Print Story Ask Husi: back-ups and external hard drives
Hardware
By nebbish (Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 06:26:12 AM EST) (all tags)
I have loads of photos and will have more!


I've got a 120GB external hard drive that holds copies of every photo on my laptop. However, my laptop hard drive only has a few gig left so I will need to think of something else soon.

The problem as I see it is that I will have to buy two external hard drives if I want to keep the recommended two copies of everything.

The best solution at the moment seems to be to buy two 500GB drives so that I have a bit of room for the future. However this is expensive and I was wondering if anyone out there has other solutions: how reliable is it to back-up to DVD? What about online storage? Pretty much all the photos I like are on Flickr as full-size versions, is this adequate back-up?

Then there is the thorny area of external hard drives, many of which, according to online accounts, just break anyway. Any recommendations?

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Ask Husi: back-ups and external hard drives | 22 comments (22 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Currently by ks1178 (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 06:48:30 AM EST
I use a WD My Book thingy as a backup drive.

I do a lot of travel, and needed a bit more drive space than what my laptop had. So it was bought more for convenience than any concern for proper back ups.

I've had it for ~3 years or so, and no problems yet.

Another thing that I've been looking into for my place is possibly a Network Storage Device of somesort.

Basically it's a little computer that connects to your lan, and you plug in hard drives to it.

On amazon.co.uk for a 2 bay enclosure prices seem to be about £60's and up.

You'll also need to purchase the hard drives to go in it, but that might cover your concerns with shoddy hard drives.

Oh yeah by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 06:56:26 AM EST
They seem like a really good idea, I like the way they allow you to shop around for decent SATA drives or use old ones as you wish.

I don't know anyone who's use them, but thanks for reminding me, they're a real option.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I have one by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 07:47:21 AM EST
Bought 2 cheap 500Mb IDE drives to put in it and set it to mirror mode.  It sits on my network happily (do you have a router at your house though?)

So, nothing short of theft or fire will mean I have permanent data loss.

Cost less than 200 quid I recall.


[ Parent ]
I can sort out a router by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:24:05 AM EST
I have no home network at the mo but may sort something out as a long-term project. In the meantime I think I'll buy an external drive and back up online.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
If you have trouble getting it working by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 11:53:47 AM EST
For the price of beer and pizza, I'll come and sort it for you.


[ Parent ]
Hey thanks mate! by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 11:58:41 AM EST
I'll see how I get on. It'll probably be a while yet.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
See how you go then eh? by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #13 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 12:11:46 PM EST
But anyway, offer is still there.

But bear in mind I offer no guarantted solution, but I'll have a go.

But eh, you're a smart lad; I don't think there's anything in the config that'll throw you.


[ Parent ]
It'll probably take me a while :) by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 12:14:12 PM EST
But with the internets and the scant stuff I can remember about subnets and all that I reckon I can do it

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Screenshots then by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 01:01:13 PM EST
If you have grief; picture, 1000 words etc...


[ Parent ]
Yes by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 01:07:44 PM EST
If I get stuck, screenshots would be very helpful. I set up a gaming LAN years ago using a very simply presented series of screenshots from the internet.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
It's even easier than that these days by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #21 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 12:56:56 AM EST
Very point and click instead of faffing with config files.


[ Parent ]
another datapoint by bobdole (4.00 / 2) #22 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 03:21:43 AM EST
I had (had being the important word in this reply) a My Book aswell. Died without any warning after ~6 months of pretty much no use. Was connected to a laptop sitting on my desk the whole time, so it didn't even move about.

While I appreciate that it probably was a made a dark Monday morning, I still treat WD-drives as pieces of shit afterwards (well at least the MyBook series...)
-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
What I use by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 07:52:34 AM EST
I use a SimpleTech 500GB NAS drive with a 500GB SATA drive enclosure as a RAID device. I go mine from Newegg, but they don't seem to have them any more. They do have some 750GB external drives, though.

You have to be a bit careful with NAS drives, tho. ome of them use FAT32, which means you're limited to file sizes that are too small for storing some video files.
--
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.

It's just photos by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:25:04 AM EST
A lot of them mind...

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Three external hard drives by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 08:20:05 AM EST
One is the volume used by Time Machine for incrementals. The other two are used, weekly, for backups of images and documents I don't want to lose. I use one for a month, then swap it with the one in the safe deposit box at the bank. So I always have an offsite backup.

Don't bother with DVDs. They don't have the capacity for modern digital camera images. One DVD will hold about 1000 8MP jpeg images. Not enough. For me, anyway.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Expensive by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:22:11 AM EST
And cost is a big factor for me, but I think you're right. I'm what you'd call a serious hobbyist photographer with a 10MP DSLR who goes out taking photos at least once a week. I'm going to have to bite the bullet and splash out I think...

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Heh by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 11:56:02 AM EST
Might mean you are going to have to be a little more ruthless about "keep - or kill"? when uploading to permanent storage.

But for what you get for your cash, disk space is stupidly cheap these days.  You'll pay a little for the disk controller, but once you get it sorted, you'll be laughing.

Some photos you cannot put a price on.


[ Parent ]
This is the thing by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 12:03:24 PM EST
I've been watching the price of storage and it's a quarter it was just a year ago, when I was thinking about buying another 120GB drive for £80. The temptation is to hang on as long as possible.

You're right about being a bit more ruthless. There's the file formats with SLRs as well, if I'm taking arty stuff I often take both a RAW and a JPEG file so I've got full control over processing in Photoshop. I should probably look at the way I work as well...

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
but as the price of disk continues to plunge... by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #17 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 03:32:58 PM EST
Once you throw away those RAWs you can never get that info back, right now it just makes sense to add more obscenely cheap disk space.

[ Parent ]
Alternate Idea by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #18 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 07:30:31 PM EST
Use a service.

Mozy offers unlimited space for 4.95 a month with full encryption. 

Off-site, and fully protected.

www.mozy.com

Mozy is one of the bigger online backup sites and is owned by storage giant EMC.

Their service is good enough that quite a few small businesses use it.

Approach the idea with an open mind.  They have storage quality that isn't easily replicated at home.

The other other acceptable option would be two backups, each with a pair of mirror drives.  Take one off-site once a month and swap it with the other one.  IMHO, that sucks, because it relies on you.

Mozy offers backups that don't encompass a need for you to act.  Plus it works in the background.  90+% of backup data is static, so once you get the backup fully into Mozy, moving changes every night at the block or file lever (not sure which it uses) is small and fairly fast.

http://mozy.com/about

After having my goddamn backup SOFTWARE damage my data locally in the last six months, I am seriously considering Mozy for my backups.

And this comes from a guy with two terabytes of RAID 5 NAS storage on a gigabit network in his house.

Gedvondur
"If you do not sin, then you too may some day float like a big pink Goodyear blimp of The Lord." -theboz

Oh, and by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #19 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 07:32:07 PM EST
I read a little deeper, Mozy does block level changes.  Sweetness.  Fast backups.

Gedvondur
"If you do not sin, then you too may some day float like a big pink Goodyear blimp of The Lord." -theboz

[ Parent ]
MOZY by idiot boy (4.00 / 1) #20 Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 08:26:13 PM EST
It's an expense I know but you should seriously look at something like Mozy. For an amount of USD a year, they'll look after as much as you can throw at them. If you are using mobile HDs, you really do need to use multiples as they DO die (with alarming frequency actually).

Mozy deal with backup, availability and protection from corruption. They're owned by my former employer who if they know anything, it is how to protect data. You will have access to it wherever you go, provided you have bandwidth available and you will be protected against data loss pretty much permanently.

You would be looking at $103 for 2 years which is cheaper than a single external HD.


Ask Husi: back-ups and external hard drives | 22 comments (22 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback