}

It seems that you're using an outdated browser. Some things may not work as they should (or don't work at all).
We suggest you upgrade newer and better browser like: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Opera

×
arrow-down2arrowcart2close4fat-arrow-leftfat-arrow-rightfeedbackfriends2happy-facelogo-gognotificationnotifications-emptyownedremove-menusad-facesearch2wishlist-menuwishlisted2own_thingsheartstartick
Hello All,

Something that I've been thinking about a lot lately is my dependence on digital storefronts to access my PC library. Until a decade or so ago the majority of my PC purchases were on physical discs, and so I never had to worry about one day not being able to access them. Since then however almost all my PC games are tied to one account or another, and with console games trying to go the same route I'm starting to get a little concerned. I've already lost my PS Mobile and EA Download Manager (pre-Origin) games forever, while both my Origin and Battle.net accounts have been hacked.

Even though I have full-faith in our GoG overlords, I'm increasingly thinking about creating some physical backups of my library. The standard option would be to simply grab all the installers and pop them onto an external HDD, but those things will need replacing every decade or so and I don't want to need backups of my backups. That leaves more reliable solid-state media but the pricing at that point is quite high (The Witcher 3 would happily take up its own 32GB SD card for instance) especially if you have hundreds and hundreds of games.

So then I came to the idea of having reproduction-esque physical copies of every GoG game I owned. By which I mean, going through the process of acquiring a DVD case, disc, nicely printed cover and possibly a manual (if included) for each game/series. This may sound bloody stupid but from past experience with this kind of thing the price would end up being a dollar or two per game. A few games would be better suited to a blu-ray (looking at you again Witcher 3) but assuming you got modern non-rewritable discs and stored them properly you shouldn't have to worry about disc rot too much. Plus with a unified cover scheme between all games it would look quite nice.

I was curious if anyone else had tried this before, and if so how it worked out for them. Alternatively how do YOU backup your games?
I have them on external hard drive as copying on to disc was very time consuming,well many years ago it was.
What is this black magic alchemy you speak of!?

HERESY!!!

Cool avatar BTW! :D
Post edited March 24, 2017 by tinyE
avatar
yyywww111: ....
The standard option would be to simply grab all the installers and pop them onto an external HDD, but those things will need replacing every decade or so and I don't want to need backups of my backups.
...
Connor, ide, 170 megabytes, from 1990, has few bads, but still works.

Also, if you use COW filesystem on the drive and take a 1:1 backup drive, you'll get a backup of backup of backup that can self-detect and self-correct the bit flips.
Post edited March 24, 2017 by Lin545
My line of thinking is to have multiple redundant backups, so I have multiple external drives (one solid state and one hard disk) , in addition to keeping all my important stuff on multiple computers, and I semi-annually update the external drives. I think that writing to DVDs/Blu-Rays would take too long, and they would be just as, if not more susceptible, to damage or decay. I've already lost several of my game CDs to wear or bit rot, so I recently began backing up all my movies, CDs, and PC and console games to my hard drives. Every couple years, I swap out one of my external hard drives for a newer one, mostly out of necessity for needing a larger capacity.
avatar
Lin545: Connor, ide, 170 megabytes, from 1990, has few bads, but still works.
That is quite impressive! Or perhaps I have had bad luck with my drives...

Do you still use that drive out of curiosity?
avatar
SCPM: My line of thinking is to have multiple redundant backups, so I have multiple external drives (one solid state and one hard disk) , in addition to keeping all my important stuff on multiple computers, and I semi-annually update the external drives. I think that writing to DVDs/Blu-Rays would take too long, and they would be just as, if not more susceptible, to damage or decay. I've already lost several of my game CDs to wear or bit rot, so I recently began backing up all my movies, CDs, and PC and console games to my hard drives. Every couple years, I swap out one of my external hard drives for a newer one, mostly out of necessity for needing a larger capacity.
That seems to be a fairly full-proof system and a handy one at that. My main idea with the DVD's is that it seems to be the least error-prone medium of optical disc you could get at a reasonable price. More reliable than CD's, lack the weaker materials of DVD-R's and won't have any early batch issues like some BD's. I'll need to do more research on the different formats though
avatar
tinyE: Cool avatar BTW! :D
Lol ty!
Yea CD's are about the most unreliable method of storage possible - i would trust the old floppy disk more than a cd!

If i had a dollar for every time i have inserted a disk that had decided to fxxk up over the years, i would be a millionare by now, fxxxen shxx cd's are, shxx.

The other thing is that i have to keep a 20 year old disk drive in my computer because newer drives seem to have no idea how to read older disks! Thought technology was supposed to improve, but not in this sense.
Post edited March 24, 2017 by mystikmind2000
avatar
yyywww111: Hello All,

Something that I've been thinking about a lot lately is my dependence on digital storefronts to access my PC library. Until a decade or so ago the majority of my PC purchases were on physical discs, and so I never had to worry about one day not being able to access them. Since then however almost all my PC games are tied to one account or another, and with console games trying to go the same route I'm starting to get a little concerned. I've already lost my PS Mobile and EA Download Manager (pre-Origin) games forever, while both my Origin and Battle.net accounts have been hacked.

Even though I have full-faith in our GoG overlords, I'm increasingly thinking about creating some physical backups of my library. The standard option would be to simply grab all the installers and pop them onto an external HDD, but those things will need replacing every decade or so and I don't want to need backups of my backups. That leaves more reliable solid-state media but the pricing at that point is quite high (The Witcher 3 would happily take up its own 32GB SD card for instance) especially if you have hundreds and hundreds of games.

So then I came to the idea of having reproduction-esque physical copies of every GoG game I owned. By which I mean, going through the process of acquiring a DVD case, disc, nicely printed cover and possibly a manual (if included) for each game/series. This may sound bloody stupid but from past experience with this kind of thing the price would end up being a dollar or two per game. A few games would be better suited to a blu-ray (looking at you again Witcher 3) but assuming you got modern non-rewritable discs and stored them properly you shouldn't have to worry about disc rot too much. Plus with a unified cover scheme between all games it would look quite nice.

I was curious if anyone else had tried this before, and if so how it worked out for them. Alternatively how do YOU backup your games?
This topic has been done several times. Cds and such like are less secure than you think. Cost per item may be smaller, but storage of them versus hdd is much bigger. What I used to have is 3 hdds and rotate them 4 monthly as back to internal. As you say though size keeps increasing. So I now have 2 terramaster 5 bay raid boxes, each with 3 hdds in, one is for offsite backup (ie clone 2-3 times a year the onsite one) and then the onsite one is live. This gives fall over of individual discs on both boxes, plus major fallback across boxes. And I also have an external drive as well. This may be a bit overkill, however if a store closes (shinyloot, dotemu etc.) your games are gone, mods might dissapear over time, saves and other important user stuff get lost etc. Personally I avoid any online storage, that's just as bad as relying on companies to keep stores open, just look at when galaxy loses all peoples saves (which will eventually happen). Reliance on any net orientated is BAD!
If you cant afford a box, use an old computer, buy a raid card, stick all your old hdds in it.
I agree, that its a good idea to save local copies of you online purchases.
I use a Synology Raid. So even i a disk gets broken i can restore it. Its not cheap, but i can use it also for all my other data. For the future I'm sure i had to migrate to the next gen storagy systems. This will be a step that is necessary every 10 years or so. But transferrated will be much faster and diskspace will be much larger.
If you look back 20 years when games were suplied on floppys, a game spread over 10 disks was very large and installing it tooks hours. Today you wont even notice the prgress bar, when copying it to a new media.
avatar
yyywww111: The standard option would be to simply grab all the installers and pop them onto an external HDD, but those things will need replacing every decade or so and I don't want to need backups of my backups.
Frankly, I never understand these suggestions that downloading the installers to a hard drive is a worse option than to burn the installers one by one to optical media (e.g. DVD-R). I see only benefits to downloading them to a hard drive.

Having the installers on a hard drive makes it much easier to manage your library, and find the game you are looking for from your local library. Easier to detect that you don't have obsolete duplicates of the same game.

Keeping the installers up to date is also far easier when you can simply replace the old files with new downloaded ones on your hard drive, instead of re-burning all the optical discs that have received even a tiny update. The other option, I guess, would be that you never update your installers, but I find that option silly. Often the games do get very important updates, and also for older games, they get updates so that they work also with the latest Windows OSes (e.g. Windows 10).

Also, if you want to check whether all your GOG installers are still ok (not corrupted), you can easily check them all in one swoop with tools like dvdsig, rhash or even gogrepo's verify command. How do you do the same for hundreds or thousands of optical discs? Pop them into your DVD drive one by one and check the files?

The argument that "you have to replace the storage HDD every ten years or so" is odd for a couple of reasons:

- Burned optical discs need to be replaced even more often. As I've told before, 1-2 years ago I started a project to move all my old stuff from old optical (burned) discs to my hard drives, just so that I could throw those optical discs to trashbin and manage the files in them more easily, e.g. to get rid of obsole files I don't need anymore (because I e.g. have a newer version already). Turns out that quite many of those optical discs have indeed become unreadable over the years (ie. errors when trying to copy the files from them). Off the top of my head I'd say that well over 10% of them had become corrupted.

- It is quite natural to replace your hard drives every now and then anyway. Do you still actively use all your decade old hard drives? I think the more common way is that as hard drives become bigger and faster, you move all your old stuff from the old hard drives to the one bigger hard drive. For instance, I remember when my biggest hard drives were maybe 300GB but I am not really using those anymore. I have already copied all the stuff I want from them to bigger, e.g. 3 terabyte, hard drive(s).

So if you e.g. now would keep your GOG installers on a 1 TB hard drive, maybe in 10 years you have already moved them several times to bigger hard drives, like to a 10TB, then to a 100TB, then 1000TB, then 100000000000000001 TB...

Last but not least, depending on optical discs means that you will have to have an optical drive also far in the future. In my eyes optical drives (for computer use) are already obsolete and are on their way out. Many PCs (laptops) don't even have an internal optical drive anymore, USB memory sticks and USB hard drives work much better for any local removable storage use, etc. Are you sure you will even have a working optical drive capable reading your old DVD-R discs in the future? Those drives are pretty delicate things, the read/write head in them is quite heavy (compared to e.g. HDD heads) hence break up pretty easily, the laser might become non-aligned or dirty, the optical drive tray mechanism (open/close) tend to become broken over time etc.

The only benefit for using hundreds/thousands of optical discs (instead of a couple of hard drives) I've heard is the "having all eggs in one basket" argument, ie. if that hard drive becomes broken, you lose all your games at once, while with optical discs you lose only those which become broken.

I find that argument a bit silly too. Naturally you don't keep only one copy of your stuff, you keep backup hard drives too (you can do this manually like I do, or those RAID thingamalings that many do). Also as long as GOG is around, their online servers is also one place where you have your backups. The question about keeping several local (or cloud) backups of your GOG installers becomes really relevant only if and when it seems GOG is on its way out permanently, like DotEmu is doing now (yes, I have my DotEmu game installers now on three different hard drives).
Post edited March 24, 2017 by timppu
avatar
yyywww111:
I have backup of almost all my games on 3TB external HDD.
Gog installers are DVD friendly.
Just drop parts to DVD and you are done.
For example The Witcher GOTY will take 9 DVD5 if you want to make it.
avatar
yyywww111: I was curious if anyone else had tried this before, and if so how it worked out for them. Alternatively how do YOU backup your games?
Considering how often GOG updates some of their installers, I'd steer away from optical storage.

I keep a backup of my entire collection on an external hard drive. I also sync it to a second external hard drive every two months or so, just to have some redundancy. External hard drives are not 100% reliable after all.
Personally i take great pride in designing my own covers and dvd labels for GoG games. Depending on the game i may go for a dvd box or cd jewelcase.
I use Canon MP-101 paper for the covers and Verbatim printable optical media. Works like a charm and the offline installers are indeed VERY dvd friendly. On top of that i keep an extra backup on an external HDD just in case.
avatar
WinterSnowfall: External hard drives are not 100% reliable after all.
Internal hard drives are not 100% reliable, too. :-P
avatar
kbnrylaec: Internal hard drives are not 100% reliable, too. :-P
Yeah I agree, but they have a habit of not being subjected to as much mechanical shocks as external hard drives :P. They do tend to fail due to other reasons such as prolonged exposure to high temperatures (especially in air-cooled gaming systems) and honest wear & tear, so point taken :).