My OWC Mercury 7200 160 gb Firewire drive is going on 4 years old. All my sessions (plus other back up material) are stroed on the drive. I also have DVD/CD backups of my sessions. Anyway..I've read that a good drive should last a good 5 years (or more). I really don't want to take any chances and I don't want to wait until the drive fails to replace. I figure I would get a new much larger OWC Raid drive and copy over the contents fom old drive. I would also store the old drive (with all contents) as a form of backup (all contents are backed up on other media as well). What's the best way to store the old hard drive? How often should I start it up to exercise the drive? Any other suggestions?
I speak from about 20 years of computer graphic design experience and can say that I have yet to have a drive fail on me while it was already running (which is not to say that it won't happen.. its a spinning disc attached to an electric motor...failure is inevitable). But, they always seem to die when you fire them up. So that would also put me into a category of believers that think "exersizing" the drive by routinely powering them up and shutting them down will only increase your chances that they will fail. So my recommendation would be to connect your firewire drives to an old computer and leave them running. And if you are prone to electrical outages, make sure you have a decent battery backup system. And finally, make two (not one) hard copies to DVD and store one copy on site, and one at home.. or better yet in a safety deposit box in a bank. Have you ever known a bank to burn down? stike