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Old Mar 13, 2008, 1:21 PM   #1
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A lot of people have been asking me how I store my high volume of digital photos that I take. So I thought I would share my system and let others add there own tips and systems here.



In the past I was using CD binder sheets and various 3 ring binders but the binder always broke at the spine after 5 to 6 months and several of the high use CDs/DVDs can and have been scratched from going in and out of the sheets on a daily to weekly use.



In 2006 I got a router and a 2 position Netgear storage central unit. I original got it with 2 300GB hard drives that were upgraded to 2 500GB hard drives with the 2 500GB hard drives being sold to a cousin of mine. Now that the first drive is filled it is being stored in USB external hard drive enclosure and I have put in a 1TB hard drive to replace that.



The second drive in the netgear is used as a system backup drive.



Each CD/DVD that I create is also represented on the netgear hard drive as a separate folder with the same name and photo/folder structure. I like the netgear device because I can use it wirelessly with my laptop and the ability change out drives easily when they become filled.



My hard copies are stored on CDs or DVDs in slim colored Jewel Cases. I use 5 different colors plus the plain black ones. Each color represents a different subject matter that I normally cover in my photos (such as county photos, fire department, government, events, personnal stuff (such as family, weddings/misc)



The discs are stored in 2 of the following storage units away from direct light and heat vents. The first one is 90% filled and the second one 20%





http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/164170/Vaultz-CD-Cabinet-15-x-14/





I also have a couple of sets of these dividers to help me more quickly find the photo discs.



http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/893312/Vaultz-CD-File-Folders/



One last step that I do is keep an MS Word document that has the titles of every CD/DVD with the subfolders, contents of the disc listed under it. The titles of the discs go in bold 14 point type and the folders go in plain 10 point type. The list id 30 pages long and with the ability to search with MS word helps me find things faster.



As for media. I try to use Memorex media DVD-R and CD-R whenever possible. I also try to fill the DVDs as much as possible to cut down on the number of discs I have to store in the long run. If I do a sepecific subject on a repeat basessuch as county government I use volume numbers for the discs and fill a full disc before moving onto the next disc. I also have used DVD+R DL Verbatim discs for holding TV shows I wanted to save and be able to watch on my laptop (also coverted them to mpeg4 movie files to save space).



Hope this helps someone out there better handle the task of backing up, keeping track and storing your priceless photos for many years to come.


dave
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Old Mar 15, 2008, 12:40 PM   #2
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Photo 5 wrote:
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In the past I was using CD binder sheets and various 3 ring binders but the binder always broke at the spine after 5 to 6 months and several of the high use CDs/DVDs can and have been scratched from going in and out of the sheets on a daily to weekly use.
I agree completely about the binder sleeves. The surface of the disks can be easily damaged, and sliding them in and out of the sleeves can cause wear, especially if the sleves aren't perfectly clean.

Jewel cases are a much better choice, but storing a lot of jewel cases can be a problem too. The spindles that disks come on can also be used, but repeatedly removing and replacing the disks from the spindle can cause the center holes to wear. This would result in the holes being off-center and spinning irregularly in a drive.

This is a fairly remote possibility, but still, spindles should only be used for disks that are needed infrequently.
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Old Apr 21, 2008, 2:23 AM   #3
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Prices for External Drives are getting less and less expensive nowadays. I recently got a 500GB external drive for less than $150. It uses a USB cable and can be hooked up to any computer. That is my main and permanent back up, not only for photos but for the main computer and music as well.

Then, I use DVDs/CDs to copy what I often like to view. If it scratches, I still have my main back up to make another one.

That external drive goes into a fire/water resistant safe box for storage when not in use.
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Old Apr 21, 2008, 8:09 AM   #4
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htt_hou, I hope you've done your homework on the safe. Although most safes say they're fire resistant, that just means that paper won't catch fire after a certain time or a certain heat level. That usually doesn't mean than an external USB drive, such as the Western Digital My Book essentials (We use 2 - 500 Gb. external drives) will likely survive under those conditions. We did a lot of research, as we shot about 40 - 50 Gb. a week, and needed a more permanent solution (We're looking at Blu-Ray DVD burners, 50 Gb. ona single disk, prices are under $400). And, although we do have a home safe that we purchased from our local Wal*Mart, it won't protect our external drives; we use it exclusively for our important papers. Just a thought.
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Old Apr 21, 2008, 8:41 AM   #5
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I am starting to look at the Blue Ray drives myself..... but according to the drive specs the processor has to be 3Ghz or greater unless I read that wrong and neither my older desktop or my current laptop will support that.

Recently I have beenshoting about 25GB a month and March is one of the two busiest month for me so I might shot closeer to 65GB next month (with multi large scale events and graduations happening)

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Old Apr 21, 2008, 10:22 AM   #6
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Last minute 2008 senior portraits, combined with prom, graduations, and senior portraits for 2009 and we'll fill up what space we currently have available. The writer I'm looking at: LiteOn LH-2B1S 2X Internal Blu-ray Disc Triple Writer Serial ATA Drive says it only needs a P4, 2.0 Ghz CPU. Although, we'd be fine on the 3.0 Ghz. that you mentioned. And, from Amazon.com, it's priced at $360, down from it's initial price of $580. We might have to really consider this really soon!
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Old Apr 21, 2008, 11:58 AM   #7
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Sounds like you have found a winner for your system. I will have to look at this one myself and see if it will work with my older desktop or my laptop. I still have my desktop but only use once in a bluemoon. What I need to find is a model that will work internal or external with my laptop [Durabook, Windows XP Pro, 3GB Ram, Genuine Intel(r) CPU [email protected] 1.60GHz]

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Old Apr 21, 2008, 4:44 PM   #8
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ntt_hou wrote:
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Prices for External Drives are getting less and less expensive nowadays. I recently got a 500GB external drive for less than $150. It uses a USB cable and can be hooked up to any computer. That is my main and permanent back up, not only for photos but for the main computer and music as well.
External hard disk drives are the least reliable backup medium available. They have more connectors and interfaces than any other device, any of which can fail even if you don't drop it. ... or put it in a fire proof safe. Fire proof safes are ony certified to keepthe internal temperature below 451°F (the temperature at which paper will burn) for at least 20 minutes (or whatever the safe is rated at.) PVC, used as insulation on wires and ribbon cables, melts at 176°F (lower than the temperature of boiling water), so your external hard disk drive will be a mass of melted plastic well before your important papers start burning.
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Old Apr 22, 2008, 12:58 AM   #9
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TCav the hard drive that I use as one of my two backups for all my photos is stored in a netgear storage central device and connected to a wireless router that allows me to access the drive on my laptop anywhere in the house or the yard for that matter. Its a 1TGB seatgate drive. My computer consultant recommends only seagate drives and set me up with the netgear 2 years ago. I also have backups on DVDs/CDs because like you said drives can fail.....

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Old Apr 22, 2008, 7:15 AM   #10
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Photo 5 wrote:
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TCav the hard drive that I use as one of my two backups for all my photos is stored in a netgear storage central device and connected to a wireless router that allows me to access the drive on my laptop anywhere in the house or the yard for that matter. Its a 1TGB seatgate drive. My computer consultant recommends only seagate drives and set me up with the netgear 2 years ago. I also have backups on DVDs/CDs because like you said drives can fail.....
What you are doing is, at the very least, far better than most.

Good luck.
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