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Old Oct 23, 2006, 6:55 PM   #1
DJT
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Sorry, I didn't find the correct place to post this, unless there is non.

What does everyone else do for long term storage of their photos? Please explain?

I was currently keeping some on CD's, but learned that that isn't great for long term. I also had several hundred on an external drive - but it just stopped working. Thanks to PCInspector, my files are in the process of being transfered to my computer at the moment. Only took 38 minutes.

BTW- I recomend PCInspector File Recovery software - and the best part is that it's FREE. - Freeware.
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 7:03 PM   #2
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The best method is to have a mixture: keep everything on a hard drive if you can, and on at least two cds/dvds which you should check are still working on a regluar basis, say every six months at a minimum.
The discs should preferably of different brands, in case one type ends up having a shorter life than the other, and if possible they should be stored in different locations: say one at home and one at your brother's place, so there's still a back-up if there's a major disaster like your house burning down).
You could also keep copies of your best shots online somewhere (webhosting is cheap these days), and of course making fairly large prints (say 10x8) of as many of you favourites as you can means you still have the picture even if all the digital copies fail at once (which could even then be scanned in again).
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 7:40 PM   #3
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I'm abandoning my horrid system (again) and going a new route. With quality 250gb drives going for $67 on newegg.com I ordered two. I'll put one in my old desktop (now network server) and use it as my primary storage of everything. The other goes into a USB enclosure, I'll back up the whole thing to the external drive every couple weeks or more and probably keep it in my desk at work.

Now, if I had a better computer to start with (more drive bays and more power leads, primarily) I would buy a SATA Raid card and two or more drives. This setup saves your files to more than one drive at a time so your not too vulnerable to hardware failure, the problem is that its still vulnerable to data corruption/viruses/house fire type problems and due to the assumed large size of this array its hard to backup.

When my 250g drive fills up, I'll put it in an external enclosure (or just lose the cd-rom) and put a new bigger one in the computer (with an identical one again for backup). From what I've read, many of the external enclosures have trouble with heat if left on all the time. Thats why my primary drive will be internal, plus the better speed.

Even DVD's are WAY to small for backup. Its not hard to come up with 2gb of files in a day, sometimes double especially after editing.
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 2:12 PM   #4
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At the moment, a large hard drive (250GB plus) seem to offer the best bang for the buck. However, it is very important to realize, that no matter how you back up your photos, there is no method that is fail safe, so it is VERY important to have at least TWO copies of everything.
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 3:44 PM   #5
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maybe, get an external hard drive..

you can buy a 250 GB hard drive for around 50-80 dollars now..:-)its portable, you just use a USB connection.

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Old Oct 25, 2006, 9:43 AM   #6
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This is sort of on the same topic, but I was wondering if a firebox (fire proof safe or lock-box) that comes with a USB bypass. Meaning you could keep a USB harddrive in it, and have it locked thus creating a fire-proof hard-drive for the purposes of back-up?
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Old Oct 25, 2006, 11:34 AM   #7
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No. It would cook in there, not feasible. I doubt you'd find a good way to pass the cables, and I dont know that they provide enough protection for this type of electronics (or cd's etc).
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Old Oct 25, 2006, 11:50 AM   #8
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that's a good point, hard drive wouldn't last long without ventilation. Wouldn't suprise me if something like this turns up as flash memory technology evolves to a point where massive flash storge is affordable.
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Old Oct 27, 2006, 8:08 PM   #9
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I use two solutions.

I use removable drive "sleds" (www dot startech dot com, couldn't get link to work). You screw a 3.5 inch drive in a "sled". You can insert / remove the "sled" from the 5.25 inch bay hundreds of times, but you must shut down the PC before adding/removing the sled. Second, I use USB removable drives (don't need to shut PC down, but Linux might stop recognizing USB drives if you add / remove them too often in one session and then you would need to reboot). (I'm using Mandriva 10.0, Linux USB will get better with time.)

Either way, run them in pairs. A week and a half ago, one of the FAT tables got corrupted. I was lucky -- a $69 software utility got everything back. I should have taken my own advice. I'm going to run them in pairs from now on.

(I dual-boot XP and Linux, and sometimes run 98SE. For me, drives in USB enclosures must be below 128 GB and set up as FAT32 so that Linux, XP and 98se can all see them. Over 128 GB, the drive must have more than one partition and the drive must be in a "sled". And keeping track of Windows 'drive letters' is a royal pain.)

And if you only run the hard disks while backing up, I think they will last longer. From what I hear, you are smart not to trust DVD-R.

EDIT: And some of my photos and slides are still stored as photos + negatives and slides. Getting the money for a scanner to convert them is on my list though, believe me!

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Old Oct 28, 2006, 7:44 AM   #10
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I'm notto fancywith my backups. I have my photos on my laptop and desktop hard drives, plus an external hard drive, and on dvd, the dvd's I do keep in a fire safe. I don't knowhow well they will be protected in it, and hope I don't need to find out.I also havethem on my photo site, Smugmug in my case. They have them on 3 different servers and will make dvd backups of all my photos if needed. The photos I upload to smugmug are high res photos too, so I get back the same quality I have on my computer at home.
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