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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #16  
Old 21st August 2013
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Re: please back up your favourite phots

I us EZ backup that comes with Toshiba EXT hard drives
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  #17  
Old 21st August 2013
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Re: please back up your favourite phots

Hi Sponner

Sorry to hear of your loss. I'm glad you've found at least one shot of your dog. We've lost 2 cats through the years & I never took very many pictures of them & wish I had.

Ian
You asked re backup software. I used to use a good little utility called AutoVer which is freeware. The interface is really easy to use & you can set it to back up automatically. It can run in the system tray in the background. In addition to backup, it also versions the backup so you can restore to a particular version.

Since getting Lightroom (Version 4 onwards) I have used a utility called BeyondCompare which is not a backup utility as such but it compares one location to another very quickly & allows you to copy the file differences. I use 3 separate Hard Disks - one from my old laptop that I bought a casing for, a Toshiba 1Tb portable drive and a powered Maxtor 1Tb external Hard drive. I backup at least once every 2 weeks.

Take Care All

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  #18  
Old 8th September 2013
sponner sponner is offline
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Re: please back up your favourite phots

Despite vowing not to get another dog more back ups will be required.

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  #19  
Old 8th September 2013
Imageryone Imageryone is offline
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Re: please back up your favourite phots

So sorry to hear of your loss, sad time for all animal lovers. So glad you have the new baby, never replace the lost friend but will give you new experiences to treasure.
Border Collie by any chance?
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  #20  
Old 8th September 2013
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Re: please back up your favourite phots

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happammee View Post
I backup at least once every 2 weeks.
I am interested in backing up instantly rather than periodically. And 2 weeks between backups sounds risky.
Surely the easiest and safest way is to automatically backup without human interaction. I can imagine people will forget.
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  #21  
Old 8th September 2013
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Re: please back up your favourite phots

I store my back-ups on switchable hard dives which I religiously turn of every time I leave the computer. It takes time for them to reboot, but a good excuse for a cuppa whilst I wait.
When the computer got hacked recently all my data was safe, thank heavens.
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  #22  
Old 8th September 2013
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Re: please back up your favourite phots

Quote:
Border Collie by any chance
Golden retriever collie cross.

Not a designer hybrid more the result of a very enterprising collie on the next door farm to her mum.
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  #23  
Old 8th September 2013
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Re: please back up your favourite phots

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Originally Posted by sponner View Post
Golden retriever collie cross.

Not a designer hybrid more the result of a very enterprising collie on the next door farm to her mum.
If all the best points from both breeds are inherited, you are going to be so lucky
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  #24  
Old 8th September 2013
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Re: please back up your favourite phots

Nigel, beautiful puppy looking forward to seeing lots of smashing images
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  #25  
Old 8th September 2013
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Re: please back up your favourite phots

And don't forget to store a backup off site.
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  #26  
Old 8th September 2013
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Re: please back up your favourite phots

Nice looking puppy with a great face.
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  #27  
Old 8th September 2013
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Re: please back up your favourite phots

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian. View Post
Can anyone recommend a good free automatic backup software?
Sorry to hear about the loss of your dog Sponner. Anyone who has lost a four legged friend will sympathise.

I apologise for jumping on a personal hobby horse, but I thought the following might be of help.

To answer the above, Windows has a built in backup system which is a lot better than nothing. Some antivirus programmes such as Kaspersky also have a built in backup system. Various commercial programmes are available, (I use Retrospect), and desktop versions are reasonably priced.

From my own perspective, like many business owners I am almost totally reliant on my computer systems, so I tend to be a bit paranoid about backup and data duplication.

Hard disks (including SSD's) are very reliable nowadays, but not infallible. I have replaced two in the past five years following failures, but thankfully I didn't lose any data.

Software programmes, including operating systems are easy enough to replace, or can be bought if all else fails. However, personal files such as photographs are often irreplaceable.

Data can be recovered from failed hard drives, but the process is lengthy and very expensive.

In the event of a fire at a business premises, the first thing the fire investigators will want to see are the business accounts! The sooner the accounts can be recovered the less time will be spent answering awkward questions at Her Majesty's pleasure!

CD's and DVD's are NOT reliable as a backup medium. A scratch or an hour in the sun on a windowsill can make them unreadable. They also provide very limited capacity.

So, what are the answers?

Firstly, keep all of your software disks handy in one place together with a written note of software licence codes. If you have the licence codes but no disks you will often be able to reinstall programmes downloaded from the internet.

Other than my laptop, my own computers don't have any worthwhile data on them, as everything is kept on a file server locked away in the cupboard under the stairs. The data on the server is 'striped' across an array or four hard disks (Raid 5EE), and if any one disk fails it is automatically rebuilt onto a fifth 'hot spare' in the same array. Data striping also improves read and write speeds.

That is a bit OTT for most home users, but many computers have a built in Raid controller that allows disk mirroring onto a second internal hard drive. That way, if one disk fails the computer will keep going on the other. Hard disks are reasonably cheap these days so that is a good way to start. Better still, disk mirroring significantly improves read speeds, but does nothing for write speeds.

However, whilst disk mirroring protects against hardware failure it isn't idiot proof, and won't help if your machine is stolen or destroyed.

The obvious choice for backup is an external hard drive. Pocket sized USB hard drives are readily available and not too expensive, and most don't need a separate power supply. They are however rather slow.

The RDX system is also worth a look. RDX cartridges contain a laptop sized hard drive, and are simply plugged into a dock on your computer (usually fitted in a spare 5" drive bay), but are very expensive.

A proper backup software package is ideal, but Windows 7 and 8 also have the ability to create a 'drive image' (with an accompanying 'restore disk') which makes a perfect copy of everything on your hard drive at the time. So, even if you lose your installation disks you can restore everything to how it was on the day, warts n'all! (I always make a disk image when I have installed everything on a new machine, as it is much quicker than reinstalling from a pile of CD's and DVD's.)

Hard drives are convenient, but comparatively slow and expensive, and not entirely reliable. Tape backup is faster, cheaper and more reliable. A good second-hand LTO 3 tape drive, for instance, can be bought for less than 100 on the Devil's own internet auction site. An 800 GB tape costs about 16 new, which is much cheaper than a disk of similar size. And tape drives will backup data much more quickly than most hard drives can be read it, so they don't waste time. Backup sets can also span several tapes if needs be.

I run a nightly backup using different tapes for each day of the week. That is OTT for most home users, but whatever you do, always have at least two backup sets, and keep one set off site in case of disaster. A drawer at work, in friend's house or even in the back of the car is better than keeping everything in one place.

Online backup is attractive, but storage space is usually limited to a few GB unless you pay quite a lot of money. You certainly wont be able to back up a terabyte hard drive for noting. Upload speeds are also painfully slow, so online backup is not really practicable unless you have fibre broadband or similar.

Anyhow, I hope the above is of some help, and provides some alternative ideas.
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  #28  
Old 9th September 2013
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Re: please back up your favourite phots

Loss of a pet is quite a tear in the family - we had to take our faithful dog on a one way trip to the vet last month, just short of his 14th birthday.

I have been reading a booklet by Ken Duncan, a well known Australian photographer who specialises in panarama landscapes. A lovely statement he makes, "Remember: There are only two types of digital photographers: Those who have had their hard drive crash, and those who are about to have their hard drive crash."
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  #29  
Old 9th September 2013
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Re: please back up your favourite phots

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul19 View Post
"Remember: There are only two types of digital photographers: Those who have had their hard drive crash, and those who are about to have their hard drive crash."
Hard drives are intricate mechanical devices with finite service lives, so failure is just a matter of time.

Statistically, a graph plotting hard drive failure rates would look rather like the cross section of a bath tub, with a high 'infant mortality' rate for the first few days and weeks, followed by a longer period of comparative reliability. This leads to a steadily increasing failure rate as the drive nears and passes its intended service life (usually three to five years). Clearly environmental conditions and usage patterns will affect these statistics.

However, there are many other causes of data loss, including user error (i.e. deleting files by mistake), and data corruption. A power failure during a disk write, for example, can result in corruption of the File Allocation Table, which knows where all of the data segments are stored on which disk platter. Such a failure can render the disk unreadable.

The electronics on the drive can also fail, with the same results. Logically you might imagine that replacing the circuit board with the electronics from an identical drive would resolve the problem, but having tried this I am sorry to say that it doesn't seem to work!
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  #30  
Old 9th September 2013
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Re: please back up your favourite phots

My preferred statement re disc drives

They exist in one of two states -
About to die
or
Dead

I had a WD one fail the other month, I checked the serial number with the WD Warranty Web site and found that it was still in warranty so I received a replacement 2TB drive.

The drive that failed was my prime photo drive, fortunately I had two copies of it prior to failure so I was only delayed while a new 3 TB drive was delivered and installed.
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