I have too many hard drives. Help needed!

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by alexandermjoyce, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. alexandermjoyce

    alexandermjoyce TPF Noob!

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    Hello all!

    First off, I hope I posted this in the right place.

    But anyway, I've been doing this photography thing for a while now. I have thousands upon thousands of raw files, edited files, etc. But they're all stored across many hard drives. My question is where should I store them that is safe?

    Everyone is moving toward cloud storage, but what is the best cloud storage and is it actually safe? I'm worried about hard drives crashing and losing years of photos, but is cloud storage actually safe to store images. Or should I store images in both the cloud and on hard drive.

    Advice on this and which cloud storage to use would be super helpful. I've done research, but there are so many different "clouds" now.

    Thanks a lot!


    Here is a picture of my friends Malamute for your viewing please (or is it a wolf?).

    Ruby-Web.jpg


     
  2. bogeyguy

    bogeyguy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Maybe, just maybe, you have to many photo's saved, maybe??
     
  3. 407370

    407370 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    To many photos saved?????

    Aint no such thing!
     
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  4. alexandermjoyce

    alexandermjoyce TPF Noob!

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    Bogey you know there ain't no such thing.
     
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  5. 407370

    407370 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hard drive / flash drive / DVD / ONLINE

    The choice is dependant on your personal preference.

    I use One Drive as I got 1Tb free with Office 365.
     
  6. alexandermjoyce

    alexandermjoyce TPF Noob!

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    OneDrive isn't a bad idea.
     
  7. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You have to ask yourself; "safe from what"? Or "how safe"? What if there is a forest fire, a flood, or a general food riot? Does 50 miles distant at some trusted friend's house sound safe? Well, does it?

    Have a three-drive rotation. Take one drive far, far away. If you can, at least 50 miles away to a friend/relative's house. When you back up, take one drive "B" there and exchange it for "A". Bring "A" back home and continue your backup. You can use the cloud of you want to, but always have at least one HD not on your premises. Next backup, take "C" and exchange it for "B" and bring "B" home and continue your backup. By doing this, you should have three copies of your files except for when driving to get the third HD. You'll only have two copies at that time.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Regardless how/where your images are stored there will always be some risk of loss.
    You can do things to minimize the risk, but you cannot eliminate the risk of loss.

    The last thing I want to do is to rely on some entity out there on the Internet I have no control of to ensure the my images remain archived.

    What good is cloud storage if you can't access the Internet location your images are stored?
    Who knows if there will be an Internet 50 years from now?
    If it does still exist will we be able to access the Internet as easily as we do today?
    What if the cloud storage location you use gets hacked?

    For that matter who knows if some new technology does to digital photographs what digital imaging has done to film?
     
  9. bratkinson

    bratkinson No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm sure there are those that disagree with me, but I have to ask - why save the RAW images once you're done with the shoot/event/image collection/whatever? What are the odds you'll EVER go back and re-edit them? The same is true with 'intermediate results' folders that I make while doing post processing. I use the intermediate folders for occasional 'oops, I didn't mean to delete that one!' situations.

    As a hobbiest photographer, once I'm through with all the editing and have made enough backup copies in enough places of the 'finished product', I delete everything else. In 15 years or so of digital photography, only once have I gone back and re-edited RAW images that I intentionally saved as I didn't know squat about white balance and most of post processing capabilities when I shot that event. I knew it then, so I saved the RAWs. I re-edited them only for self-satisfaction to prove to myself that I had learned a LOT about post processing in the year or so following that shoot.

    For what it's worth, I have my 'bulk storage' hard drive in one of two 'slide in/slide out' bays. Monthly, I put an identical drive in the other bay and clone the active drive to the 'new' drive, then remove the active drive and replace it with the 'new' one. Sliding drives in and out takes about 10 seconds each after turning off the computer. I also have an external USB drive, that I keep several miles away. I clone the active drive to that one as well.

    These days, hard drive space is getting cheaper by the day. A bit more than 25 years ago, I paid over $300 (maybe more!) for a 20 MEGABYTE drive, not GIGABYTE, and definitely not TERABYTE. One of my friends who has massive storage requirements happened to find 8 TERABYTE external drives online (Amazon?) for a bit over $200 a week ago! Having multiple copies of everything is a requirement as hard drives go bad whenever they feel like it, especially if you don't have a backup!
     
  10. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Places
    1. Bank, safe deposit box.
    2. Friend or relative's house, near by.
    3. Friend or relative's house or bank, FAR away. This one is to protect against a regional disaster such as: flood, hurricane, wildfire, etc. Which could take out #1 and #2.
    I rotate through 4 drives going through #1.
    These drives are FULL backups, so that I don't have to hassle with incremental backups.

    I also do incremental backup to the cloud.
    BUT, data upload rate is capped at 6MBs. So backing up a LOT of new files can take a LONG time. I have had my daily backup fail, when the backup took longer than the 6 hour window that I have allocated for daily backup.

    BTW, there is the old saying of: "it is not IF your hard drive will fail, it is WHEN your hard drive will fail."
    I had TWO hard drives fail on me.
    1. The first drive failure HURT. This was back in the EARLY days of the PC XT, where the only common backup was to 5-1/4" floppy. We lost a lot of files.
    2. On the 2nd failure, I had just taken a full backup to DDS tape, so restoration did not take long. It was just a hassle.
    After the first drive failure, I purchased a tape drive, at significant cost $$$. And subsequently went through several generations of tape drives, ending with the DLT drive. Then finally converting to external USB3 hard drives.

    I used to backup to tape, but the cost of HIGH capacity DLT tape drives and tapes has gone high, and the cost of high capacity USB drives has dropped. And the USB hard drive does not need a special controller card as the SCSI tape drives did, making restoration on new hardware easier.

    Now, as for WHEN to pull the backup.
    My standard backup is quarterly and annual. These are FULL backups of the entire Photo library, plus the other stuff that I backup.
    One of the old IT guidelines was, "take a backup when there has been enough changes, that you do not want to make the changes again." So given an "event" or project, I may take 3 or more backups.
    1. As soon as I download and verify the pix files from the memory card to the computer.
    2. After I have edited X number of pictures. This point is individual, at the point that you do NOT want to have to redo the edits again. I will take multiple backups; after editing 200 pix, 400 pix, 600 pix, etc.
    3. After I complete all edits, and the pix are ready for the client.
    The event/project backups are in addition to the quarterly/annual backups.
     
  11. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It depends a but (and only a bit) on what type if photography you are doing. If you are doing professional portraits, there is some chance that some one will come back in ten years and want a new print - so save the best of them and delete the rest.

    If you are not professional, you should delete nearly everything after a year apart from pictures of great emotional value. Even then, you only need to keep 1,000 photos of your favourite child. Delete the other 100,000.

    After 15 years of digital photography, I have about 2 GB of photos and only that many because I am too lazy to edit them. I cannot imaging having too many hard drives full of images
     
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  12. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I too am grappling with this decision. Right now I've got some backed up on a non-public account on flickr, some on iCloud, and then a bunch of HDs (including 2 three terabyte HDs). It's a mess. And I delete most RAW files once I've edited.
     

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