Scary Thought: Long-Term File Storage Question?

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge' started by NitroGuy, Dec 24, 2015.

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  1. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    his ' i want a fast hdd, but wont get a ssd ' thread was mildly amusing :thumbup:
     
  2. Davo1111

    Davo1111 Member

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    Borderline tinfoil hat thread.

    If you're "sharing" these files online you can set the permissions of the folder to be read only, i.e. an FTP server. They'll be able to download the file (and edit it), but won't be able to re-upload the file.

    If you're concerned about someone modifying your data, encrypt the drive (or folder) and store that password in a safe space.

    If you want to confirm someone hasn't changed your data, generate MD5 checksums and store them elsewhere. Every so often you can re-generate a checksum and compare it to the old checksum. software like the truecrypt installer will publish the checksum on their website, so you can confirm the file you got is the same.

    People will argue about long term storage, but i think tape media would be best. The simplest solution would be to use a dock and external hard drive.

    tbh nobody probably cares about your PDFs.
     
  3. AgB deano

    AgB deano Member

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    It is an interesting thread for those that have these sorts of considerations :thumbup:

    I've seen it mentioned once or twice so I'll say it again here, if you've got physical media, make sure it is in a decent fire safe, preferably inground/slab/etc. Multiple sites are nice but frankly, a PITA.

    A good start that I have suggested to mates/family would even be the smaller fire boxes that they sell at bunnings and whatnot. Perfect size to fit 2 reams of a4, so a heap of space for other things. If I were storing things on other sites, it would be in one of these.

    My retail firesafe is sitting in a concrete box I cut and poured in an existing slab. the whole thing sits lower than the face of the slab so I got some fire retardant wool and then put a steel door over it all. In the future I will probably build my own custom safe as the larger ones are quite expensive and overkill for my setup. The idea behind it though, is in a worst case scenario, it'll survive a building collapse and shouldn't be exposed to much heat at all. The actual safe is UL 1 rated, so it wouldn't last that long if it were above ground in a closet or something.

    The only things it protects are the older archival cd's, newer archival dvds, a couple of 4tb hdd's and a small collection of usb sticks. The rest is paper and not that effected by heat. very old photo albums, paper media, etc.

    I know (and have treated) many people that have lost personal effects and heirlooms to fire, I won't be another of them for the sake of a small investment of funds and time :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  4. ndt

    ndt Member

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    Damn, what's on these PDFs?
     
  5. J.J.

    J.J. Member

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    * Copy files to portable HDD

    * Encrypt the data on the portable HDD

    * Don't forget password

    * Don't forget password

    * No one can read any of the data, let alone change it because the drive is encrypted

    * Drink a beer


    (Side note: Don't rely on one backup. HDD may fail. Have more than one HDD. Even change the actual media it's stored on. Burn to DVD or BluRay as magnetics don't diminish over time as a HDD would. )
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  6. OP
    OP
    NitroGuy

    NitroGuy Member

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    Thanks for your reply!

    Well, since these .pdf files will be my education and since my education is one of the most important things to me I just want to know that the .pdfs I'm storing cannot be altered. I want to store the .pdfs and know for certain that they'll be identical when I want to read them in the future.
     
  7. Dilbery

    Dilbery Member

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    I've carried an entire organisations exchange databases on my hard drive before, and funnily enough no one got them. Because I didn't give the drive to anyone or leave it in the open.

    Honestly who is going to go, "hey this is NitroGuys PDF's, lets go and change one or two words and really throw him out". If you're that worried about PDF's that seem easily replaceable, I would suggest not using torrents in the first place.
     
  8. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I'm surprised this thread made 4 pages when the answer was on the first page.

    We solved this problem decades ago in computer science: Checksum, then WORM:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHA-2
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Write_once_read_many

    Not a new problem at all. Over in the business/enterprise forums, many of us do this for a living for very sensitive material (finance, government, legal, proprietary, etc).
     
  9. neRok

    neRok Member

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    The only logical conclusion to I can come to is that you watched the movie Idiocracy when it was on the tv the other day and are worried it will happen to you :lol: If you're about to go into cryogenic sleep and don't want anyone to touch your files whilst you are asleep, just put them on a usb thumb drive and stick them up your butt :lol:

    But seriously, if these files are so "mission critical", how do you even know they are legit to being with? Maybe the person who created the torrent for the file has already modified the file!
     
  10. Myne_h

    Myne_h Member

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    Meh.

    Build a virtual image of the OS+apps that will open them.
    Store it until required.

    It's reasonable to assume x86 will exist in 20 years - even if it's only emulated.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    NitroGuy

    NitroGuy Member

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    I've decided that I'm definitely going to encrypt these .pdf files and video files and put them on an external USB HDD, BUT how can I make them uneditable so that even I am unable to make changes to the .pdf files.

    Thanks for the replies!
     
  12. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

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    If you don't want to be able to change it, you have to use write once media (CD/DVD/BD) otherwise you can just go and erase everything, which is the extreme end of editing the files.

    Now, what is your protection to someone finding the storage and physically destroying it?
     
  13. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I've already answered this above: WORM

    Write
    Once
    Read
    Many

    Read the links I posted. Again, this problem was solved decades ago in computer science for very critical/private information that is much more important than what you're doing here. Smarter minds have already done the hard work for us, and made it all open source for us to benefit from.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    NitroGuy

    NitroGuy Member

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    Thanks! So it's not possible for me to make an external USB HDD "Non-writeable"? I MUST use a DVD disc that can only be written to once?
     
  15. OP
    OP
    NitroGuy

    NitroGuy Member

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    I just wanted to repeat that I'm not trolling and that this has been a really concerning issue for me to the point where I haven't been able to get a decent sleep in the past 7 days so I really want to resolve this issue soon!
     
  16. shredder

    shredder Member

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    Mate that sucks. No sleep = for the loss.

    You have narrowed down your question to : "Is it possible to make a USB HDD non-writeable?". This is an in-depth technical question which probably requires an unconventional and creative solution, e.g. a hardware hack. Basically you want to turn a HDD into a WORM.

    If I were you I would make a new thread in the Overclocking&Hardware subforum, titled as per the bold above. A new focus and more exposure.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    NitroGuy

    NitroGuy Member

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    Thanks so much for your kindly worded answer!

    Right now, the question that's causing me to not sleep at night is this:
    When I finish downloading a .pdf file and it's on my PC's HDD, I can of course open it and read it, but what's to stop another user from making changes to the .pdf file?
     
  18. Sindarin Ultra

    Sindarin Ultra Member

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    If you are genuinely losing sleep over this then please seek help. I mean counselling or a psychiatrist. Nobody is trying to mess with your PDFs.
     
  19. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

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    Copy it to a USB drive, and lock it away. I don't think you need anything better than this.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    NitroGuy

    NitroGuy Member

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    Thanks, but I'm not being paranoid because I don't think there's a particular user trying to edit my .pdf files. I just want to be able to store these .pdf files and know for certain that they cannot be altered so that when I want to read the .pdf files in the future I can know that they haven't been changed.

    EDIT: How can I check that the .pdf files that I've downloaded and already on my PC's HDD haven't been changed?
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
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