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I am using hard drives in separate cases to backup data. How long this data will stay? How often should I (if should) re-copy stored data?

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marked as duplicate by Renan, 8088, wizlog, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Tog Feb 25 '13 at 7:39

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

As long as the hard drives are not damaged physically, the data should theoretically last a long time (most likely it will outlive you). This question explains better: How much time until an unused hard drive loses its data?

However, you are encouraged to check your backups frequently and, if needed, recopy the data. I would consider a mixed strategy, backing up data on multiple formats, for long term storage.

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If this is a traditional (magnetic) drive, theoretically it will stay on the drive a long time. In practice, however, most drives are only guaranteed for 5 years or so. After that, you may want to look at archiving on DVDs or tape.

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I'm pretty sure that writeable DVD's are less reliable then hard drives. This is because they are exposed to the air, and subject to chemical (and physical) deteriation - google "Disc Rot". That said, I recently found the first CD I ever burned, which would be about 20 years old and it read fine !!! – davidgo Feb 24 '13 at 22:37
"most drives are only guaranteed ..." -- You might be confusing a "warranty" with a "guarantee", which are two different things. I've never seen any kind of "guarantee" for data retention. – sawdust Feb 24 '13 at 22:48
@sawdust, you are correct: By guarantee I mean Warranty, I should have said guaranteed from failure to eliminate confusion. – BigHomie Feb 25 '13 at 13:41

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