Nannette Abia Rivera's external hard drive stopped working, and she needs to recover files stored on it. When you store files on an external drive, it's easy to forget my first rule of tech storage: Never have only one copy of anything. We tend to think of external drives--especially external hard drives--as a backup medium, so of course anything on the drive must be a backup. But if files exist only on that external drive, they are not backed up. And you need to make sure they get backed up to something other than that particular drive--whether it's an internal drive, the cloud, NAS, or another external drive.
How to plan, manage, and optimize enterprise storage to keep up with the data deluge. I've been a paying Backblaze customer for the last couple of years and a fan for even longer. The company has a relentless focus on easy-to-use software and unlimited backup storage. I use over 2TB of Backblaze storage for encrypted backup data. This morning they've released their latest three years of disk drive data from over 60,000 drives.
Most laptops and many desktops now use or offer solid-state drives (SSDs) instead of mechanical hard drives. SSDs are faster and more reliable than their mechanical counterparts. However, SSDs are trickier to wipe and few hard drive erasers support them. If you're wiping a mechanical hard drive, you'll want a drive eraser utility that offers a data destruction method known as DoD 5220.22-M. Served up by the US Department of Defense, by default this method overwrites your data three times with different characters to fully wipe your drive.
If you missed the awesome storage deals during Black Friday, today's deal comes close to those crazy low prices. Amazon is selling the WD 10TB Elements external desktop hard drive for $200. Yes, you read that right--10 terabytes. This deal doesn't quite match the drive's $180 low around Cyber Monday, but it's still far below this drive's usual $280 to $300 sticker price. This is a desktop hard drive, meaning it requires its own power source, and it's not meant to be portable.
The best way to find out which storage drives are the most reliable is to run tens of thousands of them and keep an eye on reliability. This is exactly what backup specialists Backblaze do. As of the end of June, Backblaze had 181,464 drives in four data centers on two continents. For a number of years now, Backblaze has been reporting on quarterly and lifetime failure rates for its drives, and it offers an interesting insight into drive reliability. Backblaze measures drive reliability using annualized failure rate (AFR), and the lower the number, the better the drive reliability.