Do not be alarmed about the damage of what bit rot can do.
The two examples in this article are the exceptions as I know what I’m doing so I deliberately find a situation where a bit flip can be detected. Any corrupted files you may have discovered in your music library is likely to have tens of bits flipped, an action that will take years.
Most RAID setup is not designed to detect and fix bit root. For performance reasons some NAS do not even look at the parity bits when doing the READ operation. Where possible, set up your volumes to use BtrFS or ZFS. In the case of ZFS, make sure scrubbing is done at a regular schedule (about once a month).
Prevention is better than cure. These words are especially good advice since there is no real cure to bit rot - once a file is corrupted the only way of recovery is to restore from a backup. You can always re-rip your music. However other files like family photos and tax documents have to be relied on backups.
The best strategy in my opinion to combat bit-rot is to detect and catch the problem early before it gets too bad. Do not get overly concerned on this issue as a single bit rot will be a problem in most cases. The law of averages is on your side here.
If you are interested in articles like these please check out the rest of the Snakeoil Tweaks.
Comment from: Frank Collins Visitor
I don’t believe bit rot is a problem and the Red Book standard copes with missing bits, to a point.
I store all of my music (FLAC, level 8 compression) on a NAS, using FreeNAS. It does a four-weekly scrub which detects and corrects bit rot on the whole file system. While bit rot isn’t a problem for me, it never will be.
It does a four-weekly scrub which detects and corrects bit rot on the whole file system. While bit rot isn’t a problem for me, it never will be.+1. FreeNAS for the win.
A "single-event upset" was also blamed for an electronic voting error in Schaerbeekm, Belgium, back in 2003. A bit flip in the electronic voting machine added 4,096 extra votes to one candidate. The issue was noticed only because the machine gave the candidate more votes than were possible. "This is a really big problem, but it is mostly invisible to the public," said Bharat Bhuva. Bhuva is a member of Vanderbilt University’s Radiation Effects Research Group, established in 1987 to study the effects of radiation on electronic systems.
Here is an interesting YouTube video about bit flipping.