Re: Seeking advice on permanent storage

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jim Townsend, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. Jim Townsend

    Jim Townsend Guest

    Jim Garner wrote:

    >
    > I expect I will be changing computers before long, so the stuff I have on
    > my hard disk needs to be stored or backed up somehow.
    >
    > As I understand it, a CD can hold everything I have, but I cannot add to
    > one once I have used it. Zatt so?
    >
    > My hard disk has various pix in various folders so I can find what I want
    > easily. Can I transfer several files in one burn or do I have to
    > consolidate eveything into one file.
    >
    > Do CD burners come with reasonable instructions about how to use them or
    > is the documentation the usual semi-comprehensible babble?


    I started backing up to CD, then as my image collection grew, I
    switched to DVD.. When it got to the point I was burning six
    DVDs to do a complete backup, it became a CHORE..

    I got a USB hard drive.. (You can buy IDE hard drives and then
    mount them in USB2 boxes with their own power supply)..
    It only costs around 100 bucks for 120 Gigs.. That's
    the equivalent of 25 regular density DVDs.

    The big thing is that it's simple and fast.. You plug in the
    drive and then just copy everything over. Once you start it
    you don't have to oversee the process.... (Removing and inserting
    discs).

    When backing up becomes a chore, most people will tend to put
    the job off. With an external hard drive, it will never
    be a chore.

    Plus.. Not only can you back up your photos, but you can back
    up everything else that may be important.. Music, personal files
    etc..
     
    Jim Townsend, Oct 27, 2005
    #1
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  2. Jim Townsend

    Frank ess Guest

    Jim Townsend wrote:
    > Jim Garner wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> I expect I will be changing computers before long, so the stuff I
    >> have on my hard disk needs to be stored or backed up somehow.
    >>
    >> As I understand it, a CD can hold everything I have, but I cannot
    >> add to one once I have used it. Zatt so?
    >>
    >> My hard disk has various pix in various folders so I can find what
    >> I
    >> want easily. Can I transfer several files in one burn or do I
    >> have
    >> to consolidate eveything into one file.
    >>
    >> Do CD burners come with reasonable instructions about how to use
    >> them or is the documentation the usual semi-comprehensible babble?

    >
    > I started backing up to CD, then as my image collection grew, I
    > switched to DVD.. When it got to the point I was burning six
    > DVDs to do a complete backup, it became a CHORE..
    >
    > I got a USB hard drive.. (You can buy IDE hard drives and then
    > mount them in USB2 boxes with their own power supply)..
    > It only costs around 100 bucks for 120 Gigs.. That's
    > the equivalent of 25 regular density DVDs.
    >
    > The big thing is that it's simple and fast.. You plug in the
    > drive and then just copy everything over. Once you start it
    > you don't have to oversee the process.... (Removing and inserting
    > discs).
    >
    > When backing up becomes a chore, most people will tend to put
    > the job off. With an external hard drive, it will never
    > be a chore.
    >
    > Plus.. Not only can you back up your photos, but you can back
    > up everything else that may be important.. Music, personal files
    > etc..


    And if you are in the path of a wildfire, as we were two years ago
    (Cedar Fire, San Diego), your off-site version is only a week old,
    includes critical system files as well as your images; even then, it
    takes two minutes to unhook the current backup disk and haul it to
    safety along with your important persons, animals and papers.

    --
    Frank ess
     
    Frank ess, Oct 27, 2005
    #2
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  3. Jim Townsend

    ASAAR Guest

    On Thu, 27 Oct 2005 00:02:34 -0500, Jim Townsend wrote:

    > I started backing up to CD, then as my image collection grew, I
    > switched to DVD.. When it got to the point I was burning six
    > DVDs to do a complete backup, it became a CHORE..


    Did you use good backup software or essentially do a full copy for
    each backup? A good backup strategy for cases where a single disk
    or tape can't hold the entire backup is to do infrequent (weekly or
    monthly) full backups, with frequent incremental or differential
    backups (of only new or changed files) in between. Unless most of
    your data consists of very large files (such as databases) that
    would need to be backed up in full even if only a single record is
    changed, most of these incremental backups might be small enough to
    contain all of the changes made over weeks or longer, all on a
    single disk. So if you performed full backups weekly, where two
    months worth of backups would require 48 disks if full copies were
    always made, using a better backup technique might allow you to
    safeguard the same 2 months worth of files using as little 6 or 7
    disks. Slightly more disks might be needed if the backups are
    differential instead of incremental. Except for the first full
    backup of each set, almost all of the others would run much more
    quickly and wouldn't require disk swapping, so they could run
    unattended.


    > I got a USB hard drive.. (You can buy IDE hard drives and then
    > mount them in USB2 boxes with their own power supply)..
    > It only costs around 100 bucks for 120 Gigs.. That's
    > the equivalent of 25 regular density DVDs.


    That's convenient, but the disk is only large enough to hold 4 of
    your full backups, so if you do backups regularly, your oldest
    backup will still be fairly recent. If you ever have important
    files that are deleted or accidentally corrupted (or intentionally,
    as by a virus) but don't notice it until 4 or more backups are made
    to the hard drive, you're out of luck. A little shoebox could, on
    the other hand, be an effective archive, holding a couple of decades
    worth of your outdated backups. If you're fortunate you'd never
    need to use them.
     
    ASAAR, Oct 27, 2005
    #3
  4. Jim Townsend

    Mr.Happy Guest

    "I got a USB hard drive.. (You can buy IDE hard drives and then
    mount them in USB2 boxes with their own power supply)..
    It only costs around 100 bucks for 120 Gigs.. That's
    the equivalent of 25 regular density DVDs. "

    the problem is if it fails you lose EVERYTHING!
    If a CD or a DVD fails, you only lose whats on it.
    Thus, make 2 copies: 1 on ext.HDD & DVD, or 2 DVDs/CDRs.

    Also, if you want to share photos with friends or family, you have
    to burn to DVDs anyway.
     
    Mr.Happy, Oct 27, 2005
    #4
  5. Jim Townsend

    Guest

    Jim Townsend wrote:

    > I started backing up to CD, then as my image collection grew, I
    > switched to DVD.. When it got to the point I was burning six
    > DVDs to do a complete backup, it became a CHORE..


    An accident prone chore at that. CD's and DVD's are diskettes of the
    modern age. Useful for a "sneaker net" arrangement, but for long term
    storage, or for vast, bulk, storage, it's a complete non-starter.

    Everyone I know has ultimately come to this conclusion.

    > I got a USB hard drive..


    Mine are about full. I can buy larger ones, or more, but again, we
    start to enter into non-trivial management issues.

    I'm very close to just buying or making a pair of 1-2TB RAID boxes. At
    current collection rates it'll last me a few years. Hopefully by then
    bulk archive storage will be based on something other than highly
    optimized 1950's technolgy of unstable bits smeared on rapidly spinning
    platters.
     
    , Oct 27, 2005
    #5
  6. Jim Townsend

    Guest

    Mr.Happy wrote:

    > "I got a USB hard drive.. (You can buy IDE hard drives and then
    > mount them in USB2 boxes with their own power supply)..
    > It only costs around 100 bucks for 120 Gigs.. That's
    > the equivalent of 25 regular density DVDs. "
    >
    > the problem is if it fails you lose EVERYTHING!


    Well, Mr. Happy, I think we can assume that Mr. Townsend has a brain,
    eh?

    You know, he, like, has more than one of these disks?

    Maybe you should google around a bit before you make a fool of yourself
    in public. Try this query:

    www.google.com: RAID terabyte

    Isn't it incredible what a little knowledge can do for you? You don't
    even have to pay me or google for this -- though neither of us will
    reject voluntary contributions.
     
    , Oct 27, 2005
    #6
  7. Jim Townsend

    Scott W Guest

    wrote:
    > Mr.Happy wrote:
    >
    > > "I got a USB hard drive.. (You can buy IDE hard drives and then
    > > mount them in USB2 boxes with their own power supply)..
    > > It only costs around 100 bucks for 120 Gigs.. That's
    > > the equivalent of 25 regular density DVDs. "
    > >
    > > the problem is if it fails you lose EVERYTHING!

    >
    > Well, Mr. Happy, I think we can assume that Mr. Townsend has a brain,
    > eh?
    >
    > You know, he, like, has more than one of these disks?
    >
    > Maybe you should google around a bit before you make a fool of yourself
    > in public. Try this query:
    >
    > www.google.com: RAID terabyte
    >
    > Isn't it incredible what a little knowledge can do for you? You don't
    > even have to pay me or google for this -- though neither of us will
    > reject voluntary contributions.


    I have not yet seen a case where when one disk in a RAID was corrupted
    the mirror was not also corrupted. Loss of data is often from either
    software errors or user errors, neither of with a RAID will save you
    from.

    I do use hard drive for backup, but I also make copies of everything to
    DVD as well. For me I would get pretty nervous if I had every copy of
    my files connected to my computer at the same time.

    I have been in this bossiness since the 70s and have learned that it
    pays to be paranoid about your backups and to use different media.

    I think saying that Hr. Happy made a fool of himself is pushing it
    pretty far, don't you?

    Scott
     
    Scott W, Oct 27, 2005
    #7
  8. Jim Townsend

    Guest

    Scott W wrote:

    > I have not yet seen a case where when one disk in a RAID was corrupted
    > the mirror was not also corrupted. Loss of data is often from either
    > software errors or user errors, neither of with a RAID will save you
    > from.


    I've lost a few filesystems over the years, and none of the
    backups/mirrors were affected at all. You say you've been at this for
    30+ years, have you?

    > I do use hard drive for backup, but I also make copies of everything to
    > DVD as well. For me I would get pretty nervous if I had every copy of
    > my files connected to my computer at the same time.


    Well, then don't do it.

    > I have been in this bossiness since the 70s and have learned that it
    > pays to be paranoid about your backups and to use different media.


    1000GB ... let's say 100DVD's. Actually, 200, since you need to keep
    two copies.

    I'm sorry, but that just doesn't scale. Not even close. Consider the
    recovery process. HA HA HA.

    How many DVD's do you think www.google.com has used for their "backup"?

    > I think saying that Hr. Happy made a fool of himself is pushing it
    > pretty far, don't you?


    Absolutely not.

    Once again, my advice to those who have, or anticpate, large
    collections of data and the need/will to make it last:

    Avoid CD.

    Avoid DVD.

    Use multiple HD's until more reliable technology comes around.
    Adhocery ("USB external drives") is fine to start, but formality
    ("RAID") is the goal.

    "The Ramans do everything in threes."
     
    , Oct 27, 2005
    #8
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