Best Storage Solution for Valueable Files? Ext Hard Drive, DVD, ?

Sigma B

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Jun 5, 2004
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I'm an aspiring photographer. I take TONS of photographs and I catalog them and organize them very well, but I am always conscerned about losing these precious files. I was wondering what is the best way to store these files so that they won't fall prey to some crazy mishap?

External Hard Drive? DVD R's? Something else?
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
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I put mine on DVD's. Sometimes when It's something I dont' want to loose I burn another copy that I keep in a "special" cd folder that I keep far away from the rest of my stuff, in a dark climate controled hiding spot that I let no one get near. (I'm extremly anal about people handling my media and getting finger prints and sctatches on) I dont' remember what brand of cd folder I got, but it's hard and metal, and stackable too. I think it holds 48 cd/dvds... I got it at walmart for about $20bucks or so.
 
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Sep 22, 2005
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The safe deposit box is a nice dark, humidity controlled (I think) location for the truly paranoid :)

I too would recommend DVDs for archiving. If you do use them though, probably go with single layer. Not only are they cheaper, and proven, but I am not sure if they have reoslved the issue of metal deterioation in dual layer dics (or if it is even a problem for writeble ones)
 

TheBluePill

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Best way for less than $1k would be to build a small file server with a RAID 5 or 6 Array for maximum storage with redundancy on the fly.

Past that, Dual layer DVD is a good medium too.
 

Sieravor

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if you decide to use recordable media like DVD's, take care to remember that in a few years you should transfer them to a new disk. Those things do have a shelf life. :)
 

BillLeeLee

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Important stuff I keep backed up in several areas. One is to DVDs. I make 2 - 3 copies of archives, to several DVDs, each from a different batch.

Also I keep files on multiple computers and multiple hard drives (don't have RAID 1 or RAID 5 or such at the moment).
 

Sigma B

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It doesn't matter to me. I just want the method that is the most reliable for years to come - obviously future methods of storage will be adopted, but until then whichever is going to be the most robust/safe method is prefered.
 

draksia

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Sieravor said:
if you decide to use recordable media like DVD's, take care to remember that in a few years you should transfer them to a new disk. Those things do have a shelf life. :)


Yep I run into so shelf life issues for cd-r. That dye layer seperated after about 5 years from the plastic substrate.
 

Sigma B

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Alright - So -

Suggestions for External [H]ard Drives?
(Something Reasonable - nothing to outlandish, but I don't mind paying for Quality)
I need roughly 200 - 500 Gigs of storage
 

Ruffy

[H]ard|Gawd
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Mar 31, 2001
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Long term storage solutions I use

A> manual Backup weekly to dvd
B> automatic backup weekly to file server on raid 5
C> External Harddrive backup monthly

The external harddrive and a few choice dvds are locked in a Firesafe box in the closet. I only power the drive up for backup. And I have two of them
 

Ruffy

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Sigma B said:
Alright - So -

Suggestions for External [H]ard Drives?
(Something Reasonable - nothing to outlandish, but I don't mind paying for Quality)
I need roughly 200 - 500 Gigs of storage


WD 320GB Drive ($120ish) 5 year warrnaty
Good External Harddrive case $50
 

S1nF1xx

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Sigma B said:
Alright - So -

Suggestions for External [H]ard Drives?
(Something Reasonable - nothing to outlandish, but I don't mind paying for Quality)
I need roughly 200 - 500 Gigs of storage

I bought one of these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817145133
And a 300GB WD HDD for $79 AR.

This is used strictly for backups. I also burn all my really important files to DVD and keep it offsite. Everything is backed up in duplicate. And I sleep well at night. :)
 

SmokeRngs

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2008
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RAID 1 and RAID 5 are not backup solutions. They are redundancy solutions and there is a difference. CD/DVD is a backup solution. It's different long term media that you can store in a different physical location. When stored, you do not need to worry about a power surge destroying it like you do with hard drives. An external hard drive solution is not a reliable backup solution either. Static can kill it when not in use. Being moved around and bumped is bad for a drive whether it is powered on or not. There are just too many moving parts to consider it a backup solution.

Personally, I would backup the pictures to DVD and store them in a safe place. I would also keep them on the hard drive for access purposes. This way you still have two copies of them. One you can access and one you have put away.

DVD and CD backups are not a permanant solution either. As already mentioned, you will need to create new backups every few years to make sure they are safe. I have some eight year old CDs that are still good while I've had some CDs that died even without use in a couple of years. The quality of the media and treatment of the media make big differences in how long the backup will last.

I saw it mentioned before that about the time you need to make new backups of your old backups is usually around the time a new affordable storage media in much higher capacities comes out. Five years ago, the main everyday backup medium was CDs and today it's DVDs. There will be something else that's faster with more storage in another five years. In other words, redoing your backups every five years is usually a good idea so it takes up less physical space, backups and restoring from backups is quicker and you have better compatibility with the medium. There aren't as many people using Zip Drives as there used to be so it's probably not a good idea to try and backup all your stuff to Zip disks.

 

S1nF1xx

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SmokeRngs said:
An external hard drive solution is not a reliable backup solution either.

DVD and CD backups are not a permanant solution either.

So why not do both? Money is no object when it comes to backing up precious data. Especially since you can get a huge external drive and a DVD burner for less than $200.
 
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