Archiving Photos

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by alexglee, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. macrumors member


    Oct 19, 2005
    Manly, NSW, Australia
    Hello all. I am looking for the most effective (cost/time/etc) way to archive and keep photos backed up. Some background: I've lost photos before due to my own stupidity of formatting the wrong drive. After data recovery, the photos are all scrambled, so I want to make sure that after I sort them out this time, I won't mess it up again.

    I devised a strategy after doing some searching and talking to people. In the interest of keeping the first back up and incremental backups quick, I have employed Seagate's Thunderbolt SATA adapter.

    I would like to:
    - Time machine my computer via a Thunderbolt HD (daily stuff, including a copy of the photos).
    - ONSITE backup USB HD
    - OFFSITE backup #1 (stored in bank vault) Thunderbolt HD
    - OFFSITE backup #2 (stored in another off site location) Thunderbolt HD

    I was doing some research and found that companies are employing RAID6. I was thinking about splitting each drive in to 3 partitions and doing the same.

    Thoughts on this strategy? Do you have a better one?
  2. macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2010
    your strategy seems good although maybe slightly ott.

    have you looked into cloud storage? might work out cheaper than the thunderbolt route for 1 of the offsite backups.

    personally i keep photos on my imac (imac hdd) cloned to a raid 1 device every other night and then i keep an offsite backup (hdd updated bi-weekly) in my garage (not attached to my house).

    as soon as my internet speeds increases (in december) i will use crashplan to upload my photos online in the cloud.
  3. thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 19, 2005
    Manly, NSW, Australia
    Crashplan sounds interesting. I do not like the fact that I cannot control where my data is going, but I guess it's just pictures. It's not sensitive data anyways.

    2nd. I'm worried that they might go out of business and keeping everything local might be a little more expensive, but might work out better in the end.

    2 years with crash plan is $187

    My equipment is:
    $100 for thunderbolt adapter
    $175 for 2 hard drives
    $0 for existing USB hard drive

    I guess it looks like I will pay a little more, but it could be worth it? Crashplan is automatic, but uses my limited internet bandwidth and speed too.

    *SIGH* No Golden choice, but some good considerations. Thanks!

  4. macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Why do you need TB for backup disks? Use SuperDuper! or CarbonCopyCloner (I use SD!) to do nightly incremental backups.

    My nightly backup is to a USB 2 external HDD. Since it happens at 1:00am, I don't care how fast it copies. That gives me my 2nd backup, and protects from a HDD crash. My 1st backup is an internal Time Machine disk. I use this one to protect from user brain farts.

    On a regular basis I take my overnight backup disk and swap it for the one in my safety deposit box. That is my 3rd & offsite backup. Some people will recommend more than one disk in the bank. I like this system because it's simple, and I can recover quickly. For a simple HDD crash, I've got my backup photos right there. I can start using them immediately, without even having to wait for a new HDD. No downloading needed. For a catastrophic disaster, I can take my off-site backup to any computer I have access to - and start using them there.

    There is very little that can go wrong, and when it does, it's obvious. The more complicated you make your backup system, the more likely you will have a cascading failure, or the more time you will spend keeping it running rather than just taking photos.
  5. macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2009
    +1 to crashplan

    I'm a big fan of crashplan, and pay for their cloud storage.

    You can also (for nothing) backup using it to an external drive, or a friend's computer... which means the data stays under your control. And it's encrypted, so your friend can't see it.

    Best of all, you can do your initial backup to an external disk and then take it to a friend, and continue the backup over the internet.

    They don't pay me, but I do like their service.
  6. dimme, Nov 22, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012

    macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    My setup for archiving photos
    Mac Pro Main workstation
    Working Libary
    Backed up to time machine
    Super duper back up (whole System) once a week
    Mac Mini server
    Copy Of photo libary sysced at mac pro shutdown
    crash Plan packup runing 24/7
    2 WD Pasport HD rotated between home and work
    With this setup I have 2 off site backups (crashplane & Hard drive at work)
    I also have a locial backup at the mac pro
    Crashplane has been a great addition to this setup and I highy recomend it.
  7. macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    TB is not really needed. OK the initial fill of the HD's can take a while, but IMO that is not a big deal.
    I use Synkron to keep the discs in sync, but I work at 2 locations, with 2 backup discs traveling back and forth. Synkron is the only tool that allows easy tri-directional syncing (If I worked at home, the files that were altered are updated at work and vise-versa). Only problem is that you have to think of a manual folder structure that will be future proof, as moving folders can result in many copies (or move all 4 instances before syncing again). Synkron also works if one machine is Windows or Linux and the other is a Mac as it is cross-platform. It also backs-up any accidentally replaced versions, so in the rare occasion you forgot to sync and 2 new versions exist when you sync again, you can recover the wiped one.
  8. macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2012
    don't forget to look into using your own URL site for storage. Many hosting agreements offer unlimited space. But, they might have a policy of not uploading lots of stuff that is not part of your website.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2012
    You can also use Crashplan to backup to a drive (external or even on another remote computer) for anything sensitive. I'm considering it.

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