Digital Storage Options and "How-To"

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mikeyman13, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. mikeyman13 macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2007
    Sorry for the elementary question in advance, but any "best practice" advice is appreciated.

    Have a 24 inch 2.8 Ghz iMac with 500GB HD. After recently upgrading to a DSLR (Nikon D5000) we have filled up our storage capacity.


    1. Noticed the computer is running slower
    2. Can't upload anymore pictures via iPhoto


    1. I backup via a 1TB external using Time Machine

    2. Should I buy a second external and place ALL pictures (and HD Video) on that external and continue to do regular backups on the other, which would seem not to capture the media I have moved off the computer (leaving me with no backup should the external fail).

    3. Essentially, what is the best way to upload and maintain photos and video for the long haul? I have about 30,000 photos of kids I do not want to loose and so I am a bit nervous. I could always buy an iMac with a 1TB HD, but this seems to be a bit overkill.

    Thanks so much, and as I said, I apologize for the noob question.

    - Mike
  2. Eaton Photos macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010

    Your question, is not a Noob question, but rather a question, that has multiple answers.

    I'll start 1st, by asking what is your budget for additional storage? Once you have determined a budget, you can then decide how you are going to go about backing up your data.

    What I did, when we acquired our iMac in Fall 2008, was we bought an external enclosure from Macsales, and then we put in a pair of 1TB HDD's, and set it up to run RAID 1. So at the very least we have a place to store our Files & Images off the Internal HDD, and we also have redundancy. RAID should not be your only means of backing up your files, but it does work, as long as you work within its limitations. Said enclosure offers FW800, FW400, & USB. While its not the quietest box in the world, it has been running strong for 2 years', without a single hiccup. :)
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I'd replace the internal harddrive with a 1.5 or better, 2 TB drive. The drives are really cheap, but replacing the internal harddrive of an iMac needs suction cups. I'm sure you can have it replaced at an Apple Store or at a certified retailer for a fee.

    Regarding the suggestion to make a RAID1, a RAID is not a backup at all! RAIDs (with the exception of RAID0) give you redundancy and protects (to some degree) against hard drive failure. Mirroring your internal hard drive is not very useful in your situation, I'd rather expand storage capacity or use that drive to make an extra, proper, backup.
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    What hasn't been said yet is that it sounds as if your internal HD has filled up, and that is an invitation for more OS problems generally. OS X needs some empty space on the Boot Drive to create swap space. Check your HD space, and clear out some stuff if you don't have ~10% of the drive (at least) empty.

    Now that that problem is dealt with (or at least identified as not a problem) it's time to think about your storage problems.

    One thing you can be sure of... if you filled one HD with images, you will eventually fill more so think about the future as well. Replacing the internal HD now (at some expense if you don't do it yourself) will buy you some time. You can estimate how much time by guessing how many MB of images you store per month. I think the better solution is to start thinking external HDs for images, at least the ones you want to keep but aren't actively working on. The current projects can stay on your internal drive.

    I have all of my images on a separate HD. My backup solution is to have the program backup each of the two HDs (Boot and Images) to two external HDs. i.e. Boot Drive (with all of my apps and business documents) gets copied to Backup HD1. Images Drive gets copied to Backup HD2. So, I always have 2 HD copies of my images. Later this year I will start creating a 3rd HD copy and store this one off-site.

    My set up is a bit different, 'cause it's a Mac Pro and the Images HD is still internal. But I believe an iMac will work the same with externals. If your iMac has FW you might want to consider using that along with the USB ports.

  5. Scuby macrumors regular

    May 16, 2010
    I've just bought a 1TB Seagate GoFlex Portable drive to go with my iMac - got a FW800 cable for it, and basically i've stuck it to the back of the iMac's desktop stand so it's effectively "part" of my iMac now. Always plugged in and always on, and always available. I put all of my media on that, and keep my internal 500GB relatively clear. As you recognised though, that is *not* a backup - you'll want another drive for that (ideally at least 1.5TB, so you can backup your main drive and the external media drive).

  6. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    It might be an extra step...but since the D90 came out iPhoto really hasn't improved on importing video. I use capture Image to upload videos, and save them to a folder outside of iPhoto.

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