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Old Aug 7, 2006, 9:43 PM   #1
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I'll get to the point. I need to start gettting serious about backing up my photos.

Currently the method I use is two fold. P (pictures) drive is imaged every few nights to another local HD. This is where I get totally confused. I usually create a root folder that stores just enough for 1 CD then burn that CD. For example, folder 2005.1 =650MB so I burn that. 2005.2 etc. So now my questions.

Let's say I burned 2006.1 with 3 folders A,B,C which do not yet fill up a disc. Later on I want to backupmore of 2006.1 (A,B,C,D,E,F) which may or may not fill up disc.Doesthe CD burner software re-burnall the file in folders A,B,C ordoes it just burn the new folders D,E,F.

Also at some point I would like to "archive" my photos leaving just a thumbnail in it's place. I am currently using Microsoft Digital Image library but I don't like it. I don't know where the library file is etc. I would prefer something outside of proprietery software for archiving my photos.

It just alls seems so overwhelming. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Shouldn't I be using DVD instead?

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Old Aug 7, 2006, 10:46 PM   #2
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I can't answer your question specifically as I'm not sure how your software will handle what you are asking.

If I could suggest... Get "The DAM Book" by Peter Krogh. It's a nice start.

I read it as I began thinking about digital asset management, but for now I still beleive it's more work than what I need. However, I do take my backups seriously.

If you're interested, here's what I do:

First I shoot mainly sports. I create folders on a Drive by year:


Under the Year I create baseball, softball, football etc....

Under the sport, I create folders for tournaments under each tournament I create
a folder for each game... 080606_team1-team2-800pm

I use Retrospect (by EMC) to run my backups to a secondary drive.
I also burn DVD's and keep those off site. I can't afford to lose any data as I sell
all the images via on-line sales.

At one point I tried grouping my folders in 4gig bins so they'd fit on a DVD, but this
just didn't work well. I know just burn as much as can fit on a 8gig dual layer DVD and burn when I have 8gig worth of data.

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Old Aug 7, 2006, 10:54 PM   #3
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Just from experience......CD's & DVD's are very easy to corrupt &/or become unreadable (although, I still do DVD backups). Your best bet is either online or removable HD storage. The companies I work with use all 3 (in seperate, climate controlled locations) for critical data.
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Old Aug 8, 2006, 12:20 AM   #4
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Although you did not specify, it seems to me that you are burning the hard drive disk image onto the CD, and the disk image is being refreshed as new pictures are added. In this situation, the answer to your question:

"Doesthe CD burner software re-burnall the file in folders A,B,C ordoes it just burn the new folders D,E,F?"


it "re-burns all the files in folders A,B,C" plus the new folders D,E,F - because you are burning a disk image which is a single-file representation of the whole disk - and that includes all the original files and folders before the disk image is refreshed.

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Old Aug 8, 2006, 10:54 PM   #5
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If you use backup software it will only add what you haven't already burned. I think Nero has a function that does that but I've never had occasion to use it. I feel my external hard drive is sufficient backup until I can get a full CD, so I burn my archive photos disc at once and finalize the disk. It is supposed to be safer than multisession because you don't have transitions to get corrupted. Each session takes 15Mb of housekeeping space if you use multisession as well.

Backup software doesn't integrate the images. You have separate additions and the software can combine them into a single unit if you want it back on your HD. I don't like that approach and prefer keeping track myself and using multisession recording when I don't fill a disk with data. The XP burning software always uses multisession and most burning software anymore defaults to it. Multisession can be handy at times but I prefer burning an entire disk for photos.

Irfanview thumbnails is great for leaving a small thumbnail album of your CD on the computer. You can make the thumbnails larger so you can see what is on the images better. I use 200 pixels but you can go all the way to 600. You make a HTML file of the thumbnails. Put it in a separate folder and make sure to not have Irfanview save the originals. Irfanview defaults to saving the originals in the folder so make sure to disable it. I name the folder the same as the CD and it is easy to quickly scroll through and see what is on a CD without taking it out. But make sure to put it in a folder or your drive will be inundated with thumbnails. You just click on the HTML file to display them as a single large group of thumbs, but the folder has to contain all the thumbnails for the HTML to use. You can also make contact sheets of thumbnails with Irfanview, but I don't find that as good as HTML because you need multiple pages.

I've been burning CDs since 2X was the latest and greatest. I do experiment with error rates at given recording speeds for each media I use. I burn one on an archive grade Phthalocyanine gold CD and one on a cheapie Cyanine. I have never had a CD become unreadable after it checked out to begin with. Even the Cyanine based CDs hold up well. I have some in the changer in my old pickup that have been in the changer for years with no problems. And that is in the Florida heat and humidity.

The biggest factor in preserving CDs is keeping them in the dark. Put them away when you are through with them and they will last a long time. They need to be kept in the dark before you record to them as well as after.

DVD might be an easier option but I still have a good stock of archive quality gold CDs. You can't get that dye type on DVD and I feel safer with the CDs. I think they are all reliable though if you store them properly.

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