files post-write with an MD5-generating program. I don't think he's had issues with DVD-Rs going bad over time, but he has had instances where they claim to write correctly (even with the writer's "verify" option set), but are either entirely unreadable, or only readable on the drive that wrote them.

Since it has to read all the data on the disc, an MD5 generator (or any other CRC-type program) should verify a disc is still fully readable, but unless you have the original files to compare it to, you wouldn't be able to find readable-but-incorrect corrupted data that way.

Before I got my 2T drive, I had to burn off any completed series I wanted to keep. Although I'm beginning to wonder, considering how cheap SATA drives are, if I should just get another, and periodically temp install it and dump things onto that. Of course, I've still got 643G free on the 1T partition my torrents are on.

Rather than installing it in your machine (if your case makes that a time-consuming thing to do), you could get a hard drive enclosure (external drive with no drive in it) if you want to use normal desktop/laptop drives as external drives.

Posted by: Mikeski at June 06, 2011 06:43 AM (GbSQF)

9 Re:  Sony and Blu-Ray, if I had to guess, their lack of interest in PC users is based in some form of misguided antipiracy effort.  I'm actually half surprised they even released Blu-Ray blanks and burners to the general consumer.

Posted by: metaphysician at June 06, 2011 09:27 AM (hD30M)

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