Yes I mean systems plural! It’s not if, but when will your hard drive crash. This includes your external hard drive that you might be using as a backup. You don’t want to lose your digital images and files, so now is the time to set up those redundant systems that will safeguard your files.
It’s an interesting time with technology changing the way we preserve things. Digital files let you store so much, yet they are more susceptible to loss in many ways than the printed physical forms. A static charge can damage your photo card. Hard drives and flash drives all have lifespans and then fail. CDs and DVDs can have problems so having multiple ways and places you backup your digital images and files is so important. This doesn’t even look at the rapid changes is technology and storage media.
Having backups is a must, but how many and on what media? Many photographers answer this with a 3, 2, 1 method; three copies, two types of media, one off site. I like this for my digital images, and I still want a printed copy of my best photos! After the year we had with fires, floods, and hurricanes destroying so many people’s photos, both printed and digital, having on site and off site backups is the only way to protect your precious photos.
Today, cloud storage takes care of the offsite backup. Companies like Carbonite can back up all your computer files over the internet. I highly recommend them as I have had an internal and external hard drive fail, and have lost files from my computer. I was able to retrieve and recover from near disaster quickly and easily with Carbonite. I had a friend whose laptop and external hard drive were stolen at the same time. They didn’t have their files backed up on the cloud and lost all that was on that laptop. You just never know what might happen.
Part of your backup system is looking at how you are going to get all your photos into one place so you can do the backup on a regular schedule. Once you have your images transferred to your computer, are you going to do a manual backup on a weekly or monthly schedule? There are programs that can automate the process for external hard drives attached to your computer or network. That is one of the things I like about Memory Manager, it has a shadow copy feature that happens automatically each time you close the program. I have my photos in one place, a copy on another drive, then backed up online.
What are your backup systems? Are they manual or automated? What’s your schedule? Leave your comments below. You can also find more tips and examples on our Facebook page at PSP Photo Solutions