Agreed that’s also why I love ZFS not only for hard drive failure tolerance but I have experienced plenty of data corruption transferring files over the years from old computer to new computer enough times. Back then it was just something like xcopy in windows terminal and my backups were only my school files on Zip disks (which actually survived even to this day!)…
Whether copy errors or drive errors that caused corruption I guess I will never know. But a lot of data was permanently lost I feel. The worst part is finding out the file is corrupted only when you actually need it is infuriating…the idea of a ZFS checking data for errors with scrubs gives me more peace of mind than a hardware controller RAID ever could.
Amazing that those zip disks survived eh! I used to use those in a company I worked for, always a life saver…or rather a money saver because of the file value!
One day I’ll have to merge my files, so many disk images and zip folders with duplicates, it would save me a good TB or 2 I reckon. Absolutely though, you only know if it’s corrupted when you try to access a file, I really like TrueNAS’s scrub feature, I make sure it happens every 2 weeks at the very least.
So far I’ve been very fortunate with data loss (that I know of). There was a time when I visited a girlfriends country (Slovakia) and the airport scanners killed the cameras sd card. Very luckily there was a copy of the photos on her brothers computer…really glad to return there 6 months later and retrieve them. Even so, I still just had one copy for a very long time…luck more than good judgement/knowledge!
Hard disk lifetimes are almost random and almost always a gamble in specific cases(large variance in lifetime data). Only in large quantities do the statistics become more significant(You might have luck with a particular brand with a low sample size, that doesn’t mean it is better or worse than a different brand if you haven’t tested 100’s of drives.).
For example, I have two old low-end 5400rpm notebook drives, and they still run fine in my desktop system(I don’t trust them, I just store steam games etc. on them)
One has 43703 hours power-on hours, and the other one has 15193 hours.
Other drives have failed me after not even a year of regular use.
Test the drives using smartctl. For desktop usecases you can use old drives. Don’t trust them with important data. Don’t trust any one drive with important data. Always plan on a drive failing in the most inconvenient moment.