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Click here to see this online
 
 
 
Scary Storage Medium Story
 
 

A student emails a collaborator asking for the last piece of data before they submit their thesis. The package with the storage media is then delivered by a ghost mail carrier. To the students dismay, upon opening the package, three floppy disks fell out! The student is horrified.

* This image is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which requires attribution. Copyright University of Illinois Board of Trustees, Research Data Service.

 
 

Just in time for Halloween, this spooky story shows the terrors of obsolete storage media. Just as files can become corrupt over time, storage media can become inaccessible due to technological advances or the lack of compatible hardware and software needed to read it. While data storage and preservation depend on the individual's situation, we provide some tips that can help you avoid data loss by implementing them in your research process.

Storage Media Tips:

  • Update your storage medium every 3-5 years.
  • Use checksums to monitor file transfers between storage mediums and to ensure they have not become corrupted. Tools such as TeraCopy can assist with this. 
  • Follow the 3-2-1 back up rule.
  • Consider cloud storage or consult Research IT’s backup and storage finder.
  • All media is susceptible to damage by elements but can be reduced by careful handling.
  • Store your media in a dry environment with a stable and comfortable temperature.

October 2021

 
     
 

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