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Old Oct 22, 2008, 3:06 PM   #1
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Hi everyone - I'm contemplating my options for backups for mypicture storage. Right now I have my jpgs backed up on our webhost, which allows unlimited storage. This all sounds good, but have you ever tried to upload 30 or 40 gb's over the internet. It takes days even on a DSL.

Cd's do not hold enough, but I have the option now of using DVD's as my new computer has a DVD read/write drive. My RAWS are about 10mb's each, so I should be able to put abunch on each DVD. I think the DVD's are 4.7 gb's each. I also have everything backed up on a second hard drive in my computer. The problem with hard drives is they tend to be near your computer, even a USB external, you may forget to put it away and then your burglarized or something.

So anyway, I guess at this point I'm leaning toward the DVD option with the backups stored elsewhere then near my computer. That way I can pop them in if needed and look at the pictures. The off site thing, you have to re-download them and this takes some time.

Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing all the ideas and ways everyone else has come up with to solve this important task - Bruce

BTW: I just did a newalbum for my wildflowers using what is called jablum software. It's free and I am very happy with it. It runs on Java. Here is a link to my new page and a link to jalbumis at the bottom of it. They actually allow you to host on there server for free, but I have mine on our server.
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Old Oct 22, 2008, 3:26 PM   #2
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I believe there is a thread here on this very subject but, I will answer it with my thoughts.

Backing up your files is done in many different ways but pretty much in the way you have described.

Using DVD's is a good option making two copies. One for easy access and another stored somewhere away from you. Perhaps even on the opposite coast. This would be done in case of disaster or theft. Online is nice but if your server or host is no longer available due to reasons that keep them from being a solvent business, it may not be as good an option.

External hard drives are becoming less in expense lately and could also be a viable option.


There are those who archived their earlier work on CD's and are no longer readable.

There are varying degrees of quality with DVD's so degradation is something to be aware of. They are not as impervious or destruction proof as first advertised. Depending on your comfort level you may want to back up your back ups on newer DVD's and technology as it becomes more mainstream.

Hope this helps,

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Old Oct 22, 2008, 3:28 PM   #3
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well i have my pictures on my pc, about once a month i just copy my whole picture folder first onto a 100Gb western digital passport portable usbhard drive which is self powered and quite small, i dont keep this with my computer. then i copy my whole pics folder onto one of my external 500Gb drives. its a twin drive caddy that sits on my disk the whole time. so thats 3 copies altogether

for my old family photos and stuff i would be heartbroken to lose, as well as being on the 3 hard drives, i also have at least 3 copies on dvds which are kept in seperate places around the house, may sound like overkill to have 6 copies but i know id be heartbroken to lose my old family pics, and dvds are so cheap i think its worth it.
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Old Oct 22, 2008, 7:58 PM   #4
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Once my Picture taking Is done. I Download the Pictures to My PC. I leave the pictures on the card, And replace that card with a different one in the Camera.

I now have them in Two places. After i PP the pictures they are Left on the PC, backed up to a 500G ext drive and then Burned To DVD. At this point i Put the Original card in the camera and Format It.

Every few years i re-burn all the picture to a New DVD. And the older one is now a second set of DVDs that i Keep at my moms house.

Hope this Helps

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Old Oct 22, 2008, 10:28 PM   #5
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I was keeping a copy of all my photos on CD's stored in a safety deposit box. That got too small so now there is one copy of each CD on the storage shelf in my computer room....one copy of each in a fire and water proof safe at my house...one copy at my daughter's house. My PC gets cleaned of photos once a month and the new CD's are stored as described above. I'm seriously considering an external high gig hard drive as they are not that expensive now. This would give me a quicker access to the photos than the CD's allow. Oh Yeah...I don't do raw very much and the CD's will store more than 700 camera files in Jpeg so CD's still rule...Just use high quality ones. Over 80,000 from my K10D and that many at least from my Kodak DX6490.

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Old Oct 27, 2008, 10:42 PM   #6
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Having lost a hard drive once already and hadthree uselesssets of backup of my 20+ years of genealogy research I feel you can never have too many backups.

My genealogy backups on four different floppies was useless until I got to the last copy. These were kept in my fireproof box in my home. I realize floppies are prone to problems, but that was the only way back then. HDD were just too expensive.

I currently have my photos, documents, e-mails (12 years worth)and programs downloadedon one HDD in the computer, a second copy on an external drive by my computer, a third copy on a portable HDD, that I try to keep away from the computer and my laptop and a fourth copy on my laptop. I do keep meaning to put them on DVD and taking them in to work or some place away from home. I'm going to regret one day that I haven't done that yet. But, knowing CD's and DVD's don't last forever have hesitated figuring how best to do this.

Looking forward to hearing how others deal with this.


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Old Oct 28, 2008, 12:25 AM   #7
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I currently use a storage solution called the Drobo, or data robot. It's a data storage solution that operates much like a RAID (if you know corporate computer terminology), where you store your data on multiple hard drives. With the Drobo, you simply put any SATA hard drive purchased off-the-shelf into it and you instantly have storage.

When you have 2 or more drives in the Drobo, the magic really happens. First off, adding more than 2 drives means the Drobo will have more storage capacity; I currently have 3 500GB drives in it, which gives me about 1TB of storage. Why not 1.5TB you ask? Well, it automatically backs up data on the drive to the other drives, providing redundancy in case a drive fails. If one drive fails, you simply pop it out and put in a new one; Drobo automatically places a backup into that hard drive. Because of this redundancy, you don't get the full capacity of 3 drives, but you get piece of mind for your data.

I use the Drobo in combination with a feature of Apple's 10.5 operating system, called Time Machine. Time Machine backs up my data onto an external hard drive (this being the Drobo) automatically, and also allows me to selectively restore files from the past.

So, Time Machine backs up my photos over to the Drobo, giving me a backup copy in case my Mac dies. Furthermore, the Drobo backs up my backup to the other drives it has, so I have redundant backup.

The weak link in this backup solution is that it's all housed in one location. It's also not cheap; $349 for just 1st generation Drobo, which doesn't include any drives. However, hard drives have come down a LOT recently; you can get 500GB drives for $70 nowadays! For me, Time Machine and Drobo provide a great automated and upgradable backup solution.

Check out Drobo in action: http://www.drobo.com/

- Jason
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Old Oct 28, 2008, 10:00 AM   #8
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I know I should be more careful about backups, but I'm pretty casual. Whenever I think of it, I back up the "My Picutres" folder onto an external hard drive, which sits all of 12 inches from my PC. Then, even less often, I copy the photos onto DVDs, which i store in a different location. The biggest problem with my system is thatit can sometimes be many months between my backup activities.
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Old Oct 28, 2008, 2:49 PM   #9
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I already replied in an earlier post, but since then my workflow has changed a bit, so here an update.


sd-card -> copy images to external disk -> temp folder

prune the images using FastStone Image viewer (very fast raw format viewer, free for not professionall use - so good I even bought it) , if I delete to many I still have the sd-card to get them back.

Move the keepers to the dir where I keep them.
I've got a simple dir structure

then go to my image database (IMATCH), import the images and with a macro change the name of the image to "YYYYMMDD_HHMM_imagename.*" the date time comes from the exif data.
(all extra metadata [where what who ...] is added with categories in the db, only this isn't something that I always do the same day)

Later I make a copy from all the changed images, and database to a network drive.

For the copy itself I'm using Synckback SE, this program scans both the source and destination, and only copies the changed files, and I've got it set up so that it makes 3 backup versions on the destination if their are changes. (the backupversions are simple copies with a timestamp, this makes it real simple to find an older version without having to run some exotic restore program)

Then I've got a flickr account where I place the images that are processed into jpg's. Not all are visible.

I've also got a hardcopy of the images in blurb books (just started). Not the quality to get the images back when something would go wrong with the digital stuf, but great to keep your memories save.

When I look over the workflow it seems timeconsuming but the biggest work is the pruning the rest is just a few clicks.

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