Whether we like it or not all things will one-day die. Well, the other day my hard drive reached the end of its lifespan. It failed. The sign of trouble started when I tried to turn on my computer it could not go past the start screen. I tried the true and trusted way – restart to no avail. After consulting with my nerdy friends, I managed to open the computer only to be greeted with a message that one of my hard drives had failed and should be replaced immediately.
Fortunately for me, I had learned my lesson many years back when I lost all my files due to a hard drive failure. The lesson learned was to always back up my computer. So, all I had to do was to remove the corrupt drive run to the store (fortunately for me it was boxing day found a sweet deal) pick up another drive restore my lost file from my backup and I was up and going in no time.
In today’s digital age, with all our lives and memory residing on some sort of digital drive, backing up is something which should be not be taken lightly that is why my backup has a backup. I went with this 2-pronged plan make sure that I will always have my files safe somewhere. In case of a disaster at my primary location, I know that my files are safe.
I have found this to be the most useful for my needs. I have set my cloud storage to automatically sync all the changes I have made to my computer drive. So, for instance, if I delete a photo the change is automatically applied to my cloud folder. Not only is this conveniently but there is no need for me to remember to back up my files as all is done automatically. Accessibility is another plus for cloud-based storage. Your files ‘go with you’ everywhere all you need is an internet connection. This alone sold me on the idea of cloud storage. Before cloud storage, I would bring with me at the minimum two extra hard drives but thanks to cloud storage I don’t need to carry around extra hard drives with me anymore.
The downside to cloud storage is that it's not free. Most of these services are subscription based and over the long run, they can be expensive. There are nonetheless free could service although the storage given is minimal. Google Drive will give you 15 gigabytes for free while Microsoft OneDrive offers 5 free gigabytes. If you have both accounts you will end up with 20 gigabytes which is enough for someone backing up photos in jpeg.
Speed is another concern with cloud-based backup. If your internet connection is slow, it can take days to fully backup your files. But once you have gone through the initial upload, subsequent backups are faster as the cloud is only uploading new files.
2-EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE.
This is my second line of defense. Every time I am uploading photos into my computer form my camera I make sure to save a copy to an external hard drive. Since I predominantly use Lightroom for my photo management, backup to my external hard drive is automatic.
In the import dialogue box, you can check the make second copy to box, assign the location of your drive and Lightroom will take it from there. It will simultaneously copy your files to the default folder and the backup drive as well.
The drawback I have found with this system forgetfulness. I tend to forget to connect my external hard drive when I am downloading my photos (I hope Adobe will give us forgetful people some sort of a reminder here). While this can be addressed later, I must admit that they are times I have completely forgotten to back up my files to my external drive. But the biggest drawback to me is that I do keep my external hard drive in the same location as my computer. This means that if some sort of disaster, fire or flood, occurs at my location both my computer and my back up will be affected defeating the purposes of backing up. I am thinking of having a second hard drive with my back up that I will store off-site.
This is my back up system what is yours? Leave your comments below.