Monday, June 28, 2010

Backup stragegy for your photos and videos

I am sure you take a lot of pictures and videos, nowadays it has become much easier to transfer them to your Computer. But unless you organize it and have an effective backup plan those photos and videos have no value cause one day your hard disk will crash or you will upgrade your computer and may forget to transfer those fine pictures and videos that you took a few years back.


From my experience I have found that it is best to keep all your files in one place in your local computer hard disk, organized by Year and Month. Especially now since the prices of high capacity drives are getting cheaper every day.

but then there are issues

1. Drive failure
2. Individual file corruption
3. Theft/Fire
4. Accidental Delete


CD/DVD backup
One solution would be to take backups in CDs/DVDs, but then again this is tedious process and you will have to keep your CDs/DVDs well organized and secondly in the absense of your local hard drive recovering all the files would be a pain as you will have to go through each and every disk in order to do a complete restore.

Hard disks in RAID configuration
We can have multiple hard disks configured as RAID, but I am not comfortable with this idea because I can not easily take my files if needed and if my computer fails (not the drives) then the recovery could get complicated if the drives are not configured as simple mirrors also there is a big issue of Accidental Deletes.

Dual Hard disk backup
The backup strategy I follow is to keep one copy in my local computer large hard drive and another in a portable external drive, then I use a software tool that I wrote to periodically make sure that both the copies are in good health.

Check out the tool here.

This arrangement works best for me, cause:

1. In case I have to quickly take all my stuff and run, I can just take the portable disk, this takes care of issue #3. Portable makes it easy to store the drive, it could even go in your Bank safe.

2. Provides me with redundancy and reliability in case of any one drive fails, this solves issue #1

3. Periodic check takes care of issue #2

4. Issue #4 is a difficult one and for that I have set permission on all my folders to read only, making it writable only when I have to add new files and turning it back off after I am done.

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