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How do you back up your files?
Old 02-13-2007, 09:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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No better time then now to bring up the subject of file backup. Bobby_G's misfortune should be a lesson for all. He is no doubt sweating bullets (sorry) over his guns and girls images he might lose. I' m sure his has other images on that drive that might be gone, like Terri, OMG! Well, it may be a good excuse to get her back in the studio again, but I'm sure he would rather have his drive and images all in one piece.

So, How do you backup? I have a dvd burner on one computer and need to put one on my home computer. Any one do anything different, like a raid? do you shoot and burn, or wait until you got an afternoon to kill and do it then?
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Re: How do you back up your files?
Old 02-13-2007, 10:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have an external Maxtor hard drive that I use to back up my important files. I can't live with out an external hard drive and it already saved my a** when my computer crashed a few months ago. I learned my lesson the hard way and lost everything...I've gotten smart since then and I purchased an external hard drive, which I recommend to everyone. I do plan on backing up my external hard drive to DVD's soon as I'm afraid that it will too sh*t the bed one day. Maybe I'll just get another external hard drive as a back up for my primary. Then I can back up my primary to my backup every 3 months. Yup, that sounds like a plan.
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Re: How do you back up your files?
Old 02-13-2007, 10:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This may be a bit of overkill, but I backup my main drive to an external USB drive. I backup the external USB drive to a second USB drive. When my drives get full I archive to CD by client which is usually about 2-3 times/year. The real question is how often.. I try to backup weekly which I'm not always consistent with, but if I do a big wedding or something like that I'll backup ASAP.
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Re: How do you back up your files?
Old 02-13-2007, 10:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm really getting a back up external hard drive after reading Bobby G's post. I'm afraid now because I had my external drive a few years.

Question: Should I turn my external HD off when I turn my computer off or should I keep it on 24/7?

Thanks
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Re: How do you back up your files?
Old 02-13-2007, 11:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I use an online backup program called Carbonite.

It watches for new and changed files and backs them up automatically, costs $50 a year and gives me unlimited storage. Only drawback is it only backs up the C: drive. Not a problem if you have a large enough drive though.

Basically my computer could be completely destroyed, house burned down, etc and my data is still tucked away safe.
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Re: How do you back up your files?
Old 02-13-2007, 11:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Have my computer programmed to back-up all new files to an external 160 Western Digital drive every morning at 2 a.m. while I sleep. On Friday night the daily external hard drive back-ups all files (old and new) to an external 300gig Seagate hard drive. In addition, every image from each job is burnt to DVD disks in their RAW format (normally I do this before I begin to edit the images).

Yep, I've been burnt by crashed drives...shoot now I even carry an external 120gig WD hard drive with my laptop just in case.

One thing I have invested in are cooling fans for my hard drives (both internal and external). Keep those babies cool and don't knock them around and they will last a long time.
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Re: How do you back up your files?
Old 02-13-2007, 11:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorbata View Post
I'm really getting a back up external hard drive after reading Bobby G's post. I'm afraid now because I had my external drive a few years.

Question: Should I turn my external HD off when I turn my computer off or should I keep it on 24/7?

Thanks
External drives make great backups but only if used properly. One of the first rules is that they should only be Powered on when you are backing up files or are restoring files from the drive. Do not make the mistake of using the drive for your usual post processing workflow. The main purpose of these drives, in my view, is for a good method of backup. Also note the warranty situation on the externals. They all come with just a 1 year warranty and yet if you buy a bare drive it will usually have a 3 to 5 year warranty.

I currently follow a fairly simply backup workflow that works very well. First I have 9 external drives in regular use. I buy them at Fry's Electronics and usually pay $80 for a 250gb drive (I buy on sale and with a rebate). I just bought another external last week for $150 (after rebate), but it is a 500gb unit. Now for the workflow:

1. Copy photos from CF card to a folder on my main computer. This is an automated step using Downloader PRO from Breezesys. It creates folders, renames images using **** data, etc.
2. Put the CF card aside, but I do not erase the images.
3. Load a browser (I use BreezeBrowser or Bridge) and take a fast look a the images to confirm a good copy to the main hard drive.
4. Repeat step 2 and 3 until all CF cards are copied to the main computer hard drive.
5. Burn DVD's of these newly created folders (usually aiming for about 4gb per DVD. But if I don't have enough to fill the DVD, I still burn the DVD(s).
6. Make a copy of the newly created folder and contents to an external Hard Drive which I power on at that time.
7. Do step #3 again, but this time on the folders newly copied to he external Hard Drive.
8. Power down the external hard drive.

So now I have three copies of each RAW file.

I then periodically find that I'm running out of space on the main Computer's hard drive (really the second drive on that computer). I then move the least used photo folders to a second External Hard drive. I then confirm by browser (#3) that the copy looks good. I then erase those folders from the main hard drive.

I keep the DVD copies off premises. I generally keep the External hard drives in another room of the house. When one of the external drives is near full, I then replicate it to a new external hard drive and move the full drive off premises as the permanent backup which now joins the DVDs so that their are two permanent backups of each file off site.

None of the external drives are ever on except when being used. That will extend their lifespan greatly. I learned this the hard way, but keeping my first two externals which I bought a number of years ago online all the time. They both failed within one year of continuous use (naturally I had backups).

I also use a similar procedure for other types of files. For my web design and SEO projects, I use not only the DVD and external hard drives, but I make archives of the files for each project on the actual server (which is remote to my location). I do incremental backups of these as complete project copies for each backup (each copy is independent and can be used to fully restore the project to its state at the time of the backup).

Anyway, this may be overkill, but I never lose any data.

You can also buy your own external cases, and then bare hard drives and build your own external drives. This will give you a full warranty on the drive which is usually what will fail. You can now find external hard drive bay systems that have 8 slots and each slot will hold a 500gb drive and can be run in RAID if desired. But since RAID is not really a backup strategy, I still prefer the separate externals which give you more flexibility of off site storage. Do not be fooled into thinking that a RAID system in your computer is a backup. Think about it and you'll see why!

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: How do you back up your files?
Old 02-14-2007, 12:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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When it comes to backups, overkill is just about right. I keep a copy of each session on DVD. My wife is a sysadmin so we have a server in the house, which I backup to also. And my final production work all goes to SMUGMUGs server also.

Oh yeah, and it is on my desktop too.
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Re: How do you back up your files?
Old 02-14-2007, 12:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm glad to see that I'm not paranoid.
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Re: How do you back up your files?
Old 02-14-2007, 12:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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As my Austrailian Cattle Dog would say, "Your only paranoid if they are not out to get you!"
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