My Personal Hard Drive History

Avoiding the hassle of individual hard drives is a big reason for building a file server. Take my collection of retired drives, for example.

Those 29 drives represent two decades of trying to keep enough free space for storage and backups. When each was purchased it was the largest available. I remember being amazed at all the free space after installing the 80GB drive. Of course, that feeling didn't last long as the new digital cameras came out that made larger files. With photography, it feels like we're hitting a time when growth of hard drives is starting to pull away from the camera megapixel race.

The latest version of the iPhone has more space.

Shuffling files is a pain. It also brings the very real chance of losing stuff because it wasn't moved properly into play.


As an early adopter of Digital Photography, I've been trying buying ever larger hard drives for a couple of decades. The result is I've built a fair collection hard drives over the past couple of decades. As an early adopter of digital photography, getting enough hard drive space has been a constant challenge.

The 32TB FreeNAS machine I built will help that a lot.

It's replacing all these with a single machine.

Some of these drives I've had forever because when I first retired them I didn't know how to scrub them so people couldn't steal my bank numbers off them. I know how now, but never went back and got rid of the ond drives. It's time for them to go now.

There are six drives with enclosures and 23 bare drives. Some of the bare drives were racked directly into machines but most were used with docking stations.