Wordless Wednesday: Backup the Backup Edition

So where’s the photo for Wordless Wednesday? Well, it’s currently on a drive disconnected from my computer so another computer crash can’t kill THAT drive! So today’s Wordless Wednesday will be very wordy.

One reason I miss film some days is the permanence of the negatives. Digital files seem so much more fragile. Case in point. My current computer system (rather old) is reaching the end of its days and a few days ago it crashed…taking my photo drive with it. I’m currently working with the hard drive manufacturer to see if the original files are salvageable. That’s right, my ENTIRE photo library for better than a decade was on that drive.

Thankfully, even if the drive is now an expensive boat anchor, I had a backup. Every day my files were backed up to a second external drive (of different brand and model). This drive survived and although the backup program had pretty well hidden my files for some reason, the photos are all there and ok. I will admit to getting nauseous and being about a hair’s width from a full-fledged panic attack by the time I found the files.

So now I’m shopping for a new computer, new main photo drive, and considering my options for backup. Do I continue with one backup or go completely paranoid and move to a secondary backup “just in case”?

Either way I’m really missing physical negatives about now.

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8 thoughts on “Wordless Wednesday: Backup the Backup Edition

  1. As the old saying goes, “it’s not ‘if’, it’s ‘when'”. HDD’s will fail. You know I had my harsh lesson which lead to me buying two external 2Tb drives. Since I use Windows, I use RichCopy to handle all my redundancy. Another option would be something like Drobo. May all of your files be happy and intact. As far as negatives – a little before my time as a photographer (wipes away ‘wet’ from behind ears), but didn’t they have a shelf life? Also, would you argue that digital files are easier to duplicate than negatives?

    • Negatives have a very long shelf life…as long as stored properly (humidity, acid, air, etc). You did have to take more care with them but there is something reassuring about being able to pick it up and assure yourself it exists. Showing my age there I realize. 🙂

      And yes, digital is easier to duplicate but it is also easier to lose quality in the duplication process.

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  3. My old one crashed also, and I went to Intrex and asked for help. They suggested the old drive could be removed and installed in a new computer or they could try to clone the images to a new drive. I would have two drives in the same desktop. Some of the photos could be removed and put on the newer one until I could get the rest of mine fully backed up on the external. I was working on getting them off of there before it went. I hear you on the nausea, Liz. So glad you found your files and had them backed up on the external. All the best for retrieval of the ones off your crashed drive. Have to agree with L on the negatives, all the care in the world has not saved most of mine over the years.

  4. How awful for you! I had a similar thing happen to my writing many years ago so my heart goes out to you. After that incident I started backing up all my writing files on an external hard drive and printed my best ones out so I could have a hard copy which I kept in a notebook. Once I got into photography I not only backed up my files on an external drive I also backed up my best shots on a CD. Good thing too – I had another computer die on me without warning. Knowing I had backed up my stuff and it was as safe was a huge relief.

  5. I have gotten close on this with an older computer – but was able to get everything off before it died. I have 2 external drives for backup – one I keep at the house and one I take to work. I’m also exploring Dropbox as a possible 3rd option. We are using it at work for cloud storage and so is my husband’s employer. I am not a professional photographer – so I can only imagine the heartache if I was.

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