Hard drives are a reasonably cheap way to store a lot of data, and have other advantages. I am considering using them as backup media for long-term storage. I've heard that if I disconnect a hard drive and leave it on a shelf somewhere, I can expect them to degrade to unusability over the course of years. And an actively used drive gives out in maybe 2-5 years. Can you suggest a strategy for prolonging the life of the drive as long as possible? Ideally, the drives provide a reliable "restore" for decades. Minimizing power consumption is also a goal.
To give a concrete idea, I am thinking something like: Put all the inactive drives in computer cases, and fire the systems up once a month (week? year?) to give the drives some "exercise" and run checks for corruption.