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10-31-2007, 06:48 AM   #1
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DVD Backup

Hi All:

Curently I backup RAW files to a DVD. But I would like to make sure I get a good amount of longevity. Is it worthwile to invest in the Gold "Archival" DVD's? What is the difference (if any) in the +R vs -R media? What are you using?

10-31-2007, 07:27 AM   #2
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I use name-brand DVD-R dvds.

Archival workflow is essentially:
1) Copy from Memory card to "ForFirstBackup" directory
2) Burn to DVD (or CD-R if space allows).
3) Move to "ForSecondBackup" directory
4) Process Raw files, create JPEGs for importing into photo mgmt software
5) Burn Raw files (and accompanying Raw Processor files) to DVD-R.
6) Remove from hard drive.

(sometimes not in that order, as step #4 may be done before #2, #6 is always last)

This gives me 2 copies of the raw files, and the Jpeg backups that my photo mgmt software gives me. I've been toying with the idea of buying 2 different types of DVDs for each backup cycle to alleviate risk of a bad batch of DVDs.

I'm not an expert in DVD media, but I figure this gives me the pretty good shot at not losing images.
10-31-2007, 07:49 AM   #3
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I would go for an external hard disc. They are very cheap these days and you just plug them in via the usb port.
10-31-2007, 08:35 AM   #4
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I googled this information about photo storage. It answered all of my questions, and others might find it useful, so here it is.

How To Choose CD/DVD Archival Media » Ad Terras Per Aspera

10-31-2007, 12:24 PM   #5
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Taiyo Yuden

QuoteOriginally posted by kpfeifle Quote
What are you using?
The inventor of CD-R was Taiyo Yuden. Their CDs/DVDs are the best. Period. Use DVD+R for data, DVD-R for video.
10-31-2007, 01:24 PM   #6
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Backups again.

QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
I would go for an external hard disc. They are very cheap these days and you just plug them in via the usb port.
There have been a few threads here speaking to the idea of using USB drives as backups and here are some worn out issues.

The term backup - in the industry - refers to transferring data from one media to a totally different media. Thus backups – in the enterprise sense – go from disk to tape. There are current systems where there are large disk farms (SAN or NAS based) that provide for “near” storage. However, when talking about backups that get stored off-site the most common type is still tape.

The use of portable hard drives should be viewed, in my opinion, as a near term solution – not a long term one. Here is the reason:
Technology is changing too quick to assume that portable hard drives will last very long. They also are very reliable for 5 or so years – after that it gets iffy quickly. At present nearly all PC’s can read USB drives, but who is willing to bet that in 5 years any of us will be purchasing PC’s with USB ports – especially if eSATA becomes the preferred method?

I have been around long enough to use cassette tapes, “stringy floppies”, 8 in floppies, 5 Ľ floppies, 3 ˝ floppies, 2,000 USD 5MB hard drives (MFM and RLE) off of ISA busses, IDE hard drives (up to 750GB with my eye on 1TB), SCSI hard drives (4GB to 300GB – 5K to 15K RPM), USB drives, eSATA and now iSAS drives. Add into that the various flavors of punch cards, 18 – 36BPI tape drives and various DLT/DAT tapes. They all age, the oxide layers on magnetic media wear out (especially on tape – where there is only one tape manufacture left in the US) and hard drives fail – they are the most common failures in the production environment in the Data Center where I work.

As for CD’s – will you even be able to buy them in 5 years? How about DVD’s too. With HD and Blu-Ray coming out how long will our current forms of backups really be viable? One thing about film – I can take out a negative or slide that is thirty plus years old and still look at it. No external power is required – just a Mark I eyeball.

Now back to the OP’s question – How to backup your stuff:
What I do is:
Buy the best DVD’s I can (highest quality from a good manufacture)
Copy the images to the DVD with verification turned on. I do not use some companies backup program – will it work on the OS you will be running in 5 years, or for that matter, next month?
Take that set of DVD’s and put them somewhere safe. Ideally this would not be at home but I have not really gotten to that point yet.
Periodically check the DVD’s to see if they are still viable.
When new technology comes down the pike – seriously think about copying all of the images to the new media.

The Elitist – formerly known as PDL
10-31-2007, 02:29 PM   #7
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I back up to DVD. This technology will be around for a while to come. I burn all my information to DVD-R's. I use Verbatim media as this company has been around for a very long time, produces a high quality of media and is still putting R&D into existing media (CD and DVD) rather than devoting all their time to new technology.

I burn 2 copies, 1 stays at home, the other at a family members house in another suburb in case of a fire/theft etc. Inside my computer I have 4 hard drives. 1 for Windows, 1 for general garbage/movies/music and the remaining 2 in a RAID 1 configuration. This means 2 hard drives show up as 1 in Windows. Copy a file to that drive and it is written to both drives. Should 1 drive fail then there is still 1 more copy.

My work flow is:

If I'm out shooting and I fill a card and have a spare few minutes I copy the contents to my laptop. I still keep the data on that card and use an empty one to keep shooting. This automatically give me 2 copies, 1 on SD, one on laptop HDD.

Get home and copy the photos onto my desktop machine which is running the RAID 1 setup.

Once I have collected 4Gb of photos I burn 2 copies to DVD. One stays on site, the other goes off-site.
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