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Old Jan 9, 2009, 5:15 AM   #11
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Get an external hard drive and use it to store but also make a copy on CD-R media and store them off site. Never know when fire or other disaster will take them away from you. If you re-copy every 4-5 years on CD-R's then they should be good. Also use a good burning program to do it and they will last even longer...Windows is better at it now but still sub-par. You can go the extra mile and use an archival quality CD but they do cost more.

Here is a good one to look at. http://www.delkin.com/products/archivalgold/cdr.html

Dawg
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Old Jan 9, 2009, 6:48 AM   #12
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Another thing I learned the hard way about CD-RW's is they aren't always readable in every drive. I had put a presentation I was giving on one and when I got to the place and tried to read it, theircomputer couldn't read it. Haven't used them since. Luckily that day I had time to run home and burn another copy onto a CD-R.

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Old Jan 11, 2009, 1:27 AM   #13
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It's most likely a bit over the top but I backup my everything on my macbook to one external hard drive, and just images to another hard drive as well.
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 12:08 AM   #14
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Couple of things to keep in mind here.


1. The quality of the media does play a role. However, super expensive media like some of the discs made with gold aren't worth the money. Just make sure and don't go cheap and stick to a good brand (not really a name brand like Maxell, but a good brand). http://www.cdfreaks.com has some good information in the forums on media. Tayo Yuden (spelling?) seems to be the favorite.

2. The quality of your burner and how it writes is also important. A quality recorder will analysis the media as it writes and adjust the laser and recording speed accordingly. Over the last 7 or so years I have never had a disc fail that was burned on a Plextor drive. This is not to say that other drives don't do this, but many do not.

3. DO NOT confuse consumer burnable discs with commerically pressed discs. While the look very similar and they hold the same amount of data they are two very different beasts and it is this difference that is the problem. Commercial discs have the data pressed in to the recording layer, which is a different material from the consumer burnable discs which not only uses a different material for the recording layer the data is stored by altering a dye on the recording layer. This makes it much more susecptable to failer. Also, commerical discs have a much more substancive protection over the data layer than the consumer burnable discs, they also use two different materials. In just about every way possible with the exception of storage capacity consumer burned discs are inferior to the commerically pressed ones.

4. CDs/DVDs/BDs (Blu-Ray) are fine for short term storage. And since have data stored to commerically pressed discs is far too expensive the really only decent option for longer term storage is a hard drive. Myself I back up to two 1TB drives. One I have hooked to my system all of the time and the second one is connected 4 times a year to sync up my backup. Other than that it sits unconnected and unpowered the rest of the time. This is not to say that hard drives are permanant, but more permanant than anything else we have at this time.

5. Digital files do not degrade, your files didn't go bad. The media that those files were stored on went bad and degraded. If we have 100% permanent storage digital files would last forever without a since bit of lost data. However, as one said by one poster in this world were everything is dispossible any close to really true long term storage just isn't going to happen and because of this in 15 to 25 years the world will enter a digital darkage where most of us will find our digital photos, videos, music, movies, etc. are lost. It is only a matter of time. The effort and cost required to do constant backups is just too great.

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Old Jan 13, 2009, 6:42 AM   #15
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Sorry to say but I never had any succes with recovering cd's.

That and the reason that their lifetime isn't what I wanted made me switch over to usb drives.

Maybe not really the place to rant but: the way I've got it set up now is
  • original usb disk - images + lightroom catalog[/*]
  • network disk - contains an image of the original disk, and the 2 last versions of the image if processed, or deleted. (at home)
    [/*]
  • extra usb disk - copy of the network disk. (at home)[/*]
  • extra usb disk - more of less the same image as the network disk (at work)[/*]
for copying the images/ backing I'm using syncback se this program makes a clean copy, and if the images are changed will keep as many backupversions of the image with the datetime added in front of the image on another drive.

---------------------

when making backups of images
  • keep it simple, if you can do it with one click of a button, or scedule it you are going to be more inclined to do it regularly.[/*]
  • don't use any specific backup system that has it's own file system on the other side, if you have to install a special program to retrieve your data you will have problems. (ex no windows backup)[/*]
  • check if the backup works/exists and you can get your images back.[/*]
I know it doesn't help but I just wanted to show another way of doing it.
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 9:30 AM   #16
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The USB drives look interesting especially since you can get 1 or 2GB units for $3.00 each these days. May concern with these is there have been no long term tests done to see if the data will survive 3, 5, 10 years etc. without them being powered on. Hard drives have been around long enough to know how they do long term without being used.

With luck however, the USB drives will turn out to be just as stable.

Robert
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 1:46 PM   #17
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Hey everyone,

Just my 2 cents.

I'm an archive nut!

I just recently copied all the digital images I had amassed over the past 15 years & re-burnt them to two sets of DVD-Rs. (48 DVD-Rs in each set.)

As I burnt each DVD, I checked that each DVD-R was readable in both my laptop & desktop computer. That way, even if my laptop died, chances are I'd be able to read it in my desktop. (If it was only readable in one machine, I threw the DVD-R away and burned that disk again.)

One set is currently sitting at my parents.

The 2nd set is at my wife's work.

And I still have a complete copy on an external USB drive (500gig) sittingbehind my computer for immediate access.

Two DVD-R sets, just in case one goes bad & both off-site just in case (knock on wood) something happens to my house.

My sister asked me how long the DVD-Rs would last. I said maybe eight years. But chances are that some new recording medium would be coming out soon (Blueray?) And when I can afford that writeable drive, I'll just copy all my DVD-Rs to that new medium and their life expectency would start new from that date. Hopefully well before the DVD-Rs are at risk of dying.

My vain attempt at passing down our family photo album to my daughters.

My next project in this series is to start scanning in my parents photos and writing down some of my families history. (If I scan in the pictures and archive as above, I can make copies for my two sisters as well. <grin>)

Take care,
Glen



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Old Jan 13, 2009, 4:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
My next project in this series is to start scanning in my parents photos and writing down some of my families history. (If I scan in the pictures and archive as above, I can make copies for my two sisters as well. <grin>
I did that Glen for my brother and sister, my nieces and nephews, my eleven grandchildren and even a set for my great grandson. Worth every bit of effort!

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Old Jan 13, 2009, 4:50 PM   #19
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Achieving a modicum of success recovering CDROMs using IsoBlaster but the 'saving grace' is still having my old Teac CDROM which seems to read CDs where others have failed.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 2:44 AM   #20
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Glad to hear all is not lost
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