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Old 07-13-2011, 01:29 AM   #1
FireRaven
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Most recoverable filesystem for backup...


Hi, I want to backup a lot of files on an external 2TB USB and sit it in a cupboard for the next 10 years.

Looking for the most reliable filesystem for this.
I don't care about speed, journalling, UNIX permissions or any of that stuff.

All I care about is in 10 years time when the hard disk plates are rusted and unreadable and the drive hardly functions, what filesystem will be the easiest to recover my data from.

Not ruling out FAT32 either for its simplicity but maybe there's a better filesystem for the job?

Hope to hear your recommendations
 
Old 07-13-2011, 01:49 AM   #2
Diantre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRaven View Post
All I care about is in 10 years time when the hard disk plates are rusted and unreadable and the drive hardly functions, what filesystem will be the easiest to recover my data from.
I have 12 year-old CDs and 5 year-old DVDs in perfect conditions, always keep them in plastic cases or cd cases. I wouldn't trust a hard disk to last that long. Besides, if the drive hardly functions, you will have trouble recovering your data, possibly losing more than you can actually recover.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRaven View Post
Not ruling out FAT32 either for its simplicity but maybe there's a better filesystem for the job?
ISO9660. I've been storing my backups on CDs/DVDs for more than a decade and the only problem I've had is when I choose poor quality media. In those cases, data redundancy is your friend.

Just my . Of course, there are other options to backup media.
 
Old 07-13-2011, 03:07 AM   #3
spwnt
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can't really back up 2TB of data on a cd.
 
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:25 AM   #4
John VV
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FireRaven you will need to power up the 2t drive every few weeks
otherwise it can lock up


Pixar has that problem for longterm storage
 
Old 07-13-2011, 03:35 AM   #5
b0uncer
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In ten years the filesystems have probably changed a bit, so no matter what you choose, it's probably not considered a good option by then in any case So instead of pondering the filesystem beyond what is capable of storing your files (if they're a few gigabytes each, FAT32 is not an option), I'd consider having mirror copies of the data on several disks, because that way it's more probable that at least one of them works, even if some don't (or can more easily be recovered).

Optical media just as regular harddisks is not a good option for long-time storage, because the discs will eventually degrade due to physical processes causing irreversible changes in them (although I'd still try optical media before regular harddisks, because it's easier to put the discs in dark than try to prevent harddisks from being in electro-magnetic fields). Tapes are one option, but whatever you choose, I recommend making a few identical copies and re-copying them onto new media at some point (and again later, and later, etc.) to keep them alive. As other threads about long-time backups show you, there is no fool-proof method nor perfect media that would last forever.
 
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:47 AM   #6
Diantre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spwnt View Post
can't really back up 2TB of data on a cd.
Certainly not. Not on a single one, you'll need plenty of them...

And I think you're missing my point altogether. It's not safe to put a hard drive in a shelf for 10 years and expect it to work. It's much safer to use a different type of media with a longer lifespan, specially for sensitive data such as backups. Nowadays hard drives have a greater MTBF than ten years ago, but apparently such figures are greatly exaggerated.

In any case, a good practice is never to trust media for too long, nothing lasts forever. If you want to keep old backups, make copies and make copies and make copies of your data. Redundancy is your friend. In my experience, hard drives last for 5 years or so, I never trust a hard drive older than that. On the other hand, a good quality CD/DVD can last a few decades. Even then, I keep my backup DVDs for 2 or 3 years and then make copies of them.
 
Old 07-13-2011, 06:07 AM   #7
johntor
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B/UP Time

I have heard of gold plated and other type of CD/DVD media that is suppose to last longer also they are kept in Oxygen Free environment.
Now I'm not saying build an atmosphere chamber but I have seen in-expensive storage systems where heavy guage plastic bags are used for food and clothes storage where a vacuum cleaner is used to "vacumm seal" it, just thinking that might help some
 
Old 07-13-2011, 07:49 AM   #8
b0uncer
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There are older threads about long-term backups and backup media duration, for example this one here. Thinking of these oxygen chambers, vacuum'ed bags and such glossy sounding things (I think TV Shop or something like that advertised vacuum storage bags some years ago, maybe even a decade ago?), I start wondering whether it'd still be cheaper to take some good-quality, but still cheap media (say sets of DVD discs), and re-copy the backup every few years, instead of spending time and money on hardcore solutions that are bound to be expensive, if they are to be trusted. A bonus would be that when storage media evolves and more durable and/or cheaper options become available, one could ditch the DVD (or whatever one started with) method and switch to another media type, and thus be up to date with the backup solution, instead of relying on an invention that was modern a decade or two ago. Just an idea.
 
Old 07-13-2011, 09:45 AM   #9
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRaven View Post
Hi, I want to backup a lot of files on an external 2TB USB and sit it in a cupboard for the next 10 years.

Looking for the most reliable filesystem for this.
I don't care about speed, journalling, UNIX permissions or any of that stuff.

All I care about is in 10 years time when the hard disk plates are rusted and unreadable and the drive hardly functions, what filesystem will be the easiest to recover my data from.
The only true response to this is: none.

When the physical media gets in the middle, no fs can help you, no matter how good it is. The only things that can help you here are:
  • find a way to make the media live for a longer time, this can be achieved using some external solutions like people suggest above, as well as buying the best available media
  • redundancy, better in different types of media, and in different locations

As far as fs's go, ext3 is supposed to be the more robust fs in linux. Certainly, better than fat32. But when it comes to fs failure it all depends on the concrete case. If you have a serious failure and you have to get your hands dirty using an hex editor to cut and paste stuff, surely the simpler the fs layout is the better, in that case you would probably be a fat32 fan. But if you need the fs to be consistent by itself and you rely on automatic tools for data recovery, then use a journaled fs, like ext3.
 
Old 07-13-2011, 09:52 AM   #10
Duron
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btrfs is out for the time being, though as a brand-new filesystem a lot of people may be tempted to try it. To my knowledge it has no fsck tool yet, so in exactly the type of event you're describing, you're really not going to be able to recover your data. That, and my lack of familiarity for the reiser and xfs/zfs families, would make me conclude that ext3 or ext4 is still the most obvious filesystem choice.
 
Old 07-13-2011, 12:37 PM   #11
johntor
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offsite b/up

The other solution, which in many business is required is offsite... like a mozy or carbonite.
I'm not sure what their rates are but it is one way off passing the headache on
I have heard that they are pretty reasonable.
 
Old 07-13-2011, 03:11 PM   #12
John VV
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unfortunately there is no good solution for a "put on shelf for 10 years " back up
harddrive -- bad idea
dvd -- takes a bunch and they might or might not grow fungus

tape drive back up ? doable but make two and put the second in a very different off site location
 
Old 07-13-2011, 08:16 PM   #13
chrism01
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For long term storage, as above, it's not the FS, it's the media.

(Mind you, if you were to use zfs, that would be good, but the Linux version may/may not be fully baked right now)

Get good quality media, probably DVDs, make 2 or 3(preferably) copies, vacuum seal/store in fridge? Re-copy every n yrs (n = 3 ?).
 
Old 04-26-2016, 07:50 PM   #14
sarnobat
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You're all misunderstanding the OP's question. What he means is ALL ELSE EQUAL, which file system should he format his large disk to? ext4? HFS+? I'm pretty sure the recoverability characteristics of different file systems are not identical.

That's what I'm wondering anyway.
 
  


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