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Author Topic: How to keep backup hard-drive waterproof  (Read 1547 times)

RMW

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How to keep backup hard-drive waterproof
« on: February 12, 2018, 06:16:21 PM »

Hello All.

I'm in New Orleans- a city famous for big floods.

Have just rented a safe deposit box in a bank that provides protection from fire, but only moderate protection from water. My question is: What is a fairly safe container to have inside the safe deposit box, in case the box floods, where the external hard-drives can be stored  ? (It could be under 12" of water for a week.)
The inside dimensions of the box are 5"x10"x 20". So there's not a lot of room in one dimension.

I looked at Pelican boxes that could fit, but they only guarantee to be water proof under 12 inches for one hour.

Any suggestions much appreciated.

Richard
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rdonson

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Re: How to keep backup hard-drive waterproof
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 11:06:36 PM »

You might also want to consider one or more of the Corrosion-X products. They could easily seal the drives for longer than a week. Used widely for RC boats, aircraft, drones, etc.  Do a search on YouTube and you’ll find a lot of applications for electronics, motors, etc.
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Regards,
Ron

Joe Towner

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Re: How to keep backup hard-drive waterproof
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 01:05:52 PM »

https://iosafe.com/products

One thing, if you're only worried about moisture, you can do some basic ziplock bags.  Pelican and similar cases are about physical protection in addition to the water seals.  The fire protection is only for documents and such - a hard drive will die at a much lower temperature than the 400 degrees paper can handle.

What other backups are you maintaining, and how often will you update what is in the safe deposit box?  If you rely on the safe copy for theft / corruption / drive failure, you're fine not protecting it from water.  In the event of a flood event, what is the elevation at your residence compared to the safe deposit box?  How much do you travel and does it prevent some sort of bug out style of bag where you'd have a copy on you?

If it's worth that much, how about a safe deposit box above the flood line - anything that survived Katrina would be fine.

Also decide if online is a better value, ala BackBlaze or such, or a relative who's outside the flood zone that you regularly send a drive to.
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BobShaw

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Re: How to keep backup hard-drive waterproof
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 04:39:40 PM »

The safest answer is probably to post it to someone in a desert. Do the floods go over the roof? If not then put it in the roof space. You need more than one backup anyway. The bank safe may be fire proof, but that probably only means that paper won't catch fire. Hard drives get destroyed at a MUCH lower temperature than ignition temperature.
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RMW

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Re: How to keep backup hard-drive waterproof
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2018, 06:09:09 PM »

Thank you Bob, Joe and Ron.
I appreciate your help and now see that my plan to protect the h-ds is more then a little faulty.
The Katrina flood here went up to the level of many roofs, but it was only a foot deep in the banks safe deposit vault. However that's just above the level of the one I just rented.
As for the fire risk, the bank says it's very well insulated.
Looked into Backblaze and it would take 7 months to catch up to what I already have.
Maybe there's no 'perfect' solution for me ?
Thank you all again.
Richard
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Ken Bennett

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Re: How to keep backup hard-drive waterproof
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 06:34:14 PM »

7 months is a long time, yes, but in 7 months you have a cloud backup as part of your strategy. In the meantime you can protect everything you have now by sending a hard drive to a friend in another city.
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Farmer

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Re: How to keep backup hard-drive waterproof
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2018, 03:08:08 AM »

7 months is a long time, yes, but in 7 months you have a cloud backup as part of your strategy. In the meantime you can protect everything you have now by sending a hard drive to a friend in another city.

This.  It takes a long time to start (and to recover if needed), but it's easier to keep up to date once you do it.  I don't know how much data you have, but some services (like Crashplan) allow you to seed with a 1TB HDD to start with which is a good start.
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rdonson

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Re: How to keep backup hard-drive waterproof
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2018, 11:45:31 AM »

Thank you Bob, Joe and Ron.
I appreciate your help and now see that my plan to protect the h-ds is more then a little faulty.
The Katrina flood here went up to the level of many roofs, but it was only a foot deep in the banks safe deposit vault. However that's just above the level of the one I just rented.
As for the fire risk, the bank says it's very well insulated.
Looked into Backblaze and it would take 7 months to catch up to what I already have.
Maybe there's no 'perfect' solution for me ?
Thank you all again.
Richard

Do you have the dimensions of the available safe deposit box?  If so, perhaps you can find a container that would fit in the box and hold the drives.  You might then make the container waterproof and not worry about the safe deposit box.
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Regards,
Ron

Joe Towner

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Re: How to keep backup hard-drive waterproof
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2018, 09:27:59 PM »

Looked into Backblaze and it would take 7 months to catch up to what I already have.
Maybe there's no 'perfect' solution for me ?

There isn't a perfect solution that's cheap, but if you start with just the last 60 days, it'll go pretty quick.  Expand that back to include 2017 and you're better protected than most.  Honestly, it's more about current work anyway, since to update the copy in the vault takes 2 trips, plus the risk of damage while updating the vault copy.

Plus, your worst case is a Katrina type event, which had lots of chatter about it in advance.  If you were home, you'd bug out with your live copy anyway.  Even doing a whole disk encryption on a 8/10tb drive, it wouldn't take much to get a fully copy somewhere else for your historicals, then it's just a matter of what's the most recent data, which you're protecting with an online in addition to local offline backups.

-Joe
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RMW

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Re: How to keep backup hard-drive waterproof
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2018, 04:04:30 PM »

Thank you all.
Am mulling over (still) all the different possibilities.
Richard
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