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I am not arguing against using external hard drives for backups. For many purposes, I think they are ideal. And the costs per byte, and the cost in bytes per cubic inch, are now comparable to magnetic tape. I recognize that the handwriting is on the wall.

Speaking of handwriting is on the wall----more and more web sites don't work with any version of a browser that Windows XP supports. And the latest current versions of more and more programs won't work on XP because of a missing entrypoint in a key Windows dll.

So it looks like I'm going to have to upgrade from XP before much longer.

600GB? Man---I have 400GB in pictures alone. Extended family and world-spanning vacations will do that to you. Darn digital cameras. ;-)

I've got about 5 TBs of data on my main desktop system.
Three (3) 2TB drives and a 1TB and a 500GB spinning, and a 240GB SSD. Got a couple of 4TB and 8TB disks that can't be used on XP--another reason to upgrade from XP.

All the important (financial & investing) is on the 500GB drive, the pictures are on the 1TB drive. Even still have the DOW data files that we used way back when to backtest the Foolish Four strategy. Those are the two things I keep backed up. Most of the rest of the stuff is papers, books, videos, music, programs, etc. that can mostly be easily replaced or re-downloaded.
A bit of belt & suspenders backup----1st level backup is a dedicated computer (powered up daily, automatically) with a mirrored RAID, which then replicates to a seldom-powered-on computer in the basement with 3 WD Blacks in a RAIDZ (similar to RAID-5) ZFS filesystem.

I go back and forth on the never powerdown thing. The only disk crash I've had in the last 15 years was one that just died solid while I was using the computer. Other than that, just drives starting to go flakey and throwing S.M.A.R.T. errors. Powered down or always up doesn't seem to make any difference. My wife's computer has never had a disk replaced in the last 20 years except to upgrade to a larger one--no failures ever, and she shuts it down once or twice a day.
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