Some of you are familiar with my recent hard drive drama. Well, I rebooted, backed up the files to a different drive so that I could burn disks and all seemed well, but then it happened again, and so I just want to post a warning about trusting hard drives alone to back up your work. The hard drive I had go down is a Lacie 250 gig drive. These are supposed to be super nice drives. It’s less than a year old (still under warrenty, but that doesn’t guarantee data recovery). I have had other friends lose this brand of drives in the last year or so, but any brand can have issues. You could accidentally leave your super magnet sitting next to the computer. Your cat could knock the drive off the desk. Or you could get a bum drive like I apparently did.
Now, I know a lot of people who do their back up to 2 hard drives which they store in different locations and all of that. I would suggest that you also burn DVDs (2 copies preferably). Blu ray disks store 25 gigs. I’m still at regular dvd size of 4 gigs, and it’s lame to have so many disks, but it’s better than CDs and way better than losing my data. I just buy disk storage pages and keep things in binders. It’s all very organized, and data is easy to locate. I keep each job separate and start a new page even if one job is just 1 disk on a page that holds 8 disks. And I label everything in detail!
Burn disks first! Don’t download your files, do a ton of work, and then burn disks. My hard drive went down as I was burning back ups of work (the original files were already backed up thanks to my system of back up first, work second). I would have lost renaming and color correction work, but I could always go back to the originals on disk if necessary.
If you don’t own a DVD burner, BUY ONE! They’re not that expensive. CD burners are even cheaper. I met a group of photographers here who looked at me funny when I said I back up everything to disk and always save layered high-res files. Their comment was, “but then you’d have to buy a DVD burner.” YES! That’s the point.
Anyway, Nate’s dad’s computer died earlier this year. He lost a ton of pictures that weren’t on disk. Luckily his kids were able to piece things back together from their computers and disks they’d burned. It just sucks to lose your files and happens so frequently.