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Author Topic: Photo backup strategy?  (Read 3068 times)

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« on: June 10, 2014, 00:27 »
I had one of those awful moments last night: I had an external LaCie 1TB hard drive with 20,000+ photos on it (and some movies) attached to my MacBook Pro, when the LaCie failed.  I was in the middle of cleaning up my Lightroom catalog, moving things around from my MacBook Pro to the LaCie, when it happened.

I have known it has not been an ideal set up for some time:  I have a MacBook Pro with a relatively small solid state drive (256GB), hence having to periodically move things around between the laptop and external USB hard drives.

Thankfully, I have an Apple Time Capsule configured to run auto back-ups.  Unfortunately, the external hard drive died just as the Time Capsule was mid-way through a back-up cycle. I have been able to recover the contents of the LaCie drive from the day before when it was last attached, and have copied these to a different external hard drive (it is taking an eternity). 

So, upshot is, I don't think I have lost anything: the worst thing is my Lightroom catalog is now a complete mess because the recovered back-up does not reflect all the re-organisation just before the crash.  Once all the images are received from the Time Capsule, I expect it will be a nightmare trying to re-link all those folders/image files in the Library, which reflect the changes made, to the recovered but old file structure.

Anyway, it prompted me to finally do what I should have done 6 months ago: I went and ordered a new 27" iMac with a 3TB Fusion drive, firstly, for increased storage and, secondly, to have a large screen to work on. 

I also have a 100GB Dropbox account, but have not been making the best use of it because kept running out of space on the MacBook before I could fill Dropbox, so I mainly use for documents.  In fact, had just moved some folders out of the Dropbox folder before the crash, so didn't have any backups there.  I also have the free Adobe CC cloud storage, but don't really use that.  Likewise, I have 20GB Apple Cloud, but I don't use that for photos.

Anyway, it got me wondering what others do about backup.  Hard drive or cloud, or both?  How many copies? How often?  I was lucky this time, but I think I need to improve my recovery strategy.


« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2014, 01:09 »
1 NAS for daily use;
1 external hard drive for backup, syncronized daily;
1 external hard drive at my parents' home, syncronized about once a month; unfortunately it's in the same city/country so it's not completely safe against natural disasters / wars / revolutions but still...;
1 dvd (lately, bluray) - I don't know how long optical media will last, but are safer against human-error since can't be deleted;
1 mostphotos;

I should be really unlucky to lose all those copies at once.


« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2014, 03:25 »
Hope you'll get your photos back ok. Tiding up the mess in Lightroom can always be done... losing the master files is GAME OVER.
"Fortunately", I learned my lesson long time before I went professional when I lost chunk of my personal photos, so I've been careful since then.

My back up strategy:
Hourly: 2TB Time Machine - to retrieve accidentally deleted files and to restore computer when it dies one day. Includes full photo library.
Weekly: 2TB external drive to hold copy of my whole photo library. Sync with ChronoSync.
Monthly: Cloud backup - I use LiveDrive. All my important files including full photo library are there in case of massive disaster.
+ Occasional: Backup to Mac mini in my parents' house which I use as remote rendering server.
+ 20GB Dropbox for files I currently work on.

Fortunately, even when my iMac blew up, I've never had to go further back than to my Time Machine to restore lost files... yet :)


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