@pait you have a good point a USB3 1TB drive costs under $100. I've seen $89 at Costco for a Seagate. It's worth buying one just to clone your hard drive and another to store everyday data and a third to back up the one used every day.
I haven't had a failure of a solid state hard drive... yet. But it will fail. If you only have one backup, you have none.
Hard drives are cheap. Have a bootable clone of your drive at home, another in your office, and a backup of your data in the cloud. Do you want to lose your data if there is a leak from the ceiling?
It is easy to clone your drive using Carbon Copy Cloner or something like that, and then when your drive fails you are up and running in the time it takes to connect the new drive and reboot. Otherwise when your drive fails you need to reinstall each and every piece of software and data from scratch. By Murphy's law it will happen when you have a deadline for an important project - can you affod the time just to save the hundred bucks that a terabyte costs?
Actually, with large HDDs, RAID5 (1 redundant disk) isn't safe, since there is a definite possibility of another failure during rebuild (I've heard of this happening more than once). It's better to go with 2 or even 3 redundant disks per group or simply mirror (which, given the price of HDDs, isn't big deal).
Also, there's the very real possibility of bit-rot (bits get flipped - and if the flipped bits get copied to your backups, then they become corrupted).
And, for ZFS users, it's highly recommended to use ECC memory so bits don't get corrupted in memory and then get written to disk (ZFS has extra protection for data on disk).
I've had several hard drives fail over the years, including one in a NAS box that was set up as RAID 5, so that any one of the 4 drives can fail without losing any data. It's worth giving up 25% of your NAS capacity for peace of mind.
To my surprise, I think I have just as many power supply failures in desktop PCs as I have had hard drive failures. Fortunately, those power supply failures have always been non-catastrophic and they are cheap & easy to replace.
Surprisingly, I have never had a hard drive fail (and I am telling the truth!). However, there have definitely been a few instances during which I needed to completely format my hard drive and re-install all the software. After the first, miserable experience with my late Toshiba, which needed reformatting every few months or so due to a "black screen of death", I decided to start paying for an online service my dad uses for backing up all of his information. Done. No external hard drive or other external memory device is needed. It may take some extra time to retreive the information, however an external hard drive would just add another layer of complication I am trying to avoid.
I bought a new wireless router about 6 weeks ago and put a 4GB USB stick in it so I can transfer files scross computers. I have a wide collection of USB sticks that I get from T&M companies. They put press releases and product photos on them. Biggest one so for is 4GB. The very first one is still in use, it's 16MB. It stays permanently in the back of the desktop computer that my wife uses. She keeps her entire business on a 1GB USB drive that I back up regularly to the computer's hard drive and to an external.
Professional data recovery services like WeRecoverData.com would be able to help you from data loss which are cause by operating system failure, accidental damage and hard disk failure. They have sophisticated state of the art equipments which are able to recover data from any types for storage. They have a high level of expertise and are trusted in the field.
The all or nothing nature of USB stick failure is highly disconcerting. In most cases where I've had a hard drive failure, I've usually been able to recover much of the data. On the other hand, with the USB sticks that I've had fail, as near as I could tell they were dead beyound redemption. A couple weeks ago I grabbed a USB stick because I wanted to transfer some files to a laptop that wasn't on the network. Much to my annoyance, it was completely dead. This was one of the ones that I'd used to store data from a previous hard drive crash. Fortunately the data had long since been restored...
By the way, that HD failure was on a RAID-1 mirrored disk so no data was lost. I just needed to back it up before I sent it to be repaired...
I have an ADSL router that has a USB socket and if you plug in a USB memory stick you can use it as a network drive. Only 16 GB but it's enough for the really important stuff. I cycle them occasionally and keep the last one in the shed. That way, if the house burns down I'll still have my important data. I also back up just about everything to a second hard drive on my desktop. I'm not sure if I could get, say a 1Tb USB hard drive and plug it into the router.
I used to use SCSI tape drives but USB sticks have pretty much outstripped them for capacity now. But Martin, your article has made me think about backing up more often. You tend to be very good at it after a hard drive crash (I have had 2) but you get blase after a few years.....
@betajet I concur... repeated shutdown & bootup cycles do fatigue the solder joints in BGA packages whereas the always-on condition results in fatigue that manifests differently... reminds me of the Aerospace analogy -high cycle fatigue (HCF) and low cycle fatigue (LCF). Takeoffs and landings are of the latter type whereas the wing flutter during flights results in the former.
Back to the hard disks, I always get the dust out of my laptops and desktops. This has not stopped my hard disks from crashing! Only once I lost data following the advise of an 'expert!' One can most often read the data sectors of a 'failed' hard drive by powering it externally & connected with a eSATA to USB cable (like Sabrent).