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Old 23-11-2020, 17:16   #1
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How much hard drive for navigation

When using a laptop for nav use chart plotter how much hard drive would be recommended and why.
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Old 23-11-2020, 17:44   #2
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Re: How much hard drive for navigation

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When using a laptop for nav use chart plotter how much hard drive would be recommended and why.

You don't need much at all. 128Gb for a windows machine, 32Gb for a RPi. Pick your poison. Even basic laptops now come with 256Gb SSD drives which is more than enough. One suggestion I would make is to use extra storage capacity to turn any nav PC into a file cache for the vessel's manuals, certificates and other documents. Even then, you don't need that much space.


Start using it to store videos and photos though, and capacity of 1Tb+ will be required. This can usually be added as a portable USB drive. Again, go with SSD as old school mechanically drives are painfully slow compared to SSD.
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Old 23-11-2020, 23:18   #3
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Re: How much hard drive for navigation

Just to give you an idea: every available chart for Virginia in .BSB and .KAP format takes up 245 MB on my HD. A state with more coastline, like Florida, takes up 523 MB.
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Old 24-11-2020, 14:01   #4
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Re: How much hard drive for navigation

I want to provide some counter advice: If you have anything that you care about and can't replace, put it on an HDD, not on an SSD. If an accidental deletion happens on an HDD, the data is almost always recoverable (file names and file structures, maybe not). On an SSD, it is very rarely recoverable, especially if the SSD is optimized for performance and longevity. As a storage engineer, I can go into great technical detail if you are interested.


For the best chance of recovering your data, as soon as you notice a problem, power-off the device immediately. "Shutdown" can make the loss worse, especially on an OS drive. Laptops are difficult to do a forced power-off due to the battery.



On my personal machines, I use SSD for OS, caches, and frequently accessed data, however backups and archives are on HDD.


You do backup your data, don't you? The best way of keeping valuable data is to have more than one copy of it.



Friendly advice from a tech.
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Old 24-11-2020, 14:16   #5
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Re: How much hard drive for navigation

Good advice from tenchiki though I will say that most machines (laptop and otherwise) can be forced to fully power off if you hold down the power button, regardless of battery.
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Old 24-11-2020, 16:26   #6
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Re: How much hard drive for navigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenchiki View Post
I want to provide some counter advice: If you have anything that you care about and can't replace, put it on an HDD, not on an SSD. If an accidental deletion happens on an HDD, the data is almost always recoverable (file names and file structures, maybe not). On an SSD, it is very rarely recoverable, especially if the SSD is optimized for performance and longevity. As a storage engineer, I can go into great technical detail if you are interested.


For the best chance of recovering your data, as soon as you notice a problem, power-off the device immediately. "Shutdown" can make the loss worse, especially on an OS drive. Laptops are difficult to do a forced power-off due to the battery.



On my personal machines, I use SSD for OS, caches, and frequently accessed data, however backups and archives are on HDD.


You do backup your data, don't you? The best way of keeping valuable data is to have more than one copy of it.



Friendly advice from a tech.
I'd argue that's no longer the case. very few modern computers are now supplied without ssd drives, including server systems.
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Old 24-11-2020, 17:43   #7
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Re: How much hard drive for navigation

tenchiki is right that it is easier and often possible to recover data from HDD and very difficult or impossible from the SSD. However, while that is true - it is a false sense of security to pick one tech over the other as a means of protection from data loss. There is no replacement for backups (data-sync is not backups).

Another item to keep in mind - HDDs are slower, more power hungry and take up more space. They are also made of metal, which is less than ideal for salt-water marine environment. All of those qualities them not great boat use.

For navigation specific use, a tablet is often a very good form factor due to mostly sealed body, low power needs, compact size, screen quality, versatility, availability of protective covers/cases, etc. You definitely want to avoid anything with a fan. Moving air through electronics in marine environment is not good for the device.
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Old 24-11-2020, 18:04   #8
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Re: How much hard drive for navigation

I'd take the pro of the speed and power saving of an SSD any day over the pro of *possible* data recovery of a slothfully slow mechanical disk, keeping in mind that these in laptop drives spin at a leisurely 5400rpm.



Besides, for a NAV computer, what's going to be so critical that you'd want to use a hit and miss overpriced data recovery service anyway? There's much better methods around for ensuring data recovery. For documents, my preferred method is to use local folders synced to cloud storage (which is free for 10Gb or so) which is a near perfect solution for boat life.
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Old 24-11-2020, 18:37   #9
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Re: How much hard drive for navigation

I think if it is only nav machine 32 gb is ok (an most of this gets uptaken by the OS ...). But very few people use laptop just for navigation.


Today the simplest machines have 64 emmc or 128 ssd. I would take the latter too. 256 is luxury.



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