I have been sticking to 2 TB portable hard drives; but the prices of the bigger hard drives are really reasonable at the moment and I am tempted. I am wondering how stable the bigger hard drives are. I also wonder do they work with Blu Ray players or is 2 TB the cut off limit for them? Thanks in advance for any information and advice you can give me.
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ALWAYS get a power supply for the enclosure for these big drives or you are asking for problems.
Stability seems good to me based on talks with co-workers who use them at home, but as I have no drives over 2 TB I can't personally talk about how they work with most BD players. Hopefully someone else will. The main thing for you is my first sentence above.
3TB HDDs are just as physically stable as their smaller brethren. The problems you might be encountering is in the interaction between the partitioning/layout of the disc and the drivers and/or BIOS/OS. And it has to do with addressing.
Instead of reiterating stuff that's already well covered (and better than I could explain it), here is a link: http://www.pcworld.com/article/235088/everything_you_need_to_know_about_3TB_hard_drives.html
Upshot: If the BDP's OS is of the modern, 64-bit type and understands new partitioning types, it will have no problems. But don't get your hopes up - hardware devices are notoriously behind on the tech curve.
I suggest you get large HDDs and (for now) re-partition them using legacy software to use standard 2TB-max sections. Yes, this might limit what your BDP and other devices can see. When things progress, you can later re-partition again back to a modern contiguous single partition (if that's what you need at the time).
<edit>I agree with jman98 about PSes.</edit>
jman98 & Cornucopia: Thank you both for this information. The price coming down on the hard drives certainly is nice. Every external hard drive I have every bought has had a power supply, with the exception of thumb drives. I saw an article recently about a new flash smart card that is the size of a postage stamp and is over half a terabyte in size. I have been worried about the stability issue with the larger hard drives; but I suppose having multiple copies on other hard drives is the answer. I have even been thinking of getting a Blu Ray Burner and storing files on the 25 GB discs.
Storing stuff on optical discs like DVDs and CDs has worked well for me. No problem to store stuff on 25 GB BD-R discs. The only suggestion I have is that the current thinking is that BD-R LTH discs may not last as long as BD-R due to the dye being used for LTH, which makes them cheaper to manufacture. Verbatim and Panasonic are currently considered the best of the BD-R discs.
I don't think there's anything wrong with even using thumb drives for long term storage as long as you get the good ones. My personal recommendation is for Patriot.
jman98: Thank you for this information. If I do upgrade to Blu Ray I definitely want to go with a reliable brand of blank discs. I have been buying Tayo Yuden blank DVD-R after reading about them here at Videohelp. I have never bothered with Dual Layer discs. I mostly make data discs these days and rarely go to the bother of making DVD's with menus and such.
Others here will tell you differently, probably because they seem to have their own agendas WRT the future of media storage, but what I would suggest to have the best retention of your data/media would be: the 3 Ds.
3. Data migrate
Eggs=>Basket? Diversify in terms of media types (use optical discs + HDDs + flash/usb + tape) & locations (on-site + off-site local + cloud). Your data won't be locked into a certain playback/reading/recovery method/device.
Duplicate your data by making multiple copies. BACK UP! (and do occasional test restores to verify the backups are good). Longevity through ubiquity (rarely would multiple separate copies of the same thing be faulty at the same points, and this can be utilized to your advantage).
Everything wears out, including the pyramids. Know the general limits of viability of of the various file formats and of the media they are stored on (based on valid, scientific/engineering principles and real-world objective testing). Then develop a master plan to periodically migrate ALL your important/valuable stuff from older formats to newer, based on the half-life of those various viabilities (because it will take a while to complete a cycle). Also consider how you determine what is NOT (or no longer) important/valuable and what to do with it. You don't want to unnecessarily be carrying around extra baggage.
I would also add: don't just jump on the bandwagon of new formats - make sure it has the popularity & longevity & good track record before devoting too much reliance on it.
1) When I built this HTPC computer (see details), 3 TB was the sweet spot for price/capacity, so I got several, all Seagates. I had trouble with the drives disappearing and thought it must be the drives' firmware or maybe the mobo's SATA drivers. I couldn't get a firmware upgrade to take with them, so I don't know for sure. Upgrading the mobo firmware didn't help. Note that my fairly recent mobo's BIOS is UEFI, so that problem shouldn't have happened. The problem persisted with sub- 2 TB GPT partitions. At any rate, using the Seagate software I partitioned as (legacy) MBR with 2.2 TB/800 GB. That solved it and they've been rock-solid ever since. I really don't mind the 800 GB partitions; I use them as scratch/temporary drives.
2) The same 3 TB drives were fine in USB3 powered external enclosures (or rather I tested two, and they were okay), single GPT partition. I now have a couple 4 TB drives exclusively for backups in USB3 externals and they've been fine. They're only powered up when I need to transfer files, so dunno about longevity.
3) Note that SFAIK, all 3 TB and up drives are AF (advanced format) so they need to be properly aligned. AS_SSD, for instance can be used to check alignment. Win7 properly aligns AF drives. For XP, one can use G-Parted to fix a mis-aligned drive.
4) I also have several 2 TB externals (powered), partitioned as MBR for media files. They work fine with the onboard players of my 2011 and 2012 vintage TVs (an LG and a Sharp). Ditto for a 2011 LG BDP-670 3D Blu-Ray standalone. None of them will recognize a GPT partition, even one less than 2.2 TB. Using the Seagate workaround to partition as MBR, they *will* recognize a 2.2 TB partition, but the second partition (800 GB) cannot be seen.
Physically, I think my big 3-4 TB drives are stable, and they're just as fast or faster than my 2 TB drives. The question is, will your existing equipment play nice with them?
Like Scott says, you'd be well-advised to back up anything important to more than one location. I have media files in my HTPC, duplicated on 2 TB externals, and again on 4 TB externals. Anything *really* important (and for me media files don't count), I back up to BDRs as well as 4 TB externals.Pull! Bang! Darn!