Computer data storage, often called storage or memory, refers to computer components and recording media that retain digital data. Data storage is one of the core functions and fundamental components of computers.

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178
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10answers
26k views

Is there still a reason to choose a 10,000 RPM hard drive over an SSD?

For anyone who's serious about storage performance, SSDs are always the fastest solution. However, WD still makes their 10,000 RPM VelociRaptor hard drives, and a few enthusiasts even use ...
71
votes
11answers
121k views

How to wipe free disk space in Linux?

When a file is deleted, its contents may still be left in the filesystem, unless explicitly overwritten with something else. The wipe command can securely erase files, but does not seem to allow ...
67
votes
6answers
7k views

What is the origin of K = 1024? [closed]

Why does the discrepancy in the number of bytes in a kilobyte exist? In some places I've seen the number 1024 (210) while in others it's 1000 (and the difference gets increasingly large with M, G, T, ...
53
votes
5answers
11k views

Why are USB flash drives so much slower than solid-state drives?

From what I understand, USB flash drives and solid-state drives (SSDs) are based on similar technologies, NAND flash memory. But, USB flash drives are usually quite slow, with a read and write speed ...
43
votes
8answers
8k views

Cross-platform file system

I would like my external drives to be readable and writable from Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. FAT32 works, but the 4 GB file size limit is a showstopper these days. Are there any alternatives?
41
votes
15answers
8k views

How to store and preserve lots of data?

I have many DVDs with movies and games, they are getting old and dusty, some of them are damaged. And I have more than 300 GB of general files in my PC. I want to store and preserve all of my data and ...
34
votes
2answers
12k views

Which of the Windows updates are really necessary?

I downloaded a lot of Windows updates in the automatic mode. Are they all necessary? Can I remove some of them? How do we know which ones are necessary?
29
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the difference between a kibibyte, a kilobit, and a kilobyte?

This question got me wondering about the differences between these three ways of measuring size: a kibibyte, a kilobit, and the conventional kilobyte. I understand that these measurements have ...
28
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the function of the four pins on my SSD?

While searching for an answer, I found this question on SU what is the purpose of this 4 pin interface on sata hdds and why doesnt it exist on SSDs? Well, on my Kingston HyperX SSD drive, they do ...
23
votes
8answers
2k views

Any recommendations on a NAS for a home-super-user? [closed]

Can anyone recommend a good NAS for use in a home-server environment? I would request at least 2, preferably 4 disks, and I am most interested in good to excellent throughput for file-server and ...
20
votes
11answers
12k views

What medium should be used for long term, high volume, data storage (archival)?

This question was inspired by How to store and preserve lots of data? There have been another similar questions, but none with this type of criteria. This is two questions in one. How do you store ...
19
votes
8answers
19k views

How much time until an unused hard drive loses its data?

Do you guys know how much time needs to pass until the data stored on a hard drive starts to degrade? To keep the data intact for long periods of time, I heard you need to periodically rewrite it on ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I recover lost/inacessible data from my storage device?

What steps can I take to try to recover lost or inaccessible data from any storage device? Answers: This applies to any main storage devices; eg. internal/external hard drive, USB stick, Flash ...
14
votes
3answers
914 views

What happened to WinFS?

The most interesting feature that was ever connected to what eventually became Vista was WinFS, a revolutionary (so it seemed, at least back then) new way of storing and accessing information on a ...
13
votes
7answers
4k views

How long can you read files from a flash drive if kept in a cool, dark room?

Say you had some sensitive information that you didn't want to store on the internet, was incredibly important to you, and you didn't need to access very often either. Think of a digital picture ...
13
votes
1answer
10k views

Intel Matrix Storage Manager vs Linux Software RAID

The chipset I'm using supports the Intel RSTe technology. It means that I have two options for RAID setup: Ordinary linux software RAID, using mdadm command. RSTe (either by the BIOS or, again, ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Alternatives to Windows Home Server Drive Extender?

As Microsoft is cutting support for Drive Extender in Windows Home Server v2 (Windows Server Codename Vail is the official name), what are the alternatives to Drive Extender on a self-built machine? ...
12
votes
7answers
5k views

Is there any P2P private file storage? [closed]

I would like to upload my private encrypted files to the cloud. However I don't want to rely on a company to do this, such as Dropbox. If I share it on a P2P network (such as using torrents) nobody ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Will reading data cause SSD's to wear out?

It's almost common knowledge that excessive writes (including formatting, defragmenting etc) will, in time, wear out solid state drives. But does reading lots of data from SSD's cause wear too? I'm ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

How do defragmenting programs work?

a) What algorithm would a typical defragmenting program use to get rid of the fragmentation? b) In Defraggler, I have a quick defrag option and a defrag option. Assuming defrag would do a normal ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

USB vs. FireWire for external hard drives

For external hard drives in this question, I'm referring to traditional HDDs; the kind with spinning metal inside of them (no RAM or flash-based super-high-performance hardware): Is there a ...
10
votes
4answers
280 views

Backing up huge amounts of critical data on a local network

My father is a wedding photographer who produces around 50GB of data a week that needs backing up. He wants to guarantee the data he's backing up for at least a year. Currently he has three off the ...
10
votes
6answers
531 views

Home media storage solution

I record lots of personal HD film footage and am looking for a cheap way to store all of this. I take ~120 GB of footage each month, so something expandable would be nice... something that might be ...
10
votes
6answers
9k views

Alternative to Amazon's S3 service? [closed]

Just wondering if there is good alternative to Amazon's S3 service? I like S3 but the bandwidth cost is high. I looked at CouldFiles from Rackspace but the cost is even higher. I don't mind ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Long-term storage reliability of various media

I’m looking for a reference of statistics on long-term storage/archive reliability for various types of media. That is, I’m looking for information, comparisons, charts, graphs, test results, etc. on ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Immediately spin down a HDD on Windows

I have 2 non-system SATA HDDs which are not mapped to a dir and normally kept 'offline' on my Windows 7 OS. Even this way they spin up from time to time, including but not limited to windows update ...
9
votes
13answers
627 views

Ideas for a nearly 100% reliable portable data storage

I've had my share of broken storage media. During just last year, I've had: two broken 500GB Seagate hard drives; one was new, broke completely, got different one - refurbished, but a little bit ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

Is the lock mechanism on an SD card hardware, firmware, or software (driver,OS) enforced?

Where is the lock to read-only mode enforced with SD cards? Is this done inside the card itself physically, in the firmware of readers, or in the OS? (Some other place?)
9
votes
1answer
148 views

How to store CD discs to preserve the data longer?

How (and where) to store CD discs to assure that the data stored there would be readable as long as possible? Are the room temperature and humidity optimal, or it would be better to store them in ...
9
votes
2answers
23k views

Can I set up a RAID 5 with a bunch of drives of different sizes?

I currently have 3 1TB drives, a couple 500GB ones and some 750GB ones. Can I put them all in a RAID 5 configuration or do they need to be of same size?
9
votes
3answers
25k views

What is the advantage of iSCSI over SMB?

At my house I'm running a Hyper-V server with a Windows Server 2008 R2 VM acting as a file server. Files are shared across my network using SMB. (Also, the machine is using a PERC 6/i RAID card but ...
8
votes
3answers
253 views

Video encoding for archival

I would like to archive some home videos (DV). I don't need to save them losslessly, but I would like to encode them in something high-quality. What format is both pretty indistinguishable from the ...
8
votes
5answers
8k views

Good tape drive for home user? [closed]

My home storage consumption has grown considerably over the past few years due to use of a higher resolution camera, and most recently a highdef camcorder. I've been using a ReadyNas Duo with 1 TB ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

Solid State Drive Occasionally Freezes For A Minute While OS Is “Beach Balling”

Almost a month ago I bought Intel 330 128GB solid state drive, migrated my data with Intel branded limited-feature Acronis from old HDD to new SSD, optimized with Intel Toolbox and started using it. ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Storing computers outside?

I need to store my desktop PC somewhere during winter break. I found a place that rents out sheds for cheap. However there is no temperature control, so the shed will be the temperature of the ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Are there any USB flash drives or SD cards which use RAID or redundant storage for additional reliability?

I'm looking to get a fault-tolerant USB flash drive, which saves data to multiple independent locations, whether using RAID or some other means to back up data. Has a product like this ever been ...
7
votes
7answers
5k views

Creating one big continuous space from 4 disks

Hey. I am assembling file server for home use. I wonder if it is possible to use multiple disks in a way that they will be visible in network as one continuous space? More less like JBOD. I am using ...
7
votes
3answers
445 views

Is storage hierarchy the path of data flow?

I was wondering if CPUs read and write data (almost) always following the hierarchy of storage: CPU <- register <- CPU cache memory <- main memory <- secondary storage ? If without ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Western Digital Green drive from 512 byte sectors (jumpered) to 4k byte sectors (removal of jumper)

I was using a WD20EARS drive with pins 7 and 8 jumpered in order to use it on an OS that doesn't support 4k sectors. But now, I want to transfer that hard drive over to an OS that has 4k sector ...
7
votes
3answers
195 views

What are typical drive lifetimes?

Can anyone tell me about the lifetime of drives (floppy, hard disk, CD, DVD, flash...)?
6
votes
12answers
3k views

What lasts longer: Data stored on non-volatile flash RAM, optical media, or magnetic disk?

What lasts longer: Data stored on non-volatile flash RAM (USB stick or SD cards?), optical media (CD, DVD, or Blu-Ray?), or magnetic disk (floppies, hard drives?) My gut tells me optical media, but ...
6
votes
3answers
453 views

How does RAID5 work? [duplicate]

In a raid 5 setup, you get 4 TB of usable space out of 3 x 2 TB disks. How is that possible? Simple minded as I am, I would think that you need 4TB to store your things, and use the remaining 2TB for ...
6
votes
5answers
956 views

Looking for an external RAID storage solution

I'm looking to buy somewhere around 10TB of physical storage for personal use. Ideally it would come in the form of a single HDD array or network storage. I don't have any experience with RAID, but it ...
6
votes
4answers
843 views

Covenience/Cost/Life expectancy of storage media

I may decide to pick up the battle of advocating for the use of external hard drives instead of Blu-ray discs for data backup. External hard drive: I can get a commercial (consumer) 1TB hard drive ...
6
votes
2answers
189 views

How can a harddrive be “optimized for surveillance storage”?

Some internal harddrives are advertised as "optimized for surveillance storage" (and similarly, "optimized for gaming"). What makes these types of drives special or different from "standard" ...
5
votes
8answers
782 views

How to store small amounts of data in the most durable way?

I would like to store a small amount of data (< 50 MB), in a durable way. Besides printing out on paper or engraving it, what is the most durable way? The scenario I am thinking of is storing it ...
5
votes
8answers
11k views

Wireless NAS options?

I'm looking for a wireless NAS that I can put in my attic? However I can only find a handful of options, each with their own pro's and con's. The D-Link DSM-G600 enclosure sounds good, but you have ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Calculating hard disk block model reading time

My professor posted a slide on how to calculate the data retrieval from hard disk using the block model. The specs were: 7200 RPM 5ms SEEK 80MB/s TRANSFER RATE BLOCK MODEL : Block size 4KB I ...
5
votes
4answers
356 views

Would I run into problems if a download is faster than the write speed of the device it is writing to?

What if I was downloading a file directly to a device which has a write speed considerably slower than the download speed of the internet connection. Is the write pending data moved into a buffer or ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

How do I make my own online storage server?

I have an external hard drive and I want to make it accessible on the web for a few friends so they can backup more easily. I use Windows 7 Pro. What would be the best, simplest and most secure ...