News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • ‘Moving house is great fun,’ said no one ever

    Home Forums AskWoody blog ‘Moving house is great fun,’ said no one ever

    Viewing 13 reply threads
    • Author
      Posts
      • #2279770 Reply
        Jamie
        AskWoody_MVP

        BACKUP & RECOVERY ‘Moving house is great fun,’ said no one ever By Fred Langa The Langas’ home and office relocation hits some snags, including fa
        [See the full post at: ‘Moving house is great fun,’ said no one ever]

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2279845 Reply
        agoldhammer
        AskWoody Plus

        @Fred Langa – I had a 2TB external Seagate drive hooked up to my workstation that refused to respond.  It had not been moved at all and was only used one day a week to do routine local back ups of work stuff.  My main back up to Amazon Web Service was not affected, nor was the back up internal drive in the PC.  Still I was concerned why a seldom used HDD would fail.  I thought it might be the power cord and of course since there is no standardization, all my old power cords had the wrong fitting for this particular unit.  I ordered a new one and it still was dead.  I pried open the case and took the HDD out.  I have a spare PC for fooling around with so I hooked the HDD internally and bingo it came to life with all the files intact.

        I still don’t know what the issue was and since prying open the case pretty much ruined it, I cannot solve the problem.  I now have a spare HDD for other uses.

      • #2279922 Reply
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        Fred you didn’t open up the case and retrieve those nice magnets???
        I bought a set of torx just for that purpose. Then you can also sand paper the platters and throw them in the fire pit for added security (or paranoia assuagement ) .

        😁

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #2279990 Reply
        WSkevmeist
        AskWoody Plus

        Fred,

        I’ve in the position before with getting rid of “old” hard drives. Rather than your drilling approach, I open the box up (if there is one), take the cover off the drive and beat the c*** out of the platters with a hammer…the nail pulling end works very well! Very cathartic especially if the drive has literally c****ed out like yours did.

        Just remember to put the drive/platters in a sealed plastic bag before beating it with the hammer! Those spindles shatter <g>.

        I run a NAS using RAID5 for storage, so not much data on the PC drives (2 of which are SSD and 1 remaining HDD). I backup to a spare NAS HDD once per month and use a father/son rotation with the current HDD being stored at my son’s home. Once per month I backup all 3 PCs and also backup the NAS to a 8TB WD USB3 drive, saving multiple months.

        I will tell you that I have Seagate drives go bad several times before, but have not had that same experience with WD drives. I have HGST drives in the NAS itself (3 * 4TB).

        • #2280069 Reply
          wavy
          AskWoody Plus

          Just remember to put the drive/platters in a sealed plastic bag before beating it with the hammer! Those spindles shatter <g>.

          i have never see one shatter, aluminum i think. i have heard of glass but maybe in ST506 hdd days in the 80s.

          🍻

          Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
          • #2280296 Reply
            WSkevmeist
            AskWoody Plus

            Well, I don’t remember the brand of platters that I saw shatter or even what size the HDDs were. But, them shattering I certainly saw. Based on the service life of HDDs, I suppose they would have been of an older vintage.

      • #2280057 Reply
        MHCLV941
        AskWoody Plus

        Using an external drive for archival storage has always seemed less than prudent to me.  In my experience, the two most likely components of a computer to fail are the power supply and the hard drive(s).  I used to tell people, if they really, really wanted to protect their data, to burn 2-3 copies of it on optical media and keep at least one copy in a safe deposit box.  That got the data out of the house/office and into a protected, climate-controlled environment.  For “grown-ups”, the same concept applies but using tape.  (Yeah, I know burned disks degrade over time, but until cloud-bases services came along, it was the best option).

        My personal choice for destroying a hard drive is taking them apart, saving the platters and saving the electronics for my next trip to the recycling center.   I find doing so is relaxing and not nearly as much work as drilling through the case and not nearly as time-consuming as doing a wipe of the drive (this I save for drives I hope/plan to reuse).

        I keep the platters in a tall (100 disks) CD tube that’s now 3/4 full.

         

        • #2280276 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Using an external drive for archival storage has always seemed less than prudent to me

          External drives are cheap, reliable and convenient. To be doubly sure, use two.
          Burning optical disks is just slow and cumbersome, and tape is way too expensive.

          See this article for details of verifying your data on hard drives.

          cheers, Paul

      • #2280078 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for all the good suggestions here on how to deal with a problem I had not quite figured out on my own, so far: what to do about the hard disk before taking an old computer where they collect them for recycling (a nearby IKEA store, for example). I like the hammer one particularly: cheap and quick and not requiring particularly good dexterity or special tools, of all of which I am sadly lacking. But I am good enough and well-equipped for a hammer attack.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2280082 Reply
        Tbuzzard
        AskWoody Plus

        I have a whole box of old hard drives sitting in a closet near my desk. We remove them when we retire our public computers.  I could do what you did and drill through them, but I get some odd pleasure in taking them apart and removing the magnets (make great frig magnets, but a bit ugly) and then remove the disk platters and make them into coasters or mobiles.

        Kind of therapeutic for me.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2280095 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          The problem with keeping the platters “as is” and use them as coasters, etc. is what may happen with the information they contain if they go missing. With all of one’s supper secret personal stuff and etc. on them. Sandpapering or hammering eliminate that possibility, unless one has an enemy that is equipped to retrieve one’s data from sandpapered or pulverized disks. In which case one may also have a bigger problem than keeping one’s own secret stuff to oneself.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

          • #2280210 Reply
            MHCLV941
            AskWoody Plus

            You are correct, of course, in an absolute sense, but no so much as a practical matter.  If I or anyone I knew was even remotely of interest to some 3 letter entity, I’d be more violent with the platters themselves, but for the rest of the world, I don’t think collecting them is all that much of a risk.

            Even if I gave you a platter, what could you actually do with it?  I don’t mean theoretically; I mean what capability do you or most anyone else have to pull data off the platter?   (If you have a cleanroom in your basement, please accept my apologies!).

      • #2280128 Reply
        Tbuzzard
        AskWoody Plus

        I failed to mention my degaussing magnet I use to wipe hard drives.  What are the odds that most people will know what that shiny piece of metal is that they find, and even if they did, what are the chances they would have the equipment and skills necessary to retrieve data off of them?

        To me, it is a very minimal risk. Besides, these hard drives don’t have sensitive data on them.  They come from our computer lab, which has generic Windows builds and Office.  We use something like Deepfreeze after every patron logs out to restore the hard drive.  Yes, there could be traces of information on the platters, but with the use these things get, most of it would be useless gobbledy gook snippets anyway.

      • #2280152 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Your mistake was allowing movers to move your computers.  100% paranoia minimises problems.  Trust yourself. Nobody else.

        My backups failure was less catastrophic than yours and far more worrying. I had been backing up to both an online and offline disk for years. Both backup drives failed on the same day. Both attach via a dual docking station. As both failed at the same time I suspected the docking station and took it with disks to the repair shop. The repair shop suspected the same but the docking station tested OK and both disks tested faulty. Fortunately, there were no consequences as the original disk did not fail.

        I  rescue the rare earth magnets and am a ‘hammer the disk man’. If only I could find the magnets after a recent house move!

      • #2280968 Reply
        MHCLV941
        AskWoody Plus

        Your mistake was allowing movers to move your computers.  100% paranoia minimises problems.  Trust yourself. Nobody else.

        My backups failure was less catastrophic than yours and far more worrying. I had been backing up to both an online and offline disk for years. Both backup drives failed on the same day. Both attach via a dual docking station. As both failed at the same time I suspected the docking station and took it with disks to the repair shop. The repair shop suspected the same but the docking station tested OK and both disks tested faulty. Fortunately, there were no consequences as the original disk did not fail.

        I  rescue the rare earth magnets and am a ‘hammer the disk man’. If only I could find the magnets after a recent house move!

        Now that you mention it, it did surprise me that Fred trusted those drives to the movers.

      • #2280969 Reply
        MHCLV941
        AskWoody Plus

        External drives are cheap, reliable and convenient. To be doubly sure, use two. Burning optical disks is just slow and cumbersome, and tape is way too expensive.

        You might get a second opinion from Fred on how reliable external hard drives are.  🙂

        Optical disks are indeed all you say, but for home or more or less small businesses, they are an unbeatable combination and price and capacity for things you want to archive.   A dual-layer DVD lets you store 8.5 GB of stuff you may never need to see again but must be able to see if/when something happens (like the IRS!).   Dual-layer Blu-ray disks will hold 50 Gb.

        Tape is not cheap, no argument, but this place is not just for home users, is it?    And the simplest way to keep generational backups for legal or regulatory reasons.

      • #2280973 Reply
        MHCLV941
        AskWoody Plus

        i have never see one shatter, aluminum i think. i have heard of glass but maybe in ST506 hdd days in the 80s.

        According to several sources,  from 2015, laptop hard drive platters are usually glass and desktop drives are aluminum.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2281047 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Someone once described to me their move as “Take your life, put it in a bag, shake thoroughly and pour it out.”  Pretty accurate.

        I like the big hammer method of bad hard drive care, works for those who live inside a phone, too!  If you get mad enough you can bend into a twisted mess most thin hard drives with your hands.  Phones are easy.  I have very little respect for Phone Culture.

        Probably a good idea to mangle SSD’s, USB sticks, etc, too.  I’ve recovered data from unreliable SSD’s that supposedly were bricked and am definitely not an expert in the field. 🙂

      • #2281113 Reply
        WSwannerjs
        AskWoody Plus

        Hey Fred,

        I go way back to your start, I’m almost 80yo now. Kind of funny trying to erase the harddrive. I would suggest, in the future and, should it happen again…..a sledge hammer and a piece of wood or concrete and maybe 1 minute should suffice, 2 minutes if you’re out of shape!

        John

    Viewing 13 reply threads

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: ‘Moving house is great fun,’ said no one ever

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.