Archiving Projects-- TAPE vs. DVD

Shane Hathaway shane at
Thu Feb 9 20:27:18 MST 2006

Justin Findlay wrote:
> On 2/9/06, Shane Hathaway <shane at> wrote:
>>Personally, I'd pick UDO if it weren't proprietary.  As things stand
>>right now, I don't know which I'd pick.
> Can't you take an ATA drive off line for 10 years and plug it back in
> when you need the data?  Does the drive need to constantly re align
> the magnetic dipoles on the disk?

Current hard drives have a warranty of up to 5 years.  I take this as a 
signal from the manufacturer that the failure rate rises significantly 
after that time.  Check out the bathtub curve on Wikipedia:

In fact, the manufacturers are probably using planned obsolescence.

I've heard that the bearings in the motor are the main problem; they 
eventually cause the tracks to show up in the wrong place under the head.

However, I've also read that a hard drive kept offline most of the time, 
as long as you don't approach 50,000 power cycles, has double the 
lifetime of a drive used for typical desktop operation.  Sorry, I don't 
have any sources.


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