My soccer coach always said Expect The Unexpected. I swear to God he also once said there is no “me” in team.
In general, hard drives don’t fail during the first few years of their lives. As long as they stay under normal operating conditions they’re pretty reliable. But they’re also delicate and fragile machines spinning around at intense speeds. Stuff goes wrong. So if your masters are data based and not tape or film, you better be prepared.
Last night I came home with the first dailies from a new movie on a portable hard drive from Glyph. I’ve had great experiences with their drives. I like the little leather cases on the Portagigs and I love the standard power cables on the fullsize ones. But last night when I tried to copy the dailies to my editing drive, on ten of the files, I consistently got a -36 error, unable to read or write to the disk. I got a little worried, but I wasn’t extremely concerned because I had a backup.
Whenever I work on a movie shot on cards (which is pretty much all of them now) I always insist on transferring to at least two drives. Sometimes I do three. Drives are cheap. Re-shooting a whole day is not. This morning I went back to set and copied the files from the backup drive to the one I had brought home. It worked fine. Notice I didn’t have the backup with me. Another important step is to physically separate your backups. If you drop your bag in front of a subway train, all that backing up won’t matter.