We’ve built a pretty robust media management system over the past few years, more of which we’ll share in a future post. For the purposes of this post, it’s sufficient to know that we archive our completed projects to drive sets. An archive set includes a main drive, which stays at our studio, and a backup of that drive, which lives offsite.
All hard drives are programmed to refresh data as the heads skim along the drive. But that only happens when the hard drive is powered up and operational, but these drives stay powered down more often than not. And why would you care? Well, the reason drives refresh data when they’re running is because the magnetic data stored on the drive fades, or loses it charge, over time causing you to lose all the data on that hard disk. This data can start to disappear as early as a year after the hard disk is powered off. Obviously this is, to say the least, undesirable.
The best way to avoid this from happening is to spin up the drive every so often – but, how would you know when all the data has been refreshed? Our solution is a simple command line technique that reads the entire disk. We perform it on each archive disk once a month.