Showing posts from November, 2013

I'm a Loser... (of Data on Hard Drives!)

I started getting good at building computers in 9th grade, and throughout high school, I had lots of fun constantly upgrading and improving my "big rig" to have more hard drive space than anyone else in the neighborhood.  By 2005, I was well on my way to 2 terabytes of space, and I now have approximately 20 hard drives ranging from 100GB to 2TB in size, and with both SATA & PATA (IDE) interfaces.  (This doesn't count all the really old <5GB drives I used to play with while I was busting my chops.)

Anyone who's taken a probability class with a focus on electrical engineering knows of a little statistic that works against me and anyone else who owns a large number of hard drives: this statistic is called "Mean Time Between Failure" (MTBF).  In short, the more hard drives you own, the more likely any one of them will fail on a given day.  Well, over the last 16 years, I've had a fair share of failures:

1997 - Laptop hard drive2006 - Power surge on my …