Well here I go again. My hard drive, with all my images on it decided not to work. Again! The hard drive did not die, it just got corrupted and could only see half of the 4 TB on the drive. Now this happened to me about eight months ago, with the same drive, and I said I was going to get another hard drive and back it up separately. I didn’t! So, after a half a day talking to the hard drive manufacturer and trying to run recovery software, the manufacturer had me send the unit back to be fixed because something’s not working right.
Something’s not working right!!! This is the second time, you can bet something’s not working right. When I get this unit back it does not get a third chance, I will be selling it on eBay. I’ve since bought another 4 TB drive by another manufacturer and I will be buying a second 4 TB hard drive from this manufacturer as soon as I sell the other hard drive. Thank goodness I back up all my images onto DVDs, one for my studio and the other to be sent off-site. It took me 2 ½ days to load up all the images back on one hard drive so I could use them, and luckily I did not lose a single image.
I have now come up with a system that should keep all my images safe, from the time I download them from the camera, to working on my desktop, placing them in my Working Library hard drive and backing them up on Archival hard drive and DVDs.
- When I download my images from my camera I use a card reader and use my computer operating system to transfer the images onto my Desktop computer. I don’t use third party programs to transfer my images most of the time, as I trust the operating system to do a better job with less of a chance of a files becoming corrupted than by using third-party programs. Although, I have been using Lightroom lately to transfer images and put them into the image management system.
- Once they are transferred to my working computer I make a copy on a backup hard drive that is used just for this purpose. Once I’m done editing the images and ready to put them on my Working Library hard drive I will delete them from this hard drive. This is just to make sure that I have images in two places while I am working on them at all times.
- When all the images have been edited and worked on in and the job handed off to the client, I then back up all raw and Photoshop files on my Working Library hard drive. This drive gives me access to all my images at a time I need to get to them and is linked to my light room database.
- Once they’re on the Working Library hard drive I will create DVDs of all the images. I made two sets of DVDs, one that stays here in the studio and one that is shipped off-site and away from hurricanes.
- The last step will be to copy over all files to a Archival hard drive that is labeled and placed in a safe place and unplugged from electricity. I live in Florida where we have a lot of lightning and storms like you’ve not seen, and I want to make sure my Archival hard drive is disconnected from electricity to keep it safe. Just to let you know, you should take your hard drive out every two weeks and run it to keep it working correctly. I know of a few photographers that have not run their archival hard drives and when they need to use them they find out that it’s not working, or is frozen up.
This may sound a little redundant and time-consuming, but I think it’s probably the best system that I have heard of, and like I said earlier, I have not lost an image during two hard drive failures.