Monday, February 15, 2010

Backing up is hard to do

Backing up is hard to do

Years ago, there was a popular song entitled “Breaking up is hard to do”.  Many believe that backing up is hard to do too.  However, if you do not back up, there is a day when you might lose critical and irreplaceable data.  It might be pictures, files, memos, or financial data.   An old saying states, “it isn’t if your hard drive will fail but when will your hard drive fail”.  If you have used technology for any length of time, there is no doubt either you or someone you know lost important files due to a drive crash. 

This might be the flash drive on your cell/smart phone or the hard drive on your laptop/desktop computer but hard drives crash and take valuable information with them.  Many folks use their smartphone as a camera and it contains important images and small videos.  Backing these files up are critical too.  Do not keep weeks or months worth of images on your smartphone without backing the files up to your computer or other online storage method. 

As a photographer, I use many different steps to avoid losing data.

  1. After the event, I immediately move the files to my hard drive
  2. The flash card is stored in a safe until the files are processed and backed up in two other locations.
  3. I do not reuse the card until the files are processed and backed up.  Flash cards are very affordable now and there is no reason to reuse a card until the files are backed up in multiple places. 
  4. I use backblaze as one of my backup solutions.
  5. A second online backup of my work is via my smugmug account, which hosts all of my images and serves as the portal for my printing.

Once the images are processed and backed up on a remote server, I burn a DVD of the images. 

Using two local hard drives and local backup software is another solution to the backup issue.  Many photographers use a DROBO for their local and remote storage needs.  Many different solutions can fill an entire book and web site and in future posts we will discuss rescue software and other solutions.  

Whichever method you select, do not neglect backing up your precious photos and other files.

“dr Frank”

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