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Author Topic: Photo File Storage and backup  (Read 1117 times)

Offline SimonW

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Photo File Storage and backup
« on: April 01, 2017, 09:14:05 PM »

Currently all my photo files (and other docs) are stored on the Hard Disk in my ten year old laptop, backed up monthly to a portable HD, and any significant changes during the month copied to a memory stick. Because a replacement laptop is likely to have a Solid State Disk with less capacity and reputed less reliability I'm considering a different configuration.

"Does the team think" it's a good idea to keep all the photo files (RAW and JPG) on a NAS with two hard disks configured as Raid 0, instead of on the laptop. Would they be as well protected? (At present the portable HD is kept off site, so I'd probably continue to back up the NAS to it monthly). I use Lightroom, and have heard that for speed the catalog should be kept on the laptop but it appears I could set Lightroom to back up the catalog to the NAS every time Lightroom exits.

Should I anticipate any other snags, or is there a better way?

Regards, Simon

Simon Warren
(in Dunning, Scotland)

Offline StephenBatey

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Re: Photo File Storage and backup
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2017, 10:48:00 AM »
If RAID 0 wasn't a typo, you'll have less than half the security you currently have; RAID 0 means that the data is spread across two drives, so you only need 1 to fail to lose the lot. That automatically doubles the chances of a drive failure, since you have double the disks. Plus I've noticed that with increasing capacities and reduced prices, manufacturers guarantee periods have reduced. It used to be 5 years long ago when a big hard drive was 1 gigabyte; now it seems to be 2 or 3 years. I put this down to the makers knowing something... RAID 1 will mirror the data. so you have to lose both disks to lose the data, the price being that you buy two drives of the size you want and one is redundant.

If we're being really secure, it's not just drive failure that's to be considered as fire and theft come in as well. In many ways I'm less secure than you are, because all my copies are in the same room. One interesting idea I saw on a forum (probably either here or Pixalo) was from someone who had a network drive concealed in the roof timbers of their garage, which was a separate building to the house. This gave some measure of protection from theft.

My own (insecure) system is to start with a RAID system in my desktop. This has three drives attached to the card, two in use (mirrored) and the other notified to the card as spare, so if one of the two in use fails, it will automatically start to rebuild using the third disk. In addition, I use Syncback Free to backup the contents to two external USB disks and mirror to another two external drives; one job runs every two hours, so that limits the time period that the data is at risk. The backup rather than mirror means I have some protection against accidental deletion of files. I also had an incremental backup system on a NAS system which has technical problems at the moment. I'm intending to replace it. In the event of drive failure, I keep a spare (unused) disk of the same size ready to replace the failed drive, so I don't have to wait for mail order or a shop to open (although I can't buy the drives locally anyway).

Every time I copy the data from a memory card, I run all four Syncback tasks before formatting the card; the same happens after scanning negatives.

On Lightroom and catalogues, I have no idea, not using Lightroom.

Offline anglefire

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Re: Photo File Storage and backup
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2017, 12:27:59 PM »
I have 2 NAS drives - one with a 914Mb (Effective) drive, the other with a 1.34Tb and 2.68Tb drives (Effective) - so I'm running no raids at all - but I then backup the lot to the cloud with Livedrive.

My main PC data drives being backuped to the NAS via Syncback - one drive, one backup.

Which I really must clean up and delete some old stuff as I can't believe I have 3Tb of useful files! :)
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Offline SimonW

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Re: Photo File Storage and backup
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 09:19:33 AM »
Stephen, thank you. I guess I did mean Raid 1 (two drives each with a copy of the same data) rather than 0. And I agree about off-site backups. In fact my "monthly" portable HD is kept in my office half a mile away. The office PC uses a similar system to mine, its "monthly" portable HD is store in my house. I like the idea of hiding the NAS away from the PC, but the attic would be the first place to go in the case of a serious fire.

And Angelfire - I also believe I could delete at least three quarters of my files, but it would take forever to go through the lot and make the decisions. I'm certain of only one thing: there would be at least one file I wanted just a few days after I'd permanently deleted it.

Simon Warren
(in Dunning, Scotland)


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