I don't think archiving files on hard drives is a viable preservation
strategy without an alternate media backup such as tape or CDR.

I may have mentioned this before in this forum, but the UCSB Library stores
its digital content on disc arrays from Wideband Systems that run RAID 5.
We currently have 9TB of digital data in the Alexandria Digital Library,
mostly geospatial data and air photos, but soon audio with our cylinder
digitization project. Even with RAID 5, we have had a simultaneous failure
of multiple hard drives, which required restoring the drives from tape
backup. We have 40TB of tape backup and we also backup to the San Diego
Supercomputer Center. Imagine what happens when the hard drive fails (and
they will) and you don't have an alternate backup. It's gone.

David Seubert

At 11:38 AM 1/21/2004 -0800, Richard L. Hess wrote:
>I am not yet convinced. I'm starting to become convinced, but not completely.
>I would consider storing something like the Maxtor USB/Firewire drives on the
>shelf, but I, too, like the idea of optical media at least for backup.
>I believe the industry is addressing long-term-storage issues. Although older
>drives have problems in that regard, I believe those problems have been
>All discs depend on an operating system to read them, so that is no great
>benefit of data CDs or DVDs over hard drives.
>If I were storing on hard drives, I'd probably buy a Maxtor and a Western
>Digital for each set of data...although Hitachi is great, too.
>I would probably want to use the USB cases and keep the interface simple and
>the fragile boards and mechanisms of the drives protected.
>I mention USB as it is becoming more pervelant than firewire and the cases
>to be a bit less costly. I think some of the Maxtor products are really cost
>effective and good. I have had really good luck over the last ten years
>with WD
>and IBM/Hitachi drives as well.
>I still like to pull out a CD and listen on a walkman if need be.
>If you're archiving to HDs the asset management system needs more development.
>With CDs, the tray card contains adequate metadata in some instances.
>With files, the directory structure and filename convention can also be self-
>So many different directions and decisions!
>Richard L. Hess
>Quoting Grete Pasch <[log in to unmask]>:
> > Konrad Strauss wrote:
> >
> > > I believe that the trend is to move away from CD-R as a
> > > carrier to a file-based storage. Most archives cannot
> > > afford to put together an online storage system, but
> > > if you have a digital audio workstation of some sort,
> > > you could start recording to firewire drives and
> > > archiving the drives themselves.
> >
> > The fireware "cases" are not cheap, so one would presumably store
> > just the hard drive itself, packed in a plastic shell or some
> > sort of protective box.  Still, hard drives are so fragile that I
> > would be worried not to have a copy on DVD or tape just in case.
> >
> > But has anyone had any experience archiving hard drives?  Will
> > they work OK after being in storage for months?
> >
> > -Grete
> >
> > --
> > Grete Pasch - Directora -
> > U. Francisco Marroquin, Guatemala - (502) 3387875
> >

David Seubert, Curator
Performing Arts Collection
Davidson Library Special Collections
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA  93106
(805) 893-5444 Fax (805) 893-5749
mailto:[log in to unmask]