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Thread: Hard drive full !!

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    Hard drive full !!

    OK everyone, I know this has been discussed lots in the past but I couldn't find any really recent threads that relate to my situation.

    Problem 1.....computer with 1 terrabite harddrive is chokka block and about 800G of that is photo files!! Computer drowning and can't function properly.

    Problem 2......I am a total clueless when it comes to this stuff

    Anybody have a suggested way to go from here that doesn't require incredible technical knowledge to set up and implement?? ( My hsband is not a complete clueless but is no expert either and can help to a degree)

    Currently I have a WD 2TB backup drive that is virtually full and a 1 TB that is almost full as well that is also backed up to the 2TB drive. The whole system (computer and 1 TB drive) gets backed up automatically to the 2TB drive once a week.

    Forgot to mention I run PC not Mac.

    All advice greatfully accepted......I need to revampo whole storage system.

    Cheers Karen
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Karen. Get another external drive pronto and move the excess files to it.
    "Move" means copy the files over to the new drive first then when verified delete from the source drive.

    NOTE: I don't know if new drives are already formatted NTFS (or Win7/8 improved file system) but if it is not, then do that: change it to NTFS.

    It'll be a slow process, but it will free up that source - and from your description, boot drive - enough to do the next step.

    After you have deleted the files from the source drive, do a Defragmentation of the drive. This will collect all the free space into (well nearly) contiguous
    segments.

    Let others have a say...
    Am.
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    Thanks Am!

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    Hi Karen, thank you for your post, it reminded me to get Time Machine running on the Mac, and I'm backing up as I type

    I'm also an ex-Windows user, and looking at your numbers above, I'm a little puzzled. Your computer has a 1Tb hard drive, and your back-up drive is 2Tbs - correct?

    So, your back-ups shouldn't be greater than what exists on your computer, meaning, unless your 2Tb drive had other additional stuff backed up on it (from a previous computer ), it should only be a series of incremental copies of your 1Tb hard drive and therefore, nowhere near full. For example, my HDD holds 67.62Gb of data, and my back-up measures 63.14Gb.

    AM's suggestion is a good idea, but I'd follow it up with the following:
    1. Examine the program you are using to back-up and see if it's efficient, because it sounds like it's not.
    2. Of your 800Gb of photos, can you weed some out? I find, if I import everything into my photo editing/managing software and then delete it, I specifically have to request that it IS deleted from the HDD.
    3. You can regularly 'defrag' your drive to maintain efficiency.

    I'm sure someone more expert will come along, cheers Deb

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    The other thing you can do is to be ruthless!

    That is, go back through the 1Tb drive and if there is anything there that is deletable .. then delete it.

    Questions you should ask yourself are:

    Do I really think this image is worth editing/keeping/archiving?
    Do I really need 12 copies of a similar image that I've already marked as a keeper?

    in my cataloging software, I mark images with ratings and only edit the one with the highest rating. If there are other images that are also close to it in quality but not worth the effort in editing .. at the end of the year, of if the drive fills up .. they get deleted. And yes, they will be raw files.

    This is what's meant as being ruthless.

    Of course drive space is very cheap now ... but the issue is that at some point in the future you will hit the same brick wall yet again ... so as already said, try to be ruthless in your culling routine.
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    HDD are cheap as these days, buy a few!
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    As long as you've got a bit of hard drive space for the operating system to use then 800GB of photos won't actually make anything run slower.

    That said, finding stuff among that many photos can be tricky and I'd be nervous about having that much important data in one spot.

    Grab a couple of good USB drives and start moving your data onto those. They are cheap and easy to use and let you get your photos onto multiple drives (ie. copy the same photos onto more than one drive as a backup). Then give one of the drives to family/friends for safe keeping.
    -- Mister Q

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    Thanks for all the useful information everyone.......as far as deleting unnecessary stuff....I am the first to admit that up until now, I don't really delete anything!! In fact with some files I could have up to 4 different copies of it eg: original raw file, jpeg for facebook with watermark, jpeg with no watermark and the photoshop file!!

    I figured that I could buy more storage and be ruthless from now on as it would be a mammoth task to go back through all the years of files and delete all the 'bad' ones....I don't really have that kind of time to dedicate to that task! I'm kind of thinking....start a good system now and put up with the bad old system as it is....maybe work on sorting through it at my own pace once i have the new, better system in place. Karen

    - - - Updated - - -

    Deb , I also have a nearly full 1TB external Hd that gets backed up to the 2TB hard drive!

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    FWIW Karen:

    I used to take hundreds of zillions of photos every week, and used to fill up a 1Tb drive every year or two.

    Those days are gone now, but still use a similar system.

    I get myself a new hard drive every time I get close to filling an old one, but not a USB drive as others do. I just the the cheapest type which offers the best value for money. So in this case that means just a normal bare internal HDD .. usually about 2Tb or so... but again this depends on value for money.. the other thing I have a preference for is drive speed.

    But instead of having to only connect the drive into the PC box, you can get what's known as a docking station. Basically a small box that connects via a typical PC connection type .... be that eSATA, USB2 or 3 or firewire or whatever else is available.

    Some info on docking stations

    The real reason I got this docking station had nothing to do with photography, and everything to do with fixing others PCs, but the system remained and is also used for storage of photos and other stuff.
    The other reason is that I get to choose the quality of the HDD, and don't get encumbered with the cheapest slowest drive in the companies lineup!

    Basically the bare hard drive slips into the dock and acts just like a USB drive, and once all things have been backed up or retrieved or whatever the need was, the bare drive then goes back into storage.

    I store my photos on each drive in clusters of years. This is because I file my photos in folders where the year is the highest directory listing.
    So it's a matter of backing up this individual year folders to wherever they fit onto a particular hard drive.
    Once the year directories have been backed up to the bare hard drive, I mark the drive(texta and labelmaker labels) with the years of interest.
    The drive then goes into a draw(one day I'll get a fireproof box for them all, as they're getting cheap now too).

    I still have two 3Tb external USB drives as well, and one of these is specifically for photos only, and the other has only the current year's worth of images.

    That is, I have one drive that currently contains only photos for years 2012 and 2013 , and the other USB drive has multiple uses for all manner of stuff plus only photos for 2013.


    My only problem is that sometimes I can't easily access images say from 2006... but to do so is a simple matter of placing that HDD into the docking station.

    A good docking station will cost about $30-60 .. which effectively is the difference between a USB drive and a bare hard drive.


    Note if you think this docking station system is one that you may find useful .. do not!!! think of getting the Vantec brand of docking stations.
    Apparently those Zalman branded ones are better(from what I've read).
    I have a USB3 Vantec dock and while it does work, it only does so on USB2 not USB3 as supposed too.(annoying tech issue with the internal hardware)

    .. anyhow just a warning.
    The difference in speed between USB2 and 3 may be something to also consider.

    At USB2 speed, transferring 1Tb of stuff could take close to 9hours, where it may only take 3 or so via USB3 on a proper drive.
    As I referred to earlier, one of the problems with off the shelf USB drives is that the manufacturer simply uses whatever drive they can... and this is more about them making larger profits than offering better products.
    They generally tend to use very slow drives, and while the USB drive may be USB3 capable, the actual speed of file transfer is woefully slow.
    My method in using the docking station then allows me to choose a HDD based on whatever specification that I require from the drive.. whether that's raw speed, or silence or power saving or whatever.

    What this can mean in real life is that two different HDD's on the same connection type may be worlds apart in terms of performance. ie. one HDD on USB3 can transfer 1Tb of files in about 2-3hrs yet another(slower) drive still on USB3 may take 9hrs to do the same thing.

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    Thank you aurthurking83 for your detailed information.
    Looks like I will be spending a lot of time researching ..... I can't even get the photos off my cameras from my trip away onto my computer at the moment so I had better get onto it!
    K

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    I subscribe to aurtherking83's system.

    I've been using barebones internal hardrives in a docking station well before I got into photography seriously.

    Just think of it (the internal hard drive) as a really big USB stick that plugs into a really big slot (docking station). All the systems now days are hot swappable, meaning you don't need to reboot etc to swap hard drives off the docking station.. (just make sure you eject them - from the icons near the clock)

    One thing though if you are having slowness issues, cleanning the hard drive in your system will help to a degree, but its likely that all the programs you have installed overtime are sitting there in system memory, taking up resources.

    If doing a clean up, take the time to either:
    1. Go through and un-install any un used programs
    2. clean up your start up files (which can be done selectively in administrator tools)
    or

    once you have transfered all your pictures and important files (emails and address book etc..) format and re-install windows.. (You'll always see a massive speed boost on a clean system)

    Warning though, unless you know what your doing, you could loose information that you just take for granted. for instance cookies (website logins) and passwords, and favourites or browsing history.

    First step is always try and clean what you have, but if that still annoys you, I'd consider the clean install...
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    D750 Shines cupic's Avatar
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    Taking to shot and storing it fabulous.but when HDD are filling faster than d/l the OP has to start culling and being brutal about it.
    When I first started first session was 1500 from a soccer game this after it was late those 1500 got culled to about 10.This has saved me 4Tb
    Still i have 3 external drive and its never easy culling but this will help you develop and better way of composing
    Delete hard and you will save the best bits

    cheers




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    Depends on your budget and how much expansion or redundancy you want but you could gofrom just another external drive to a bigger storage solution like a Drobo http://www.drobo.com/

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    And a word about backups ... you don't need to keep them FOREVER! If you've been backing up weekly, delete the weekly backups for the last month when you've got a backup for the new month in store. Old backups can be HUGE and really serve no purpose if your system has at least one, viable, recent backup to restore from. Bet you'll find yourself with a spare TB in no time!
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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktoopi View Post
    ......as far as deleting unnecessary stuff....I am the first to admit that up until now, I don't really delete anything!! In fact with some files I could have up to 4 different copies of it eg: original raw file, jpeg for facebook with watermark, jpeg with no watermark and the photoshop file!!
    A simpleton's view.
    Everything more than say 6 (or 12) months old can be put onto external storage x2 (to come back to if you need). Then delete it all from your computer. Start process again.

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    3 TB Internal Western Digital HDD $133.00 ....

    A few of these setup in a Raid array should sort you right out!

    Or just one will work too ...

    http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=2
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    I would look into a "Raid" setup. I personally use Raid 5 which gives me a certain amount of peace of mind.
    I know nothing about anything, only what I like.


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    One thing i would watch out for on these larger drives. Anything above 1TB isn't really meant to be accessed on a full time basis - i.e. not recommended for use as your main OS HDD. The reason for that is the drive speed and buffer rate. Larger drives, especially cheaper ones, don't have a large buffer rate so they will run slower.

    To go along with the above recommendations of culling your files, I would suggest changing your main OS HDD to a solid state drive. You can get a decent size SSD (250G or so) for about $200. This drive should ONLY contain your OS and programs. All data should be shored on your other drives. That will speed up your system quite a bit! Of course that may not be the simple answer you were looking for.

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    I have 8 TB of storage on my PC ATM

    I was just about to go down the path of HDD docking. Then the want for a new DSLR body took care of that HAHAHAHHA
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechawombat View Post
    I have 8 TB of storage on my PC ATM

    I was just about to go down the path of HDD docking. Then the want for a new DSLR body took care of that HAHAHAHHA

    Yes well I wanted to upgrade my screen then I realised my hard drive was full!!


    Just out of curiosity......can anyone tell me what is the benefit of having a docking station system over an external hard drive that simply connects to computer via USB 3?

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