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Old 01-29-2011, 01:07 PM   #1
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Default Refreshing data on a hard drive (to prevent it from "evaporating" over time)

Hello.

I was recently made aware, that the data on the disc will vanish overtime due to the fact they are stored in a magnetic way, if the disc is not used internaly. This is the case with my 500GB Seagate disc, that I consider as data storage, and which is just laying on the shelf in a closet.

I wanted to ask what I need to do to prevent it. Do I need only to READ the data off the disc, or do I have to RE-WRITE them to prevent this from happening ? If I only need to read them, is there a command in windows XP terminal, that I could use to do this ? I found a command for MAC to read the whole disc:
sudo cat /dev/rdisk0> /dev/null
but I can't find similar for Windows XP.

The best soslution for me though, would be to use the software to scan the disc, as I want to do it from time to time, to check if everything with the disc is ok. So, would scanning of the whole disc using some software (to find bad secotrs) like for example "Active@ Hard Disk Monitor" do the trick ? If it would coule be great, as I would cook 2 dishes on a 1 stove.

Thanks guys
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: Refreshing data on a hard drive (to prevent it from "evaporating" over time)

well thats strange. I have not heard of that before. Where did you hear it? Did you hear it from a website? Do you have a link to that site? I do not know your level of computer experience but I am a sophomore going for my BS in Network Engineering and i have never heard of that. But you could just defragment your HDD and that would read most if not all your files and rewrite some of them so you would be in the clear.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: Refreshing data on a hard drive (to prevent it from "evaporating" over time)

Hard Disk Warning!
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Old 01-29-2011, 03:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Refreshing data on a hard drive (to prevent it from "evaporating" over time)

Thanks.
I looked around and I think that it takes longer than 1 - 1 1/2 years to actually pass the point of being unreadable. You can defragment it once in a while or so, like I said. But if you use it for short term data storage you should be fine as long as you access it every so often.
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Refreshing data on a hard drive (to prevent it from "evaporating" over time)

It was a bit of a problem 20 years ago, but I don't think it's nearly as critical as it used to be. A defragmenting might help, though.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Refreshing data on a hard drive (to prevent it from "evaporating" over time)

Huh, I've got stored hard drives with information that has been on them for over 5 years without any problem when I occasionally read the files.
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Refreshing data on a hard drive (to prevent it from "evaporating" over time)

I have a 20 year old hard drive with all of the data still intact. I even have an old IBM PS/2 with all of the data still on its hard drive (older than 20 years).
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Old 01-30-2011, 02:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: Refreshing data on a hard drive (to prevent it from "evaporating" over time)

I tried to do some searching but there's not a whole lot of info on the subject.
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: Refreshing data on a hard drive (to prevent it from "evaporating" over time)

I don't think that would be the case. I'm sure in earlier days, yes, but with modern technology and what not I'm sure it shouldn't take any affect.

Although I may be wrong.
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