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Input/Output/Workflow Scanning, printing, color management, and discussing best practices for control and repeatability

Backing up your images

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  #1  
Old 09-25-2009, 08:57 AM
htown htown is offline
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Backing up your images

I was wondering what people do to backup their images. I find that I line to have my images at my finger tips at all times. I am not a professional so I don't have lots and lots of projects to store but have collected over 30,000 images of the past several years. These are all, or at least most, in Lightroom and keyworded. I find that I Synchronize, as opposed to backup, my internal drive with an external drive. This way if I need to get to a image that has a problem or is missing for whatever reason on my internal, i don't have to RESTORE the image, I just have a duplicate of it.

I am sure there are lots of practices out there, I just wanted to explore some other options.

Many thanks,
Houston
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2009, 11:06 AM
Jerryb Jerryb is offline
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Re: Backing up your images

hi,
Myself I am a firm believer in duplicate backups of important stuff!

the external hard drive the primary backup drive... but for very important
files, i use gold cd or dvd's just in case the hard drive fails .

and i never use flash drives for long term backup... there not that reliable..

Quote:
Originally Posted by htown View Post
I was wondering what people do to backup their images. I find that I line to have my images at my finger tips at all times. I am not a professional so I don't have lots and lots of projects to store but have collected over 30,000 images of the past several years. These are all, or at least most, in Lightroom and keyworded. I find that I Synchronize, as opposed to backup, my internal drive with an external drive. This way if I need to get to a image that has a problem or is missing for whatever reason on my internal, i don't have to RESTORE the image, I just have a duplicate of it.

I am sure there are lots of practices out there, I just wanted to explore some other options.

Many thanks,
Houston
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  #3  
Old 09-25-2009, 01:11 PM
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MiningArt MiningArt is offline
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Re: Backing up your images

DVD and CD are not reliable long-term storage. I hard drive is a good option, but even with a hard drive the data should be refreshed on a time table, year-years. There are programs designed for this that will read your hard disk data and write it back to the hard drive. This makes a new magnetic image on the hard drive. Without the rewrite the magnetic image on the hard drive slowly degrades. I use two hard drives for data storage and do forced copies with data verification between them. This gives me fresh copies on two hard drives. You could also set up a RAID hard drive system. My computer has this built-in, but I prefer to do backups manually.
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:34 AM
Andrew Lawrence Andrew Lawrence is offline
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Re: Backing up your images

Ideally you need at least 3 copies. I would use 3 different hard drives. The 1st Is the original archive. The 2nd acts as the backup to your original archive that you can constantly be adding to as you import images to the 1st one (these first 2 hard drives sit on your computer desk.) The 3rd hard drive is kept offsite at work or a friends house, this is brought in periodically (like every week or once a month) and backs up your archive. This way, WHEN (NOT IF) your original hard drive fails, you have the 2nd one right there and you didn't loose anything. But worse case scenario, lets say you have a burglary (or your house flooded while you where gone and your hard drives are on the floor, or there's a power serge that fries both of your hooked up hard drives), then you still have that 3rd "offsite" backup and you didn't loose everything, maybe just a week or a months worth of work depending on how often you want to bring the 3rd hard drive in.

Trust me, a long time ago, I had everything on one computer - it started having some issues so I thought it would be a good time to back it up. As soon as I got everything safely backed up - it died a few days later.

In addition to 3 copies, I plan to use my computer for my "working files" that I'm retouching, and I'll have apple's time machine automatically and constantly backing up my entire computer to a 4th hard drive so if my computer's drive fails, I can get a new computer and hook that drive up and have it identical to all of my settings and applications and current working files.
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:46 AM
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lurch lurch is offline
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Re: Backing up your images

Andrew Lawrence,

I bet when you get dressed you put on both suspenders and a belt

Actually, your practices are indeed the ideal.
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2009, 09:37 PM
Andrew Lawrence Andrew Lawrence is offline
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Re: Backing up your images

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Originally Posted by lurch View Post
Andrew Lawrence,

I bet when you get dressed you put on both suspenders and a belt

Actually, your practices are indeed the ideal.
You should see my bow-tie over normal tie technique (perfect for any ambiguously formal/casual occasion) ..... or when I slip my wing-tips into my large fluffy slippers.... sometimes I even wear a watch both my left and right wrists (the internal batteries can fail at any point, and then how will you tell what time it is?)

But really, my father thought his computer and backup drive were fine.... but when the basement flooded (and both the computer and drive are on the floor) it was worrisome. No one wants to wish for a fire (mother's family lost everything when she was young) or a burglary, or a lightning strike (cousin lost a large TV, sent it in for repair and contacted me for an archive photo of it).... but the fact is that there is a possibility that all of your originals and backups can be wiped out in one swoop.... and if that ever happens, you'll beg to go back in time for the chance to spend $100 dollars on a 1TB drive for entire archive backup.

I actually had a college english class where the professor kept all of his students grades, critiques, feedback, and papers (from multiple high school and college classes) all on one flash drive on his key chain, as well as some of his personal writing. He either broke it off while pulling it out of his computer or crushed it on accident, I can't remember, but he was so stressed and ended up paying hundreds and hundreds having it recovered by computer hardware experts that had to do a custom job.... and they couldn't guarantee that everything if anything would be uncorrupted. All of his info would have fit onto one dvd.
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  #7  
Old 10-11-2009, 09:48 PM
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seattle-light seattle-light is offline
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Re: Backing up your images

Obviously duplicate backups are a good idea. Hard drives wear out over time. But it's important that your backup drive(s) not be running all the time. Otherwise they'll have about as much wear on them as your primary drive. No fun to have your primary drive and backup drive give out out at the same time. Basically drives wear out based on their running time. So you want to keep that backup drive turned off except when you're backing up files. Or when you're retrieving a file that you've accidentally flattened or deleted or whatever. The key is keeping the running time to a minimum so it lasts a long time.
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:56 PM
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seattle-light seattle-light is offline
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Re: Backing up your images

Having another copy offsite is also a great idea. If there's ever a break-in, the person stealing your computer would likely take the hard drives on your desk as well. THen there's fire, tornadoes, floods, and angry former employees yielding electromagnetic bulk tape erasers (which can absolutely trash a hard drive, back up tapes, etc.). If all your work is in your files, it's best to protect it from harm (and it's better to be overprotected than underprotected).
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  #9  
Old 10-13-2009, 06:29 PM
Andrew Lawrence Andrew Lawrence is offline
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Re: Backing up your images

Quote:
Originally Posted by seattle-light View Post
Hard drives wear out over time. But it's important that your backup drive(s) not be running all the time..... So you want to keep that backup drive turned off except when you're backing up files...... The key is keeping the running time to a minimum so it lasts a long time.
This is a very important point that I failed to mention. I only have my HDs hooked up when I'm actually working on them or backing them up. If you need to do a lot of work on multiple files, I suggest pulling the set of photos onto a folder on your desktop and then working on them from your internal drive and disconnecting your external HDs. Not having them run all the time will help extend your drive's life and protect it from possible electrical damages. It's also a good idea to have a surge protector power strip for your computer and external drives.
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