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  • highest capacity storage device?

    dear retouchers,

    i'm in need of a high capacity storage device - CREM?

    my current system (an asus PC) has two 120 gig harddrives. I've nearly filled them both. i can not afford to keep buying harddrives just to back up my data/images.

    can anyone suggest the best backup device? perhaps a DVD writer? how much will a dvd hold?

    i understand that images just do not compress. i would like to be able to back up in 10gig increments or better. years ago i had the iomega zip drive.

    i wonder what the equivalent is today?

    another possibility may be a second-hand data storage tower. just a bunch of stacked harddrives. if such a thing can be had.

    thanks for any suggestions.


  • #2
    I think DVD is probably your best route although I'm not sure what the new double density discs will hold conventional ones hold around 4-5gb.


    • #3
      Thanks Chris...

      i'm doing a little google research on these drives. based on what i've uncovered so far i reckon you're correct. some of the newer dvd ram drives report up to 9.4 gigs on double sided (density?) discs.

      but noting is simple in regards to hardware and compatibility. i've got room for another drive on my p4 asus... just need to make sure the hardware and software will be compatible.

      still i wonder what is the favorite dvd drive among graphic artists for backing up their work.

      thanks again for swift reply



      • #4
        Friends here in the UK tend to go for the NEC 3500 or Panasonic 108. I've used a Pioneer 106 without any problems although it's stoneage now. Lots of burning software about most manufacturers throw in a barearsed version of Nero or similar with their burners. Dont know your location so model numbers might vary.


        • #5
          I fear losing my images a lot. My solution for immediate protection is to dup every image [and their sidecars] to another drive, in my case, within my same computer. I do the back-up when ever I dump images to my primary drive.

          Last week I saw that Western Digital 7200 rpm 250 gByte drives at Costco for $149.95. That makes building some sort of raid array positively possible for almost anybody. I paid $180 about 6 months ago and thought that was hot.

          I just recieved a double density DVD Burner for $92 from Newegg [todays rendition of egghead]. Now if I can afford the discs. Hmm, wonder what the rating is on my power supply.


          • #6
            Here is my recommendation:

            This first recommendation can be kind of pricy, so I'll show cheaper alternatives as my second recommendation. I'll be referring to for pricing, which is a US website. If you live in another country, let me know and I'll see if I can find a comparable website for your country. Each recommendation involves using 3 hard drives and a certain program.

            What I use for my computer are 3 hard drives (I'd actually like to use a 4th one, but until I can afford another one I'll have to use this method). The first hard drive (I'll call it HDD0) is in 2 partitions. I have a partition set for 60GB which I use for my Operating System (OS) and for all the programs I install. I then create a second partition on the drive which I have My Documents pointed to.

            (Note: to redirect your 'My Documents' to go to another partition, right-click on My Documents, select 'Properties', in the 'Target' tab press the 'move' button then go to 'My Computer' and select the drive you want it pointed it. Mine is set to my D: drive. This applies to Windows XP and I think Windows 2000 works the same way.)

            The reason why it is so important to keep your OS separated from your My Documents directory is because if your Windows crashes, your My Documents folder is unaffected if you have to reinstall Windows. Earlier when I talked about having a 4th drive (most computers will not handle more than 2 internal drives, but mine is capable of supporting 6 internal drives), I'd like to separate the 2 partitions on HDD0 and put them on completely separate drives. That way if the hard drive that Windows is on completely dies, your My Documents will be on a completely separate drive.

            Continuing on, for the second hard drive (HDD1), I recommend using this to automatically back up your My Documents in real-time with file revisions. What this means is, I use a program called Iomega QuikSync (now called Iomega Automatic Backup, not to be confused with Iomega Sync) and every time I save a file to the My Documents folder on HDD0, the Automatic Backup program saves it to my HDD1. If the file was already saved before, I have an option to keep revisions of the file so if I seriously mess up something I was working on and don't realize I messed up so badly until after I already saved the file, I can go back to an earlier revision of the file prior to the mess-up. I have mine set to 5 revisions, which I think is a good amount, but you can have it set to about 50 revisions if you want. The advantage of this versus a RAID array (where HDD0 and HDD1 are synchronized) is that if you mess up a file then save it, you just totally ruined the file on the back up drive, too, because it overwrites the file with the mess-up that was just done.

            Hope this is making sense?

            The third hard drive is an external hard drive. This is VERY important and let me explain why. I work in the IT field as a Network Administrator/Field Support person and one day one of our servers died. After opening up the case to see what happened, we noticed the hard drives were fried (literally). What I believed happened was that the power supply failed and it caused a power spike through the computer. All of the electronics on the bottom of the hard drive were charred black and the rest of the computer was destroyed, too. This computer was set up as a RAID, but both of the drives were toast. Another time, one of our branch locations were hit by a tornado. The server was gone.

            Luckily, we used an external solution in the event something like this happened. What I use is a USB 2.0 external hard drive (Firewire will work, too). What I have right now is rather primitive since I have to manually copy the files I want to back up, but there are options to have your data backed up automatically. I store my external drive in a fire-proof safe (got it for $18 at Wal-Mart).

            First Recommendation:

            $380 HDD0: Seagate 400GB IDE or Serial ATA drive. The IDE one is about $350 and the Serial ATA one is about $375. If you have Serial ATA ports in your computer, I'd recommend using a SATA drive. This is the drive that will have 2 partitions. Partition 1: OS/Programs (a 40GB - 60GB is a good size); Partition 2: My Documents

            Seagate 400GB IDE HDD

            Seagate 400GB SATA HDD

            $380 + $40 HDD1: same as HDD0. This one will automatically back up My Documents on HDD0 with Iomega Automatic Backup ($40)

            Iomega Automatic Backup

            $355 + $20 External Drive: Automatically back up the My Documents partition on HDD0 with a Simpletech 400GB USB 2.0 drive. Fire-proof safe to store hard drive to be used in the event of a disaster such as a fire, tornado, flood (get a water-proof safe if you think you're in a flood area), computer power spike, etc.

            Simpletech 400GB External Hard Drive USB 2.0

            How much does this cost? A LOT! lol It would be around $1,200. I do have a cheaper alternative to use smaller drives such as 250GB or 300GB. I'll make another post with the alternative setup since this is such a long post.


            • #7
              Second Recommendation:

              $145 HDD0: Western Digital 250GB drive


              $145 + $40 HDD1: Same as HDD0 plus Iomega Automatic Backup

              Iomega Automatic Backup

              $225 External Drive: Maxtor One Touch II 250GB External Drive USB/Firewire


              Total Price: $555


              • #8
                Perosnally i would be careful backing up to DVD, they are not a lifetime storage solution as the dye does degrade in time, so make sure you make 2 copies and have one stored in some kind of sealed environment and place in a safe place.

                As far as backing up to another HD, the prices are dropping all the time.

                So with that said i would backup to DVD first as it is the best option financially and in time upgrade to a more suitable solution.

                Make sure you DONT store your pictures on a primary HD if you can help it, always store on an secondary device, for system failure purposes this should be a habit.

                Another solution could be Norton Ghost, this will allow you to make an image of a HD containing the pics and i beleive without too much research that it has a pretty good compression rate and you can then use Norton Ghost Explorer to pull off individual images as and when you need them without too much hassle. It allows you to make either an image direct to DVD or to another HD. If you need any further info on ghost compresion see this site


                • #9
                  when the tide comes in you'd still have the disk!

                  I was thinking how having a DVD would prevent catastrophic loss in the event of a hard drive failure when I read :
                  Perosnally i would be careful backing up to DVD, they are not a lifetime storage solution as the dye does degrade in time
                  Well I didn't know that... how long ?

                  It would still seem prudent to burn DVDS now and then.. Of course the problem in my case would be that the more recent photos would be strewn through all the different folders.. maybe not as likely for those doing commercial work .

                  a simple way I have been working around this is to run a search for all the photo extensions ..... .jpg ... .tiff ... .bmp etc. then have the computer arrange them by date... Burning only those since my last backup...

                  not a great way for sure as the photos are no longer organized..

                  I suppose space on the hard drive permiting .... I could duplicate my photo files, use the search method to delete all the older photos then burn the remaining to disk...


                  • #10
                    I was thinking how having a DVD would prevent catastrophic loss in the event of a hard drive failure when I read :
                    Perosnally i would be careful backing up to DVD, they are not a lifetime storage solution as the dye does degrade in time
                    Well I didn't know that... how long ?
                    Well the lifespan of a DVD in ideal conditions varies from brand to brand, but between 25- 250 yrs on average, so i guess as long as they are well looked after there shouldnt be a real problem, however later this year there will be a new format on the market called Blu Ray that has the ability to archive upto 50 gigs of data per disk - amazing - , but it will be a long time before DVD in general is pushed to the backshelf.


                    • #11

                      For archival and backup purposes it is usually suggested that you get discs from one of the Mitsubishi divisions (Verbatim, Imation, or Taiyo Yuden) and that you stick to the DVD-R standard because they hold up a little better.

                      --WARNING-- boring history of burnable discs follows

                      Mitsubishi was the company that initially developed the chemical that allows burnable discs to work, they also developed the -R standards (for both DVD and CD)...Anyone remember the good old days when there was rivalry between CD-R, CD+R, CD±R and CD R? Anyway, Mitsubishi does not license other companies to use as much of the material for their discs and as a result the Mitsubishi discs burn with fewer errors, and extend the life of the discs.