Backing up pictures

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ewhite11, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. ewhite11

    ewhite11 TPF Noob!

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    I am new to the forum and I own a laptop and I am wondering what the best way to back up my pictures. My pictures are quite large close to 3mb. Should I just be putting them on to CD's and DVD's or should I buy an external hard drive to put the pictures on? It takes a long time to put pictures on the DVD's, so is it better to compress the picture files on the dvd's? Please help as my computer is slowing......
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The quick answer is 'Yes'. An external HDD is an excellent way to back up your photos, and are recordable media. Do both. Copy all of your images to a large, external hard drive, and also burn them to CD/DVD so that when (note I say when, not 'if' as all hard drives die eventually) the external hard drive packs it in, you still have all your images.
     
  3. ewhite11

    ewhite11 TPF Noob!

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    Do you compress your pictures to get them onto the cd and dvd faster and then unzip them???
     
  4. TamiyaGuy

    TamiyaGuy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd highly recommend getting an external hard drive. Nowadays they are really cheap; I recently bought a 250GB one for £50 (able to hold about 85,000 3mb photos), and the memory is re-useable. So if you took 2,000 photos that actually turned out to look completely awful, you can easily delete them and save some space.

    To answer your question, you should only compress your photos if you're really desperate for extra space. 250GB is enough to hold almost your lifetime collection of photos, and unzipping them can take a long time.
     
  5. Alfred D.

    Alfred D. TPF Noob!

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    Try typing "backup" in the Search box, and hitting Enter.
     
  6. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

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    I don't think zipping images makes a significant difference. Whenever I have tried, the compression is negligable , especially considering the time it consumes. I believe zipping is more for data documents and such.

    I asked this question not too long ago, and I bought an external HD. It's great, because you can use if for all your media, not just photos.
     
  7. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    That's because jpg files are already compressed.
     
  8. tasman

    tasman TPF Noob!

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    Always back up. So what if it takes a bit of time to back up. If you loose the photos you will wish you took the time to make a back up.
     
  9. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, that's what I was trying to say :blushing:
     
  10. PhotoDonkey

    PhotoDonkey TPF Noob!

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    If you have a desktop PC you can always set up a LAN in your home, install an internal drive in the PC and use that. It doesn't have to be a fast PC to be used. If the PC goes tits up, you can always buy an enclosure for the disk drive to get the files off.

    As mentioned in another thread, the problem with external hard drives is they get moved around alot which makes them more susceptible to early failure. If you can keep your external drive in a place where it won't get bumped around, and don't take it with you everywhere you go, it's probably a fine solution.
     
  11. Dweller

    Dweller Inconspicuous Supporter

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    My solution is perhaps a bit over the top for your needs, but I have come too close to losing my entire library of photos and worked hard to ensure that never happened again.

    For immediate storage, I have a Windows Home Server running. This product will automatically (and very easily) mirror data onto multiple drives when it has the space available so at any moment there are 2 or more copies of your data stored on that machine. If a drive goes out in that machine I will be notified on any of my client machines on my network and I can replace it. I can also add or remove new drives at any time and WHS will handle all the behind the scenes management without worrying about RAID controllers or the like.

    For archival purposes and for piece of mind, I then store backups of the photos on a tape drive system using a weekly rotation for the tapes.

    I do not recommend optical media (like CD or DVD) due to the fact that the disks degrade over time (how long is up for debate, but I have heard as little as 3 years and as long as 99 years) They are also susceptible to scratching.


    The system I am running is not foolproof. If my WHS server died and somehow took out all the drives (its been known to happen) then I would be down to the tape backups. If there were a fire then I would lose the server and the backups.

    Ideally my next step for near 100% protection would be an online backup service, but I don't need another bill right now so this system will have to do. I could also take one backup set off site each week.


    It probably sounds like a paranoid level of backing up but I have been in the IT industry for a long time and have seen people lose some very valuable stuff. I have seen a company get put out of business after losing a SINGLE DRIVE.

    People do not put enough thought into backup solutions. At the very least I recommend everyone have an external drive they copy there photos too but as I have shown you can take many steps beyond that if you have the resources available.
     
  12. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    When backing up to DVD or CD be sure to get some quality media. It's a little hard to say (yet) if "archival quality" media will really last 100 years or more, but you can be sure that the "cheap crap" runs very high odds of delaminating and becoming useless before you know it.

    I personally purchase and use MAM-A but have since seen these trashed in some reviews. Do some investigation before you buy.
     

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