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Old Aug 8, 2011, 1:28 PM   #1
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Default Storing Pics

I'm a relative newbie and just finished my 1st formal class on photography. As a result, I'm going to be taking more pics in "Raw" format which will use up more disk space. I also just purchased "Lightroom 3" to organize and maintain my files.

I also purchased a book by Scott Kelby who recommends that one store their photos on an external hard drive if they use a laptop as I do. Thus, I am shopping for an external drive. Recommendations?
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Old Aug 8, 2011, 1:51 PM   #2
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I see Staples has a special on a 2 TB Western Digital My Book right now: http://www.staples.com/Western-Digit...duct-nr_906287 I use a somewhat older My Book, and find it perfectly adequate. FWIW
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Old Aug 8, 2011, 2:22 PM   #3
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You may also want to look at burning your files to DVD and then storing off site as well.

This will protect you better against losing your pictures should the external hard drive fail.

The the storing the DVDs off-site separates the originals (the copies on your external hard drive) from the back-up (The DVDs stored off-site.)

Take care, Glen
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Old Aug 8, 2011, 4:08 PM   #4
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Right now, I use the laptop hard drive as my primary and I have a USB backup drive that I keep at my office after I back up the files at home. I think I am going to get another USB drive as my primary drive and keep using the other USB drive as my back up. I do appreciate the need to keep the backups away from the source.
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Old Aug 8, 2011, 5:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outhouse View Post
I'm a relative newbie and just finished my 1st formal class on photography. As a result, I'm going to be taking more pics in "Raw" format which will use up more disk space. I also just purchased "Lightroom 3" to organize and maintain my files.

I also purchased a book by Scott Kelby who recommends that one store their photos on an external hard drive if they use a laptop as I do. Thus, I am shopping for an external drive. Recommendations?
What laptop model do you have? If it's got USB 3.0 ports (some newer models do), or has an ExpressCard slot so you can add USB 3.0 ports to it, I'd probably go with a USB 3.0 attached drive for faster transfer speeds compared to USB 2.0 attached drives.

If you want a smaller 2.5" drive that's bus powered (versus a larger 3.5" external drive requiring an A/C Adapter for power) that you can easily carry with you, I'd probably look at something like this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136838

But, if you just want to use external drives for backup purposes, I'd probably buy a docking station like one of these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...E&PageSize=100

Then, use bare SATA drives in it for backups. I use bare drives in a BlacX docking station for backups. That makes it easy to swap between multiple drives using the same docking station, and bare drives are usually less expensive compared to buying drives already in enclosures, too. For example, the latest WD and Seagate 3.5" Green Drives are down to around $40/Terabyte now if you buy their 2TB size drives. Examples (under $80 each for 2TB Drives now):

WD:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002ZCXK0I/

Seagate:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004CCS266/

Then, just plug one into a USB Attached docking station when you want to backup the images from your laptop's drive. Personally, I'd suggest making a full disk image backup so that you have your operating system and programs, too. That way, in the event of a drive failure, you can simply replace your laptop's drive and restore everything from the backup image (including the OS and Programs you use).

I'd keep a backup drive off site somewhere, too (grab two drives and rotate them so that you have a copy that's not too old off site in case of fire, theft, flood or other problems that could destroy your primary backup).

But, I'd let members know what ports your laptop has available for better responses. For example, if it's got eSATA ports, but no USB 3.0 ports, you may want to go with eSATA attached drives or enclosures (since they'll be faster than USB 2.0 attached drives).

But, if your only ports are USB 2.0, I'd probably get a USB 3.0 attached drive, docking station, or drive enclosure (since faster USB 3.0 devices will still work with slower USB 2.0 ports, and you may get a newer computer later down the road that has USB 3.0 ports, since USB 3.0 is a newer standard).
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Old Aug 8, 2011, 6:02 PM   #6
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I use these Seagate drives. They are external, with docking station. Super convenient and easy to swap out.

http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/pro...op-hard-drive/

I got 3 to rotate, so I'm able to keep a docking station both at home and at work.

But using external hard drives as your only back-up makes your files venerable to virus attack. Once you have that hard drive hooked up to your laptop and it happens to be infected, it may erase those files. (That happened to a family friend. She lost the first two years of pictures of her daughter growing up. And she had virus protection software on her computer.) I only mention this because it would be a shame for it to happen to anyone else.

DVD is less venerable to virus attack, especially if you lock the DVD when burning it.

Take care, Glen
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Old Aug 8, 2011, 8:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outhouse View Post
I'm a relative newbie ...

I also purchased a book by Scott Kelby who recommends that one store their photos on an external hard drive if they use a laptop ...
Hmm, before jumping into recommending multiple, removable hard drives, etc, could we get a bit more background? How deeply do you see yourself getting into photography? A couple dozen pictures a month? A couple dozen a day? If the former, your laptop *may* have enough internal storage--depending on when you expect to replace it. If the latter, multiple big, fast, external drives are likely to be necessary.

Craig
BTW, did the Kelby book explain WHY they recommend an external drive?
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Old Aug 8, 2011, 10:40 PM   #8
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Let me first say thanks in advance for your help. As to what I have: I have a Dell Studio laptop that is about a year old. It has Win 7 and the CPU is a "Intel i5 M520 @ 2.4". It has a 450 gig hard drive that is about 1/3rd full. I am a CPA by trade and about a year ago, I started doing some accounting at home for a couple clients to make up for lost pay from my day job.

As to my photos and habits, I have close to 6,000 photos currently but until recently, I shot photos in jpeg format. After taking my 1st photo class recently, I'm going to start shooting in Raw and I'm sure I will see disk space starting to drain. I take pics in spurts and when I do, I'll shoot several hundred at a time. I live in the South and it is simply too hot to ponder going out and shooting a bunch of pics just after finishing my class. Heat indexes are running 110-115 at the present.

I cannot tell what USB ports I have. One of them does say esata next to it. I also have a firewire port. I have currently 3 USB ports. One is used by my wireless keyboard, one by my printer and the other is unused at the present although I do sync my iPhone, iPad and iPod to it periodically.
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Old Aug 8, 2011, 11:00 PM   #9
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I've been using CDs and DVDs to store my pictures on. Recently I've had reason to go back to some of my original files and discovered that a few of the CDs and DVDs had become corrupted, even though they aren't scratched or anything. Also, I wanted a better catalog for my files, so I bought an Express eSATA card for my MacBook Pro laptop, a Voyager Q docking station and a couple of bare eSATA drives and copied what I could from the CDs and DVDs.

I've also started Lightroom catalogs for the drives, keywording things so that it will be easier to retrieve something. When I first started taking pictures I never dreamed that anyone at work would ever want to use any of my photos but a couple of people have asked for some of them. All of a sudden it's become important for me to not lose the old stuff, and I'm now sorry I didn't keep two back-ups of everything.

The thing about it is that CDs and DVDs don't last forever. Hard drives can crash or get corrupted (like when there's a power outage right when the drive is in the process of deleting something - made the drive unreadable). So there really isn't a single fool-proof way of protecting your files. I'm now choosing both hard drive and DVD, though storing the many DVDs is becoming a problem - I'm thinking now of going with multiple hard drives.

I've used eSATA, USB2 and firewire. There's no way I would want to go back to USB for large files or backing up my computer (the firewire drive is used for Time Machine). I still use USB drives for some things - since I use Lightroom, I export the pictures in .tif format onto a USB drive, then do any final resizing/editing and save to jpg. I usually end up with 3 files of the better pictures - the raw original, the intermediate tiff file and the final jpg. They are kept on different drives. I wasn't all that interested in keeping the tiff files, but have been very grateful a couple of times when the original file was corrupted or when I had done a lot of changes in Lightroom to a file and didn't want to re-do it all.
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Old Aug 9, 2011, 2:39 AM   #10
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Alright here is my two cents from working at Staples as an EasyTech and being a Computer Administrator for over five years.

Here is the best recommended setup I have for storing important files/photos.

1.) You can use your primary hard drive in your computer to store files, but i strongly suggest you do not. Editing photos, saving them, moving them, all lead to fragmentation which will degrade the performance of the computer since the computer has to use more time "finding" all the pieces of the files. Instead use the computer just for editing and printing of the photos, not storage. My laptop has an Intel 80GB solid state hard drive i use for editing photos, which after using, i never want to go back to a standard hard drive.

2. Depending on budget, purchase two external hard drives, and keep identical backups on both, in case one suffers from failure (they will, it's an electronic device with moving parts made by humans, it will fail, only problem is that it could be 12 months or 12 years after purchase)

3. Store your portfolio (best photos) on a DVD, and a flash drive 16GB or 32GB preferably.

4. Make monthly backups to DVD and store them away from the other backups in case of Fire, Flood, or other natural disaster (safe deposit box at a bank works)
When i say make monthly backups, that means all of the photos you shot in that month, you never know when you are going to want to go back and revisit some of those photos. Depending on how many photos you are taking, dual-layer discs may be of interest since they hold 8.5GB of data instead of the standard 4.7GB. However these will cost more

Always (if you can) store your files as 16-bit TIFF images since they have the highest color bit depth, and give you the largest room of freedom if you decide to make edits. Also printing with TIFFS will usually result in better quality.

My setup is as follows
Laptop used for editing with an 80GB Intel solid-state hard drive

2 Seagate 1TB portable hard drives with identical backups (also on these backups is a complete system image of the laptop, so if the laptop drive crashes, i can reinstall on a new hard drive without having to reinstall the OS, programs, and files)

2 16GB flash drives used for Portfolio backups

And countless DVD's

Last edited by tswen; Aug 9, 2011 at 2:44 AM.
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