Alright, Alright, Alright: Hard Drives and Triple Redundancy


A hard drive is a flat circle.

It’s that time again. The oldest of my hard drives croaked.

This failure is unlike the last time. Last time, when the internal drive of my previous laptop partially died, my laptop had the decency to warn me that the hard drive was about to fail.

That courtesy allowed me to order its replacement online from the very same laptop.

No, this time the drive just up and quit.

Fortunately, there was nothing mission critical or heartbreaking to lose.

That’s because I maintain triple redundancy: backing up my work and my media collections to three different hard drives.

The largest and newest drive is always my primary backup, and the older drives get demoted to the backups of my backups.

So, with the death of my oldest 1TB drive, I just bought a new 4TB drive, copied all my stuff to it and demoted the slightly older 3TB drive

It's a featureless black box!

It’s a featureless black box!

I’m always reminded of what my friend Bryan Taylor, owner of high end Edmonton HiFi store The Gramophone likes to say: “Terabytes are cheap.”

That’s relevant when you stop to consider that over the past few years I’ve paid roughly the same amount of money for each hard drive I’ve purchased.

To paraphrase Matthew McConaughey’s character from Dazed and Confused: “That’s what I love about these hard drives, man. They get larger and they stay the same price.”

dazed and confused

He clearly knows what he’s talking about.