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10-19-2010, 01:48 PM   #1
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Storage question (digital storage for the photos)

Let me start by saying, I haven't been shooting nearly as much as I thought I would several years ago when I got my ist DS... Don't get me wrong, we take 1000's of photos every year, but most of them are with the point and shoot as it works very well when you are hauling around two kiddos and all the assorted stuff. But, I have still accumulated around 3500 raw images (speaking of, I think a good discussion on RAW vs JPEG would make a nice sticky), so that is around 30~35 gigs of photos. I have them on my laptop, but that space is filling up quickly. I'm going to be moving them to one of my external drives.

So, time for the actual question... What do most of you use for perpetual storage? I like the thought of DVD's, but they are way to small... Hard drives will die at some point... Flash drives can have storage degradation issues over the long term... Tape is expensive...

Some days, I'm tempted to just convert all the photos to jpegs and call it a day, but I always hate the thought of losing all that data that I might someday (well, probably never...) come and adjust.

Right now, like I said, I'm moving them to an external hard drive, but I was just curious what everyone else is doing for their storage woes.

10-19-2010, 02:27 PM   #2
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Everyone is different and you may get different responses.

Like you, I like the physical supports: CD, DVD, dual-layer DVD, Blu-Ray. But even the Blu-Ray is too small when you collect a lot photos. As a results, I use redundant HDD backups, with a total of 4 HDDs: my own computer, a portable USB HDD ofr everyday backup, a large fixed HDD for weekly backups and another large fixed HDD for the backup of the backup. In additon, I try to burn a Blu-Ray of every important series of photos.
10-19-2010, 02:38 PM   #3
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A few threads have already discussed the choices from doing nothing to a raid system and clouds, etc.

I used to do 8.5G DVDs for long-term storage, but as the price of external HDs went down, I just got another of them (now 2 "archive" copies plus day-to-day), which makes it much simpler.

It's all a crap shoot, anyway :-)
10-19-2010, 03:08 PM   #4
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I have over 60,000 images 20,000 scanned from film the rest right out of a digital camera either one of the two P&S cameras or three DSLRs

THey all reside on my hard disk with a full back up set of DVDs plus a back up HD that gets locked in a safe and a second back up HD that I plan to put in a safety deposit box

I think I have it all safe and sound

Note on my hard disk they are in folders by year then month then( if applicable) event

10-19-2010, 03:19 PM   #5
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As said above; I backup locally to HD, offsite to computer that I have immediate access to, and online to "the cloud" (offsite stuff all handled through crashplan.com).

Nice to know that the 3TB hard drives are hitting the market now...
10-19-2010, 03:51 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrbdm99 Quote

So, time for the actual question... What do most of you use for perpetual storage? I like the thought of DVD's, but they are way to small... Hard drives will die at some point... Flash drives can have storage degradation issues over the long term... Tape is expensive...
I use only HDDs because I have more trust in HDDs and because they are cheap/GB, have more capacity which minimises mistakes, and maximises the ease of backups. HDDs fail though, so IMHO any solution needs to be able to sustain at least 2 simultanious HDD failures at the "worst" time without any data loss.

My solution is my live photo library is on my desktop machine. Every night the HDD of my desktop machine is cloned to an attached HDD. That HDD is one of 2, one is at home attached to my desktop, the other is in my office drawer and is my offsite copy. I rotate these 2 drives, but they are never ever at home at the same time, I always bring the home one to the office, and then the office one back home.

As well as this I also run a NAS at home in RAID-1. On a weekly basis I vault my Aperture photo library to my NAS, where because it is RAID-1, it physically sits on 2 drives.

So my photos are on 5 drives; desktop machine HDD, local external HDD, offsite external HDD, and on both drives on my NAS. My NAS emails me if it detects any HDD failure.

My backups are extremely easy to perform, all are automated or a "one click" affair, this means the backups are actually done.

Last edited by twitch; 10-19-2010 at 04:12 PM.
10-19-2010, 04:07 PM   #7
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I'm not nutzo about backing up like I ought to be, but I do use a network RAID-1 system at home, for pictures and family critical information, plus a usb drive for OS backups. At work we run several Cisco servers with online backup, with company wide reserved space access.

I used to use CD's, then DVD's, but after burning several hundred disks, you get to noticing the space they take up.
10-19-2010, 04:20 PM   #8
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I back-up my photos on DVDs. I use "Corel Photo Album Version 6" which has a nice facility to track new photos loaded onto my hard drive. I've set it's parameters to notify me when I have added enough photos to fill a DVD for backup. If I don't get the photos backed up when it indicates that I've reached that threshold, I'll wait until I've doubled that amount. Then I will use "Corel Photo Album Version 6" to back up my photos to a couple of DVDs. I like the system because I don't have to keep track of my new photos. I just back only the new photos that I've loaded when I get a warning from "Corel Photo Album Version 6". It's handy and if you can find a system that works like that, I think it will work for you too.

10-19-2010, 04:28 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I have over 60,000 images 20,000 scanned from film the rest right out of a digital camera either one of the two P&S cameras or three DSLRs

THey all reside on my hard disk with a full back up set of DVDs plus a back up HD that gets locked in a safe and a second back up HD that I plan to put in a safety deposit box

I think I have it all safe and sound

Note on my hard disk they are in folders by year then month then( if applicable) event
I can only hope to be that organized some day....
10-19-2010, 06:44 PM   #10
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My shots are stored on my raid server (simple mirror) and that's what I work them from. They are segmented by year, date, and tagged with what they are. About 200-300 of my favorites are on my laptop just because I like them. While a raid system supposedly never fails or loses information, I trust no technology and annually back up each year to DVDs - which are stored in my fireproof gun cabinet.

Besides this, I have a few flash drives that are filled with various years also.

Call me a freak, but it is not a question of IF technology will fail, but when. This way I lose none of my shots.
10-20-2010, 06:53 AM   #11
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Yup, working in the IT sector, I know that it is just a matter of when is it going to fail, not if. That is what got me thinking about it. I didn't realize how many gigs of photos I had on a laptop (probably the worst drive to keep them on!) until I started getting short on space. I thought maybe there was too much music, but it was the size of my photos.

I don't know why, but I completely forgot about raid setups. I suppose it is because, aside from the laptop, I haven't had a proper home office area since we had kids. I think I shall begin putting together a home server.

Thanks for the ideas.
10-20-2010, 10:27 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob photo 4 life Quote
I can only hope to be that organized some day....
I treat my work computer the same way, I have had 5 lap tops fail since I starte with laptops in 1993, and 1 desktop computer stole out of my office.

total days of work lost due to lost data = 0

Total days lost to restore data and programs to new computers about 60.

While lost data is a concern, the real impact in the commercial worls is restoring all your programs back to the state you had them.
10-20-2010, 03:05 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrbdm99 Quote
I don't know why, but I completely forgot about raid setups. I suppose it is because, aside from the laptop, I haven't had a proper home office area since we had kids. I think I shall begin putting together a home server.

Thanks for the ideas.
Check out QNAP NAS devices. They make small, low power, fast (the Atom powered ones at least), very easy to set up NASes. I've used various models of theirs for the last 4 years and have been very very happy.
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