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Thread: Important (& expensive!) backup lesson....

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    Important (& expensive!) backup lesson....

    So, for the last eight months I've had a 2TB external hard drive awaiting the first back up of my 17,000 photos from Lightroom. It's been sitting alongside the PC, tucked safely in its box.

    Yes, you guessed it.

    It continued to stay in the box, until last week, when I found myself with a corrupt HD and bingo! No more access to my snaps for the past 4 years!!

    Calls to data recovery firms since reveal I'm to expect a fee of between $600 to $2000 to retrieve images (if they can even be retrieved)

    Lesson: BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP everyone!

    Don't think it can't happen to you! If you haven't got a backup plan get one!

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Yep, Something we see someone post about every few months. And sometimes we harp on about having at least two backups, but there is a reason for that.

    One backup in case your main hard drive fails and a second one stored away from your place, in cause you get burgled, fire etc. All good having a backup but if that sits beside your computer when a thief breaks in, guess where the backup goes?

    Hope you can recover your files!
    Last edited by ricktas; 23-02-2014 at 8:35pm.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Give us some more details of this sorry tale, 1-I. Error messages, symptoms, etc may be helpful.
    Am.
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    Fingers crossed it can be recovered.

    The two hard drives idea is a good one. But something different I can suggest is having several dvd backups organized by category or events or date.

    Might not be as convenient for future access later, but dvds don't fail as long as you store them correctly. I guess the same applies for hard drives though. Have had a few fail on me over time. Mostly just from years of use.

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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    I back up to a separate hard drive (NAS RAID actually) and had kept another copy at the office.

    Having largely retired my office is now at home, so the off site storage wasn't quite as convenient.

    My children don't seem to have taken heed of the need to back up, despite some persistent nagging by me, so there not the alternate custodians I was looking for.

    I have taken out a subscription to Carbonite, a cloud backup service. %60 pa for a backup of a PC, or $99 pa for a backup of a pc and all attached external HD's.

    Bit of a pain to upload something over a TB at about 6gB per day, but once I get there it should then be pretty painless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boo53 View Post
    I back up to a separate hard drive (NAS RAID actually) and had kept another copy at the office.

    Having largely retired my office is now at home, so the off site storage wasn't quite as convenient.

    My children don't seem to have taken heed of the need to back up, despite some persistent nagging by me, so there not the alternate custodians I was looking for.

    I have taken out a subscription to Carbonite, a cloud backup service. %60 pa for a backup of a PC, or $99 pa for a backup of a pc and all attached external HD's.

    Bit of a pain to upload something over a TB at about 6gB per day, but once I get there it should then be pretty painless.
    Australia's internet needs to pick up speed. We're falling behind. 6 gb per day upload just isn't good enough

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    Just out of interest. I've heard a few people suggesting not to back up on DVD's as they've had or know of problems had with DVD's and have gone back to CD's. Has any one on AP heard of this mine Are all on HDD's but need to have a better work follow for this when I can get my new system.
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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    Actually I gave up on DVD's as a backup medium a number of years ago as I didn't find them reliable (even the recognized brand ones ).

    If I have to use them I don't put more than 3 gB on them, and make 2 copies, and even then its only for temporary backups.

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    I won't use DVDs because I've had several de-laminate. Strangely enough, one batch of Sony DVD-R de-laminated en mass. Cyclical Redundancy Errors are forever in my nightmares. You stand a good chance of recovering something from a HDD, but bugger all from a damaged DVD. That's my experience over many years with dye layer DVD media anyway.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I know of one person who having no one near him to leave a backup HDD with keeps his additional backup HDD in his car. Using CD's/DVD's for large backups is uneconomical as well as not reliable.You are going to need approx 250DVD's or 1500CD's to do 1Tb of backup. That equates to about $60 per Tb for an external 2Tb HDD, or $150 for 250 DVD's and $600 for 1500 CD's.
    Cheers
    Keith.

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    Photo Bizarro nimrodisease's Avatar
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    I use the subscription based CrashPlan to back up all my data to the cloud. I just left my PC on for a few weeks straight for the initial upload, and now I don't even have to think about backing up any more. Plus I can download my files onto any computer from wherever I happen to be. Leaves my old manual backup system for dead..
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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    And what happens if CrashPlan crash?

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    And what happens if CrashPlan crash?
    Good kwestchun.

    Probably best to look in their "terms and conditions" page which, if they actually had such a page, probably indemnifies them from any claims resulting to data loss that resulted from unforseen acts including possibly, earthquakes, cyclones, bush fires, civil war, neighbourhood quarrels, family arguments, drunken drivers, laziness and stupidtity.
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    Well ameerat42. I'm no computer geek, but it went something like this. I hope it helps others avoid the early warning signs and subsequent pitfalls.

    Started to get error messages with Windows 7 at start up, basically wanting to run a CHK DSK procedure from time to time. I thought it was simply related to my PC having a few hiccups (maybe a lack of RAM) before my normal desktop icons appeared.

    I continued blissfully ignorant exporting my RAW files into my Lightroom catalogue after each shoot, until one day the CHK DSK seemed to last forever and my Desktop just wouldn't appear. At this point, I realised that I'd never paid much attention to the drive getting loaded up frequently with large files until it was almost at 1TB capacity.

    I then took it to my local PC wizards here who indicated that the files may still be present but not 'visible'. File system scans later revealed errors were still present on the drive before it could finalise its on recovery action. Format recovery procedures, including 'ghosting' of the original drive were unsuccessful.

    Next month I take the drive to Melbourne to a data recovery specialist (I'll be using Payam but Doctor Disk is another) in the hope that when they take in apart in a 'clean room' my photos will be recoverable.

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    I had a hard disk fry on me once, thankfully I had almost everything backed up. More as an experiment, I talked to a tech I deal with at work and ended up buying a copy of Data Rescue online, and a usb to sata cable off ebay. I used that to hook the dead hard drive to my computer and ran Data Rescue. I pulled a lot off of the drive including the few images that weren't backed up. It took a while to sift through everything, but it was all separated into file types so it made it a bit easier to know where to look. Might be worth investigating as an alternative.
    Last edited by RJD; 01-03-2014 at 12:29pm.

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    Back in December my PC (Win XP) developed a problem where it either hung while booting (at something like "loading your personal settings"), or was just so slow that I always gave up waiting for it to get to the desktop. I ran CHKDSK which fixed some stuff, and then ran some other utility to check the disk - if I recall correctly it found no problems, but the system still wouldn't boot fully. (The problem may have with Win XP, but I didn't bother attempting a fix / re-install as the PC was 7yo and XP is near death, so time for a new PC).

    In the meantime I downloaded Ubuntu and created a bootable version on a 4gb usb stick and used that to boot up the PC. Running Ubuntu I was able to successfully access the PC's hard drive and copy files I wanted on to an external drive. (Most of my photos are on external drives and backed up but there was a bit of stuff on the PC hdd that I'd prefer not to lose). I had no previous experience with Ubuntu but with a bit of googling it was easy to set up and use (pretty impressive actually).

    It might be worth a try, however success would really depend on what the problem is with your disk. I'd assume if you've already had someone look at it without succeess, then the problems are probably too severe for this type of recovery.


    Good luck...
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    Photo Bizarro nimrodisease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    And what happens if CrashPlan crash?
    Well for what it's worth, using the CrashPlan program (which is free to download and use) you can actually back up to any other PC via the internet. All you need to do is have the program installed on each computer (and obviously there is access verification aswell). This means I can backup my home PC onto my work PC, or my brother's PC or my friend in America's PC. Or all of the above!

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneeyedphoto View Post
    Well ameerat42. I'm no computer geek, but it went something like this. I hope it helps others avoid the early warning signs and subsequent pitfalls.

    Started to get error messages with Windows 7 at start up, basically wanting to run a CHK DSK procedure from time to time. I thought it was simply related to my PC having a few hiccups (maybe a lack of RAM) before my normal desktop icons appeared.

    I continued blissfully ignorant exporting my RAW files into my Lightroom catalogue after each shoot, until one day the CHK DSK seemed to last forever and my Desktop just wouldn't appear. At this point, I realised that I'd never paid much attention to the drive getting loaded up frequently with large files until it was almost at 1TB capacity.

    I then took it to my local PC wizards here who indicated that the files may still be present but not 'visible'. File system scans later revealed errors were still present on the drive before it could finalise its on recovery action. Format recovery procedures, including 'ghosting' of the original drive were unsuccessful.

    Next month I take the drive to Melbourne to a data recovery specialist (I'll be using Payam but Doctor Disk is another) in the hope that when they take in apart in a 'clean room' my photos will be recoverable.
    Wow! That's bigger than Ban-Shee! I sure hope you can get something back from it.
    Am.

  19. #19
    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    The intermittent errors are almost always the starting point for a hard drive failure. If you start receiving errors, backup immediately because further use of the drive degrades it further and increases the likelihood of the failure. I.e. If it happens on your main drive, shut down the machine, buy a backup drive and only switch it back on to back it up.

    On the issue of backups, I work in the data retention industry, so it's one I know fairly well. The dyes used in DVD's can make them useless after a period of time as it fades (depending on the DVD) so I've never liked DVD 's for anything more than giving someone a copy of something. If you do use DVD's, keep them in a dark cupboard.

    i personally use multiple backups, I have my photos, a local backup, a cloud backup and an offline backup. These days, hackers can be more inclined to delete your entire online identity for the fun of it, and doing that includes wiping your hard drive and your online data so having an offline copy is more critical. If someone hacks your machine, they often have access to the online data so it's easy for them to delete it. The only thing they cannot delete is an offline drive.

    my current regiment with offline backups is two hard drives I take to the office on a weekly basis. Once a week I backup everything, take the drive to the office and bring back the old drive that was there. That way the most I'll ever lose is one week of data.
    Last edited by MissionMan; 02-03-2014 at 12:14pm.
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    Nothing is forever, but optical media seems to get a bad rap, which I believe is unwarranted.

    I don’t know about your computer, but the DVD burner on my pc was the cheapest component costing around $12. Yet this device is expected to not burn an accurate spiral track each and every time I write to media in it, and then expect that the resultant media will be able to be read on any other device. Actually I don’t expect that!

    If interested, I would suggest reading the following which provides some insight into optical media. The long and the short of it is that you normally get what you pay for and even then there is no guarantee.

    http://www.audioholics.com/audio-tec...will-they-last

    That being said, I use >1TB passport magnetic disk drives for all my backups. The physical size/data capacity of optical media does not come close to magnetic drives or solid state devices which are coming down in price.
    Last edited by brownie; 04-03-2014 at 7:14pm.
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